Saturday, July 30, 2011

DIY Household Cleaners

Call me crazy, but I have decided to make my own household cleaners. Not all household cleaners... yet. Just a few simple go-to cleaners that I will use fairly often. There are several reasons to make your own cleaners- they save money, they are better for the environment, they are not tested on animals (I picture those poor bunnies getting strong chemicals put in their eyes. Seriously, why are they still doing that?) and there are no harsh/toxic chemicals involved that can harm you when you breathe them in. Oh, and they actually work! I am sure there are more reasons, but those are the reasons that pushed me to make my own. These are the three cleaners I made today.
The ideas I used today all came from here and here. There are other cleaning product recipes on those websites too, that I may try in the future. Look who came right over and posed when I was photographing these cleaners. I guess she is used to being the center of attention in my pictures.
Here are all the ingredients you need to make these and several other cleaners for your home.
UPDATE: Arm and Hammer tests on animals! If you are going to make these recipes, see if you can find an alternative baking soda brand!
Borax was the only thing I had never used before- you can find it in the laundry section. It has TONS of cleaning uses listed right on the box. The baking soda and vinegar were also in the laundry aisle. I got my pure-castile soap at Trader Joe's and my lavender essential oil at EarthFare- most health food stores should have both of those products. You can choose any essential oil you like the smell of. I love the scent of lavender and it is supposed to have a calming effect when you breathe it in. It is also a natural antibacterial oil. Who wouldn't want that? Tea tree oil is another great option- it cleanses and disinfects. My house currently smells of lavender right now and I am loving it.

Really the only other things you will need are measuring cups, measuring spoons, spray bottles, and a funnel.
The first thing I made was the antibacterial spray. This is the easiest thing ever.

Mix 1 cup of water with 20 drops of lavender essential oil. Put in a spray bottle. That's it! Lavender is very high in linalool which is naturally an antibacterial. I sprayed this on my couch instead of Febreeze (which I recently found out, tests on animals). I am also washing our sheets today so I sprayed in on the mattress. Maybe it will make me feel more calm when it is time for bed :)

The next thing I made was the all-purpose cleaner. I mixed 1 teaspoon of baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon pure-castille soap, 2 tablespoons vinegar, and 1 and 1/2 cups of water. I used it to clean my counters and computer desk. It worked perfectly. The pure-castiile soap gives it a nice peppermint scent. You could also add a few drops of your favorite essential oil.

Lastly, I made the scouring powder. I mixed 1/2 cup salt, 1/2 cup Borax, and 1/2 cup baking soda. I used it to clean the sink and it came out just as shiny as when I have used any other product. I made a small recipe because I was almost out of salt- double the recipe if you want to make more at once.

And that's all there is to it! If you are interested in finding out what products do and don't test on animals, there is a list here. If you don't know much about animal testing, try googling it. I have read several articles that I should have bookmarked so I could share them. One short article to start with can be found here- this article mentions the Draize Eye Test- that was enough for me to realize that this is something I DO NOT want to support. I just think it is completely unnecessary to torture animals for things such as cosmetics and cleaning agents- there are so many companies that don't do this and I would much rather support them. I only recently actively started seeking out non-animal tested products (Don't worry, there are tons out there!) I used to not buy products if I somehow happened to know they tested on animals, but I didn't actively look into it. One of the many reasons I love trader Joe's- their little section of cosmetics/cleaning agents are all certified cruelty free! No animal testing at Tj's (no GMO ingredients in their food items either... thats for another blog though).

I'll step off my soapbox now... I am certain that so many people are not aware that this is even going on, so I wanted to let my small little blogger world know... it might strike a cord with a few of you. If not, I tried :) I promise I will keep posting yummy recipes for you to come back for.

On that note: Look what I get to use for a month!!
A Vitamix!! If you haven't heard about these, they are amazing (from what I have read). This is a SUPER POWERFUL machine that can make everything. Pretty much. Nate has a friend from work who has TWO in her home right now because her son is home from college. SO she was nice enough to let us borrow one! The first and only thing I have made so far is mint chocolate chip ice cream (made from almond milk).
I am also looking forward to juicing with it. If anyone has a favorite Vitamix recipe they would like to share, I'd love it! I look forward to all the yummy things I will make. Then I am sure I will dearly miss it at the end of August.
I look forward to sharing any recipes that I discover!

Update: Right after I posted this blog, I went to the grand opening of Eco-licous. If you are in the Charlotte area I would HIGHLY recommend this store! It has cruelty-free and eco-friendly products for you and your home. This article describes it better than I ever could. I wanted to buy one of everything!


  1. Nice post!!! I def want to make the antibacterial spray and all-purpose cleaner! I'm jealous you have a Vitamix righ tnow! :) I know what your next purchase will be!

  2. I love your DIY household cleaners! This is perfect timing because we're working on making natural cleaners for our household too! I've been wanting to switch to natural products for awhile and once you learn how quick and easy it is there are no more excuses, right?

    Love the ice cream too! :)

  3. You state that one reason these are good is because they aren't tested on animals - i agree. But in one of your pics you have a box of Arm & Hammer baking soda and unfortunately they do test on animals..
    Not being mean, just thought i'd point it out! Definitely going to try some of these though x

  4. Fiona- I didn't realize that! Thank you for letting me know- I'll have to find an alternative!