The Green Life

Roundup Of All Natural Homemade Cleaning Products

In the spirit of spring, I’m doing a roundup of all the natural homemade cleaning products you’ll ever need.

I’m not a conspiracy theorist but I do believe that the toxins in a lot of the products we use in & around our homes cause some serious/chronic health issues.  And I do think that a lot of problems people experience are environmental both inside & outside; things like respiratory issues & allergens.

My own youngest son had skin issues when he was a baby.  I had to buy specific soaps, lotions & detergents until I decided to try my hand at making these things myself.  At the time I didn’t know how easy & inexpensive it would be.

Now there’s no going back.  It’s feels great to make things with your own hands, know what’s in it & that it’s all good for you & your family.  And the best part is that most of the ingredients are things you would already have around the house.

I’m sharing all my green cleaning recipes with you so you can try them for yourself!  I have been using most of these natural cleaning recipes for about 5 years – some have stayed exactly the same, others have been perfected, & 1 or 2 are new to me!

So gather up your ingredients & let’s clean house! And don’t forget to grab your free labels for all your new eco-friendly spring cleaning products!

Natural cleaning ingredients: alcohol, baking soda, borax, citric acid, epsom salts, essential oils (I prefer lemon & eucalyptus), lemon juice, peroxide, soap*, vinegar, washing soda, water


Natural Homemade Cleaning Products by Section:

All Purpose Cleansers

Kitchen Cleansers

Laundry Detergents

Soap


DIY All Purpose Cleanser:

Let’s be honest – the most effective cleanser is hot water.  That’s why steam cleaning works so well, no chemicals needed.  You can’t steam clean all the time, but you can use this formula for most of your cleaning.

Ingredients:

1 cup water

1 cup vinegar

essential oil (optional)

The Process:

Put everything in a spray bottle & shake to combine.  Use it on everything from glass to counter tops & stainless steel appliances too!  For that you’ll just need some olive oil & 3 or 4 soft microfiber cloths (or soft paper towels).

The Process: Spray down your appliances & wipe off with a soft microfiber cloth or paper towel in the direction of the grain.

Make sure it is completely dry.  Dip another paper towel or cloth into the oil & wipe onto the appliance in the direction of the grain.  Come back with another clean cloth to wipe off any excess oil.  Always wipe in the direction of the grain.  Look at the difference it makes:

DIY Heavy Duty All Purpose Cleanser:

Ingredients:

1-2 capfuls of liquid castile soap

1/4 C alcohol

1/4 C hydrogen peroxide

5-10 drops of essential oil (optional, I like lemon, eucalyptus, or peppermint)

Pour the alcohol and peroxide into a 32 oz spray bottle & fill (almost to the fill line) with water.  Add the castile soap last and shake it up (so you won’t get lots of bubbles). It’s ready to use on practically anything.

DIY “Soft Scrub”:

Ingredients:

1 cup baking soda

1/4 cup liquid castile soap

2 Tbsp vegetable glycerin

2-3 drops essential oil (optional)

The Process:

Mix together and store in a sealed glass jar, an old soft scrub container that has been cleaned out well, or a clean/new squeeze bottle.
This is the best for scrubbing tubs & tile (works great on grout).

1 more thing about all purpose cleaners:

I know a lot of people swear by cleaners like Comet® & Ajax® – there’s simple alternatives to these that can even replace SOS® & Brillo® pads (what is that dried soap-like stuff anyway?):

  1. Bon Ami Powder Cleanser
  2. baking soda
  3. washing soda
  4. borax – it’s not the best according to EWG but still better than those other ones

DIY Dish soap:

*Recipe adapted from DIY Natural

2019 UPDATE
I no longer use borax at all.  Please have a look at my updated Kitchen Cleansers here.

Ingredients:

1 3/4 cups of boiling water

1 Tbsp borax

1 Tbsp grated bar or liquid castile soap (preferably all natural or homemade)

essential oils (optional, I like lemon, eucalyptus, or peppermint)

The Process:

Put the borax, grated soap, & baking soda in a medium sized bowl or large measuring cup.

Pour boiling water over the mixture & stir until the soap is completely melted and the borax is dissolved.

Let sit at room temperature for 6-8 hours OR in the fridge no cooler than 45° for an hour to thicken.

