There are a few reasons I wanted to start making my own household cleaners, the main one being that I’m not big on the idea of my son being around furniture and toys that have been coated in toxic God-knows-what. Cleaning products aren’t required by the FDA to list all of their ingredients since their products aren’t meant to be ingested. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requires them to list any ingredients that could potentially be harmful, but the rest are kept secret. Presumably this is to keep competitors from stealing their formulas, but it’s still cause for some concern.
I had always considered making my own cleaning products, but I knew I wanted to finally try it out when I looked at how filthy Marshall’s jumparoo had gotten, and I felt like wiping it down with soapy water wasn’t enough. So instead I started doing some research until I found a recipe that’s perfect!
Many homemade cleaner recipes call for white vinegar and baking soda, two of the main products we know are great for cleaning. Articles will claim that they react when combined, creating this super awesome cleaner, but after some digging, I found that this is not the case.
Both of these products on their own are great! I use vinegar to clean our bottle warmer, and baking soda is perfect for scrubbing stains in your bathroom. But when combined, the end result is essentially a salt water solution.
There are recipes that only call for vinegar, water and essential oil, and those are better than the common baking soda and vinegar concoctions. However, vinegar is acidic, so you can’t use it on everything. Plus, no amount of essential oil is going to completely mask the strong vinegar smell. So I turned to recipes that center around Castile soap!
Here is what you’ll need:
- Glass Spray Bottle (This is the set I bought! It comes with reusable chalk labels)
- 1 tbsp Baking Soda
- 1 1/2 tsp Castile Soap
- 6 drops of Tea Tree Oil
*Storing the cleaning solution in a glass bottle is important, because sunlight will make the essential oils expire faster if they’re in plastic. Darker bottles are preferred.*
Add the baking soda, Castile soap and tea tree oil to the empty spray bottle. Fill the rest of the way with water and shake/stir to combine. Done! So easy!
I love it! It’s going to cost a little more than a bottle of regular cleaner to get started, but the ingredients last so long that you’ll end up saving money in the long run. I love the way the tea tree oil makes everything smell fresh and clean, but it’s not as overpowering as some store-bought cleaners. Given Marshall’s breathing problems, the less smells in our home, the better! And it’s a great step towards a greener life.