It can be pretty unbelievable how much we spend in a year on cleaners, environmentally friendly or not. But the real shocker is when you compare what you could buy and use yourself versus what you’re throwing away. We live in an age where people are constantly looking for ways to reduce their environmental footprint and make a better world for our children. And that includes using less of everything, including commercial cleaners with chemicals that often pollute our water systems with runoff.
But did you know that it’s easy to make your own cleaning supplies? It doesn’t take much more time than driving to the store and picking up some new bottles of cleaner. Making your own wipes, for instance, will save you a good amount of money. You can also use the same supplies to make disinfecting wipes, baby wipes and any other cleaning supplies you find yourself needing.
Most homemade cleaners and other cleaning supplies are available at the pound or discount shops. They’ll be harder to find in stores like supermarkets due to the regulations placed on them. So, if you want to go a little more commercial, cash and carry or hardware shops like Homebase and B&Q are some of the best places to shop for cleaners in bulk. You might also find that buying in bulk can be cheaper than buying smaller amounts separately.
Where To Start
When you’re thinking about making your own cleaning supplies, the biggest thing to remember is that you’re doing all-natural, there are no chemicals to change. If you want to keep it even simpler, there are a few great websites out there with recipes and instructions for basic cleaners. But if you want a more hands-on approach and feel like experimenting with your own creations, here are some of the best products to try making on your own:
This is probably one of the most common household cleaning supplies people make on their own. It’s actually pretty easy to make and the ingredients are more or less the same regardless of what website or blog you look at. You’ll want to use a combination of water, vinegar, lemons and baking soda. You can also add some essential oils if you’re feeling a little fancy.
One of the best ways to save on this cleaner is by collecting old glass jars that other people are throwing away. Just fill-up the jar with your ingredients and wipe down with a paper towel or washcloth when you need it.
If you’re looking to make disinfecting wipes, they’re also about the easiest possible thing to make. Again, you’ll need a jar or large container with some sort of lid on it. Fill the jar with water and add 2-3 drops of tea tree oil and 1/2 teaspoon of castile soap. Shake it up every once in a while, so that everything mixes together well. Then cut up some old rags into squares and wipe down whatever you need to disinfect with them.
Everyone knows that homemade toothpaste is a great thing to make yourself. And you’ll probably be surprised at how easy it is. You’ll need some super fine toothpaste (the kind you use for kids), water and baking soda. Put a few spoonful’s of the toothpaste in your container and add enough water to cover the paste. Then add some more water and gently stir until everything is mixed together. Put a lid on the container and give it about an hour to harden up before using it.
This is one of the easiest DIY supplies to make because most people just buy it in the store. Nevertheless, if you’re up for a challenge, it’s pretty easy to make a hand sanitiser at home. You can use any kind of container for this project, but they tend to go faster if they have a dispensing top. Start by adding 3/4 cup of rubbing alcohol and 1 teaspoon of any type of glycerin or vegetable oil. Shake well and put about five pumps into your palm whenever you need it.
Spray and Shine
If you’re looking to make a quick and easy cleaner for your shower, there are a few great options out there. The first is homemade shower gel. Just add 1 cup of water, 1/4 cup of lemon juice (freshly squeezed) and 2-3 drops of lavender essential oil. Stir it up thoroughly before using it in the shower or just use the same ingredient list for homemade spray.
Another great DIY spray is called disinfecting spray, which uses vinegar as an antimicrobial agent to fight bacteria on surfaces. Add one part vinegar and four parts water into your spray bottle. Use a cotton ball or sponge to apply to all surfaces that you want to be disinfected.
Using YouTube for homemade cleaners inspiration
If you’re more of a visual learner, you can also use YouTube to get some inspiration for homemade cleaners. There are many videos that show how to make cleaners and other beauty products at home, which is a great resource for beginners.
Mistakes To Avoid
Even with simple recipes like the ones we’ve talked about in this article, there are some things to watch out for when making your own cleaners. For one thing, if you’re using vinegar, you still need something acidic in there because vinegar is an acid and bases neutralize it.
Another thing to watch out for is using too much water in your homemade cleaners. If something is too wet, it will leave lots of residues behind and shouldn’t be used because it can damage the surface you’re trying to clean. Make sure that whatever recipe you choose has just enough vinegar and baking soda mixed in there that it can react with anything else you put in it, but not so much water that it turns into a mushy mess.
Finally, always make sure you put everything you need to make your cleaner into one container before shaking up the ingredients and adding the mixture to the container partially mixed.