Handy tips: easy cleaners for the home


I recently decided to switch to as many homemade products as possible. If I make my own products I know exactly where it came from and what quality the ingredients are. I can tailor them to my specific needs, it’s cheaper and more convinient. From now on I’ll have to keep my main ingredients on hand and I won’t have to buy more for maybe months depending.

What you’ll need for best results:

-Borax (This is a really debated ingredient but you can use washing soda instead if it bothers you. It looks to me like it’s perfectly fine and there a very informative post which discusses the safety of borax.  I decided not to use it in laundry as it can be an irritant but I use it in lots of other things and it seems fine. In any case, it’s cheaper and natural so it must be at least better than commercial products.)

-Washing soda (this can be hard to find. It might be in the laundry section next to the borax, you might find it online for a good price [so far I have found it on well.ca] or you can check pool stores apparently, but remember calcium carbonate is different from sodium carbonate. It can also go by soda ash or soda crystals. Or you can make it out of baking soda recipe here: http://www.pennilessparenting.com/2011/01/homemade-washing-soda.html. Be careful handling washing soda.

-Essential oils of choice (optional but something people don’t mention is the extra cleanliness you get from essential oils. I think using them is essential! They give an extra shine imho that nothing else seems to. You can see the clean and disinfecting they do. I add them to everything)

-Baking soda

-Vinegar (optional)

-Castille soap (Dr. Bronner’s is widely available. I got mine at Healthy Planet Canada. You can get it in bulk there.)

Homemade foaming hand soap

Mix nearly equal parts water and castille soap with a good squirt of glycerin and 5-10 drops of essential oils of your choice. I’ve also read that adding a little oil will help preserve plastic containers but I’d imagine glycerin would do that too. Coconut oil would also be a nice choice perhaps instead of glycerin as they are both moisturizing.

Laundry Soap

I couldn’t find a recipe that used the ingredients I wanted to use so I made my own from what looked right to me. I tested it first hand washing a shirt with an obvious pit smell and when the detergent seemed to successfully eradicate the smell without leaving soap residue I decided to test it in the washing machine. I first made a small tester bath in a jar which was about 1/3 cup baking soda, 1-2 tbs castille, 3/4 cup water, 1/3 cup vinegar (maybe less, I didn’t measure) with a chunk of black soap and 6 drops of lavender. I have read that vinegar and castille don’t mix but I had no problem at all with it. The mixture however isn’t staying mixed so that is probably why. So, I am going to leave it out of my mixture and add it in directly into the machine because vinegar combines well with baking soda. This worked well for my clothing, but my boyfriend’s shirts still had some stench clinging to them, so I am going to up the vinegar for my next test.

1 Cup baking soda
3/4 cup vinegar
1/4 cup boiled water with approx a tbsp (or less) size chunk of black soap dissolved in (something the size of a walnut)
10-20 drops of desired essential oils
-If you have a new washer you could add the vinegar as a fabric softener instead but I only have access to old ones so that doesn’t matter for me.

To make this I first boiled the water then added in the soap by grating it. I then mixed the baking soda with the vinegar. It will bubble up but that’s okay, just do it gradually and mix well it will go down. You can add a little water to help this if you want. Pour boiled mixture in and add essential oils; stir really well with whisk.
*This is still in testing as I don’t have enough change to do laundry right now, I will update if necessary once I have tested it well.

If you’d rather, there are many tested recipes out there and this one is simple with photo evidence of how well it works.

All purpose cleaner

1 part vinegar to 1 part water
5-10 drops of essential oils
1 tbsp of broax

-I find essential oils and vinegar to be very cleansing and use this on the floor as well. It will be a bit cloudy so if this bothers you, add 99% alcohol to the mixture to help it dissolve instantly.

Tub Scrub

I tried a few different recipes, I didn’t like using sea salt so I just modified a couple to make one I liked.

I start with about 1/4 cup of baking soda and add vinegar to that until I get just past a paste. Then I add in my desired essential oils, 6-10 drops and add another 1/8 baking soda and 1/2 cup borax and enough vinegar to form a paste. You can also add lemon instead of lemon essential oil, lemon is a great cleaner. Slop this all over your tub and sink and let it sit for 10-20 minutes depending on how dirty it is. This won’t get REALLY bad stains out, but it leaves your tub shiny and clean. I am still working on a heavy duty tub cleaner.

*A lot of these recipes commonly use washing soda in addition, or instead of baking soda. I can’t find it here and am honestly usually too lazy to make it. I am worried that I will mess up the chemical composition, so I am trying to stick to what I have access to.


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