I use a funnel pour mine into a recycled dish detergent bottle, then shake it up, store it & use it like normal.

Notes:

  1. When I 1st found this recipe I used liquid castile soap & still did up until my latest batch.  In this last batch, I used bar soap because DH complained that it was too thin.  Turns out the bar soap makes all the difference in getting a gel like consistency – you know, like the store bought stuff.
  2. DH also complained that this dish soap didn’t cut through tough grease too well.  I agreed, but it never bothered me because I always use – you guessed it – Bon Ami, Bar Keepers Friend, or baking soda when I needed to cut lots of grease.  All 3 of these are natural so the light bulb went off, I took chance & added it to my last batch.  And it works!

*Note: this will not it be as gel like as the store bought versions. If you find it too thin or runny for your taste, before you add it to your container you can stir in a 2:1 salt water mixture (2 parts water, 1 part salt) a little at a time to thicken as much as you want.

DIY Dishwasher Detergent:

2019 UPDATE
I no longer use borax at all.  Please have a look at my updated Kitchen Cleansers here.

Ingredients:

1 cup borax

1 cup washing soda

1/2 cup epsom salts

1/2 cup citric acid (I use Lemi-Shine, I’ve heard of people using lemon kool-aid, or you can buy pure citric acid online)

The Process:

Pour everything into the container you plan to store it in.  Make sure it has a super tight seal, close it & shake it up to combine all the ingredients.

Use 1 Tbsp per load of dishes.  Make sure to use white vinegar as a rinse aid.

Or you could make these tabs but honestly, this is just easier.  The only advantage to the tabs is there’s no measuring & they’re cute.


DIY Laundry Detergent – Liquid:

2019 UPDATE
I no longer use borax at all & no longer make liquid laundry detergent.  I use the powdered detergent below, a similar version without the soap, or liquid castile soap.

Ingredients (for 2 gallons):

1/2 cup borax

1/2 cup washing soda

2 Tbsp baking soda (optional)

2 Tbsp oxygen bleach (optional)

3/4 cup soap (liquid castile or grated)

20 drops of essential oil (optional)

recycled laundry detergent container (I recycle 75 oz containers; or use a bucket)

The Process:

Pour the 1st 4 ingredients into the container.  Add enough HOT tap water to cover, put the top on & shake to dissolve.

Fill the rest of the container with HOT tap water, put the cap on & shake it again.  {This is good exercise.}

If you use grated soap, dissolve/melt it in a small amount of boiling hot water first.

Add the soap & essential oils, put the top on & turn it upside down a few times to get everything combined really well.

I like to leave the cap off for a while at this point so it will thicken up a bit.  I also noticed that if I cap it tightly immediately, the plastic container will expand – it could possibly burst, but I haven’t let it get that far yet.

*Note: this will not it be as gel like as the store bought versions. If you find it too thin or runny for your taste you can add  a 2:1 salt water mixture (2 parts water, 1 part salt) a little at a time to thicken as much as you want.

DIY Laundry Detergent -Powdered:

Ingredients:

1 cup soap flakes

1/2 cup washing soda

1/2 cup baking soda

1-2 tbsp. oxygen bleach (optional)

The Process:

Make soap flakes by grating your favorite soap (or Zote or Fels Naptha) with a cheese grater.
Mix ingredients together and store in a glass container.
Use 1 tablespoon per load (2 for really dirty laundry), wash in warm or cold water

DIY Non-Chlorine Bleach:

Ingredients:

2 parts water

1 part peroxide

1/4 part lemon juice

The Process:

Put everything into the container you are going to store it in & shake to combine.

A word about peroxide…  You know that OxyClean that they advertise as cleaning carpets so well when you mix it with water?  Peroxide does the EXACT same thing – for a lot less.  Check out this post on how I use peroxide to clean the carpet.

DIY Liquid Fabric Softener:

Ingredient:

vinegar

The Process:

Add it to the rinse cycle or fabric softener dispenser of your washer.  Read this if you use castile soap in your laundry detergent.

DIY Fabric Softener Sheets:

Ingredients:

1/2 cup of vinegar

8-10 drops essential oil (optional)

old cotton t-shirt or towels

sealable container or storage bag to store the “sheets”

The Process:

Cut t-shirt or towels into small squares that will fit into your container.

