How to Save Money By Making Your Own Non-Toxic Cleaning Products

How to Save Money By Making Your Own Non-Toxic Cleaning Products

How to Save Money By Making Your Own Non-Toxic Cleaning Products

Making your own non-toxic cleaning products is a great way to save money while also avoiding harmful chemicals found in many conventional cleaners. Not only is it cost effective, but it’s also easy to do with simple ingredients you likely already have at home. In this comprehensive guide, I’ll walk you through everything you need to know to start making your own safe, natural cleaners.

Why Make Your Own Cleaning Products?

There are a few key reasons why making DIY cleaners makes sense:

1. Save Money

Store-bought cleaners can be expensive, especially when you need an entire arsenal of products for different cleaning tasks. Homemade cleaners are a fraction of the cost since you can make them with common, inexpensive ingredients like vinegar, baking soda, and castile soap. Once you have the core ingredients on hand, each batch of cleaner costs just pennies to make.

2. Avoid Toxic Chemicals

Many conventional cleaners contain harmful ingredients like ammonia, bleach, sulfates, formaldehyde, and phthalates. These chemicals can cause or exacerbate respiratory issues, skin irritation, endocrine disruption, and other health problems. DIY cleaners use natural antibacterial ingredients that get the job done without putting your health at risk.

3. Customize for Your Needs

Premade cleaners are formulated for broad use, but with DIY cleaners you can customize scents and ingredients to meet your specific preferences and cleaning requirements. Adjust formulas as needed to make all-purpose cleaners, bathroom scrubbers, glass cleaner, and more specialized products.

4. Better for the Environment

Making your own cleaners reduces plastic waste from single-use bottles and prevents toxic chemicals from being dumped down drains and polluting waterways. The natural ingredients break down safely without harming ecosystems.

Essential Equipment & Ingredients

Cleaning up your homebrew cleaner recipe requires just a few key tools and versatile, economical ingredients:

Equipment

  • Reusable spray bottles for mixing and storing cleaners
  • Glass jars or containers for making cleaning solution batches
  • Funnels for pouring liquids into bottles
  • Labels for identifying your homemade cleaners

Core Ingredients

  • White vinegar or apple cider vinegar (antibacterial, cuts grease)
  • Baking soda (abrasive, deodorizing)
  • Liquid castile soap (removes oils, makes things sudsy)
  • Essential oils like lemon, peppermint, tea tree (add natural scents)
  • Water

Optional Add-Ins

  • Hydrogen peroxide (disinfecting)
  • Borax (whitening booster)
  • Olive oil or vegetable oil (polishing)
  • Lemons (brightening, cuts grease)
  • Salt (mild abrasive)

All-Purpose Cleaner

A go-to all-purpose cleaner is a homemade cleaning must-have. My favorite recipe tackles multiple messes around the house while still being non-toxic.

All-Purpose Cleaner Recipe:
– 1⁄2 cup vinegar
– 1⁄4 cup baking soda
– 1⁄2 teaspoon liquid castile soap
– 1 1⁄2 cups hot water
– 5-10 drops essential oil (opt.)

Instructions:
1. Add vinegar, baking soda, and soap to your spray bottle.
2. Shake bottle to mix and dissolve baking soda.
3. Pour in hot water and add essential oil if using.
4. Shake again before each use.
5. Spray directly onto surfaces or onto a cloth to wipe clean.

This budget all-purpose cleaner lifts dirt, kills bacteria, removes grease, and leaves a streak-free shine. Vinegar cuts through grime, baking soda deodorizes, and castile soap gives a boost of grease-fighting power. Use it on countertops, appliances, floors, bathtubs, and most other water-safe surfaces.

DIY Disinfecting Cleaner Spray

Disinfecting high-touch surfaces is especially important nowadays. This homemade formula kills germs naturally using tea tree and lemon essential oils:

Disinfecting Cleaner Recipe:
– 2 cups water
– 1⁄4 cup vinegar
– 1⁄4 cup hydrogen peroxide
– 1 tablespoon lemon juice
– 15 drops tea tree oil

Instructions:
1. Add all ingredients to spray bottle.
2. Shake vigorously to mix and dissolve peroxide.
3. Spray on surfaces and let sit for several minutes before wiping.
4. Rinse with water after disinfecting if needed.

The peroxide and vinegar work together to kill bacteria and viruses. Lemon juice brightens, while tea tree oil adds cleansing antimicrobial properties. Use this spray on doorknobs, sink fixtures, toilet handles, and other germy areas.

Scrubbing Cleanser for Bathrooms

For scrubbing tile, toilets, showers, and bathtubs, I make a simple abrasive paste with baking soda, essential oils, and castile soap.

Bathroom Scrub Recipe:
– 1⁄2 cup baking soda
– 1 teaspoon liquid castile soap
– 10 drops lemon essential oil
– 3-5 drops tea tree oil
– Water as needed

Instructions:
1. Mix baking soda and soap together first.
2. Add lemon and tea tree oils and stir in.
3. Slowly spritz surface with water, stirring constantly to form a paste.
4. Apply paste to surfaces with a damp sponge or cloth.
5. Scrub before rinsing clean.

