homemade cleaning products

Make Your Own Homemade Cleaning Products

homemade cleaning products

I want my home to be clean, but at the same time I don’t really want a cocktail of chemicals in the air that I breathe, or the surfaces that I touch or prepare food on, so I’ve turned to some homemade cleaning products.

There are all sorts of health and environmental dangers associated with using cleaning products, so over the past few years we’ve been trying to cut down on the amount of harsh chemicals in our home.  We first switched to Ecover about six years ago, then Method a couple of years ago, and now we’re using a mix of Ecover (for dishwasher tablets and for toilet cleaner) and BioD products (for laundry, and for hand-washing dishes).

Where we can we’ve also started making our own homemade cleaning products, and I thought it would be useful if I shared my instructions for making these chemical free cleaning products.  You can make your own homemade cleaning products quite easily and cheaply, that are as effective as any shop bought chemical cleaner, so I’ve got a host of recipes here for your kitchen and bathroom, and for doing laundry and the dishes.  They’ll soon have your house sparkling!

First up, select your arsenal of essential oils:

essential oils for cleaning your home

I use these organic Soil Association accredited ones to make my homemade cleaning products with.  I’ve got lavender, lemon, sweet orange, peppermint and tea tree.  As well as smelling great, I like them because as they’re organic I know there are no hidden chemicals in them from the growing process.

Next, you’ll need a bottle or two of white vinegar.  Vinegar is quite a key component in making homemade cleaning products.  You can buy white vinegar in the supermarket that you can transfer into a spray bottle, but you can most likely find big bottles of spray vinegar in pound shops.  I found mine in Poundland for, you’ve guessed it, £1.  You get 750 ml of vinegar which is much better value than the little bottles you find at the supermarket, and you have the convenience of not having to find an empty spray bottle.  You can also buy white vinegar in bulk, which saves even more money.

Homemade Cleaning Products

Kitchen Cleaner

For my homemade kitchen cleaner, I add twenty drops of lemon oil and twenty drops of lavender oil to a 50/50 solution of cooled boiled water and vinegar.  Lemon is a great degreaser and lavender has brilliant antibacterial properties:

household kitchen cleaning products made with vinegar and essential oils

My home-made spray made light work of my dirty worktops.  Here you can see the before and after shots:

before and after cleaning with vinegar

Sparkling clean, and germ-free without any trace of harsh chemicals!  When you use the spray (or any other vinegar based homemade cleaning products) then you do get a smell of vinegar, but that completely disappears once dry, and you’re left with a very light and pleasant scent of the essential oils.

If you have any tough spots of grime or dried in food then I find a light sprinkling of bicarbonate of soda, followed by a spray of your vinegar solution and a good rub helps remove the dirt.  If it’s particularly dried on or hard to shift try spraying it with a liberal amount of vinegar and leaving it to soak for 10 minutes before wiping.

Bathroom Cleaner

I also made bathroom cleaning spray, again using another vinegar spray bottle.  This time, to the 50/50 cooled boiled water and vinegar solution I added 20 drops of lavender oil and 20 drops of tea tree oil.  Tea tree oil has brilliant antiseptic and anti-fungal properties, making it brilliant for cleaning bathrooms:

bathroom cleaner spray made with vinegar and essential oils lavender tea tree

I’ve been spraying it on my tiles after showering to inhibit the growth of mould and remove soap scum, and also using it to wipe down the sink and toilet and everything else.  Again, it initially smells of vinegar but when it dries you can’t smell it – only a very subtle aroma of tea tree and lavender.

Fabric Softener

I’ve used vinegar for years as a fabric softener, but I’ve only just started adding essential oils to the vinegar.  Simply fill an old jar with vinegar, and add 30 drops of orange oil to your vinegar for softened clothes and a delicate and clean aroma to your laundry, without a hint of vinegar, I promise!  With regards to dosage I just fill up to the line on the fabric conditioner drawer of my machine and that seems to work a treat.

Dishwasher Rinse Aid

Vinegar also makes a fantastic rinse aid in your dishwasher – leaving your glasses, cutlery and plates sparkling!  I just use the same solution as I do for my fabric softener – making it fantastically multipurpose!

Do you make any of your own homemade cleaning products?  Do share in the comments below!  I’m always on the lookout for great tips!

