Effective Natural DIY Cleaning Ideas For Your Home

DIY natural cleaning
Our homes should be a sanctuary, a haven from the outside world. Our daily life begins and ends there. We like to be intimately aware of the people and things we allow into our lives, and this should include what we use to clean the spaces in which we live.

Most brand-name and generic house cleaners come with a long list of chemicals on their list of ingredients. When we clean our houses or flats, we should be making them safer to live in, not more toxic. Chemical cleaners have been shown to contribute to asthma and other health problems, and they can be loaded with chemicals that pollute air in your house. According to Government Product News, “One out of every three chemical cleaning products contains ingredients known to cause human health or environmental problems”.

As a recent graduate, I live on a limited budget and can’t afford expensive natural cleaning products. I had previously balked at making my own cleaners because it takes time and effort, something that I am usually short of at the end of long day. But I found that toxic-free cleaning doesn’t have to eat up all my precious spare time. Below is a compilation of tried and tested effective DIY natural cleaners, all made with ingredients people typically have in their homes already. And the best bit? They only take seconds to prepare.

All-purpose cleaner

baking soda
organic dish soap
hydrogen peroxide
sponge or cloth
This mixture is a combination of a few different recipes. It is a great solution for cleaning bathtubs, sinks, closets, and any particularly grimy places in your home. The proportions are relative to the size of the space you are cleaning, but in general, mix two parts baking soda, two parts hydrogen peroxide, and one part dish soap. Scrub the surface with a sponge or rag, rinse with water, and wipe clean. When I used this to clean out my trash closet, it was incredible the difference I saw with a little amount of effort on my part. Even though I literally sat in my trash closet to clean it, it didn’t make me feel dirty because I was using natural ingredients and there was no toxic smell!

Window cleaner

3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 quart warm water
spray bottle
Combine the lemon juice and warm water and put it into the spray bottle. Wipe with a clean, dry cloth. This window cleaner is wonderfully simple and it leaves a faint lemon fresh scent.

Furniture polish

2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 cup oil (vegetable, olive, etc)
This cleaner surprised me the most. I combined the lemon juice with the olive oil and applied it to my wood furniture (coffee table, piano, windowsills). It made the surfaces smooth and shiny without leaving an oily feel to them.


1 cup baking soda
1 cup of distilled white vinegar*
toilet brush
This toilet cleaner worked even better than the cleaning solution I typically use from the store. Simply pour a cup of baking soda into the toilet bowl and let it sit for five minutes. Add a cup of distilled white vinegar, let it bubble and fizz, and then clean as usual with a toilet brush.

Floor cleaner

distilled white vinegar*
warm water
damp cloth or mop
This floor cleaner worked well on my floors. Combine equal parts water and vinegar. Use either a rag or a mop to clean the floors. Allow them to dry. Add two tablespoons of vegetable oil if you are cleaning hardwood floors for an extra shine.

There are a number of advantages to going DIY and natural with your cleaning methods, including:

  • They are easily made with ingredients in home
  • Cheaper than store-bought cleaning solutions
  • Chemical-free
  • No harsh, toxic smell
  • Safe for people and the environment

After researching and trying out these natural cleaners, I noticed I did not have to worry about letting the chemical smell of the cleaners dissipate before guests came over, and I had no problem rinsing out my rags in the kitchen sink. That is not something I would normally do if I was using a typical chemical cleaner. I feel better after switching to chemical-free products, because I know I am making my home, an environment that is supposed to be a safe place for my loved ones and me, a healthier place.

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*A note about vinegar:

Many people tend to be irritated by the strong smell of vinegar. The Occupational Health Guideline for Acetic Acid indicates that the vapours of acetic acid can irritate throats, eyes, nose, and lungs and can cause damage through inhalation of acetic acid in concentrated form. Avoid using vinegar in large quantities and open windows while cleaning. In addition, many distilled white vinegars are made from GMO (genetically modified) corn. Spectrum is one of the most easily found brands of organic distilled white vinegar.

Author: Miriam Sivula

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