I remember the days I used to buy cleaning products based on packaging and scent. I never thought twice about the ramifications—just that I liked how something smelled. There’s nothing necessarily wrong with wanting cleaning products to smell nice. Perhaps it might even motivate us all to clean more if they did. However, the trade-off for something labeled “fresh scent” is often carcinogenic ingredients that are extremely dangerous to have in your home. In short…not worth it. Thankfully, I’ve found incredible DIY natural cleaning solutions for every room in my home—and yes, some of them even smell nice too.
More importantly, every DIY natural cleaning solution in this post works incredibly well. I’ve tried and tested dozens of different recipes to come up with a list of my favorite natural cleaning DIYs…toxic cancer-causing ingredients not necessary, thanks.
DIY Natural All-Purpose Cleaners
A good all-purpose cleaner is one of the most important things you can have in your toolbelt. I find myself reaching for this one over and over in every room, whether it’s to wipe down my bathroom counters, make the kitchen sink shine or clean off baby toys.
There are a lot of natural cleaning solutions that can be made incredibly inexpensively, most likely with items you have right around your home. Want to hear a spoiler alert? A mix of white vinegar, baking soda, and distilled water can clean pretty much every item in your home! Inexpensive, easy to find and effective—a winning plan!
How do you make your own cleaning solution?
There are several different ways you can make a DIY natural cleaner. This is my favorite basic recipe.
- 1/2 cup of white vinegar
- 2 tbsp baking soda
- distilled water
- 2-3 drops of essential oil (optional)
Simply take the vinegar and baking soda and funnel into a glass spray bottle. Swish around gently to mix, then pour distilled water to the top of the bottle. If you like, you can add essential oils. Tea tree and lemon are popular due to their cleaning properties, but orange or lavender would be fine as well.
Another option is you can simply keep a mason jar of white vinegar on hand, and add any citrus peels you have from cooking/eating into the jar. These peels will help tone down the vinegar smell while adding disinfecting power.
I prefer to store my cleaning spray in the fridge, but it would keep fine on the countertop as well.
Does a DIY cleaner actually kill germs?
Yes! Well…sort of. Here’s the deal with natural cleaners—they aren’t bleached. They will not kill 99.9% of every single germ and bacteria…but that is a GOOD thing. Not all bacteria or germs are bad. And a healthy immune system needs to be able to encounter them all. However, white vinegar has been found to be an effective cleaner as it removes harmful bacteria. To make sure vinegar works effectively, it should have contact with the surface for at least 60 seconds before wiping clean. For extra-gross jobs that need a lot of extra attention, you might want to leave vinegar on the surface for up to ten minutes before rinsing. This may sound like a long time, but if you spray a surface, load your dishwasher, then wipe down, more than enough time has elapsed.
DIY Natural Cleaning Products for the Kitchen
I use the all-purpose cleaner listed above on my cutting boards, counters and some of my appliances. However, there are some other ways you can clean particular parts of your kitchen such as certain appliances and even your sink drain!
How to Naturally Clean Marble Countertops
If you have a countertop made from soft stone such as marble, soapstone or slate, vinegar may be too abrasive on the material. In these cases, you might opt for warm water mixed with gentle natural dish soap.
DIY Natural Microwave Cleaner
I use to dread cleaning the microwave. Splattered, sticky food…yuck! However, since I found this cleaning hack, it has become one of the easiest chores ever! Simply take a small glass bowl and fill it with white vinegar. Microwave it for five minutes (ten if it is especially gross), open it up and use a sponge to wipe the surfaces down. Done.
How to Make a Dishwasher Cleaner Naturally
The dishwasher might be the hardest working appliance I own. It cleans dishes day in and day out, but did you know dishwashers need to be cleaned too? The easiest way I have found to do this is with…you guessed it…baking soda and vinegar!
Simply take a small glass bowl and put it on the top rack of your dishwasher. Pour in about a 1/2 cup of white vinegar. Then, dust the base and sides of the dishwasher with baking soda. Close it up, run it on a long, hot cycle and open it up to a sparkling clean appliance.
How to Clean a Sink Drain with Baking Soda and Vinegar
Lastly, let’s talk about how you can use the magic combo of vinegar and baking soda to get a stinky kitchen drain back in order. Remember that old science fair experiment with the volcano eruption with baking soda and vinegar? That’s basically what we’re doing here.
Start by sprinkling a generous amount (as in, half the box) of baking soda into your drains. Let it sit for about 15 minutes—make sure you do NOT run the water or pour anything else down the drain. Then, measure out a half cup of white vinegar and slowly pour it down the drain. You’ll hear the fizz and magic happen as the drains are scrubbed clean for you—cool, right? Wait 15 minutes, and lastly pour boiling hot water to clear out the entire thing. Done!
DIY Natural Cleaning Products for the Bathroom
Believe it or not, you CAN make an awesome DIY natural cleaner for your bathroom! I know the bathroom gets a lot of action (and not always in the best way). But, that means it is even more important to make sure the room stays extra clean and toxin free!
For my counters and faucet, I simply spray the all-purpose cleaner and wipe with a microfiber rag. However, toilets need a little something extra IMHO!
How to Make DIY Natural Toilet Cleaner
To make an easy (and awesome!) DIY toilet cleaner, mix these two ingredients in a glass bowl with a lid:
- 1 cup baking soda
- 30 drops of your favorite blend of germ-fighting essential oil
When you are ready to use the cleaner, take two tablespoons of it, and sprinkle all inside the bowl. You may need to use the toilet brush to do this. Then, add one cup of white vinegar—make sure you pour it starting at the top of the bowl and let it drip down. It should fizz. If it doesn’t—sprinkle some more baking soda on. Then, use the toilet brush to scrub it all clean.
What’s your favorite DIY natural cleaning product? I’d love to hear your favorite healthy DIY cleaning recipes—please share!
Tania Griffis is a writer and blogger who lives in the Dallas area with her husband. They are proud new-ish parents to a toddler who is becoming increasingly active, which has spurred them onwards in their natural journey. Tania is passionate about stripping her home of chemicals and creating a beautiful, safe environment for her family to thrive in. You can find her blog at www.runtoradiance.com.