The other day, I went to clean off the kitchen counters and realized we were out of our normal cleaner. No big deal, but I knew the cleaning mood I was in wouldn’t last long enough for a trip to the store and back. So, I looked through the house for a few household items I could use instead.
Well, it turns out, they not only work really well, they’re also very, very affordable. AND all natural…you can even make them organic. So, I wanted to share 3 DIYs for natural cleaning products you can make today (that actually clean!). There’s a natural glass cleaner, a natural all-purpose cleaner, and a natural room spray.
Admittedly, after making the switch to unpaper towels a while back, I’ve been slowly but surely overhauling how we do things in our house. I’ve (mostly) swapped out our single use plastic bags for cute reusable silicone versions. I’ve said goodbye to our dish sponges in favor of DIY sisal scrubbers (I’ll share the tutorial soon). And put DIY beeswax wraps on my list of to-dos to make before the holidays, so I have more reusable options for wrapping food.
These natural cleaners are just the next thing on the list. Don’t get me wrong, I’m totally not against buying natural cleaners at the store. In fact, I’m sure I’ll still do that because there are certain things that I just don’t know how to make / or know if I’d want to make. Like dish and dishwasher soap, laundry detergent, etc. But for everyday cleaning, like wiping down our glass windows, doors, and mirrors or cleaning the dining room table, etc these DIY natural cleaners felt like the perfect thing to add to my kitchen arsenal.
Plus, I get to store everything in cute glass spray containers, and can refill them easily without having to go buy another container, etc. Which kinda makes them eco friendly cleaning products too, right?
Think you’d like to give these DIY natural cleaners a try? Here’s how to make your own…
A (Natural) Homemade All-Purpose Cleaner
NOTE: This is a natural all-purpose cleaner, but you’ll want to do a small test on any surface before general use. Not recommended for marble or other stone surfaces.
To make a homemade all-purpose cleaner, you’ll need the following items:
- White vinegar: Any run of the mill white vinegar will do. I suggest getting a large(ish) container so that you can continue to use your citrus peels as you have them. You can store the citrus infused vinegar in jars for when you run out to avoid having to make a trip to the store.
- Citrus peels and rinds: You can use lime, lemon, clementine, or orange peel. For this cleaner, we used orange peels.
- Fresh herbs (optional): Fresh herb options include – basil, rosemary, sage, lavender. This is just to add to the scent of the vinegar. Try different combinations with different citrus peels like lemon and basil or orange and sage.
- Mason jar or any other glass container that can handle hot/boiling temperatures.
- Glass spray bottle: You can also use a recycled spray bottle from another cleaner. Just make sure that its completely cleaned out.
The recipe is 2 parts vinegar and 1 part citrus, so the measurements will depend of how much of either ingredient you have.
Start by boiling the vinegar. Pour your 2 parts of vinegar into a pot and heat over medium. While waiting for the vinegar to boil, put your citrus peels in a jar or glass container suitable for boiling temperatures. Once your vinegar is at a boil, pour the vinegar over the citrus peels and allow to cool. After the vinegar has cooled, put the jar in the fridge for 24 hours to allow the citrus to steep in the vinegar. After 24 hours, pour the vinegar into the stray bottle until its halfway full. Fill the remainder of the bottle with water to dilute.
You can keep the peels in the spray bottle for up to a week (or longer) if you’d like to continue to steep them in the cleaner. I never took the peels out of my cleaner (they’ve been in there for close to a month) and they still seem completely fine. No mold, mildew, or weirdness forming at all.
If you do decide to remove the peels though, make sure they’re small enough to get out once they’re in. The easiest way to determine that is to ensure they’re smaller than the spray bottle hole. After a week, strain the peels out and pour the cleaning solution back into the spray bottle.
How to Make a Natural Room Spray
To make a natural room spray and get the air in your home smelling good, you’ll need the following items:
- Unscented witch hazel: This can be found in most grocery stores in the health and beauty section. I found this at Whole Foods. Be mindful that there are a lot of pre-scented witch hazels. Be sure to get unscented!
- Essential oils: You can really use any scent that you like. If you’re making a room spray for your bedroom, lavender, bergamot, patchouli, and sandalwood are all good choices to help with falling asleep. If you’re looking for the opposite, lemon, orange, eucalyptus, rosemary, and peppermint are all good oils to use for a boost of energy.
- 2oz Amber or cobalt glass spray bottle: Sunlight can cause deterioration to the aromatic and therapeutic properties of essential oils. Darker glass keeps out the sunlight, so its best to store anything made with essential oils in amber or cobalt glass bottles.
Start by filling half of the amber spray bottle with unscented witch hazel. Drop 25-30 drops of essential oils into the bottle. You can use all of one scent, or create mixtures. Here are some great combinations that smell oh so good:
- bergamot and orange
- rosemary and peppermint
- lavender and rose
- sandalwood and patchouli
Test out your combinations with 1:1 drops on a piece of paper or a napkin to make sure you like the smell.
After you’ve added your oils, fill the rest of your spray bottle with water, shake, and get to spraying!
I like to spray the rosemary peppermint or the lavender rose in the bedroom as I’m getting ready for bed. It’s a nice little ritual that signals to my brain that it’s time to wind down.
A (Natural) Homemade Glass Cleaner
To make a natural homemade glass cleaner, you’ll need the following items:
- Vodka (1 cup): Don’t overdo it. The bottom shelf and cheapest option should do.
- White vinegar (1/4 cup): Go big! Vinegar is always handy when making household cleaners. Once you know this method of cleaning works for you, splurge for the big jug (which will actually end up saving some money in the long run).
- Glass Spray Bottle: You can also use a recycled spray bottle from another cleaner. Just make sure that its completely cleaned out.
- Funnel (optional): This could make adding the ingredients to the spray bottle a little easier. Its not necessary if you have a steady hand.
Start with your empty spray bottle. Add the vodka and vinegar into the bottle then fill the rest of the bottle with water. Shake and then your spray is ready to use!
This natural glass cleaner works like a charm! And it’s probably my favorite of the three, if I had to choose just one. I use it on all the windows and glass doors every couple of weeks. And I don’t think I’ll ever go back to the blue stuff again. You can also use it as a homemade eyeglass cleaner and has to be one of the best glass cleaner for car windows too. And sooo inexpensive – you can use this homemade glass cleaner for so many things.
Photography Amelia Lawrence
Have you ever tried making your own natural cleaners at home? I bet you already have most if not all of these ingredients in your home to give it a try.