Intro: 3 Green Cleaners You Can Make Yourself
I'm going to guide you through how easy natural cleaners you can make at home with non-toxic products. Natural cleaners are easier on your wallet, easier on the environment and easier on your health.
Step 1: How to Make a Simple Natural Kitchen Degreaser
The kitchen is the place in your house that has the most action going on and it can leave behind a greasy build-up that is really tough to cut through. I'm going to show you how to prepare an easy and natural cleaner you can make at home that is easy on your wallet, easy on the environment and easy on your health.
Every time you cook with fats and oil tiny particles disperse in the air and then land on your kitchen surfaces. These particles coagulate and become a sticky feel, which is both unsightly and a fire risk. So you should be wiping down your surfaces regularly with a natural degreaser, like the one I'm going to show you.
The recipe couldn't be simpler, it's basically made of things you probably already have on-hand at home. We will be using one part water, one part lemon juice and one part white vinegar, then finishing it off with a half a table spoon of natural dish soap. Mix it all up in a spray bottle and you'll always have your degreaser on hand.
After combining everything you will have a handy-dandy all natural cleaner that is an amazing grease fighter, but what makes it so effective, let me explain that for you.
Vinegar contains acetic acid, while lemon juice contains citric acid. Both are amazing at breaking up fatty substances like kitchen grease.
A couple of things to keep in mind when you're using this handy-dandy degreaser:
- You want to spray it on a cloth or a sponge and then wipe down your surfaces, suppose to spraying it directly.
- You should never use acids like lemon juice or white vinegar on natural stone, they can actually damage it.
- Like with any other cleaning product, you should spot test it first in an inconspicuous area.
Step 2: Homemade Grout Cleaner
I'm going to share a cleaner for a tub and tile scrub that's economical, environmentally friendly and effective.
If you're on the hunt for a greener grunt cleaner then you're in luck, this super simple recipe will work against mildew, soap scum and the germs that have set up shop in your tub. More importantly it does not contain harmful chemicals that could be putting your health at risk.
A 2009 study by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) found that one commercial bathroom cleaner contained a 146 air contaminants. This included things that have been linked to cancer, reproductive issues and hormonal interference. It also included things like formaldehyde and benzene both of which are found in gasoline, hardly the stuff you want to be showering in.
To make an effective tub and tile cleaner you need three main components. The first is an abrasive substance, the second is something that will break down mildew and hard water build-up and the third is a disinfectant. For this particular recipe I'll use an Eco-friendly dish soap (check link from step 1 - natural dish soap), vinegar, baking soda, lemon essential oil and a little bit of water.
Start with the baking soda, it's great because its a mild abrasive and also a great deodorizer, use half a cup. Then add some water, just so it can give a better consistency, two table spoons of Eco-friendly dish soap, you can also use liquid castile soap if you have it on hand. Then add some essential oil, antifungal, antiviral and antibacterial, great for killing germs. A little can go a long way so you probably want to only add few drops. The final addition to this concoction is actually white vinegar, a known disinfectant, but it can also prevent the growth of mold.
When you pour the vinegar on to the baking soda a chemical reaction will take place and the concoction will double in volume at least, so be prepared (science class, basic chemistry, 5th grade). After you add the vinegar start to whip the cleaner until its the consistency of frosting.
Step 3: How to Make a Natural Household Cleaner
For the last 'step' I'll show you one natural cleaner that can replace all the detergents in your cleaning cabinet – white vinegar, literally the greatest natural cleaner known to man kind. Where did it come from, let me shed some light on that matter.
Most white vinegar in North America starts with maize (corncobs). Basically they convert the start from a maize into sugar and then add yeast to begin the fermentation process, which turns that sugar into alcohol, fancy a glass of whiskey? They could stop there, because of course we all love that alcohol, but in vinegar's case the process is taken a step further. With the addition of the microorganism acetobacter, which further ferments that alcohol turning it from alcohol into acetic acid, the main ingredient in vinegar.
It's acetic acid that is actually responsible for vinegar's incredible cleaning power. For the purpose of the household cleaner mix one part water with one part vinegar, ideally you can use it in every single room. It's excellent for dissolving mineral build-up, mildew, soap scum and limescale effortlessly so its great use in the bathroom. The cleaner mix evaporates almost immediately so it makes a beautiful streak-free shine on your windows. It can easily cut through grease so it's great for cleaning your kitchen appliances.
Believe it or not white vinegar can actually whiten your whites and acts as an incredible fabric softener, you can use it undiluted in every load. Remember to never combine it with bleach, because that can cause a very harmful chemical reaction. Most importantly vinegar is very effective against germs, in fact one study found that white vinegar could kill 90% of molds and 99% of bacteria on a single surface. It might not be quite as effective at disinfectant as chlorine bleach, but white vinegar is not a danger to your pets, your children or yourself.