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These simple, chemical free, kid safe household cleaner recipes are easy to make and easy on your wallet.
I absolutely love a sparkling clean home. With 8 children, however, I also love chemical free, kid safe cleaners because I want to be careful what I use around them.
And being the practical frugalista that I am, I’ve realized it is much more cost effective to make these cleaners than it is to buy them. If you haven’t tried these, I’m sure you’ll enjoy them as well!
Here are my top used DIY chemical free cleaners that I use in each room of our home.
Baking Soda Based Chemical Free Cleaners
Baking soda is an incredibly powerful (and yet non-harmful) cleansing agent. We use it daily in the upkeep of our home.
SINK (kitchen & bathroom)
To clean and polish the sink, simply sprinkle a thin dusting of baking soda onto your stainless steel. Next, dip a sponge in HOT water and polish it in. When you’re all done, use the sprayer with hot water and rinse it off.
The baking soda gives it a nice gently polish, and you’ll be left with a beautifully shined sink. If you would like to freshen the scent of your kitchen, add a few drops of essential oils to the baking soda and stir it in. Personally, I like using grapefruit the best!
Tip: Save the lid off of a grated cheese bottle next time you empty one. They fit on top of a mason jar beautifully, and are great to make a baking soda container for your cleaning caddy.
Sprinkle baking soda over the tub and rub in with a damp sponge. If this is enough, feel free to rinse immediately. However, if it needs some extra “oomph”, spray down with undiluted white distilled vinegar before scrubbing with the sponge. Vinegar and baking soda together will bubble and fizz and lift grime right up!
To freshen a stale carpet, simply add 10 drops of your favorite essential oil to 1 cup of baking soda and stir it in. Next, sprinkle over your carpet in an even layer. Then, leave it sitting overnight and vacuum up in the morning. You can use any oil that appeals to you, or look at the following suggestions for specific purposes:
Smoke: Eucalyptus, Rosemary, Tea Tree, or Clary Sage
Pets: Citrus oil (Lemon, Sweet Orange, or Grapefruit are all very effective in my experience)
Musty/Stale scented: Eucalyptus and Lemon, either used individually or in a blend, will work beautifully here
Flea/bug repellant: Lavender and/or Peppermint
Water damage: Tea Tree and Eucalyptus blended together
Urine: Tea Tree and/or Rosemary oils will be particularly potent for this use, although if the smell isn’t too bad, a blend of Orange and Lemon might do the trick
Instead of harsh store bought options, these chemical free cleaners do a great job and keep your home naturally fresh.
Vinegar Based Chemical Free Cleaners
Vinegar is the other natural source of cleaning we rely in our home. I used to think the smell was too strong, but that’s before I learned how to dilute (and add scents I enjoy).
COUNTERS (kitchen & bathroom)
To clean your counters well, just mix a solution of 50% white distilled vinegar and 50% water together. This will do a fabulous job of cleaning up anything you’ve got on the counters, and disinfecting them beautifully. You can also spray it on and let it set for a moment before wiping, if anything has gotten sticky or is older on there.
If you want something a little more potent, add some Thieves oil. Personally, I use the Now brand which actually calls it Nature’s Shield or Plant Therapy’s Germ Fighter Synergy Blend. I like to add about 8 drops per cup of liquid. This oil blend is powerful and I have found it to be extremely effective. Its germ fighting and bacteria killing properties are widely accepted in the natural community, and our experience supports this.
Tip: If your counters are marble or granite, do not use vinegar based cleaners on them. Also, if you’d like a selection of oils for your cleaning needs, Plant Therapy has a 6 oil Spring Cleaning set that includes the Germ Fighter for a great price.
KITCHEN CABINETS, BACKSPLASHES, & MICROWAVE
Mix 1 cup of water with 1 cup of distilled white vinegar and add in 15 drops of Orange essential oil to remove grime and grease in your kitchen.
If your cabinets, backsplashes, etc. are extra thick with grime, feel free to change the proportion to 1/2 cup water and 1 cup of vinegar, with 12 drops of Orange essential oil. This also works really well on the inside of the microwave.
Tip: If your backsplashes are marble or granite, do not use vinegar based cleaners on them.
CARPET & UPHOLSTERY STAINS
The best carpet stain remover I’ve used is equal parts water, distilled white vinegar, and dish soap. This fellow blogger uses the same formula on her furniture; be sure to check out this awesome video showing the results.
Tip: This stain remover works on upholstery, as well, although I do always spot test before using it anywhere.
WINDOWS & MIRRORS
Washing windows is super easy! Just take your 50/50 spray bottle of water and distilled vinegar and spray your window down. Then, just wipe it away.
I do not suggest using any oils on your windows for cleaning, as they will live marks. However, if you need to remove something sticky, orange oil is your friend.
Tip: Use either a piece of old newspaper or a coffee filter for a perfect, streak free finish.
LAMINATE OR CERAMIC TILE FLOORS
Spritz your floors with your 50/50 vinegar and water mix and then just mop away! For a nice fresh scent, go ahead and add just a few drops of your favorite essential oil.
Which oil, you ask? It’s really up to you. At Christmas time (or whenever we’re sick), I use thieves. In the spring, I like lavender. In the summer, I always lean toward grapefruit.
Tip: If you have hardwood or natural stone flooring, it’s best to avoid vinegar and essential oil cleaners. Use products specifically designed for those surfaces, or talk to an expert.
Streamline Your Cleaning
One of the best parts of using these chemical free cleaners is how easy they are to make. Another awesome benefit is how simple it makes your cleaning process. With only a few solutions meeting a variety of needs in each room, there’s nothing hard about a quick household cleaning. Plus, your home will smell great.
Personally, I have 2 things on hand all of the time: a mason jar with a grated cheese lid on it filled with baking soda and a spray bottle filled with a 50/50 mix of distilled white vinegar and water. I do have extra spray bottles that I use for my essential oil mixes, but most days I just use my baking soda shaker and my 50/50 vinegar spray bottle.
My home is sparkling clean thanks to these chemical free cleaners (well, when I find the time to clean…ahem). And my budget is thrilled because I’m being super savvy and not buying specialty cleaners that are no longer necessary.