The baking soda scrubs away soap scum, hard water stains, and grime. Lemon oil cuts through buildup and leaves things fresh. Tea tree oil adds antibacterial action. This scrubber works wonders on tile grout too.

Streak-Free Glass & Window Cleaner Spray

My favorite homemade glass cleaner uses just a few ingredients to leave windows, mirrors, and glass surfaces sparkling streak-free:

Glass Cleaner Recipe:
– 1⁄4-1⁄2 cup white vinegar
– 1 tablespoon cornstarch
– 2 cups warm water
– 5 drops essential oil (optional)

Instructions:
1. In a spray bottle, dissolve cornstarch in the warm water.
2. Add in vinegar and essential oil if using.
3. Shake bottle before each use to mix.
4. Mist glass and wipe clean with a lint-free cloth or coffee filters.

The vinegar helps cut through grease, dirt, and grime. Cornstarch prevents streaking for a polished look. Warm water helps dissolve the cornstarch. This glass cleaner works great on windows, mirrors, chrome, computer monitors, and other delicate surfaces.

Foaming Bathroom Cleaner

This foaming bathroom cleaner stays clinging to surfaces longer than spray cleaners, so it has more time to work dissolving soap scum:

Foaming Bathroom Cleaner Recipe:
– 1⁄2 cup vinegar
– 1⁄4 cup liquid castile soap
– 1 tablespoon olive oil or vegetable oil
– 1⁄2 cup warm water
– 8-10 drops essential oil (optional)

Instructions:
1. Add vinegar and soap to foaming dispenser bottle.
2. Add in oil and water.
3. Shake vigorously before each use to generate foam.
4. Apply foam directly to surface and let sit before rinsing.

The castile soap gives it powerful cleaning action. Oil polishes fixtures. And vinegar dissolves residue and kills mold and bacteria. Dispense this foaming cleaner in the shower, sink, and bathtub to boost cleaning power. Rinse thoroughly.

Oven Cleaner Spray Gel

Harsh oven cleaners are often caustic. For a safer oven cleaning option, I put together this simple cleaning gel:

Oven Cleaner Recipe:
– 1⁄2 cup baking soda
– 1 tablespoon liquid castile soap
– 1 tablespoon water
– 2 tablespoons hydrogen peroxide

Instructions:
1. In a small bowl, stir baking soda and soap into a paste.
2. Mix in peroxide and water. Stir until gel forms.
3. Using gloves, apply gel to oven surfaces. Avoid heating elements.
4. Let sit 20-30 minutes before wiping away grime with damp cloth.

The baking soda scrubs away baked-on food and grease. Peroxide helps lift stains. Castile soap cuts through any lingering oils. Apply this oven spray gel to racks, oven walls, and doors. Rinse surfaces well before using oven to cook food.

Floor Cleaner & Polish

My homemade floor cleaner is great for vinyl, tile, laminate, and sealed hardwood floors. It cleans, disinfects, and leaves floors shining:

Floor Cleaner Recipe:
– 1⁄4 cup vinegar
– 1⁄2 teaspoon liquid castile soap
– 1⁄2 teaspoon olive oil
– 2 cups warm water

Instructions:
1. Add vinegar and soap to bucket or spray bottle.
2. Mix in olive oil and water.
3. Mop or wipe solution onto floor surfaces.
4. Let air dry for a beautiful polish.

Vinegar disinfects floors while removing grease and dirt buildup. Olive oil gives floors a protective shine. The small amount of castile soap helps cut grime. For an extra clean floor, add 1⁄4 cup hydrogen peroxide. Polish with a soft dry mop after floors dry.

Laundry Detergent & Softener

My homemade laundry detergent is simple and better suited for sensitive skin than commercial detergents:

Laundry Detergent Recipe:
– 1 bar castile soap, grated
– 1⁄2 cup washing soda
– 1⁄2 cup borax
– Essential oil (optional)

Fabric Softener Recipe:
– 1 cup white vinegar
– 20-30 drops essential oil

Instructions:
1. Grate bar of castile soap into flakes. Mix in washing soda and borax.
2. Use 1-2 tablespoons detergent per load.
3. For softener, add 1⁄4 cup vinegar to rinse cycle.

Castile soap cleans effectively while being gentle on skin. Washing soda lifts stains. Borax brightens. Vinegar softens fabric and removes soap residue. Add your favorite essential oil for a light scent. This laundry duo works great for most fabric types.

Drain Cleaner

A simple homemade drain cleaner can bust through clogs and prevent buildup. Just pour 1⁄2 cup baking soda down the drain, followed by 1⁄2 cup vinegar. Cover and let fizz for 10-15 minutes before rinsing with hot water. The chemical reaction breaks up gunk, soap scum, oils, and hair in pipes. Monthly drain cleaning keeps water flowing freely.

Conclusion

As you can see, with just a few basic ingredients and essential tools, you can make effective non-toxic cleaners for an extremely low cost. Homemade cleaners allow you to control the ingredients so you can avoid toxic chemicals and fragrances. DIY cleaning products also reduce plastic waste and have a lower environmental impact compared to conventional cleaners. I encourage you to try making your own safe, eco-friendly cleaners to save money and have a healthier home environment.