DIY Natural Cleaning Products

Synthetic cleaners do a great job of making surfaces shiny, but the labels give us a cue that they are extremely harmful. These conventional products available for household use have a myriad of warnings: “Poisonous… Avoid skin contact… Causes severe skin burns and irreversible eye damage… Corrosive… Fatal if swallowed.”

Not only are they harmful to our family and pets, synthetic detergents, dyes and fragrances don’t readily biodegrade and they harm aquatic life downstream from sewer systems.

Natural cleaning products are affordable, better for your health and the environment. Here are 5 natural and easy DIY cleaning products in the home:

All-Purpose Cleaner

What you’ll need: One part white vinegar, one part water. Citrus rind (I like lemon and you can also use orange). Herbs (I like Rosemary and you can also use Mint).

Directions: Using a clear spray bottle, combine all the above ingredients. The colour of the citrus rind and the green from the herbs look fantastic. The scents infuse beautifully in a week’s time and this doubles up as a

Great for use on: Glass surfaces, appliances, stovetops, around the toilet bowl, trash bins, door handles, and more. Note that kitchen countertops made of granite and quartz don’t tolerate acidic pH.

Floor Grout Cleaner

What you’ll need: one part baking soda, one part hydrogen peroxide.

Directions: Combine the above ingredients. Spoon over the stained grout areas. Let sit on the surface for 10 minutes, then use a firm (or medium firm) toothbrush to scrub gently over the stained areas. Mop over.

Great for use on: Kitchen or bathroom floor grout.

Toilet Bowl Cleaner

What you’ll need: ¼ cup castile soap (I like Dr. Bronner’s naturally scented soaps), 1 cup water, 3 tablespoons of baking soda, squeeze bottle (an empty dish detergent bottle works well), tea tree oil or other essential oil (Optional)

Directions: Combine all ingredients and shake to combine.

Great for use in: Toilet bowl, bathtub and sinks.

Oven cleaner

What you’ll need: Baking soda (2 parts), Water (1 part)

Directions: Remove the racks from the oven. Clean out the loose bits and debris from inside the oven with a damp paper towel. Mix together baking soda and water to create a paste. Spread the paste over the soiled areas in the oven and oven door. Let sit for half an hour. Use a cloth to wipe clean.

The baking soda may leave behind some residue in the oven. To remove this powdery residue, use a spray bottle of diluted white vinegar or AP Cleaner (mentioned above) to give the oven a spray and wipe down. Then use a damp cloth with water.

Great for use on: Interior of oven door and glass, oven racks.

Air freshener

What you’ll need: ¼ cup jasmine rice, 25 drops of essential oil of your choice (Lavender is calming and you can also use Orange or Peppermint for a more energizing scent), Small bowl, ramekin or a 4oz mason jar or other small glass container with a wider mouth.

Directions: Deposit the rice into the bowl/ ramekin or 4oz mason jar. Then add essential oil of your choice.

Great for placing on the bathroom vanity, bedroom side table or living room bookshelf.