There are a few supplies you’ll need to mix your own natural cleaning solutions. We use them every day in the course of greening our clients homes. We’ll bet you have at least 3 of these already on hand: vinegar, baking soda and hydrogen peroxide. Those you don’t have are easy to find and most are dirt (ha!) cheap.
Lemon Juice is one of the strongest food acids, marked by its sour taste.
Great anti-bacterial agent, also smells fresh!
Cuts grease like a charm.
- Distilled White Vinegar - pH 3 / 1.7 cents per oz
- A simple 5% solution can kill 99% of bacteria, 82% of mold, and 80% of viruses.
- Cuts tough grease.
- One of the cornerstones of DIY cleaning! It’s varied uses will blow your mind!
- Don’t like the smell? Add some essential oils! And remember, the vinegar smell quickly dissipates and won’t pollute your indoor air quality!!
- Concentrated Citrus Degreaser – pH 5.5 / 50 cents per (concentrated) oz
- Main ingredient is D-Limonene, orange peel extract. It also contains a natural essential oil blend and biodegradable cleaning agents derived from coconut oil.
- Caution: a lot of citrus degreasers available contain petroleum distillates. Citra Solv brand does NOT.
- Can be used diluted as a all-purpose cleaner and undiluted to cut through tough soil.
- Hydrogen Peroxide (H2O2) – pH 6.2 / 0.05 cents per oz
- Very close to water’s chemical composition
- Great disinfectant. If it bubbles, it’s killing germs!
- Highly effective blood stain remover
- Whitens through oxidation, i.e. producing oxygen.
- The main ingredient in “oxygen bleach” is the powder form of H2O2
- Simple 3% that you may already have is perfect for cleaning.
- Check out some other uses.
- Water (H2O) – pH 7 or neutral
- Dilutes pH of anything that will absorb or dissolve in water.
- Essential Oils - pH neutral/ balanced / price varies by oil
- Should be pH balanced or neutral. Different essential oils have different properties.
- Add various combination’s to make DIY solutions smell AND work better.
- Salt (with water) – pH 8 / 0.02 cents per oz
- AKA Sodium Hydroxide
- For cleaning: use non-iodized salt.
- Disinfectant and good for abrasive scrubbing. Always do test area of any surface first!
- Can get rid of rust and mildew.
- Baking Soda - pH 8.2 / 45 cents per lb
- AKA Sodium Bicobonate
- Drying agent, which is why it absorbs odors so well!
- The other cornerstone of DIY cleaning. Like vinegar, you won’t believe all its uses.
- Good for gentle scrubbing.
- Borax - pH ~9.5 / 6 cents per oz
- AKA Sodium Borate, same family as baking soda.
- Cleans and bleaches by releasing hydrogen peroxide when added to water. HOT water is best.
- Works best in combination with other cleaning agent because it keeps other cleaner dispersed. That’s why it’s a great laundry soap BOOSTER!
- Do NOT use in areas where food is prepared or consumed.
- It IS safe for our water supply! The same chemical reaction that helps it bleach, means it’s safe for our water.
- Check out some other uses.
- Castille Soap – pH 9.5 / 38 cents per oz
- Soap is made with only natural minerals and fats. Castille soap is made with ONLY vegetable fats.
- Not to be confused with liquid detergent, which a synthetically produced.
- Can buy Dr Bronner’s soap in bulk at most Whole Foods stores.
- Bon Ami pH ~10 / ~$2 per can
- Mineral-based scrub and disinfectant
- Contains feldspar and limestone – gentle abrasives + corn, coconut, and palm oils – sustainable cleaning agents + baking soda – absorbs odors.
- Used alone will not scratch most surfaces.
- Washing Soda – pH 11 / 0.03 cents per oz
- AKA Sodium Carbonate, AKA Soda Ash
- Same family as Baking Soda, but do not confuse the two.
- It’s harmful if swallowed and can irritate the skin. Wear gloves when handling.
- It IS safe for the environment, just like Borax.
- Softens water, i.e. can help detergents work better.
- Very effective de-greaser.
You find that nearly all natural solutions have either no fragrance or they smell of straight vinegar. Essential oils to the rescue! Not just to make your home smell lovely, to make you feel lovely also. You can add essential oils to any and all ingredients/ mixes to make them smell AND work better. Depending on what effects you’re looking for, these are some combination’s we suggest.
- MIND CLEARING: Peppermint (antiviral/septic) and Eucalyptus (antiseptic)
- ANTIDEPRESSANT 1: Lemongrass (antibacterial/microbial) and Patchouli (fungicidal)
- ANTIDEPRESSANT 2: Sweet Orange, Patchouli (fungicidal), Ylang Ylang
- ENERGIZING 1: Thyme (antibacterial/microbial), Lemon (microbial), Ginger
- ENERGIZING 2: Tea Tree (antibacterial/microbial) and Lavender*
- UPLIFTING: Lavender (antiseptic, antibacterial, antiviral and fungicidal), Lime and Bergamot
- BALANCING/CALMING 1: Basil, Lavender* and Peppermint (antiviral/septic)
- BALANCING/CALMING 2: Ylang Ylang, Lavender* and Cypress (antibacterial)
If you want to learn more about making your own cleaning solutions, or what we use for greening our client’s homes please contact us 720-514-4005