Category

Home and Garden

Home and Garden, Natural Cleaning

Make Your Own Homemade Cleaning Products

homemade cleaning products
homemade cleaning products

Want to make your own homemade cleaning products but don’t know where to start? Let me show you how with these super simple recipes and guides.

I want my home to be clean. However, at the same time, I don’t really want a cocktail of harsh chemicals in the air that I breathe, or on the surfaces that I touch or prepare food on. Particularly because scientists have warned that some household cleaning products could be as bad for your lungs as smoking 20 cigarettes a day. Meanwhile, there is a link between cleaning products and breast cancer. It seems like cleaning our homes can be dirty business.

As there are all sorts of health and environmental dangers associated with using cleaning products, over the past few years we’ve been trying to cut down on the number of harsh chemicals we use in our home.

As an easy introduction, we first switched to using more eco-friendly cleaning products. And then where we could we’ve also started making our own homemade cleaning products. My technique was to go slowly, replacing a conventional product with a homemade one as I went along, to avoid overwhelm.

As I’ve been doing this for quite some years now, let me show you how to make some of my favourite homemade cleaning products that you can whip up in seconds.

What You’ll Need

To get started, you’ll first need a few simple supplies. Some of them you might already have in your kitchen cupboard.

To make my homemade cleaning products, I have a small selection of essential oils, that I buy from eBay*.  I’ve got lavender, lemon, sweet orange, peppermint, and tea tree.  As well as smelling great, I like them because these specific oils have great cleaning and germ-killing properties.

essential oils for cleaning your home

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 glass bottles in the supermarket that you can transfer into a spray bottle. A more economical way is to buy white vinegar in bulk, which is very economical, and you can refill any empty spray bottle.

In terms of spray bottles, here’s where I source glass bottles to hold my homemade cleaning products.

Homemade Cleaning Products

Now that you’ve got your supplies, let me show you my step-by-step instructions for making my homemade cleaning products.  You can make them easily and cheaply, and I promise you they are as effective as any shop-bought chemical cleaner.

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 naturally sparkling!

Please note that vinegar shouldn’t be used on granite, marble, quartz, or other forms of natural stone. Do see my full guide on everything you need to know about cleaning with white vinegar for the full list of dos and don’ts.

Homemade Kitchen Cleaning Spray

For my homemade kitchen cleaner, I simply add twenty drops of lemon oil and twenty drops of lavender oil to a solution of 250 ml cooled boiled water and 250 ml white vinegar.  Lemon is a great degreaser and lavender has brilliant antibacterial properties. Pour it into a bottle, add the spray top, give it a shake and you are good to go in seconds.

household kitchen cleaning products made with vinegar and essential oils

My homemade cleaning 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. However it completely disappears once dry, and you’re left with a very light and pleasant scent of the essential oils.

For an extra cleaning boost, you can add 1 teaspoon of regular washing-up liquid to the oil, vinegar, and essential oil solution.

If you have any tough spots of grime or dried in food then try spraying it with a liberal amount of vinegar and leaving it to soak for 10 minutes before wiping. If that doesn’t help, try a light sprinkling of bicarbonate of soda on the affected area, and then rubbing it with a damp cloth. You may want to patch test this in an inconspicuous area first to test that it’s not going to damage the surface you are cleaning.

Although it makes for impressive bubbles, that look like they should work well at cleaning, don’t mix the bicarbonate of soda and vinegar. This is because the bicarbonate of soda neutralises the vinegar, and you are left with a weak salty water solution that is no good at cleaning anything.

This homemade cleaning product keeps for up to around 8 weeks. However, if it starts to look or smell bad before then, then do discard it and make a fresh batch.

Homemade Bathroom Cleaner

You can also make homemade bathroom cleaning spray, again using vinegar.  This time, to the 250 ml cooled boiled water and 250 ml vinegar solution add 20 drops of lavender oil and 20 drops of tea tree oil.  Tea tree oil has brilliant antiseptic and anti-fungal properties, making it one of these brilliant homemade cleaning products for tackling your bathroom.

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

I’ve been spraying my homemade cleaning spray on my tiles after showering, This inhibits the growth of mould and remove soap scum. I also use 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 the vinegar. Instead, you are left with a very subtle aroma of tea tree and lavender.

Again, the shelf life of this is around 8 weeks.

If you don’t like the smell of vinegar in your bathroom, then try this homemade citric acid cleaning spray instead. It’s fantastic at tackling hard water deposits.

Homemade Fabric Softener

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

As you are not adding water to the vinegar, your homemade fabric softener will last indefinitely. Again, if it starts to look or smell bad then do discard and make a fresh batch.

Homemade Dishwasher Rinse Aid

Vinegar also makes a fantastic rinse aid in your dishwasher. It leaves 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! And if you enjoyed this then you might also enjoy my post on green cleaning favourites.  I’ve been on quite the green cleaning journey and plastic reduction journey since I wrote this post. Yes, I have since shared lots of recipes and methods, that I’ve summarised in that post.

As an update to this post, I’ve also been on ever such the green cleaning journey since I published this post AND my post on my green cleaning favourites.  I’ve written a book all about green cleaning, called Fresh Clean Home. It contains over 35 natural cleaning recipes for every room in your home. It’s available to purchase now.  Do check it out!

Main image from here, all others are my own.

Home, Home and Garden

7 Best Soy Candles For A Sustainable Glow

Today let’s talk soy candles.  And not just any old soy candles.  The best soy candles that are eco-friendly for a cosy and sustainable glow.

The thing I love buying most isn’t ethical shoes. It isn’t houseplants. It’s candles.  On a dark night, there’s nothing better than closing the curtains, dimming the lights, and lighting some soy or beeswax candles to create a lovely relaxing atmosphere. Especially after a hectic day at work or if I’ve spent the day with my young kids, and I’ve finally got them into bed.

