Making natural cleaning products is easy once you have got all your ingredients and equipment ready. We have prepared a simple guide to get you started.
List of Ingredients:
Most of these ingredients have been used for hundreds of years. You can find most of these ingredients in your local supermarket. However, you will save money if you can source them directly from the manufacturer or wholesaler and buy them in bulk.
- most bacteria are killed by hot, soapy water
- soaking is one of the most effective ways of removing dirt
- in hard water area, add a small handful of baking soda as a water softener
2) Baking soda
- is a common baking ingredient
- is a naturally occurring mineral known as sodium bicarbonate with many great cleaning properties
- cuts through grease because it reacts with fatty acids to form mild detergents
- softens water, removes stains and acts as a whitening agent, therefore great for the laundry
- its abrasive quality serves as a gentle scouring powder without scratching your kitchen or tile surfaces
- place a bowl of baking soda in the fridge to neutralise the odour
3) Fresh lemon
- one of the best way to save money on your cleaning products is to grow a lemon tree in your backyard
- fresh lemon juice contains citric acid that can deodorize, remove stains, brighten whites in the laundry or kitchen, clean glass, inhibit mould, disinfect toilets, cleans bath edges and showers plus grouting on tiles
- when used neat (full strength), it will remove grime at the base of taps
- it’s fresh smelling fragrance makes it an excellent air freshener, just cut a lemon in half and leave it on the bench
4) White Vinegar
- is a very versatile cleaning agent
- mix equal parts of vinegar and water in a spray bottle to make an all-purpose cleaner
- contains acetic acid that will dissolve calcium build-up in dishwashers, coffee pots, kettles, sinks, shower screens and windows
- cuts through grease and soap scum and helps to carry away foul odours as it evaporates
- check out this list of 1001 uses for white vinegar
- acts as a disinfectant
- a gentle abrasive agent
- useful for clearing drains and cleaning stained kitchen utensils
- cuts through grease when added to baking soda
- removes burn marks from the edges of dishes and stains from china ware
- whitens discoloured bread boards if used with cold water as a daily scrub
6) Washing soda
- one of the oldest products used for cleaning
- is also known as sodium carbonate
- is a stronger base than baking soda
- its high alkalinity makes it an ideal remover of tough stains on clothing
- is great for removing grease or petrol stains on garage floors
- acts as a natural water softener
- look for Australian made and owned in your local supermarket
- check out this impressive list of uses for washing soda
- is made from purified water and 100% pure vegetable oils such as olive oil which is used to make pure castile soaps
- hot water and pure soap flakes or liquid with a little washing soda will perform most cleaning jobs
8) Essential oils
- you can buy genuine, pure essential oils from your local health food store
- lemon and peppermint essential oils will make your home smelling fresh and fragrant
- need to be stored away from heat and direct sunlight
- keep them out of reach of children
9) Soap nut
- is the fruit of the Ritha, a tree found primarily in India and Nepal
- is completely natural, renewable and biodegradable
- its shell contains saponin which is a natural surfactant
- put six to eight half shells into a cotton bag and place in your washing machine. They should last four to six washes. When they look darker and soft, remove them and put on your compost heap.
- it can also be ground to make washing powder
List of Equipment:
Try to choose good quality equipment that will last. Make your buying decision based on “value for money” rather than going for “cheap and nasty”. You don’t want your equipment to break down after you have only used it a few times. You will end feeling frustrated in the end!
1) Spray bottles
2) Shaker container with a flip lip and large hole as baking soda can clump up and settle in the bottom of the container.
Now that you have all the basic ingredients and equipment needed for making your own natural non-toxic cleaning products, it’s time to have some fun and start mixing the recipes.
Use natural cleaning tools such as scrubbing bristle brushes, cellulose sponges, linen cloth, rags, steel wool and some elbow grease!
By using natural cleaning products, your family will breathe easier and your home will smell fresher without the health hazards associated with toxic chemicals and fumes.
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Dr Esther Lok
Disclaimer: All advice may not be construed as medical advice or instruction and is not meant to replace the advice of your medical practitioner. Information has been compiled from the author’s personal experiences and own research into multiple existing public references and previously published scientific studies. While all care is taken, information is not warranted as accurate and The Organics Institute and Dr Esther Lok cannot be held liable for any errors and omissions.