In our obsessive consumer culture, one of the most radical choices you can make is choosing to create, rather than consume. Each time you make your own product, you’re taking an active, participatory role in your life. You are educating yourself about the ingredients you use in your home and on your body. And each and every time you create something from natural ingredients, you leave a plastic bottle on the shelf, and prevent the further flow of toxic chemicals into our homes and oceans.
This may sound like a time consuming goal, but revolution begins at home, and starting small means that you’re starting! So with a little vinegar, some baking soda, lemon and a few other household ingredients, you’re on your way to a clean & sparkling interior – without the harmful chemicals & packed cleaning closet!
Learn How To Make Your Own...
You can combine many ingredients to create a toxin free multi-purpose cleaner to sanitise all around your home. Our favourite consists of equal parts white vinegar and water, lemon rind and rosemary springs, poured into a spray bottle, shaken, and then left to infuse for a week before using, (remove the rind and rosemary.) You can also replace the rosemary for essential oils of your choice.
Once done, you can use the natural solution to remove hard water stains, clean bins, wipe away wall smudges, and much more. Besides a fresh scent, the lemon rind may help boost cleaning power. Caution: Do not use acidic cleaners on granite, marble or stone, as they can cause damage.
If you simply place a small cup of vinegar and the juice of a lemon in the microwave and switch it on for 2 minutes. Leave the door closed for a further minute or so to steam, then open and simply wipe down the inside with a damp cloth. No need to awkwardly scrub!
Washing Up Liquid
Castile soap is an amazingly versatile vegetable-based soap that’s made free of animal fats and synthetic ingredients. This natural, nontoxic, biodegradable soap is available in bar or liquid form. It was made in the Mediterranean area before its use spread to Europe. Traditionally, castile soap was made of olive oil. It gets its name from the Castile region of Spain.
These days, the soap is also made with coconut, castor, or hemp oils. Sometimes it’s made with avocado, walnut, and almond oils as well. These oils give the soap its lathering, moisturizing, and cleansing properties.
Castile soap is an exciting product since it’s not only environmentally friendly but also incredibly useful and effective for certain purposes. You can use it on your body, to clean your house, and even on pets, as it's safe and gentle to use as long as it’s diluted properly - read bottle directions.
Olive oil works perfectly as a furniture polish. Mix together 1/4 cup of white vinegar, 3/4 cup of olive oil and the juice of half a lemon.
Like its counterpart, this also contains only two ingredients: olive oil and lemon juice. For this, though, combine two parts olive oil and one part lemon juice in a bowl or spray bottle. As with the other recipe, rub a small amount into your furniture with a clean cloth, then wipe dry with another cloth. It's best to make this fresh for each use because it can go rancid.
Cheap olive oil works just as well as more expensive grades. This also is a good use for olive oil that is getting old or was shoved to the back of the cupboard. It may not taste great in your food, but it can polish your furniture.
General Floor Cleaner
Vinegar is back again as an amazing way to clean your floors! Just add a cup to your bucket of hot water with a squeeze of castile soap and mop away.
Essential Oil Air Freshener
Using essential oils in a spray does more than just freshen a space, it can imbue the air with aromatherapy benefits for your central nervous system so you can relax, heal, and feel more energized whenever you like.
Plus, you can spritz them wherever you fancy — The bathroom, kitchen, laundry room, closet, your pillow, anywhere—and you never have to worry about those chemical air freshener smells!
Fill a spray bottle with water a splash of Vodka and generous drops of essential oils, such as eucalyptus or lavender for example. Give it a sniff and a spray, and add a few more drops of oil if it needs it.
Likewise you can do the same for carpet freshener. Fill a jar with bicarbonate of soda and generous drops of essential oil of your choice. Shake over your carpet to freshen, leaving for up to 30 mins then vacuum.
Combine bicarbonate of soda, salt and some water. Keep adding water bit by bit until you create a paste. Cover your oven in the mixture and let it sit overnight. Scrub and wipe clean the next day with a damp cloth, who needs those super smelly toxic cleaners ay?
Chopping Board Sanitiser
To disinfect your chopping boards, chop a lemon in half and rub over the surface of your chopping board, then wipe clean. If you have any tough stains, then you can squeeze some of the lemon juice onto the chopping board and let it sit for a few minutes before wiping it off.
For a blocked drain, pour a good amount of bicarbonate of soda followed by some white vinegar to your drain. These two ingredients will react together to break down any dirt, grime and grease clogging up the drain. After 10-15 minutes, pour boiling hot water down the drain to clean everything out (make sure to only do this on metal pipes, as the boiling water could melt plastic pipes.)