Ps: if you enjoyed this then you might also enjoy my post on green cleaning favourites.  I’ve been on quite the green cleaning journey since I wrote this post, and have since shared lots of recipes and methods, that I’ve summarised in my cleaning favourites post.

PPS: I’ve been on ever the green cleaning journey since I published this post AND my post on my green cleaning favourites.  In 2018 I wrote a book all about green cleaning, called Fresh Clean Home, which is available to purchase now.  Do check it out!

Main image from here, all others are my own.

Breaking Beauty Industry Myths

Today I’m taking a little break and handing over to  Emily Waddell, an advocate of simple and natural beauty.   We’ve all read the beauty magazines touting expensive chemical filled lotions and potions with fancy scientific names, and seen celebrities endorsing 10-step skincare routines, but are these things necessary for good skin, or are there other more environmentally friendly (and purse friendly) solutions?  Questioning some long standing beauty industry beliefs, Emily seeks to separate fact from fiction:

Don’t you just hate your skin sometimes?

You’re getting ready to go out on a date and bam, your skin decides that your acne from when you were fourteen was your best look. It’s your best friend’s wedding and bam, your skin is so oily your face looks like you’re working on a tan in Miami rather than being in a cold church in Sussex.  Sometimes your skin can be nice to you and you attribute it to your new skincare routine, or that £50 moisturiser you just bought, but how much of what you’re doing is helping your skin?  Are you actually hurting it and the environment?  Let’s look and see if we can separate beauty industry fact from fiction:

facial cleansing wipes bad for your skin

Myth or Fact One: Face wipes are okay as long as you use gentle/sensitive ones.

Face wipes are the lazy girls make-up remover.

I am 100% one of those girls.  There is nothing less appealing than coming home from a night of drinking and staring in the mirror at your blurry face and attempting to take your make-up off with a cleanser.  Grabbing a face wipe and preforming a circular motion and then immediately crawling into bed seems like a much easier and better option.

Unfortunately face wipes are awful for your skin, even the gentle ones. Face wipes contain very harsh chemicals that dry out your skin. Even the gentle ones shouldn’t be used around the sensitive eye area.   They’re also terrible for the environment as they contribute to landfill.  Lazy girls of the world, dump the face wipes and buy a cleanser and a flannel: your skin and the environment will thank you.  If you are a crocheter, you can even whip up your own reusable make-up remover pads that you can just pop in the washing machine when you’re done.

beauty industry myths debunked

Myth or Fact Two: You need to buy a whole range of facial skincare products for your skin to look it’s best.

Have you ever gone round a friend’s house and wanted to steal everything in their bathroom?

They have so many beautiful looking creams and potions you just want to ignore the dinner party and jump in the bath and use them all.  Then you look closer and realise that they’re all for their face.  Really?  This is just for you face?   A skincare routine should consist of two or three steps maximum, and that’s only if you have particularly problem skin.

Don’t spend your entire life in the bathroom.  As well as wasting time and money, you’re probably harming your skin using so many different products.  Pick one or two products that make your face look glorious and leave it alone!  Napiers skin care range includes natural based products that can be used for face and body and are my personal preference for glowy skin.  Keep it simple folks.

beauty myths clarified

Myth or Fact: Expensive is best

We know that beauty products can get ridiculously crazy expensive but it seems that some organic and natural beauty brands have cottoned on to the fact that buyers are willing to pay big bucks to go au naturale too.

Some people who tout the benefits of ‘natural beauty’ will never admit the price of some of their skin care products.  They don’t use the obviously expensive brands like Chanel, but instead the ones that chant the cause of a natural beauty regime.  This makes it okay to spend £60 on a facial scrub because it has beeswax in it.  “It’s natural!” they scream at me as they defend the price of the whole beeswax set they’ve just bought, not knowing that they are probably just smearing over-priced honey on their face, or paying big bucks just for fancy packaging.  Don’t feel the need to spend an awful lot of money on fancily packaged natural skincare products; the whole idea of them is that they are simple with little ingredients and in recyclable packaging.

What do you think?  Do you think expensive is best, or that you need several lotions and cleansers and toners for your skin to look it’s best?  Or do you agree with Emily?  And have we missed anything out?  Do share your thoughts in the comments section below.


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