What’s Wrong With Standard Candles?

Standard candles I don’t love so much.  Standard candles are made from paraffin wax.  This is a fossil fuel-based petroleum by-product that is made when crude oil is refined into petrol.  As well as being made from non-renewable fossil fuels, burning these kinds of candles can affect your indoor air quality when you burn them.  And that’s before we’ve even covered the artificial fragrances contained in candles, which can hide a cocktail of particularly undesirable chemicals.

Soy candles are made from soy wax.  This is a renewable vegetable wax made from the oil of soybeans.  This means they are petroleum-free, which benefits the environment. 

Isn’t Soy Bad For the Environment?

Soy does have a bad reputation because it is linked to deforestation of the Amazonian rainforest. It’s important to remember that soy is the primary source of protein for most animal feed, and it is the demand for meat that has seen the demand for soy rocket. Approximately 75% of all soy grown is used for animal feed, so it really isn’t the soy candle industry that is driving this deforestation. Burn your soy candles without remorse.

If you want to avoid any Amazonian source soy, then many candle makers do source their wax from EU-based sources. European soy is grown in Italy, France, Romania, and Croatia, so more locally sourced soy is available.

Seven of the Best Sustainable Soy Candles

Two candles on a white background with some purple flowers and a blue text box that says the best soy candles for a sustainable glow

I’ve tried a lot of candles in my time.  Here are seven of the best soy candles in case you’re in the market for some candles.  Or maybe you’re like me and candles are your fail-safe thing to buy for people who are really hard to buy for!

In order to help support the running costs of Moral Fibres, this post contains affiliate links, denoted by *. Moral Fibres may earn a small commission, at no extra cost to readers, on items that have been purchased through those links. This income helps keep this site running.

Handmade Candle Co

Handmade Candle Co's amber glass sustainable candles, pictured on a wooden plinth on a bath in a white tiled bathroom full of plants

Handmade Candle Co’s* luxury soy wax candles are hand-poured in Shropshire. Made with 100% vegetable soy wax, these are fragranced with phthalate-free fragrance oils.

Price: from £14

Old Man & Magpie

Old Man and Magpie's soy candle, in sequoia wood fragrance.  The candle is sat on top of a Lonely Planet guide to California book.

Old Man and Magpie* make sustainable soy candles in Manchester. Made using only 100% pure and natural soy wax, alongside phthalate-free essential and fragrance oils, and using cotton wicks, these candles come in beautiful apothecary style and recyclable amber glass jars. 

Price: from £15

Osie Norfolk Soy Candles

Osie Norfolk's candle in a terracotta pot, sitting on top of green book and next to pink dried flowers.

Osie Norfolk’s* beautiful sustainable candles are hand-poured in Norfolk and are vegan and cruelty-free, as well as palm oil-free. Made from 100% soy wax, they are also scented will all-natural phthalate-free ingredients and essential oils. And for an added eco-friendly bonus, you can buy a candle refill* from Osie for just £7.99 once you’ve burned the candle. Alternatively, you can reuse the lovely terracotta pots for plants in your home or garden.

Price: £7.99 for refills, £18 for the candle and terracotta pot.

Paddy Wax

Paddy Wax, one of the best soy candle makers, candles, sat on a cosy dinner table, next to a stack of plates.

Paddy Wax soy candles, available online from Ethical Superstore*, are one of my long-standing favourites.  I’m currently burning the redwood amber candle, which has a lovely sweet yet earthy scent (derived from essential oils) that I find hard-pushed to describe.

Paddy Wax candles are a little more strongly scented than other scented soy candles I have tried.  I find that a good thing when you are trying to fragrance a larger area, such as a living room.  However, they may be a bit overpowering in a small bathroom, for example.  Save your Paddy Wax candle for fragrance purposes, rather than mood lighting when you’re in the bath!

What I love most about Paddy Wax is that the candles come in a wide variety of holders.   I have had a few of the recycled bottle and apothecary jar candles in the past, and have saved the empty jars for candle making.  I also have a wooden octagon candle pot that has now been reused as a plant pot.  Meanwhile, the ceramic candle, pictured above, could easily be reused as a vase.

Price: from £11.95

Vegan Bunny

Vegan Bunny soy candle in a copper candle tin, sat on top of a pile of pink books.

Vegan Bunny’s* eco-friendly candles tick a lot of boxes. Handmade in Britain from 100% natural and sustainably sourced ingredients, not only are they plastic-free, but vegan and cruelty-free too.

Price: from £10

YR Studio Soy Candles

YR Studio's Into The Woods candle, in a glass jar, sat on a round wicker mat, and surrounded by ferns.

All of YR Studio’s soy candles* are hand-poured in Somerset, using only vegan ingredients that are not tested on animals. Coupled with eco-friendly packaging, including home compostable and water dissolvable packing peanuts made of corn starch, these are a sturdy sustainable swap for standard petroleum-based candles.

Price: from £14.99

PF Candles

PF candle in amber and moss

I’m a fan of PF Candles’ stylish ethical soy candles*. In particular the amber and moss fragrance. PF Candles are pretty strong smelling, so they are best suited if you want to fragrance a room, rather than wanting to create an ambience through candlelight.

Price: from £24.99

Do you have a particular favourite soy candle brand?

Once you’ve finished burning your candle, here’s how to remove candle wax from your jar so that you can reuse the jar again. I’ve even put information in there on how to recycle your leftover candle wax, for a zero-waste burn. You can also make your own beeswax candles.  It’s really easy and fun.  And if you’d rather use soy then simply replace the beeswax with soy flakes to make soy candles.