Green Your Clean – 10 DIY Cleaning Recipes
If your cleaning cupboard is crammed with chemical sprays and harsh bleaches, you may be due a detox!
We’ve been conditioned to think that powerful chemicals are the only way to keep our families safe and healthy. These products do a great job at killing nasty bugs, but regular use may end up triggering allergies, asthma and eczema, not to mention the endless plastic needed to create the bottles.
Do we actually need such strong chemicals to clean our homes? Scientists say no.
The recommendation is to keep it simple and differentiate between cleaning and disinfecting.
Hot, soapy water is often enough to clean grease, grime and many unseen nasties from a surface, but it takes some elbow grease to do it properly. Rubbing and scrubbing breaks down the slimy matrix around certain types of bacteria, so you’re reducing the bacteria present by washing them down the sink.
Disinfectants work by having a 99% kill rate, so spraying a surface containing 1,000,000 bacteria would still leave 10,000 left. Scrubbing and cleaning the surface first can wash away bacteria down to levels of 1,000, meaning a much gentler disinfectant, such as vinegar, can be used to reduce levels even further.
If you’re ready to ditch the harsh stuff, here are some natural and biodegradable alternatives to get you started:
These recipes have been tried and tested by the Recycle Devon team, but please make sure you test them in your own home before use and always follow the manufacturer’s advice.
For a PDF leaflet version of the recipes, please click here.
White vinegar and a dry cloth is the secret to a streak free finish! Make your own window cleaner using this tutorial.
Sprinkle this deodorising powder onto carpets, leave for a couple of hours (or longer) then vacuum as normal for fresh smelling floors.
Make your own carpet freshener using this tutorial.
Just mix water, white vinegar, eco washing up liquid and a zesty essential oil to bust grime on laminate, tile and vinyl flooring.
Make your own floor cleaner using this tutorial.
Bean juice, be gone! Mix equal parts white vinegar and water in a bowl and microwave until it’s boiling. The steam will loosen whatever is caked on the inside of the microwave. Leave the door closed and let the steaming mixture sit long enough to be safe to touch (but still hot), then use it to clean the insides with a cotton cloth.
Watch how to use this microwave cleaning method here.
Multi-purpose cleaning spray
Ideal for kitchen and bathroom surfaces, white vinegar infused with essential oil is a simple but powerful degreaser and germ buster. Make your own multi-purpose cleaning spray using this tutorial.
You’ll be amazed at the magical cleaning properties of bicarbonate of soda and water! No harsh chemicals, low cost and hardly any effort! Make your own oven cleaner using this tutorial.
Toilet cleaner bombs
Keep things fresh with these DIY toilet cleaner bombs. Citric acid is a natural, weak organic acid that is found in many fruits and vegetables, especially citrus. It’s a great cleaner and can be bought from most DIY and hardware stores and some supermarkets and pharmacies.
Make your own toilet cleaner bombs using this tutorial.
Add essential oil to hydrogen peroxide (3% solution) and shake well for a non-toxic and biodegradable alternative to bleach. Its natural antifungal properties are perfect for keeping mould at bay and many other uses. Keep for up to 3 months.
Make your own hydrogen peroxide bleach cleaner using this tutorial.
Hydrogen peroxide is a great household cleaner and disinfectant made of hydrogen and water. It is sold in dark brown bottles as it breaks down to plain water when exposed to heat, light and air. If the “fizz” is gone when you begin cleaning, it’s time to buy a new bottle.
You can make your own washing powder with just 2 ingredients – washing soda and a bar of grated castile soap! Mix together and add a few drops of your favourite essential oil if you want.
Make your own laundry powder using this tutorial.
Washing soda is also known as sodium carbonate (a naturally occurring mineral) or soda crystals. You can buy it at most DIY or hardware stores and supermarkets. It’s not the same as baking soda (also known as bicarbonate of soda or sodium bicarbonate) as it has a much higher PH.
Mix 1/2 cup bicarbonate of soda, 1/2 cup salt, 1 cup citric acid and 1 1/2 cups washing soda. Adding the soda last and mixing gently helps to avoid fizzing. Store in an airtight jar and add 1-2 tbsp depending on how dirty your dishes are.
Make your own dishwasher powder using this tutorial.
Why not try switching one of your usual cleaners or detergents to a natural alternative and start the journey towards a cleaner, greener home? If you have any tried and tested recipes, we’d love to hear them!