With these seven key ingredients, you can practice and enjoy natural cleaning in every part of your home! Vinegar, Baking Soda, Borax, Washing Powder or Castile Soap, Lemongrass or Tea Tree Oil, Lemon Juice, and Mineral Oil.
Natural Cleaning Ingredients: Properties & Uses
Vinegar: An outstanding multipurpose cleaner, vinegar is acidic and naturally antibacterial. It’s outstanding for removing mineral deposits, grease, mold, and even rust. It cleans glass, mirrors, and veggies, softens and restores color to fabrics, and cuts pet and other strong odors with ease. Vinegar is also a great natural insect repellent.
Baking Soda: An essential multipurpose cleaner, baking soda shares many of the cleaning properties of vinegar. It has excellent scouring properties, making it ideal for scrubbing surfaces, such as stove-tops. It naturally removes odors of all kinds, as well as many stains.
Borax: A strong anti-fungal, antiseptic, antiviral mineral compound, borax is a multipurpose cleaner that’s gotten a bad rap. However, if you’re committed to using a natural alternative to laundry detergent and dish-washing liquid that really gets stuff clean, it’s definitely a key ingredient! Borax also makes a an excellent bathroom cleaner.
Washing Soda or Castile Soap: These natural bubbly alternatives are sure to do the trick! Castile soap is made out of a vegetable base such as olive oil, and it doesn’t contain any animal fats. When using Castile soap in natural cleaning recipes, it’s best to dilute it with equal parts water. Washing soda is similar to baking soda with a sudsy twist. It’s found naturally in sodium rich plants and some seaweed, but is commonly made from salt and limestone.
Lemongrass or Tea Tree Oil: Not only do a few drops of these essential oils add outstanding antibacterial properties to natural cleaning alternatives, but they also add great smells to them. About two tablespoons of these essential oils can also be mixed with ½ cup of witch hazel and ½ cup aloe vera juice for a quick, non-toxic hand-sanitizer.
Lemon Juice: Lemon juice is naturally acidic and works a lot like vinegar, and adds a great citrus smell when mixed with vinegar-based home cleaning recipes. It can be used to remove odors and lift stains and is a great de-greasing agent for dish-washing purposes.
Mineral Oil: Use this for cleaning wood by itself, or mix with vinegar and a few drops of essential oil. Use mineral oil for stopping squeaky doors and drawers, or anything around the house that needs a little natural lubrication.
3 Basic Natural Cleaning Recipes
Multi-Purpose Cleaner: Mix equal parts vinegar, lemon juice, and water with several drops of lemongrass or tea tree oil.
Dish-Washing and Dish-Washer Liquid: Add one cup washing powder or diluted castile soap, one cup borax or baking soda, ½ cup lemon juice, and ½ cup of salt to four cups of water. Mix well before each use.
Laundry Detergent: Add equal parts borax and washing powder or diluted castile soap to washer, about ½ cup each for a large load of laundry. Use about ½ cup of vinegar to replace fabric softener.
Beyond the Basics
Once you’ve obtained your seven key ingredients and gotten familiar with the basics, try experimenting with them. Many combinations of these key ingredients can be created to suit your natural cleaning preferences. You can also start adding additional antibacterial essential oils for even better smelling recipes, such as lavender, peppermint, lemon, orange, clove, etc. Have fun creating toxic-free natural cleaning supplies that are better for you and the environment!