When it came to swapping out my hair and skin care products for homemade alternatives, I felt ready and embraced the process. However, I have felt reluctant to start making my own homemade cleaning products.

I ended up buying more of the usual and telling myself I’ll start with homemade cleaning products when this one runs out in a negative cycle.

In hindsight, I had no reason to feel anxious – if anything, this has been the most straightforward transition so far. 

Making your cleaning products at home not only reduces your plastic use but saves money, is less toxic for our oceans and is much more child and pet friendly (though you should still keep the ingredients out of reach from little ones and furry friends). 

Some of these recipes involve Castile Oil, which has been my only additional purchase since going homemade.

Sadly, I have only managed to find Castile Oil within my budget that comes in a plastic bottle. But as long as you can find a use for the bottle afterwards (e.g., storing your lovely new washing up liquid in), it’s still worth it. 

Full disclosure: You can make Castile Oil from scratch with natural products, and there are lots of great recipes for it on the internet.

I have chosen not to as I don’t have the equipment and I’m too haunted by memories of school Chemistry classes.

Changing your habits and trying to live more sustainably has to work for you and be led by the boundaries with which you feel comfortable.

Small changes are infinitely better than no changes, and there is no shame in not going “all in”. 

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Anti-bacterial Cleaner

As with most of these recipes, you can choose to add your own choice of essential oils.

I love Tea Tree for this one for the smell and those additional anti-bacterial properties, but it can also be fun to change it up or try combinations you know you like.

You can use this in your bathroom, kitchen or wherever you want around the house. I also make a slightly stronger version and use it with hot water as a floor cleaner. 

  • 100 ml Water 
  • 5 drops Essential Oil
  • 10 ml Castile Oil

Simply combine ingredients in a spray bottle (glass ideally) and shake gently before use!

This recipe makes quite a small amount, but depending on your bottle size, you can use the same ratio to make more.

Please note that we do not recommend using this to disinfect surfaces from Covid-19. 

Washing Up Liquid

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This recipe is a bit more effort than some of the others, but I love the product that comes at the end of it!

  • 50ml Water
  • 2 Lemons (feel free to substitute some out with limes depending on what you have at hand- they work too!) 
  • 20ml White vinegar 

Chop the fruit (peel and all) and put in a saucepan with 400ml water, heat until the lemons are soft and it’s turning into syrup, stirring regularly (around 15 minutes).

Add 100ml more water, leave to cool and blend until smooth, then pour through a sieve to get rid of any bits.

Add the vinegar and bring to the boil, simmer for 10 minutes then allow to cool completely before transferring to a container. 

This washing up liquid doesn’t make as many bubbles as shop-bought, but I find it does the job just as well!

Glass and Mirror Cleaner 

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  • 20ml White Vinegar
  • 200ml Water (distilled or filtered if possible)

This recipe is so simple and effective; you’ll wonder why you have ever spent money on shop-bought!

Simply mix and put into a spray bottle.

When I got my first cleaning job at 15, a wise woman on the housekeeping team told me to clean glass with newspaper instead of cloth, and I have done ever since.

Between these two hacks, my mirrors are shinier than ever before!

Carpet Cleaner & Deodoriser 

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Since moving to a new house earlier this year, I have been burdened with the continual stress of white carpets – a punishment I wish on no one.

For us, carpet cleaner needs to be easy to assemble and low cost so swapping to this has been fantastic. 

  • 20ml Hot Water (the hotter, the better but take care)
  • 5ml Castile Oil
  • Baking Powder (enough to cover the stain)
  • 2 drops Essential Oil (non-coloured!) 

Mix the water and oils. Sprinkle the baking powder over the stain then spray or gently pour the liquids on top. Leave for 5 minutes then scrub and wipe away any excess using a damp cloth. Repeat as necessary. 

Oven Cleaner

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I don’t know about you, but I hate cleaning my oven.

Not only do I dread the job itself, but the chemical smells left afterwards make me not want to use it for days.

This recipe makes the job so much easier and leaves your oven scent-free!  

  • 2tsp Baking Powder 
  • 20ml Water  
  • White Vinegar

Using the water and baking powder, make a paste and while using rubber gloves, apply the paste around the inside of the oven (not on heating elements!) using a sponge.

Then leave to do its work (anywhere from an hour to overnight depending on how dirty it is!).

Next, dilute the vinegar in water (the same ratio as the glass cleaner is fine) and spray around the oven.

You may hear a little sizzling noise as the vinegar and baking powder react. Lastly, with rubber gloves back on, wipe the oven down with a damp cloth until all the baking powder is gone. 

Pro tip: You can also add some Tea Tree Oil to the vinegar spray for extra degreasing powers!

Homemade Cleaning Products Roundup

I hope you give these recipes a try and enjoy using them.

If you have any of your own homemade cleaning products recipes, or try out some of these and want to let me know your experience, I would love to hear from you via Twitter @EsmeLeitch 

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