Green Living

8 natural cleaning products you can make at home

Eleanor shares her recipes for natural cleaning products that are effective and smell heavenly

Welcome spring into your home with these lovely homemade cleaners. Making the switch to all-natural cleaning might seem like a lot of fuss, but it’s really simple. The ingredients are cost-effective and easy to find at most organic/health stores (or through online soap-making and aromatherapy stores), not to mention gentler on our environment.

My favourite recipe is for this zippy all-purpose spray which will leave surfaces sparkling and your home smelling delightful, plus the addition of citrus essential oils helps to lift your mood. I guarantee that once you make your own, you’ll never buy store-bought again!

1. Citrus all-purpose spray

  • 2 tsp liquid Castile soap (I use Dr Bronner’s)
  • 10 drops wild orange essential oil
  • 10 drops lemon essential oil
  • 10 drops peppermint essential oil
  • Put all ingredients in a 500ml glass spray bottle and top up with filtered water. Shake gently to combine.

2. Paste cleaner

  • ½ cup baking soda
  • 3-4 Tbsp liquid Castile soap
  • 5 drops tea tree essential oil
  • 5 drops lemon essential oil
  • Stir ingredients together until they form a creamy paste. Dip a cloth into the mixture and scrub your bath, tiles or oven, then rinse off with water.

3. Laundry powder

  • Bar of natural soap, grated
  • ¾ cup borax or washing soda
  • ½ cup baking soda
  • 10 drops of lavender essential oil
  • 10 drops eucalyptus essential oil
  • Place ingredients in a food processor and process to a fine powder; transfer to a glass jar. Use 2-3 Tbsp per load of washing. Wash processor bowl well and rinse with splash of vinegar before using it for food.

4. Wood polish

  • 1 tsp liquid Castile soap
  • ¼ cup filtered water
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • Combine ingredients in a bowl and stir to combine. Dip a cloth into the solution and wipe over wooden surfaces to polish and nourish.

5. Dishwashing powder

  • 1½ cups baking soda
  • ½ cup citric acid
  • ⅓ cup fine sea salt
  • 10 drops lemon essential oil
  • 10 drops lime essential oil
  • Combine ingredients in a large glass jar, add lid and tip upside down to mix. Use 1 Tbsp of powder per dishwasher load. For an extra-clean load, add some white vinegar to the rinse compartment.

6. Ylang-ylang, lavender & lemon air freshener/linen spray

  • 1 Tbsp witch hazel
  • 10 drops ylang-ylang essential oil
  • 5 drops lavender essential oil
  • 5 drops lemon essential oil
  • Put all ingredients in a 100ml glass spray bottle and top up with filtered water. Shake gently to combine. Use to deodorise the air or spray onto clothes before ironing.

7. Fabric softener

  • Add ⅔ cup white vinegar to the start of your wash cycle, along with your washing powder, to soften clothes and keep colours vibrant.

8. Toilet bowl cleaner

  • ½ cup baking soda
  • ½ cup white vinegar
  • 5 drops tea tree essential oil
  • Sprinkle the baking soda around the inside of toilet bowl. Mix the vinegar with the essential oil and sprinkle or spray around the toilet bowl. Allow to fizz and leave for 10 minutes. Scrub well and then flush.

Words and photography by: Eleanor Ozich.

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