Making my own cleaning products is something that’s always been on my to-do list…right next to “meditate daily,” “learn Italian” and “not hang up on telemarketers.”
In my vision of my most awesome self, these are the kinds of things I do.
In my rush to ring in spring I was thinking maybe I could make a wager with Mother Nature: “I green up my cleaning act – you green up my lawn.”
I honestly thought it’d be easy. I’d google, find a recipe that looked quick, cheap, easy and effective, whip it up and BOOM – my lawn would be green.
Non ha funzionato esattamente in quel modo.
(That’s Italian for “It didn’t exactly work that way.”)
What I really wanted to make are homemade, reusable disinfectant wipes, and what I discovered after two weeks of internet research is that there are an insanely frustrating number of ideas and opinions about how to do this. Mix this, not that. Add this, not that. One recipe contradicts the next one. This one cleans, that one cancels out cleaning power, and this one will blow up your house.
In the end, I decided to piece together what I liked from a variety of recipes. Success! They work great, smell great, and my cleaner, greener (except for my yard which is covered in snow) house is still standing.
Homemade Disinfectant Wipes
1/2 c. water
1/2 c. vinegar
6 drops of lemon essential oil
6 drops of tea tree essential oil
Old t-shirts, cut up into wipe-sized rags
Container (I used a quart sized canning jar)
Stuff t-shirt rags in jar. Mix water, vinegar and essential oils together. Pour over rags in the jar. Screw on lid and shake to moisten. Pull those bad boys out and use them up as needed. When you’re done, just wash them up and save them to re-use. No more canisters of disposable wipes needed!
Vinegar is an all-natural cleaning and disinfecting powerhouse. It wipes out mold and soap scum, and inhibits the growth of mold, mildew, E. coli and salmonella – all for pennies! Essential oils are a little pricier, but those teeny tiny bottles will last you forever. And they’re not just there to cut the scent of the vinegar, either – they actually have some cleaning and disinfecting properties as well! Lemon and tea tree oils are great for killing germs, although I did read a few posts about tea tree oil being toxic to cats (which we don’t have) so please do your own research to decide which essential oils are a fit for your family’s cleaning needs. (Thyme essential oil would have been my second choice, fyi. Lavender and peppermint also sounded like excellent options.)
Here are 3 of the 1,739 web pages I found the most useful when figuring out how to make my disinfectant wipes in case you want to start a 2 week research project of your own:
Live Renewed: How to Make Homemade Disinfectant
Live Renewed: Homemade Disinfecting Wipes
One Good Thing by Jillee: Make Your Own Reusable Peppermint Kitchen Wipes
My initial mission was to figure out how to make my own disinfectant wipes, but after doing the math and discovering how inexpensive they were, I decided to scout out other fantastic money-saving, Earth-saving, DIY cleaning product recipes to try!
Here are a few more super simple, money-saving cleaning products I made to tackle this year’s spring cleaning:
All Purpose Citrus Cleaning Spray
Add citrus peels to jar. Cover peels with vinegar, filling it to the top. Let it sit for 2 weeks to infuse. After 2 weeks, strain the peels out leaving just the vinegar. Dilute vinegar with equal parts water, add to spray bottle, and get your clean on!
The citrus vinegar concentrate can be stored in a tightly covered jar for up to a year, so put those orange, lemon, and lime peels to good use and keep on adding them.
I’ve seen this recipe splashed all over the internet, but here’s the first place I saw it: DIY Citrus Vinegar Cleaner.
Homemade Soft Scrub Bathroom Cleaner
2/3 cup baking soda
2 Tablespoons liquid castile soap
This homemade soft scrub has such a fantastic, fluffy texture – I love it! Plant-based castile soap gently loosens grime and dirt from surfaces, and baking soda cleans, deodorizes, and scours – perfect for sinks, showers, tubs and ceramic tile!
Carpet Stain Remover
1/4 c. Borax
1/4 c. Vinegar
1/4 c. Salt
Mix up and rub paste into carpet stain. Let it soak in for a few hours and then vacuum it up. Borax is a powder form super-cleaner (found in the laundry detergent aisle) that cleans, deodorizes, and disinfects.
Recipe: Non-toxic Home Cleaning
Can you believe how inexpensive it is to make your own cleaning supplies?! My up front investment was less than $40 ($10 of that was the 2 spray bottles I purchased) and I have a ton of product leftover. I may never have to buy cleaning supplies again!
As you can see, I’ve greened my clean. Time for you to pay up, Mother Nature!
Do you make your own cleaning products? I’ve become incredibly curious about this topic! What are your favorite DIY cleaning recipes and how do you use them?