4 Natural Alternatives You Can Use Instead of Chemical Cleaners

by Team HomeServe
Young female drinker buying alcohol in liquor store

Looking for natural alternatives to traditional cleaning products? Some household cleaners contain potentially harmful ingredients that could damage your health or the environment, so it's no surprise that many people wish to avoid them.

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Making your own natural cleaning products is a great way to avoid introducing harsh chemicals into your home and could even save you money. Furthermore, making your own products in reusable containers is more eco-friendly than purchasing cleaning fluids in plastic bottles. Below, you can find out how to make natural cleaning products from ingredients you already have in your home.

How Can I Clean My House Without Harsh Chemicals?

You can clean your house without harsh chemicals by purchasing natural alternatives to standard cleaning products or making your own. Store-bought natural cleaning products tend to be expensive. You can make your own cleaning solutions that are just as effective for a fraction of the price.

We'll share some of the best recipes for natural cleaning products below. Before you start, it's worth purchasing some reusable spray bottles and containers with a screw lid to keep your products fresh and make them easy to apply.

close up shot of a glass bottle of white vinegar and a scrub brush -------------------------------------------

What Is the Best Homemade All-Purpose Spray?

A simple vinegar cleaning solution is ideal for most surfaces and is quick and cheap to make. Simply mix equal parts distilled water and white vinegar in a jug and then pour the DIY cleaning spray into a spray bottle. You can also add some fresh lemon juice to improve its antimicrobial properties and disguise the vinegar scent. Adding a few drops of essential oil, like lavender, will also give the spray a pleasant aroma.

However, vinegar spray isn't suitable for stone surfaces because it can damage the finish. If you have stone countertops, a good alternative is castile soap spray. Add a tablespoon of castile soap for each cup of water used and add a little essential oil for fragrance. Shake the mixture together vigorously inside the spray bottle before using it.

How Do I Make My Own Disinfectant Spray?

Believe it or not, you can make an effective disinfectant spray using vodka. Ideally, you should use the strongest vodka you can purchase in your state, as a higher alcohol volume equals better disinfecting qualities. Combine three parts vodka to one part white vinegar in a spray bottle. You can also add some essential oil like lavender or citrus for a fresh scent.

Alternatively, you can use rubbing alcohol if you don't have any vodka handy. Rubbing alcohol can damage some surfaces, so it's a good idea to test the cleaning spray on an inconspicuous area first before spraying it all over your countertop. It also has a distinctive smell, so a few drops of essential oil will probably be necessary to mask it.

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Woman Cleaning Kitchen Cabinet Handle with Disinfectant Product During Covid-19 -------------------------------------------

What Natural Ingredients Can I Use in Homemade Cleaning Products?

There are plenty of inexpensive and effective household ingredients you can use to make natural cleaning products, and you probably have several in your kitchen cupboards already. Here are some of the most useful ingredients and their purposes:

1. Vinegar

Vinegar is great at removing stubborn grease and dirt from most surfaces, and it's perfect for polishing mirrors, windows and glass shower screens. However, don't use it on stone countertops as it can etch the surface. If you don't like the smell of vinegar, try steeping it with some lemon peel for a few days to give it a fresh scent.

2. Baking Soda

Baking soda is a handy ingredient for getting rid of tough stains and cleaning metal faucets, door handles and other hardware. Mix it with water to form a paste and spread it over the surface you want to clean. After a few hours, the bubbling mixture will remove any tough grease or dirt. You can even use baking soda to clean an oven or microwave. Baking soda is also great at tackling unpleasant odors, so consider keeping an open box of baking soda in your fridge if it's smelly.

3. Castile Soap

Castile soap is an affordable and natural liquid soap made from vegetable extracts. You can use it to clean pretty much any surface, including stone countertops. Castile soap also makes a good natural alternative to laundry detergent, but you should add some baking soda to your wash as well if you have hard water.

4. Vodka

Alcohol is ideal for disinfecting surfaces because it kills bacteria and viruses. You can use vodka mixed with vinegar to create a natural cleaning product with germ-busting qualities. Use 100-proof vodka, or a stronger alternative like Everclear. Rubbing alcohol will also work, but test it on a small area first to avoid damaging your floor or countertop.