This week we’re going to save a bundle making our own cleaning products and the best part is they’re absolutely, positively cruelty free. Not one bunny shed a tear making these ultra simple and vegan-friendly cleaning solutions. After kids were born, I got super crazy about chemicals in the house and suddenly realized I had been spraying death all around my house. Well, maybe not death, but serious respiratory irritation at the least. In the transition to all natural cleaners I was stunned at how expensive they could be compared to the traditional evil variety. Both are expensive, but JEEZ. So start saving all your old cleaning bottles and glass jars, or pick up a few new spray bottles at the old Target and we’ll make our own cleaners for a fraction of the price. And don’t forget to label your concoctions! You will forget what’s what and they all smell like vinegar. If the smell of vinegar is more than you can handle or you just want to jazz things up a bit, add some essential oils to the mix. Not only will they make your house smell just the best, but many have disinfecting properties as well. So let’s get busy, mix it up and clean it up!
Have a homemade cleaner you use? Share it with us!
- White Vinegar
- Rubbing Alcohol
- Baking Soda
- Hydrogen Peroxide
- Dish Soap
- Empty Spray Bottles
- Essential Oils
General Spray Cleaner for Kitchens and Bathrooms:
¼ c. vinegar + 1 ½ tbsp. lemon juice + 2 tsp. dish soap + ¾ c. warm water
Combine in a spray bottle and give it a good shake.
1 c. baking soda
Put baking soda in pan with about an inch or so of water. Boil for about 15 minutes and scrub once it’s cool. If the burnt is being particularly stubborn, make a baking soda paste and give it another good scrub. The baking soda paste scrub also works great on cast iron.
1 c. vinegar + 2 gallons hot water + 20+ drops essential oils
Mix it up in your sink or a big ol’ bucket. I like to use a bucket and rinse the mop in the sink between dips in the bucket. Seems to keep the whole deal a little tidier.
1 c. rubbing alcohol + 1 c. water + 1 tbsp. vinegar
Mix it up in a spray bottle and get to work!
Bathtub and Grout Cleaner:
Sprinkle wet tub with baking soda, rub it in so it makes a paste and let sit for 10-20 minutes. Scrub and rinse.
Mix 1 cup vinegar + ¼ c. baking soda. Pour into toilet bowl, let it sit for 15 minutes, scrub and rinse.
Upholstery and Carpet Spot Remover:
Dab with generous amount of hydrogen peroxide. Always test first in an inconspicuous place. I have a set of vintage wool upholstered dining room chairs. With two kids there were always dribbles — carrot juice, chocolate fingers, you name it. I take them outside, douse the spots in the hydrogen peroxided, wipe gently and let them dry in the sun. Good as new. AMAZING, but not tested on all fabric types, so be sure to do a test first. This also works well for cleaning white towels. Add some to you rinse cycle.
Clean Your Kitchen Sponges:
I have two methods for making them last a little longer and keeping them clean. First, when you run the dishwasher, toss your sponge in there too. The heat of the dishwasher kills lots of the bacteria in the sponge. Second, microwave a damp sponge for about 30 seconds. KEEP AN EYE ON IT. I have caught sponges on fire in microwaves. Microwaves vary greatly in strength, so be mindful your first go around.
Add ½ c. lemon juice to your rinse cycle. You can pop the lemons in the microwave for about 30 seconds and they’ll be a ton easier to squeeze.
2 liters white vinegar + 20 drops essential oils
Shake it up in a bottle of your choosing and add ½ c. to your rinse cycle. Did you know many traditional fabric softeners actually make your clothes flammable?! Yes, Google it. Make your own.
¼ cup olive oil + ¼ cup water + juice of 3 lemons.
Shake it up in a jar and dab onto a cloth to wipe down wood furniture. I’ve found if your cloth is slightly damp it works especially well.
Just because you make it at home, does not mean it's cruelty free. Many brands of soap, baking soda, alcohol, peroxide, and even essential oils are tested on animals. I'm not sure about vinegar, but I haven't came around any articles that states any vinegar brands does. Key: watch what products you buy. Just because YOU didn't test on animals, doesn't mean they are cruelty free.
Hey Sandra, there are a few cruelty-free baking sodas on the market: Bob's Red Mill and Ener-G are both good options.
Sorry to inform you that baking soda is not cruelty free. Intentional cuts are made into the eyes of animals (usually beagles) and baking soda is poured into them. Also tubing placed down their throats into their stomachs and baking soda poured down. Many other experiments as well 🙁
Arm & Hammer tests on animals. The DIY recipes are nice, but please let people know to check the brands they will use for the ingredients. The cruelty free guarantee you have mentioned is not true if they buy the common, easily accessible baking soda, peroxide, etc.
I use a vinegar rinse on my hair about once a week to remove build up and it works great! One capful of apple cider vinegar, diluted with around a cup and a half of water. It detangles and softens as well as removing buildup:)
@John - Yeah, I totally agree. The smell of vinegar does not linger. It's really kinda odd for such a strong scent.
@Cara - I am totally trying the hair rinse! We have the worst hard water. In fact, that could be the source of all my hair woes.
I can personally vouch for diluted vinegar. I lived in a house where that was basically the entire cleaning arsenal. The smell of vinegar is not great, but after it is used on a surface it seems to disappear.
I have been using diluted white vinegar for surface cleaner, mopping, and fabric softener for years...but I never thought to add essential oils! What a great idea! It does smell vinegary while you are cleaning, but once it dries you can't smell it, and your clothes don't smell like vinegar either.
My aunt used to rise her hair with white vinegar periodically to remove hard water build up...anyone ever try this?