The household cleaning isle at your local grocery store will try to convince you that every thing in your house requires a specialized cleaning solution of its very own. There are specific cleaners for ovens, drains, tarnished silverware, and even a special wash to remove pesticides and wax from your fruits and vegetables. But why spend your money on chemical-laden kitchen cleaners that are hazardous to your health and the environment when you can make your own out of just a few natural, inexpensive ingredients?
Your Key Ingredients
Almost all natural house cleaners can be made from a combination of baking soda, white vinegar, Castile soap and water. Other ingredients can be added to make your house smell good, such as essential oils and lemon, while simultaneously acting as natural antibacterial agents.
- Mildly abrasive making it a good kitchen scrub
- Stain remover
- Non-toxic to pets and children who may desire to lick whatever it is that you just cleaned
- Natural disinfectant
- Mildly acidic, easily dissolving soap scum, dirt, and hard water deposits
- Gentle enough to use on sensitive surfaces such as hardwood floors
Liquid Castile Soap (such as Dr. Bronner’s)
- Castile soap is vegetable based instead of petroleum based making it non-toxic
- Can be used for your household as well as personal hygiene
- Sanitizer—great for cleaning cutting boards
- Cuts through grease
- Natural bleaching properties can be used to clean stained table linens
- Has a great scent
- Tea tree, eucalyptus or lemongrass can be added to your cleaning solution to make your kitchen smell fresh while also acting as an natural antibacterial agent.
How to make your own cleaners
Before concocting up your own kitchen cleaners, take a few words of advice from our publisher Tolly Canon—“If soap and water will do the job, leave it at that.” Cleaning your home really can be that simple. However, for more persistent stains, grime, and other kitchen nightmares, here are a few websites that offer recipes which will replace just about every kitchen cleaner you have in the cupboard.
Recipes from HowStuffWorks.com
Ovens and stoves (Author’s note: we at EF do not support using ammonia to clean one’s oven as it is a volatile compound which can irritate your eyes and respiratory tract. Instead we prefer this oven cleaner recipe from Mother Nature Network)
Recipes from ApartmentTherapy.com