Hello! We hope you guys are starting the week on the right foot! Today we wanted to give you tips for creating DIY cleaners with everyday ingredients.
Nowadays, there are more and more cleaning solutions and guides on the internet, where you can create your own homemade cleaners with products that are already in your home. You can mix and match them depending on the cleaning properties that you need for every room in your home.
The best part is that you know exactly what you’re adding to your cleaning solution, and you will avoid harmful chemicals from manufactured commercial cleaning products.
Homemade cleaners are versatile and safe to apply on a variety of surfaces. In your pantry or medicine cabinet, you will find everything that you need to create homemade cleaners, and your homemade cleaner will have cleaning, degreasing, or sanitizing properties.
We will be using ingredients such as vinegar, rubbing alcohol, essential oils, dish soap, and baking soda.
And remember you can always contact us if you need a professional cleaning service in Memphis, but if you want, you can try these cleaning products on your own as part of your regular cleaning.
First things first, we all need an all-purpose cleaner for everyday use.
If you mix water and vinegar, this can be a go-to cleaning solution as it is easy to prepare, and you don’t even have to wipe it out after applying. For example, one cup of white vinegar and two cups of distilled water is a good start.
If you don’t have distilled water, you can use tap water, but this is not ideal. In some areas, such as Memphis, your water tends to be hard (meaning it contains a lot of microscopic minerals such as calcium and magnesium). This can cause micro scratches on the surfaces with time.
Another variation of this mix involves the same amount of vinegar and distilled water, but this time adding one teaspoon of concentrated dish soap, and a few drops of essential oil.
If you want to take the ultimate natural route you can create a concentrated, stronger all-purpose cleaner with vinegar and natural herbs.
Grab dried herbs such as rosemary, thyme, oregano, and lavender and place them in a large glass jar (at least 1L in capacity). Fill the bottle with white vinegar or apple cider vinegar until you reach ¾ of the bottle. If the lid is metallic, place baking paper in between the lid and the jar to prevent corrosion.
Close the lid and let it sit for at least 1 week, although 2 weeks is the ideal time frame. Remember to shake the jar softly every other day. Strain your mix through a nut milk bag and place the vinegar mix onto a glass spray bottle.
Remember that natural stone (marble, granite) and wooden surfaces are sensitive to compounds that are too acidic (vinegar, lemon juice) and alkaline (bleach, ammonia).
We recommend you skip these surfaces, but pretty much every other surface is safe enough to interact with vinegar. As always, test first on a small area.
The bathroom is one of the most dreaded areas in your home when it comes to cleaning. In this case, you’d want to sanitize the surfaces, which means that you will reduce the presence of microbes to a safe level for human contact.
Even though bleach is an effective, abrasive disinfectant, it can be too strong and contaminating. In this case, a more sustainable choice would be to use rubbing alcohol and white vinegar.
Rubbing alcohol can damage latex paint so, if you have any walls in your bathroom painted with latex paint, skip this ingredient.
An alternative would be to use hydrogen peroxide. This is capable of killing common household germs as well, and it also has bleaching properties without being as abrasive as traditional chlorine-based bleach.
If you do want to use hydrogen peroxide, use an opaque glass bottle, as sunlight can reduce effectiveness. And you shouldn’t mix it with any other chemicals.
For treating your shower, you can mix three tablespoons of baking soda and one tablespoon of liquid dish soap. Scrub all along your shower walls and floor and, after 10 minutes, spray with a 1:1 white vinegar and water solution. While the solution reacts, scrub with a large brush.
Floor Deodorizer and Cleaner
This might be a bit tricky because there are many different types of floors. Each one needs a different technique, and some of them react negatively, causing permanent stains or marks.
In this case, make sure you create a list of all the types of floors you have at home, and then check the dos and don’ts for each type.
As we mentioned earlier, not every surface reacts positively with every material. Even water can be harmful if you use too much of it, or if you don’t dry surfaces properly afterward.
If you want to create a floor deodorizer and cleaner, it has to be as neutral as possible, meaning that it shouldn’t have too many acidic or alkaline components.
For example, ½ cup of white vinegar in a gallon of warm water is an effective floor cleaner. It is just slightly acidic yet safe for most (if not all) types of floors.
However, a neutral floor cleaner can be created with two tablespoons of mild dish soap in a gallon of warm water.
You can even mix both of them and incorporate vinegar and dish soap into a gallon of warm water.
This is ideal for the kitchen because it’s where the grease will be building up for some time.
