We live with a whole crew of fur-babies in our house and three family members with allergies! That means it’s a daily priority to keep dust, dander, and dirt to a minimum. I don’t want to add to the respiratory distress around here by using a bunch of toxic chemicals every day. So through the years, I’ve slowly made the switch to all-natural cleaners using essential oils and simple ingredients like vinegar, baking soda, and natural dish soap.
It doesn’t take much to make the switch. If you are still hesitant about ditching your “anti-bacterial wipes” or other conventional cleaners, I invite you to do some research on the environmental and health impacts of your products over at the Environmental Working Groups blog. This website is my go-to resource for any and all purchases that come into our home. Once I realized the true impact of chemical cleaners I was done bringing them into our home!
Make your own inexpensive and non-toxic cleaners from simple ingredients that you probably already have lying around your house. Get started with these 5 easy DIY recipes:
ALL-PURPOSE CLEANING SPRAY
This all-purpose spray cleans hard surfaces in the kitchen, bathroom, etc. and can be custom formulated with your favorite scents.*
- ¼ cup white vinegar
- 1 ¾ cups water
- 30 drops essential oils
- Add all ingredients to 16-ounce spray bottle & shake thoroughly
- Spritz on surfaces and wipe clean with a microfiber cloth.
*Recommended Essential Oils:
- 15 drops each of Lavender and Lemon
- 10 drops each of Eucalyptus, Peppermint, and Wild Orange
POWDER CLEANSING SCRUB
Sometimes you need a bit more grit to really scrub your surfaces. This powdered cleanser makes it easy to clean the toughest grime with little to no work. Just sprinkle on the surface, let it sit for 15–30 minutes, and then wipe clean.
- 2 cups borax*
- 1 cup baking soda
- ½ cup citric acid
- ½ cup kosher salt
- 20 drops Lemon oil
*Borax is a natural cleanser but it can be toxic when ingested. Be sure to keep this scrub clearly labeled and away from children/pets. If you are concerned about using borax, just omit it.
- Combine all ingredients into a large bowl and stir until combined.
- Store in a large shaker bottle (like an old spice bottle or Parmesan cheese shaker)
- To use, dampen surface and sprinkle the powder over an area you want to clean. Let it sit for 15–30 minutes. For an extra cleansing boost, spray distilled vinegar on powder and wipe clean.
NATURAL GLASS CLEANER
Skip the commercial toxins and make your own natural glass cleaner at home. This recipe is affordable, easy, eco-friendly, and safe for you and your loved ones.
Recommended oils: Lemon, Lime, Grapefruit, Wild Orange
- 16-ounce spray bottle
- 1 ½ cup white vinegar
- ½ cup distilled water
- 8 drops of your citrus oil of choice
- Add vinegar, water, and essential oil(s) to spray bottle and shake.
- Clean surfaces.
DIY APPLIANCE CLEANER
Once in a while, you have to face the truth of the matter and get down to the business of really cleaning the fridge and microwave. Rather than dreading the task, make it easier by using this DIY lemon oil cleaner. Spray this safe and non-toxic blend to get rid of caked-on food, mystery stains, and unwanted smells.
- 1 cup white vinegar
- 2 cups hot water
- 15 drops Lemon oil
- Combine the ingredients in glass spray bottle.
- Spray mixture inside fridge or microwave, then scrub and wipe using damp cloth.
While daily dusting or wiping of wood can be done with a damp microfiber cloth, it’s important to protect your wood furniture with a good polishing every few months. Use this simple DIY wood polish to bring back the shine to your favorite tables, chairs, floors, and other wood elements.
Recommended oils: Wild Orange, Arborvitae, or Lemon
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup vinegar
- 10 drops essential oils
- Add olive oil and vinegar to a spritzer bottle.
- Add 10 drops of essential oil.
- Shake well before each use.
- Apply to microfiber cloth and wipe wood surfaces clean. Repeat every two to three months or as often as needed.
Q: Do I need to use glass containers?
Most articles on essential oils will mention the fact that because of their potency, EO’s can degrade plastic. This is why the bottles they come in, roller bottles, facial serums or sprays are stored in glass containers. However, I’ve always used plastic spray bottles for my home cleaners because A) the recipes are highly diluted and B) the mixture is not getting applied to my skin or ingested.
Q: What if I don’t have one of the essential oils called for?
You’ll notice a variety of oils mentioned in these recipes, but you can always substitute your favorite oil. The best essential oils for cleaning are the “big three” – lemon, lavender, and peppermint – in addition to lime, wild orange, thyme, eucalyptus, tea tree, rosemary, and cinnamon. Feel free to mix and match these as you wish.
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