#1 Sugar and Spice Natural Room Spritzer from Small Measures at Design Sponge
- 3/4 cup of ethanol
- 10 drops clove or nutmeg essential oil
- 10 drops cinnamon or anise essential oil
- 10 drops vanilla essential oil
Place the essential oils in a 4- to 8-ounce jar. Add 3/4 cup of ethanol (I used vodka), and top off the bottle with distilled water. Shake, spritz and enjoy!
#2 Vanilla and Orange Simmering Potpourri Recipe from Tipnut
- Vanilla (a few drops)
- Orange peels
Fill a saucepan with water and bring to a boil. Add the the vanilla drops and orange peels, boil for a few minutes, then turn the heat down to simmer all day. Set a timer for 30 minutes so that you remember to top up water as needed.
If you like the simmering potpourri and the room spritzer, you might like our other posts on Homemade Scents.
#3 Homemade Hand Sanitizer from Homemade Mommy
- 2 Tbsp Aloe Vera gel
- 1 Tbsp filtered water
- 1/8 tsp Vitamin E oil
- 5 drops Thieves Oil
Combine the ingredients in a 2 oz. squeeze bottle adding a bit of water to thin the mixture out. You want the mixture thin enough to coat your hand. If you have any empty Hand Sanitizer bottles, you can store your homemade sanitizer in those. They’re also great for travelling with.
#4 Homemade Grout Cleaner from A Mom’s Take
- 4 cups water
- 1/4 cup baking soda
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1/2 cup vinegar
- Combine lemon juice, baking soda, and vinegar in a spray bottle.
- Stir in water to the mixture.
- Spray solution onto tile and grout.
- Allow cleaning solution to sit for 5 minutes.
- Scrub dirt/grime away using sponge or large scrubber.
- After scrubbing, wash with water.
We’d love to hear your thoughts on these and other natural recipes we’re collecting and sharing:
We find that using effective natural cleaning products in your home is the best way to keep your home environment clean and healthy. And we get asked all the time what products we use to care for our clients’ homes. Here are the 5 cleaning products and 12 cleaning tools we recommend for you to keep in your own Natural Housecleaning Kit.
What are the benefits of creating your own Natural Housecleaning Kit?
- Safer for your family and animals
- Better for the surfaces in your home
- Cost effective and environmentally friendly
5 Non-toxic and Ecologically Friendly Cleaning Products
kleen – All-purpose household cleaner
- Baking soda – Natural deodorizer
- Bon Ami – A mildly abrasive cleanser
- White vinegar – An all-purpose cleaner
- Glass cleaner – See our Glass cleaning recipe
12 Top Cleaning Tools
- Bucket/caddy – All purpose to store products
- Two plastic cups – One for storing you small tools and the other for rising shower walls or pre-soaking pumice stones
- Rubber gloves – Perfect to protect your hands
- Microfiber cloths – Perfect for dusting
- Cloths – Best to have a bag of soft clean cloths and rags for all cleaning purposes
- Paper towels – For messy cleanups
- Kitchen brushes – Scrubbers & bottlebrushes
- Sponges – New and old
- Scouring pads – Blue scratch pads
- Pumice stone – For scrubbing the oven and the porcelain in the bathroom
- Putty knife – To clean tight spaces
- Toothbrush – for all those hard to reach places…the best tool in the kit!
Less Is More
For routine housecleaning, less is more. You actually need very few products to clean any given room. Although there will certainly be instances where specialized cleaners are necessary, the above list of products will suffice for most tasks.
Gather your materials in a bucket or caddy so you can transport them from room to room as you work, making your products and tools accessible and housecleaning more efficient.
An all natural housecleaning supply kit can also make a great gift
This time of year always seems to bring with it many invitations to gatherings. This year add to your gift giving list a all natural housecleaning supply kit. It’s the perfect homemade gift for a lovely bridal shower, birthday, or special holiday.
You can make your house sparkle with just a few simple supplies, many of which are already in your cupboards. Happy Cleaning!
Fight common household smells with DIY Natural air fresheners, warmed on the stovetop or strategically placed around your home:
DIY Natural Air Freshener on the Stove Top
On the stovetop, combine cinnamon sticks, citrus, and cloves in a pot of simmering water.
If you are cooking and want to reduce cooking odors, simmer 1 TBSP of vinegar in a pot of water.
Too hot to simmer fresh scents on the stovetop, try one of these ideas:
Natural Air Fresheners
- Baking soda or vinegar with lemon juice in a small bowl will absorb odors around the house
- Having houseplants helps reduce odors in the home (you may recall our blog about houseplants that help clean the air!)
- Keep fresh ground coffee on the stovetop
- Grind up a slice of lemon in the garbage disposal
- Place bowls of fragrant dried herbs and flowers around the room
Let’s use cloth towels instead of paper towels! House cleaning with cloth towels is an important change to incorporate into any sustainable lifestyle. Cleaning this way is important for more reasons than you may think! Here’s why:
- Paper towels use a whole stream of resources from the trees that compose them to the packaging and fuel necessary to ship them.
- Depletion of resources and harmful emissions are significant causes of deforestation and global climate change.
One study reported that one paper towel dispenser contributes 4.6 tonnes of CO2 to global warming over the course of five years.
