5 INGREDIENTS to CLEAN YOUR HOME
Making your own cleaners is cheap, easy, and the natural ingredients below are easy to source. Chemical laden cleaners from the supermarket aren't needed to clean your home and clothing effectively; the DIY recipes I'm providing below are effective too. I'll get straight into what I use and how.
The 5 KEY INGREDIENTS needed:
- White Vinegar
- Baking Soda
- Liquid Castile Soap
- Washing Soda (Sodium Carbonate and sometimes known as Soda Ash)
- Oxy Bleach (Sodium Percarbonate)
The first 2 ingredients can be bought from the supermarket but if you have a bulk store nearby you'll get them package-free. High quality, NZ made Castile Soap is available here in a glass bottle at The Coastal Cabin. (If you're familiar with the Dr Bronner's range, you'll find the one I stock more cost effective and without the long air miles.) The final 2 ingredients are at my local Binn Inn store.
Here's what I do in my home...
BATHROOM/LAUNDRY SPRAY + WINDOW & MIRROR CLEANER:
- 50/50 mix of white vinegar and water. This effectively cleans the toilet, vanity, and shower doors. Add essential oils if you wish.
KITCHEN ALL PURPOSE SPRAY:
- 1/10 Castile Soap + 9/10 water. Add essential oils to unscented Castile soap if you wish.
ALL PURPOSE CITRUS CLEANER (when there is an abundance of citrus in your home):
- Peel enough citrus to fill a glass jar. Pour over white vinegar until jar is full. Leave to steep for 3-7 days. Drain off vinegar and mix with water as above. This makes an all-purpose cleaning spray. NOTE: avoid using vinegar on granite or marble as it will diminish the shine. Stick to water and Castile soap.
TOILET BOWL CLEANER
- Into a food processor put 3 cups of washing soda and 1 cup of Oxy bleach. Add essential oils if you wish. Store in a container. Place roughly 2 tbsp into the toilet bowl, leave for 10 minutes minimum. Brush and flush.
CLEANING PASTE (like Jif)
- 2 cups of baking soda + 1/2 cup liquid Castile Soap. Add essential oils if you wish. Combine and store in a jar.
- Into a bucket of roughly 3L hot water add 2-4 tbsp of liquid Castile Soap.
- Mix 1 part water with 1 part white vinegar and 1-2 tsp of baking soda. Mix and wipe surfaces.
- Place 1 tbsp of oil onto a cloth and rub on surface. Repeat using a little white vinegar. Wipe again with clean cloth and let dry.
LAUNDRY STAIN REMOVER
- Add 1 tbsp (or more for heavy stains) of Oxy Bleach to your warm water wash.
- As a pre-soak for bad stains, add Oxy Bleach to hot water and soak for at least 30 minutes. I usually soak overnight, then wash in the machine in the morning. I find this effective for removing deodorant stains, and it brightens whites really well. If you line dry in full sun, this significantly helps in the removal of stains too.
- I also use the solid laundry bar from Ethique and tend to use this on dark and bright colours. I find Oxy Bleach best on whites and light colours.
- If you get your white vinegar from a bulk store it will generally be called "double strength" or "cleaning vinegar". It has a higher acidity than regular white vinegar from the supermarket, and therefor a greater cleaning power. In theory you can use more water and less vinegar in this higher strength version, but I tend to stick with the 50/50 ratio whether I get it double strength or the normal version from the supermarket! You can play around with this ratio depending on what you're cleaning.
- Years ago I would mix baking soda or washing soda with vinegar to clean the shower and kitchen sink - you get a foaming chemical reaction that appears to work well but we should never do this! What is happening is that the acid (vinegar) is neutralising the power of the alkaline cleaner (the baking soda or washing soda), making it less effective.
- There are recipes online for DIY dishwasher powder but I haven't had success with ones I've tried. However I do use white vinegar as the rinse aid.
- I've also had mixed success with DIY laundry powder. I'm lucky enough to have a place locally where I can fill my own container with Ecostore laundry liquid, so this is what I do. However if I'm caught without any, liquid Castile Soap is a lovely clothes cleaner (just expensive as a regular clothes cleaner.) In fact Castile Soap can be used to clean almost anything so I find it a wonderful product to have in the house! This is also what I pour into our foaming pump bottles for washing hands, diluted with water 50/50. If you look online you'll find more information about the 3 types of Castile soap I have available.