Mix the vinegar and essential oil in a bowl & pour it over the cloths until they are damp but not soaked.

Keep the container sealed tight.  When you’re ready to use a “sheet” just take 1 out, squeeze out any extra liquid, & toss it in the dryer.  Put the “dryer sheet” back in the jar to reuse.


Homemade Soap:

I just tried this for the 1st time a couple of weeks ago.  I used a crock pot recipe that I found at DIY Natural.  You can see the original post there but I’ll tell you what I used & you can watch the video below to see the process.

The great thing about making soap is that once you make it, you can use to make any of the other DIY cleansers with soap in the recipe.  Just melt/dissolve it for the liquid cleansers.

*Update:  I found a few more soap recipes & helpful calculators.

Ingredients:

¾ cup cool (distilled or filtered) water

¼ cup lye (I got mine at Ace hardware for $4.50)

⅔ cup olive oil

⅔ cup coconut oil (melted)

⅔ cup grapeseed oil

Just a side note… this makes me think about those commercial soaps that say they have x amount of moisturizers.  I’m wondering what is the rest. This recipe has 2 cups of oil & by the time it cooks down there is no lye left in it.  Just water & saponified oil.  I mean I’m definitely no chemist but wouldn’t that mean that the entire bar would be both cleansing AND moisturizing?

Anyway… moving on…

Tools:

**Note: Be sure to ONLY use these items for soap making, don’t reuse them in the kitchen.  I keep all my tools in a bin on the top shelf of the laundry room.

Glass jar, bowl or container

Measuring cups

Crock pot

Immersion (stick) blender

Spoon, spatula, or stir sticks (I’ve used wooden & silicone)

Knife or straight cutter

The Process:

  1. Pour the water into a glass container with a wide mouth.
  2. Slowly add the lye stirring VERY gently as you pour.  Put the lye mixture aside while you prepare the oils.
  3. Measure out your oils & add them to the crock pot to heat up.
  4. Now slowly stir in the lye mixture & continue stirring for about 5 minutes or so to get good contact between the oils & lye.
  5. Use the stick blender to bring the mixture to “trace” – a pancake batter consistency.
  6. Walk away & let the soap cook until it starts to roll in on itself from the sides of the crock – it took about 40-45 minutes.  This is easier to see in the video below than it is to explain.
    • If it starts to look like it will overflow the crock, you can stir it down & continue to let it cook – I let mine cook for an hour total.
  7. Pour the soap into soap molds.  You don’t need anything fancy for this.  A few things I use are:
    • egg carton to make rounded soaps
    • ice cube trays
    • shoe box top
    • square or rectangular glass baking dish
    • small square storage containers
    • an actual soap mold 😉
  8. Cover the soap with wax paper or a thin kitchen towel & let them sit for 24 hours.
  9. Un-mold them, cut them if needed, & let them sit for another week or 2.
    • I’ve read that the longer you let the soap sit the better.  We started using ours after a week because I just couldn’t wait to try it.  While the rest of the soap was still curing, it did get much harder & seemed to last longer.
  10. Store it just like you would any other soap – in a cool dry place with some airflow.  We keep ours in a fabric covered shoe box in our linen closet.  Don’t use a plastic bin because it doesn’t allow air to circulate around the soap.

Homemade Soap


Now that you know you probably have everything you need to clean your home naturally, would you try any of these?  If you do, share your experience and/or questions in the comments.  And don’t forget to grab your free labels for your new all natural homemade cleaning products!

2019 UPDATE
I no longer use borax at all.  Please have a look at my updated Kitchen Cleansers here.
2019 UPDATE
I no longer use borax at all.  Please have a look at my updated Kitchen Cleansers here.
2019 UPDATE
I no longer use borax at all.  Please have a look at my updated Kitchen Cleansers here.
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Roundup Of All Natural Homemade Cleaning Products
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Roundup Of All Natural Homemade Cleaning Products
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In the spirit of spring, I'm doing a roundup of all the natural homemade cleaning products you'll ever need. It feels great to make things with your own hands, know what's in it & that it's all good for you & your family.  So I'm sharing all my green cleaning recipes with you so you can try them for yourself!
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Roundup Of All Natural Homemade Cleaning Products

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