In a society where two of the top concerns are about saving money and saving the environment, people are turning to more alternative methods to complete both at the same time. How can they do both at the same time? By using DIY projects to save their hard-earned money and upping the ante by choosing projects that can benefit the environment!
These eco-friendly DIY cleaning products will not harm the environment and will cost mere cents to make compared to the dollars you would have to pay out in-store for the same cleaning power. Vinegar and baking soda have been proven to cut through numerous sources of grime and grease to leave a clean, sparkling surface behind while the lemon adds a fresh scent throughout your entire home. But how can you make these cleaning products on your own? That’s where this article comes in with a step-by-step tutorial on making your own DIY eco-friendly cleaning solution!
Why Make Eco-friendly Cleaning Products?
The first thing you may be wondering is why you should be making eco-conscience cleaning solutions versus purchasing something from your local department store that has been clinically proven to cut through grime and grease. Not only are these products expensive to purchase, but they can also harm the environment in various ways. Here are some of the following reasons why you should be making your own eco-friendly cleaning products:
- Store bought cleaning products can be harmful to the environment and to your household. With multiple warnings such as flammable, toxic if ingested or irritant; these cleaning products can harm the occupants of the home if they come into contact with them.
- Some of the “stronger” cleaning solutions are dangerous and can cause skin rashes, eye irritation, and respiratory issues when breathed in for too long or in direct contact with skin while they are in the process of drying on the surfaces you just cleaned.
- Some of the cleaning products can cause harm to the environment as they are washed down the sinks and drains of your home as they contain chemicals that are not biodegradable in nature.
- You are aware of what exactly is in your cleaning solutions and there is no danger from using eco-conscience ingredients in your cleaning products.
- You save time and money. These eco-friendly cleaning products are easy on the wallet and they can be used for multiple purposes in multiple rooms, allowing you to keep cleaning without having to switch products.
- Vinegar has been clinically proven to have germ-fighting abilities while possessing high cleaning qualities and lemon is naturally acidic enough to cut through any germs on the surfaces of your home while providing a fresh scent. The baking soda adds a level of scouring power to cut through bathroom grime, kitchen stains and more.
The Negative Effects of Chemical Cleaners
Even if you’re not allergic to certain chemicals or fragrances, skin irritations are still a major risk because of how harsh the substances are. Just imagine, these products were designed to remove grease, rust, calcium, soap scum, and other nasty things. Just imagine what it would do to your soft, sensitive skin.
You don’t even have to come in contact with most of the chemical cleaners today. They’re harmful just to breathe in. The harsh fumes, when inhaled, rest in your airways and on your lungs. This can cause all sorts of respiratory problems and aggravate existing issues such as asthma, lung cancer, and airborne allergies.
This doesn’t really apply to mild household cleaners such as window cleaner, or wood polish, but more like things such as abrasive products like bleach, for example.
With any chemically based product, even ones that aren’t cleaners, having them in the household runs the risk of poisoning. Especially in small children who don’t understand the difference. Most cleaners are bright, playful colors like red or blue, and often resemble juice products.
This one is a no-brainer, but it still happens. Splashing or spill, or even just rubbing from your fingers to the eye area can cause detrimental effects to your eyesight and even lead to blindness.
Using harsh cleaning products on the same surfaces that you prepare food on can run the risk of contamination. This is just one way, the easiest way, to contaminate food and beverages, but there are others such as accidental spilling into food or spraying in an area where food is exposed.
What You Will Need
We are now ready to start making our own DIY eco-conscience cleaning solutions and all we need are the following ingredients! This recipe will make you an all-purpose cleaner that is safe to use on every surface of your home, including windows!
The items you will need are:
- White vinegar
- Natural Baking Soda
- Lemon juice (or essential oil). If you prefer another scent in your DIY eco-friendly household cleaner – you can use essential oil of your choice.
- Mixing bowl
- Spray bottle (glass works best but plastic is also fine)
- Stirring spoon
- Warm or hot water
- Paring knife (if using a whole fresh lemon)
*It is important to note that vinegar is not recommended for use on natural stone countertops (marble, granite, etc.) or unsealed grouted surfaces. You should also test-spot waxed surfaces before using the cleaning product on the surface, as the vinegar could strip the wax*
Now that all your ingredients have been assembled, it is easiest to combine and create your eco-conscience cleaning solutions over the kitchen counter and sink in case of spillage.
Bring all your ingredients together on the kitchen counter to begin creating your eco-friendly cleaning products.
Start off by slicing the lemon (if you are using a fresh one) into slices for easier access to the lemon juice.
Place the lemon slices to the side and pour ½ cup of white vinegar into the mixing bowl.
Combine 2 Tbsp. of baking soda into the vinegar, stirring until all the powder is absorbed into the vinegar.
Squeeze the lemon slices into the mixture until at least ten drops or more are added for a fresh scent.
- Some people prefer to use the actual slices or the lemon rind in the mixture to add even more freshness to the cleaning product but that is entirely your call as long as the drops of lemon juice have been added.
- If you are using essential oil for another scent rather than lemon, or you are using essential oils in combination with the lemon; always match the number of lemon juice drops.
Stir the mixture together to combine the vinegar, baking soda, and lemon juice.
Add hot or warm water to the mixture to finish off the cleaning product. The water dilutes the vinegar just enough it won’t strip surfaces of their natural varnish.
Once all ingredients have been stirred together, simply pour the mixture into a spray bottle and give a vigorous shake before use.
Take your sponges, spray your eco-friendly cleaning product on the surface to be cleaned and go to town on the grime and grease!
- To make a homemade soft-scrub cleaner, swap out the vinegar for liquid dish detergent (½ cups), and use 1 and ½ cups of baking soda with the same amount of lemon juice or essential oils.
- To make a homemade drain cleaner, use ¼ to ½ cups of baking soda combined with ¼ cups of white vinegar in a container, shake vigorously and pour directly down the drain.
- To make a homemade air freshener (think Febreze), use 12 to 15 drops of essential oils (or natural fruit juices) combined with ½ cups of vinegar, and ½ cups of water to a spray bottle. Shake vigorously and spray into the air of the home for a light, fresh scent.
What is a better way to save money than by making your own cleaning solutions while saving the environment one less harmful substance at a time? Not only will you never run out of cleaning products for your home, but they are also easily made using ingredients generally found in your pantry.
Voila! You are cleaning through grime and grease like a champion! Not only do these eco-friendly cleaning solutions work, but it also smells lemony fresh to add a springtime essence to your home even during those long, dark winter months. What is there to lose, except grime?
If you want to know how to make more eco-friendly cleaning products, check out this video!