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10 All-natural cleaning products you can make at home

I've been writing with Goodshop for over a year, working to spread the word about how people can directly impact the causes they care about most every time they shop online.

Forget store bought cleaning supplies – these homemade alternatives are the way to go

I dare you to walk over to the place you keep all your cleaning supplies and take a long hard look. When you flip over the bottles and read the labels, how many alien ingredients are listed? Can you pronounce any of them?

More: How getting organized made everyday cleaning so much easier

Before you protest that cleaning chemicals are a necessary evil, I’m here to tell you they aren’t. There are better, healthier ways to have a home than smells like sunshine and lemon drops. Mother Nature has been creating the ingredients that get rid of rust, stains, grease and foul odors since time immemorial — and it's likely you already have most of them stocked in your kitchen.

Simple combinations of select acids and bases, with a few drops of essential oils thrown in, make the perfect household cleaning products. Plus, when you make them yourself, you get to decide what they should smell like. Add some essential oils to any of the cleaning product recipes below and, voilà, your house smells like roses — real roses.

1. Sanitize the floor

What you need:

  • 1/2 cup Borax
  • 2 gallons hot water
  • Mop/sponge

Directions:

In a bucket, mix Borax with hot water. Apply with a mop or sponge (rinsing not necessary).

2. Easy homemade spray air freshener

What you need:

  • 1 ounce gin
  • 6 ounces filtered water
  • 20–40 drops of essential oil (peppermint, jasmine or citrus)
  • Spray bottle

Directions:

Combine in bottle and spray! Works well in the bathroom or on fabrics, carpets and shoes.

3. Clean grease from kitchen surfaces

What you need:

Directions:

Pour undiluted vinegar into an empty spray bottle. Apply generously to greased surface, and let sit eight minutes. Wipe clean with non-abrasive scrubber or cloth. Sprinkle baking soda on a damp sponge (non-abrasive) and wipe down surface. Follow with clean, damp cloth to remove powder residue.

4. All-purpose cleaner

What you need:

  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup hydrogen peroxide
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice

Directions:

Mix ingredients in a spray bottle, adjusting with water to suit your needs. Can be used on anything, such as wiping down countertops, de-streaking mirrors and sanitizing outdoor areas.

More: Take a spring cleaning shortcut with these hacks

5. Clean the tub

What you need:

  • 2/3 cup baking soda
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil-based liquid soap
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar

Directions:

Combine baking soda and vegetable oil-based liquid soap in a jar or spray bottle. Add water and vinegar and shake to combine.

6. Clean tough stains out of the tub

What you need:

  • 1–2 large grapefruits, cut in half
  • 1/4 cup kosher salt

Directions:

Halve your grapefruit and sprinkle liberally with salt. Wet bathtub and sprinkle rest of salt around tub. Scrub with salted grapefruit, making sure to slightly “juice” the citrus over each fixture while lifting every few seconds to pick up fresh salt from around the tub. Use the rind on stubborn areas. Rinse — and welcome your newly cleaned, grapefruity bathtub.

7. Clean the toilet

What you need:

  • 1/4 cup Borax or baking soda
  • 1 cup vinegar

Directions:

Mix Borax or baking soda with vinegar and pour into toilet. Let sit 15 minutes. Scrub, then flush.

8. Laundry softener that smells nice

What you need:

  • 1 cup baking soda
  • 1/2 cup Borax
  • 1 cup vinegar
  • 20 drops lemon or orange citrus oil

Directions:

Mix baking soda, Borax, vinegar and citrus oil. Add to bottle of laundry detergent and use as normal.  (You can also put lavender water in a spray bottle and give your load a quick spritz before throwing it in the washer.) 

9. Polish wood floors

What you need:

  • 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon grapeseed or olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • Cloth

Directions:

Juice lemon and pour into a small jar. Add oil and water. Seal the jar and shake until emulsified. Dip cloth in, and shine your wood!

10. Remove mold or mildew

What you need:

  • 1/2 cup Borax
  • 1/2 cup vinegar
  • Brush or sponge

Directions: 

Mix together Borax and vinegar to make a paste. Use brush or sponge to scrub at mold. Rinse with water. For tough mold, let sit for an hour before rinsing.

More6 Ways to be a good person when you shop back-to-school

Hannah Rubin is a writer at Goodshop, where she helps spread the word about how people can directly impact the causes they care about most every time they shop online.


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