If you have to buy paper products, it is important to choose options that are made from recycled material and don’t waste as much material. But, the best choice is to eliminate the paper towel all together and reuse washable fabric alternatives.
1 cup of white vinegar
1/2 cup of baking soda
* Place your towels in the washing machine, using the hottest water available. Add the white vinegar.
(Do not add detergent, fabric softener, or any other products at this time. Run the washer.)
* Leave towels in the washer and refill again with HOT water and half-cup of baking soda.
Run through another entire wash cycle.
* Dry the load in the dryer using a high heat setting. Towels should be thoroughly dry when you pull them out. If they’re not dry, put them back in, or move towels immediately outside and hang them in the sunlight.
Now your towels are fluffy, soft, fresh and clean!
What towels are best?
*Huck Towels – for absorbing
*Microfiber Cloth – for dusting and sensitive surfaces
*Cloth Napkins – picking up spills
*Other assorted cloths for cleaning including cut up old shirts, old cloth diapers/inserts or old socks (for younger kids to use in cleaning and polishing)
Cloth towels may use more resources in the manufacturing of each one but the ability to wash and reuse makes them a much more durable choice for your home than disposable paper. Make a difference by making the switch!
One of our first posts was a recipe for homemade soft-scrub. We are pleased to introduce a new variation on soft-scrub to our all natural house cleaning recipes. This recipe is designed to make the the toughest house cleaning jobs go quickly.
This recipe’s biggest difference for our original soft-scrub recipe is the addition of Borax, and the omission of white vinegar. We found that the vinegar broke down the baking soda over time, compromising the cleaning power of the scrub. Our new recipe works great for scrubbing out showers, sinks, and tubs, anywhere you would normally use Softscrub in your housecleaning routine. To add extra kick and some fizz, use in tandem with our Lemon Lift Off! counter top spray. Here is the recipe:
The Cleaning Crew Soft Scrub II
- 1/2 cup Borax
- 1/2 cup baking soda
- 1/4 cup liquid Castile soap
- 3-4 TBS of water, or enough to make a paste
- 15-20 drops of essential oil of your choice. Some nice options are: lemon, orange, pine, bergamot.
Stir all ingredients, and store in a tightly sealed jar or container
We are always looking for the most eco-friendly house cleaning products possible and we have a wonderful new recipe to share!
Our latest homemade all natural cleaning product recipe is a bleach free version of Soft Scrub. We could not believe how quickly it cuts through soap scum and grime, and it rinses much quicker and cleaner than the store bought versions, which usually sticks to the surfaces and requires rinsing and wiping repeatedly, a huge waste of water and time.
I added tangerine essential oil, and it was like scrubbing my shower with a big juicy tangerine. So lovely I was sad when the job was over! You can use whatever essential oil you like, or none at all. Here is the recipe:
All Natural Soft Scrub
- 1 1/2 cups baking soda
- 1/2 cup BioKleen All Purpose Concentrated Cleaner (or liquid castile soap like Dr. Bronners)
- 2Tbls white vinegar
- 10-15 drops of essential oil
Mix the baking soda and BioKleen in a bowl until it is thoroughly blended. I found that a fork is the best option for this step. Do not add the vinegar until the soap and baking soda are thoroughly mixed, or it will explode with fizziness!
The next step is adding the white vinegar and mixing until you have a nice creamy paste.Finally, add the essential oil of your choice, but keep in mind the scent of the liquid soap you are using. Because BioKleen has a light citrus cent, a citrus oil like lemon, tangerine, orange, or grapefruit will blend nicely.
If you want a different type of scent like peppermint or tea tree, I would suggest using an unscented liquid castile soap. If you do decide to make this with BioKleen, make sure it is their concentrated all-purpose cleaner, not the all-purpose they sell in a spray bottle. Most health food stores carry it in the household supply section, but if you can’t find it a good liquid castille works great too.
This recipe does not create a lot of suds. This was a little strange when I first started cleaning my shower, but my misgivings were quickly laid to rest, as the built up grime came right off. (I had been saving it up for just this occasion;).
Almost all of the recipes that I found online also added 2 tablespoons of water; I opted not to do this because I like a thicker paste. Also, I like to store my scrub in a glass Mason jar, as essential oil will break down the polymers in plastic. Adding water does make the scrub looser which allows it to be stored in a plastic bottle with a squirt top, but I just scoop a bit out of the jar when I am ready to use it.
Many of recipes I have found for this stuff use liquid castile soap, but as I did not have any on hand I used one of our favorites, Bi-O-Kleen All Purpose Concentrated Cleaner. This stuff rocks! By far the best grease buster I have ever used that does not have nasty chemicals in it. Also has a nice light citrus scent, and this worked great paired with the tangerine essential oil. I made this recipe for the first time years ago with castile soap, but I don’t remember if there are any differences. Maybe the next batch I will try out the castille again, but I think it would be hard to beat the scrubby wonderfulness of this recipe.
If you decide to try this out, we would love to hear about your experiences! Also, if you would like to see a recipe or idea covered in our blog, let us know. Better yet, please feel free to share your favorite recipes or tips with us, we love to hear from our readers!
Update: We are learning that shelf life is limited by the interaction of baking soda and vinegar. The two ingredients counteract each other over time, making it less and less effective the longer it is stored.