With more and more information coming to light about how harmful some cleaning products can be, both to our health and the environment, choosing natural and green cleaning products has been mainstream for a while now.
But have you ever thought of making your own? It’s simpler than you might think! Check out our favourite natural ingredients for green cleaning and take a look at some of our easy DIY recipes too.
Our favourite ingredients
- Baking soda: great for cleaning because it is a mild alkali than causes dirt and grease to dissolve easily for effective removal. It’s also mildly abrasive, working as a gentle scouring powder.
- Citric acid: kills bacteria, mould and mildew and is great for general disinfecting and cleaning. It's also effective at removing soap scum, hard water stains, calcium deposits, lime, and rust. It’s also an effective preservative.
- Lemon juice: the acid in lemon juice is antibacterial and antiseptic, and it works as a natural bleach. The oils in the rinds can also be used to help clean and shine. Plus, it also smells gorgeous!
- Castile soap: this natural, non-toxic, biodegradable soap is amazingly versatile, and with lathering, moisturising and cleansing properties can even be used on your body and even on pets!
- Essential oils: we mostly add these for the scents (invigorating orange for a mood-booster or soothing lavender to relax, hello!) but they’re also well-known for their antimicrobial qualities.
- Soap nuts: these little berries are 100% biodegradable, natural and non-toxic, which makes them great for sensitive skin.
- White vinegar: because vinegar is so acidic, it can counteract some icky buildups, dissolving soap scum, brines left by hard water and glue left behind by stickers.
How to make your own natural cleaning products
Simply mix equal parts of white vinegar with water. Don’t worry, the vinegar smell should disappear pretty quickly, but you can always add a couple of drops of essential oils or citrus peel to offset the scent if you prefer.
Washing up liquid
Grate around 25-30g castile soap and dissolve in 600ml boiled water. Add 2 teaspoons of baking soda while the mixture is still warm (but not so hot that you can’t stick your finger in!) and leave to cool overnight.
Decant into a reused old washing up liquid bottle or pump soap jar and you’re good to go!
The easy alternative: Shop our very own Handmade Dish Washing Soap Bars, available at £5.99 for 130g.
For wood floors, combine ¼ cup of white vinegar, 1 gallon of warm water and a few drops of essential oils (we love sandalwood for wooden floors!) and clean with a mop as usual. While the vinegar disinfects, the oil adds a pleasant scent.
For ceramic tile floors, use the same mix as above, but this time add ¼ cup of baking soda and 1 tablespoon of grated castile soap too.
The easy alternative: Shop our Plastic-Free Floor Cleaner, available at £9.99 for a pack of 5.
Soap nuts are an amazing, natural way to clean your clothes. These cool little berries contain saponin, a natural detergent. The soap nut shell absorbs water and releases the saponins which circulate as a natural surfactant in the wash water, freeing dirt, grime, and oils from clothing.
You can reuse soap nuts for around 4-5 washes, or until they turn grey. When you’ve used up all the cleaning goodness, you can simply compost them in your home compost or with your garden waste.
You can shop Soap Nuts at EcoVibe for £6.99 for 100 washes, working out at around 3p per wash.
Glass and mirror
Just mix together 4 parts water with 1 part white vinegar, then polish and clean as usual.
The easy alternative: Shop our Plastic-Free Glass & Mirror Cleaner, available at £9.99 for a pack of 5.
Combine 1 and 1/3 cups of baking soda with a 1/2 cup of citric acid, add a teaspoon of water and add a few drops of essential oils - we like tea tree or lemon best for the bathrooms!
In a silicone mould (ice cube trays are perfect!), spoon the mixture into each space, packing it down firmly and allow to dry for several hours.
Remove the toilet bombs from the moulds, then when you’re ready simply drop them down the toilet and watch them fizz.
The easy alternative: Shop Toilet Cleaning Bombs made by UK company Herbal Home at EcoVibe for £3.99 for a pack of 10.
Mix around 1/4 cup baking soda, 1 teaspoon of salt and a little water (just enough to create a paste) and leave to sit overnight. Add a little white vinegar, letting is foam gently, then rub the paste onto the area you need to treat and leave it for half an hour. Once the time’s up, you should be able to wipe the dirt away easily.
The easy alternative: Shop our Plastic-Free Oven Cleaner, available at £9.99 for a pack of 5.