When I first started couponing, I was so excited about getting things for free that I bought just about anything that ended up being free after coupons. I remember one trip where I got tons of Windex, Lysol and other cleaners completely free and I was absolutely thrilled! Before couponing I tried to stay away from the non-natural cleaners, but when it was free…. I found it much harder to resist. So, I started using these non-natural cleaners and would get major sinus infections each time. It took me a couple of times to see the connection, but I ended up throwing all of those almost-full free cleaners away. But then there was this dilemma… how could I go back to paying the price I was before for all of the natural brands? As much as I love Seventh Generation and Mrs. Meyers products, my goodness they are expensive!! I did some research online and talked to a few friends and found out that it is SUPER easy and SUPER cheap to just make your own non-toxic cleaners and all you need to have on hand are a few products that you likely will have in your pantry anyway! To get a natural cleaning supply going you will need:
White Distilled Vinegar (store-brand works great too)
Various Essential Oils
Yep, that’s it! There are other things you can add in later if you want to, but I haven’t found it necessary to have anything besides the ingredients above.
Counters and Floors:
Mix 1/2 cup of vinegar per 1/2 gallon of water. Add several drops of your favorite essential oil. Mix it right in an empty spray bottle for counters, or in a bucket (or the sink) for cleaning your floors. You can also add some Rubbing Alcohol or Hydrogen Peroxide into the mixture if you want to. And if you have a Swiffer Wet Jet, here’s how I refill mine for pennies!
Tubs & Showers:
Scrub with Baking Soda and Water. That’s all! There’s really no measurement for this, just however much you think you need to scrub the soap scum off. It might take a little more elbow grease, but it’s worth it to not be sitting in a tub of chemical residue when bathtime comes around.
Sink & Counter Scrub:
Mix baking soda with some drops of your favorite essential oil. Use the baking soda mixed with a little bit of water as a scrub.
For those of you who make your own cleaners, what do you use? What’s your favorite essential oil to use in your cleaners? Any tips or tricks that you would recommend?
**Note: DO NOT mix vinegar with bleach products for any reason. It will create a toxic chlorine gas.
Follow my Essential Oils Pinterest board below!
Follow Rachel @ SurvivingTheStores.com’s board How To Use Essential Oils! on Pinterest.
I found that if you place a paper towel soaked in vinegar on spills in your oven while it is still warm for about thirty minutes, you can simply wipe up the spill with a damp dish cloth. It’s much better than scrubbing with soap pads or using toxic oven cleaner. It’s works great for self-cleaning ovens, too.
Surviving The Stores says
@Mary, Oh that’s great to know!! Do you know if it works on spills that have been there for a while? 🙂 Our oven is pretty awful.
Samantha Cernock says
I try to use only natural cleaners as well, thanks for the tips. I now see that I was not using baking soda to it’s full potential. I also use peroxide to get a nice “whitening” effect on my counters, floors, etc.
Surviving The Stores says
@Samantha Cernock, Sweet!! I use hydrogen peroxide as a whitener for my teeth… didn’t think to use it as a whitener for the counters. Definitely a great bleach substitute!
Is this what one uses on hair.
Yes, peroxide can be used to lighten your hair. I’m not sure of the ratio to use with water, but it is the natural hair lightener. I have heard that it will make gray hair stand out tho.
I use baking soda and water to scrub my sinks and showers, then pour vinegar over it to make it bubbly (foamy). Once the bubbles go down the drain, I rinse thoroughly. This not only cleans the sinks and showers, it cleans the drains as well. Additionally, it leaves them smelling fresh and squeaky clean!
You can add vinegar (1 cup or so) to the rinse cycle instead of fabric softener. This environmentally friendly solution leaves no residue on your clothes, like most fabric softeners. There may be a faint vinegar smell if you don’t get the laundry totally dry. You can also hang dry in the sun (weather permitting).
Surviving The Stores says
@Rachel, I use the vinegar fabric softener as well and it really does work great! I’ve been meaning to start drying a few things in the sun… I’ve never done it before and I keep hearing such wonderful things about it.
@Surviving The Stores, Me too. I haven’t tried it because I don’t have a clothesline or anywhere to put one. I hear some stuff gets stiff, but once worn for a little while clothes will soften.
I also hear drying in the sun is a great way to rid clothes of smells that don’t come out through the wash.
I do this too, and the washing machine repair man told me it’s way better than using fabric softener, as supposedly using it can cut down on the life of your washer!
I have found that by using vinegar instead of fabric softener I no longer get any mildew in my “dispensing” drawer of my washer. I never have a vinegar scent on any of my clothes, even the onbes I hang dry to avoid shrinkage.
Although the fresh smell obtained from drying clothing outdoors is wonderful, I recommend using a clothing rack indoors or your dryer if you have seasonal allergies. Pollen will attach to your laundry and increases your allergic response when you wear clothing or sleep all night on those outdoor dried sheets. I prefer using the dryer (also don’t care for my towels or clothes to be stiff or misshapen, that then require ironing), so I use the non-toxic dryer balls. Love them!
