Simple and Safer Alternatives to Household Products


If you’re looking for a more natural approach to cleaning your house, trying to reduce excessive waste from product packaging, or just save some money by making your own cleansers, our guide is a perfect place to start.

Keep in mind that there are many ways to clean a house and our suggestions may not be the best for you. Experiment, modify, and let us know what you think.

Household

  • Air Freshener – instead of pungent deodorizers, try 2 to 4 tablespoons of baking soda or 1 cup of vinegar left in a dish to absorb odors. Just like the baking soda in your fridge, this will need to be changed every 3 months. Boiled cinnamon cloves wrapped in cheesecloth or a teabag will freshen the air.
  • Floor Cleaner – use 1/2 cup of vinegar combined with 1/2 gallon of warm water to gently wash brick, tile, and slate.
  • Furniture Cleaner – instead of using harsh chemicals, try 3 parts olive oil to 1 part vinegar or 2 parts vegetable oil to 1 part lemon juice. Apply with a cloth
  • Laundry – add 1 cup of white vinegar to the final rinse cycle to prevent detergent residue. For softer clothes, add about 1/2 cup (depending on size of load) during rinse cycle.
  • Windows – like many other homemade cleaners, use 1 part vinegar to 1 part water in a spray bottle to clean windows. Add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice.

Garden & Yard

  • Bug Repellent – natural repellents made of cedar, orange, eucalyptus, and bay leaves  can be used to keep insects and fleas at bay.
  • Pesticide – the most natural way to minimize pests and weeds is to introduce beneficial predators like ladybugs, spiders, or frogs or companion plants like French marigolds and thyme. A shallow container of beer will trap slugs, sticky bands around tree trunks will catch caterpillars, and barriers of wood ash will repel certain pests.

Bathroom

  • Disinfect – soak a sponge in isopropyl alcohol and allow to fully dry. This can be used a a versatile bathroom disinfectant.
  • Drain Cleaner – pour 1/2 cup of baking soda down clogged drain followed by 1/2 cup of vinegar and allow the ingredients to foam and expand. Clear everything out with plenty of boiling water to unclog and deodorize. For particularly difficult drains, use a plunger or wire coat hanger to manually remove debris.
  • Tub and tile – mix 1/4 cup white vinegar with 1 gallon warm water to clean your tub and tile. For mold and mildew use full-strength vinegar.
  • Toilet – sprinkle with baking soda, drizzle with vinegar, and scrub as hard as possible with a toilet brush. Extra elbow grease will help clean and deodorize.

Kitchen

  • Oven – create a paste of baking soda, salt, and hot water. It should be slightly looser than tooth paste. If your oven is stubbornly dirt, get the oven up to 200°, turn it off, and leave 1/4 cup ammonia in it overnight. Wipe clean with warm soapy water and everything should look brand new.
  • Pots & Pans – mineral deposits can be difficult to remove. Boil equal parts vinegar and water to clean aluminum and chrome. Add salt to make the mixture effective on brass, bronze, and copper.
  • Counter Tops – baking soda on a damp sponge is all you need to sufficiently clean and deodorize most surfaces.