When you’re in a pinch, it can be easy to grab the cleaning product that’s the cheapest on the shelf. But remember, at the end of the day, a lot of the commercial products you might find out there are wasteful — and may not be the most sound solution for your home environment.
Certain popular products, like cleaners that contain artificial fragrances or those that are highly corrosive, can actually cause some damage. Some cleaners might irritate your allergies or harm your skin; some other “over the counter” products, like many types of drain cleaners or oven degreasers, can cause lasting damage to the very surfaces you’re trying to keep clean. Others still may just miss the mark, and fail to give you the cleaning results you really want to see.
At the same time, think about all of the waste that these products can create. When you stock up on bottle after bottle of ineffective cleaning solution, you’re contributing to a cycle of waste that can cause harm to the planet — eventually resulting in plastics and waste impacting our oceans and waterways.
In some cases, it may be worth experimenting with DIY cleaning products for the clean you need! When you make your own products, you can control the solutions you use, design products that really work for your household, and help cut down on the potential for waste.
Want to get started stocking your cleaning caddy with your own homemade safe, effective, environmentally friendly solutions, but not sure where to start? Here are a few guidelines for DIY cleaning products to keep in mind as you get you begin your journey toward a clean, green home:
Products or Combinations to Avoid
When you’re faced with a labor-intensive cleaning job — the one you just know is going to take forever — you might be tempted to try to create an intense cleaning solution. Extra strength cleaners mean less work, right?
Look, we get it! But it’s also important to remember that when you’re experimenting with homemade cleaners, safety is the most important thing. Combining some household products or chemicals may actually cause some dangerous side effects — or even combust!
We want you to flex your DIY muscles, but we also want you to stay safe! With that in mind, here are a few cleaning combinations to avoid at all costs:
- Bleach + Vinegar – The combo creates chlorine gas, which can cause breathing problems and lead to skin burns.
- Bleach + Ammonia – This combo is known as dangerously toxic. This combination can release gases that can cause shortness of breath and chest pain.
- Hydrogen Peroxide + Vinegar – These two are also household staples, but can cause skin and eye irritation and harm to the respiratory system if mixed together.
- Baking Soda + Vinegar – Sure, these two work well as a household staple, but remember to keep them separate. Don’t try to mix baking soda and vinegar ahead of time – at worst, you’ll get an explosion of foam, and at best, these acidic and basic substances will neutralize each other’s effectiveness.
- Bleach + Rubbing Alcohol. While these two cleansers can be effective separately, they should never be combined. The vapors realeased when these chemicals combine can be harmful – even deadly, in high amounts.
These are just a few examples of what dangerous combos can lurk beneath the kitchen sink, but you can find many more to take note of here.
Natural Ingredients to Keep on Hand
Who wants to rush to the store to buy a new cleaning product every few days? With a little strategic shopping, you can stock up your pantry with natural ingredients, so you’ll always have cleaning products on hand.
Here are a few natural ingredients to keep on hand that can serve you incredibly well when used properly. Not only do these cleaning agents work well on their own, but they can be used in a variety of ways, which won’t cause harmful side effects — or blow up in your face!
- Distilled White Vinegar – A cleaning powerhouse, vinegar can help with removing stains and disinfecting many different surfaces. Avoid using vinegar on porous surfaces, like stone.
- Baking soda – Relatively inexpensive, baking soda can be used to scrub and whiten areas (like sinks and bathtubs) and is also helpful as a deodorant for pesky smells.
- Lemons – Lemons are not only delicious in your bottled water, they can help remove funky stains and odors. Lemon juice is a powerful disinfectant that smells great, and can be added to a variety of cleaning solutions.
- Borax – Borax, or sodium carbonate, is helpful in cleaning many different spots around the house. It’s versatile and fairly all-purpose, useful for cleaning in the kitchen and bathroom.
- Hydrogen Peroxide – Many people keep hydrogen peroxide on hand as part of a first aid kit. It’s a great way to help keep scrapes and cuts from becoming infected. You can also use this powerful disinfectant around your home, and put it to work removing stains.
- Liquid castile soap – You may already use liquid castile soaps (like Dr. Bronner’s) to clean yourself off in the shower, but did you know that these solutions can also be used as all-purpose home cleaners? Look for an all-natural, olive-oil based soap to help clean floors, dishes, walls, and more.
- Essential oils – Fragrant and powerful, essential oils can be used as potent, antifungal and antibacterial helpers in homemade cleaning solutions.
- Reusable spray bottles – You’ll definitely need these stocked to make your cleaning solutions! The more reusable bottles you use, the fewer bottles you’ll dispose of over time – and the better off the environment will be!
Ingredient Use and Combinations
Now that you’ve stocked your cabinets with essential ingredients, here are a few tried-and-true ways you can put them to work cleaning your home. What tricks would you add to the list?
- For mold and mildew: Combine hydrogen peroxide + baking soda to make a paste and apply it to mildew-covered areas for a few minutes, then wipe away with a clean cleaning implement. To work in your cleaning solution, scrub the paste on with a toothbrush and then wipe the surface off with a clean sponge.
- For tough smells: A box of baking soda in the refrigerator, cupboard, or bathroom can help absorb odors, without you having to lift a finger. Lemons cut up and used in the sink drain or garbage disposal can help eliminate sewer smells.
- For windows and glass surfaces: There’s no need to spend big bucks for a special glass cleaner — water + white vinegar can help cut through dirt and grease on glass surfaces with ease. For even better results, consider adding rubbing alcohol to the mix. For a more fragrant effect, you can also add in a few drops of your favorite essential oil.
- For an all-around clean: One cup of vinegar + a few drops of liquid castile soap + one gallon of water can work in a pinch as a cleaning agent that you can use on floors and other surfaces. In addition, 3-10 drops of essential oils + 16 oz. of water or vinegar or lemon juice + water can be used as effective cleaners with amazing scents.
Let Sweeping Dimensions Clean with the Right Products for Your Household
If you’re like our team here at Sweeping Dimensions Cleaning Service, you’re always looking for creative and sustainable ways to keep your house clean and reinvigorated. From using essential oil combinations to exploring new spa-like finishes for your place, there are countless fun and original ways to keep your home feeling clean — and leave you feeling energized.
And for those times when you need an extra set of hands to make your space feel truly incredible? That’s where we can step in and help! Whether you’re looking for one-time service for a special event, a deep cleaning, or routine housekeeping, Sweeping Dimensions is always here to help!
Here at SDCS, we always make a sweeping effort to make life less stressful! We offer flexible time windows, and our teams will always come equipped with all of the supplies needed to clean your home, with an emphasis on green, environmentally friendly cleaning solutions.
Looking to get back time for the most important things in your life? Get in touch today for your free estimate! Want to share your favorite cleaning products or DIY success stories? We’d love to hear from you! Join our cleaning community on social media to keep the conversation going.