I also use baking soda and vinegar to open and deodorize the drains. I pour a handful of baking soda and a cup of vinegar down the drains. When the bubling stops, pour hot water. Repeat this until water runs freely down the drains.
I also use vinegar to clean and shine mirrors, glasses and chrome.
I live in an area that has hard water….Unfortunately, natural soaps and essentials oils for cleaning absolutely does not work. These ingredients will not rinse away in hard water. I would recommend exploring using this basic recipe for general household cleaning:
2 cups distilled water
1 teaspoon borax (works better than baking soda)
2 Tablespoons of white vinegar
Warm water to warm in microwave, add borax and stirr to dissolve, add vinegar….Put in a clean spray bottle. Spray surface, wipe off, rinse and dry….OPTIONAL: a pinch of dishsoap (greener type) Please note: Borax can be posionous if ingested….Keep all cleaning products away from children and pets!
Although that my be a cost effective solution….I though this was all supposed to be non-toxic as the title says. Wouldn’t Borax defeat the purpose of non-toxic?
I too live in an area with hardwater. I have found heat up vinager in the microwave then place in a spray bottle with dawn dish soap. Then spray the shower/tub. Let that sit for an hour then wipe down and rinse away.
I use a similar recipe to the one from the website except mine calls for 2 cups water, 1/2 c vinegar, 3/4 c hydrogen peroxide, 1 teaspoon castile soap, 20 drops tea tree oil and another 20 drops of essential oil (optional). I love this cleaner. I mix it with baking soda to make a paste for scrubbing sinks, and I spray it on the counters, bathrooms etc. for other cleaning. Its from the book Gorgeously Green.
Does anyone have something that just works great for toilets? My daughter needs something to use and I would love for it to be natural. I have tried baking soda before, and maybe we just need for her to learn to scrub harder… but just wondering.
I sprinkle baking soda in the toilet, add a little vinegar then scrub… it’s great especially since I can’t seem to get my dog to stop drinking from the toilet!!
Jo Anderson says
I have used those denture cleaning tablets and have good luck. I put two (2) into the bowl and let it sit for at least a couple of hours then scrub. Buy the cheap, off brands……they work just as well as the more costly ones. My friend just told me another trick for toilets. She dumps a bottle of coke (again, use the cheap stuff)
Into the toilet, let it sit awhile then scrub. Have fun cleaning!
I make a bleach alternative with peroxide, lemon juice, white vinegar and water…it doesn’t whiten like regular chlorine bleach, but it does disinfect…and I feel safer using it around my kids and pet.
Where is a good place to buy essential oils ? Or a good website that anyone recommends? Thanks!
Surviving The Stores says
Hey Kelley! So sorry that I’m just now seeing your comment.
These are the oils that I use: https://www.survivingthestores.com/how-to-use-essential-oils-where-to-buy
Samantha Riley says
I use baking soda and a couple drops of essential oil to freshen carpets. I add about 3 or 4 drops to about 4 cups baking soda sprinkle on carpets and let sit 5 mins then vacuum
Heat the vinegar in the microwave before using it to clean hard lime/calcium and soap scum. You won’t need to scrub much, if at all. Don’t forget to spray your shower head, too.
Any good ideas on cleaning the flat surface of cooktop stoves? I know they sell stuff. Just am not sure what to use.
Hello, I sprinkle the top with baking soda, the in a bowl have hot water and original dawn dish soap mix. Take cleaning clothes and soak that in the water until saturated. Wring out slightly. Place the cloth over the baking soda. I use 4 rags. Then let that sit for 10min. The just wipe up the messes. Is you have stuck on stuff the you will have to scrub a little. But my stove is beautiful after.
Love this! I recently started using natural cleaners because of some of the same reasons. I like to add Vinegar to my mopping solution. The reaction I get when combining the two makes me feel like I get a small reaction in the floor and I have tiny bubbles helping me scrub.
I love to use equal parts dawn(the original blue one) and white vinegar to clean my shower. Put in a spray bottle, spray everything really good and let it sit for a bit than wipe everything down and give it a rinse. You’ll find you don’t have to scrubb very hard at all, and it makes the fixtures sparkle like new.
Melissa B. says
Back to fabric softener, I use vinegar and add some essential oils (EO). I just mix them in an old fabric softener bottle and dispense when needed. The EO will not harm your clothing (so long as you use a quality EO) Your clothes will not smell like the EO, the EO will help cleanse your clothing as the vinegar does its job.
A small amount of Borax can also be used in a hair rinse, along with apple cider vinegar (ACV), water, and EOs like rosemary and lavender. Yes, the smell of the ACV is strong, but I promise you it disapates quickly. This has greatly helped my itchy scalp!
What do you use to clean the toilets…that’s what I’m trying to change. I’ve started using vinegar and baking soda with my Young Living Oils in the bathroom just not sure about the toilet.
Rachel @ Surviving The Stores says
That’s exactly the combo that I use for my toilets too. 🙂
I would add hydrogen peroxide to this list but otherwise I can clean everything with those 5 ingredients