Clothing Stain Remover
Here's the tricky thing about grease stains: While your first instinct might be to flush it out with water, you have to remember that oil repels water, which means that any H20 contact might just set the stain permanently. Try to dab it gently with an absorbent paper towel, soaking up any excess grease. Below are some tips and tricks for specific stains...
For oily and greasy stains apply a bit of uncoloured soap (maybe the Castile soap we mentioned above), and let it sit for about 5 minutes. Rinse with lukewarm water.
You can also consider pouring baby powder and pressing it firmly onto a greasy stain, leaving it overnight. Rubbing chalk onto a stain to absorb any oil, brushing off before washing is a winner, along with crushing and blotting artificial sweeteners on the affected area — a trick especially handy when eating on the go!
Sprinkle cornstarch onto a suede or leather stain, let it sit for 10 minutes, and shake it out before washing. For old stains, moisten a paper towel with a bit of undiluted white vinegar, and dab at the stain before immediately washing.
Shaving cream and shampoo are ideal for a foundation spill or smudge, apply to the spot and wash. For any lipstick smudges on your clothes (or your dude's collar), saturate the area with hairspray, wait 10 minutes, and then dab with a damp cloth.
Lemon juice is great for yellow sweat stains, sprinkle some salt, and squeeze the juice until it soaks the stain. Rub until the stain disappears and wash. This can also be used preventatively before washing sweat-prone shirts (like your gym wear), even if you can't see a stain just yet.
For red wine stains, sprinkle a bit of salt on the stain and let it sit for about five minutes. Rinse with cold water while rubbing the stain. Repeat as needed, then wash. However, did you know one of the best ways to remove red wine stains is with…white wine. (They neutralize each other.) Just pour the white wine over the red wine stain before washing.
To remove nasty coffee stains, mix an egg yolk with a few drops of alcohol and warm water. Apply the mixture to the stain with a sponge. Let sit for a couple of minutes and rinse.
Stale bread is great for general dirt stains on suede. Rub the bread gently on any excess filth. For ground-in dirt stains, put the garment in a bath of warm water. Apply some shampoo to a sponge, and scrub vigorously. You can also add a cup of the notorious vinegar to your regular laundry cycle. It acts similarly to bleach (though not as harsh), especially on white clothes.
For any unfortunate blood stains empty a can of coke into your laundry cycle (along with detergent or your DIY version) and wash. Hairspray is also great if you saturate the area with the spray, leave for a couple of minutes and wipe off with a damp cloth. Finally lemon juice works especially well on dried stains. After soaking the garment in cold water, wring it out and put it in a plastic bag with 2 cups of lemon juice and ½ cup of salt. Wait a few minutes for the solution to soak the garment, and then hang to dry, before washing on a regular cycle.
For a sparkling loo, glug in some white vinegar, a good shake of bicarbonate of soda with generous amounts of essential oil into the basin. Leave to sit for a few minutes, scrub with the toilet brush, fizzing up the mixture and getting rid of all the nasties. Use the above all purpose cleaner for surfaces, leaving to sit for a minute or two before wiping away.
If you fancy getting fancy, give these DIY Toilet Fizzy's a go!
Soap nuts are a traditional and simple way to clean your clothes. When the soapnuts are mixed around in your washing machine, they will release saponin, dissolving dirt and cleaning your laundry in the process. You can simply add them into your washing machine in a pouch, grind them or make them into a homemade liquid detergent by boiling them in water. You can reuse the soapnut pouch for around 4 to 5 washes, until they turn grey. And the coolest thing is that when you're done with them, they can be composted in your garden!
Sparkling Windows And Mirrors
If your mirrors aren’t too dirty, they can be sorted in seconds with a little warm water, applied and rubbed dry (in even, circular motions to avoid smears) with a microfibre cloth. If, however, there’s a little more grime involved, dilute some washing-up liquid in a basin of warm water and use a sponge to wipe over the mirrored surface.
For a streak free finish, buff the mirrors with a sheet of newspaper. This is a fail safe tip that all hairdressers swear by, and if there is anyone who knows mirrors it’s hairdressers.
Fill a spray bottle with white vinegar (optional: add tea tree oil for added mould and mildew killing properties) and spritz the affected area. Let it sit for around 30 minutes and rinse off the area with warm water. Lemon or baking soda are also natural mould removing options. Give the affected area a scrub with a cloth or scourer if it needs some assistance!
Tips and Warnings
Label your DIY bottles clearly with the content and date that you made it. You don't want mystery bottles, jars, or plastic containers in your pantry or under the sink.
Shake before each use to recombine ingredients. Just like salad dressing, oils and lemon juice will separate.
Keep out of reach from children and pets!
Shop these BPA free glass bottles