Grease removers are one of the most common cleaning products. That’s because grease is one of the hardest challenges in your household.
To create a grease remover, you will need a product that acts on the surface, such as baking soda. Mix 2 tablespoons of baking soda and one tablespoon of water. Then, add one teaspoon of dish soap and mix again. Spread on the surface using a soft-bristled brush.
This solution is capable of degreasing, absorbing odors, and leaving your surfaces free of grime and dirt.
Another choice is to use castile soap mixed with distilled water. Castile soap is a biodegradable cleaner that works as a surfactant, just like any other type of soap. This means that it attracts and “lifts” dirt and oils away.
If you want to try it, mix one cup of distilled water and one tablespoon of castile soap. Add a few drops of lemon or tea tree essential oil if you want to add a nice fragrance.
Essential oils preserve the natural properties of plants or fruits (disinfecting, degreasing, besides reducing stress). If you need more information, our friends from Emily’s Maids created a guide for cleaning with different essential oils.
Glass and Mirror Cleaner
Glass and mirrors require a different approach, because they show streaks and water marks right away, and it looks messy.
You are going to need something that is capable of sanitizing, but something that doesn’t create foam or that leaves soap scum. In this case, using vinegar is the most cost-effective route.
For example, you can use apple cider or white vinegar, some rubbing alcohol, and water, of course.
Mix ½ cup of rubbing alcohol, 1/3 cup of white or apple cider vinegar, 1 cup of distilled water, and just a few drops of essential oil (optional). Combine these elements in a spray bottle and apply them to the surface.
Besides the cleaning solution, the technique is important as well. Use an antistatic microfiber glass cloth, which leaves no streaks. This is the type of cloth you would normally use for glasses or TV screens, for example.
In the past, there was a well-known trick where you used old newspapers, but given that they are hard to find nowadays, microfiber cloths are a smart alternative (and you can reuse them many times).
DIY Heavy-Duty Scrub
It’s time to bring out the big guns. If you are in the middle of deep cleaning, you will need a cleaning solution that acts on grease and dirt quickly.
In this case, you will need half a lemon and ½ cup of borax powder. Dip the lemon in borax and scrub the surface.
Again, remember this is not safe for sensitive surfaces (wood, marble, granite).
If you want to try another alternative, try creating a castile soap solution, but this time using rubbing alcohol instead of water.
Just mix ½ cup of rubbing alcohol with 1 teaspoon of liquid castile soap, and add to a glass spray bottle. If you want to tone it down a bit, water it down using 3/4 cup of distilled water.
DIY Fabric Softener for your Laundry
Last but not least, we have your laundry. We’ve talked in the past about how important it is to wash your bedding and clothes frequently.
Although there are ways to create a homemade laundry detergent, the process is a bit difficult and long. Besides, there are many commercial, eco-friendly alternatives already on the market.
On the other hand, you can create a fabric softener which will be a much easier and quick process! In fact, you don’t even need to combine anything. You just need to add a cup of white vinegar during the final rinse cycle. Just add them to the fabric softener reservoir.
This should be enough to soften your fibers, but if you want to add an extra fragrance you can use around 15 – 20 drops of essential oils combined with your cup of vinegar.
You can use your preferred essential oils, either a single one or two or more combined. For example, tea tree + lavender is a well-known combination. This leaves a slight, pleasant scent on your clothes.
However, if you are allergic or sensitive to essential oils or smells you might want to skip the essential oil and just stick to the vinegar.
Another strategy is to use Epsom salt combined with baking soda (and essential oils). Epsom salts will “transport” the essential oils, but they will harden water.
This can be a problem because, in some areas, water will be hard already as it is.
This is why you add baking soda to balance out the Epsom salts, and it works as a deodorizer and brightener as well.
An effective combination would be 1 cup of Epsom salts, ½ cup of baking soda, and 15 – 20 drops of essential oils. Again, use this solution for the last rinse cycle.
That’s all! With these tips, you will have the perfect homemade cleaner for each area of your home. They will be super cheap and easy to create. Plus, you won’t need to run to the supermarket each time you need to clean a different area. Besides, you can prepare a concentrated mix for deep cleaning, or a light one for everyday jobs.
Remember to test first on a small, inconspicuous area, and don’t mix cleaning agents without checking on the internet or with a cleaning professional first if it’s safe to do so.
Remember to check our booking page if you need extra help with a cleaning service in Memphis.
And check our blog for more free cleaning tips! We’ll be back soon with more.