This article is about how to make natural cleaning products from things you probably already have in your pantry.
I always wondered why my allergies were so bad after cleaning my house. All of the strong smells, both chemical and fragrance, really bothered me. Thank goodness, now I know that cleaners don’t have to be laden with chemicals and floral or fruity smells to be effective.
Making your own cleaners is one of the best ways to ensure that your family has safe yet effective cleaning products. Most of us have basics that can be used for cleaning sitting right in our pantries.
These simple pantry staples can be used all around your home. Skip the trip to the store and clean everything from mirrors to floors right from your pantry.
Pantry Staples for a Naturally Clean Home
Vinegar is one of the most popular cleaning items in the home. It has been used for generations as an all-purpose cleaner, window cleaner, and even a floor cleaner. Vinegar is a great option because it breaks down tough messes ranging from stuck-on food to soap scum.
Vinegar can be used as a base for many homemade cleaners and you can add essential oils to help cut down some of the pungent smell of vinegar. Once vinegar dries the odor goes away and it takes other odors with it.
Use it as a drain cleaner by sprinkling baking soda down your drain and pouring in vinegar. The bubbling action will loosen up a lot of gunk. Then just run hot water.
Fruit flies in your kitchen? Clear out fruit flies by putting a bit of apple cider vinegar in a jar with a squirt of dish detergent. This will attract and trap pesky fruit flies leaving your home cleaner.
Don’t use vinegar or other acid based products on surfaces like marble or granite because the acid can cause etching. Try an all purpose cleaner using vodka instead on these surfaces.
All-Purpose Vinegar Cleaner
- Use a 1:1 ratio of vinegar and water.
- Add to a spray bottle, shake and use to clean your sink, faucets, and even floors.
If you need a fine and gentle scouring powder you can’t go wrong with baking soda. Baking soda is a great option for getting stains off countertops, scrubbing out your sink, and other areas that are likely to scratch with a strong scoring powder.
Baking soda is a great deodorizer and can be placed around the home in small bowls or used to make a carpet refresher. This will help make your home smell fresher without harsh chemicals. Toss at the bottom of your trash can to help keep it smelling great.
Clean drains out with baking soda and vinegar. Placing baking soda down your drain and following with vinegar is a great way to use the bubbling action to clean out your drains. This breaks down messes, clears away stuck-on messes, and leaves your drains working and smelling better.
If you find yourself with a porous material that needs a good scrub you can use baking soda with the help of vinegar to get the surface clean. Rub baking soda into the cracks and grooves. Follow by spraying vinegar over the surface to activate the chemical reaction between the baking soda and vinegar. This will push dirt, grime, and oil out of the pores.
Baking soda is a great way to fight grease stains. Rub into the grease to help soak up as much as possible before it has time to set. This is great for laundry and kitchen messes.
When you need a more abrasive option such as when you are cleaning a stubborn pan, cast iron, or stuck on grime coarse salt is a great option. The larger chunks are more abrasive than baking soda making it a great choice for tough jobs.
Salt can also be turned into saltwater that is great for cleaning and disinfecting. Mixing salt water and vinegar can get you a strong cleaner that is safe for food prep surfaces. This allows you to naturally kill bacteria and not worry about chemicals.
Need to clean a jar or bottle you can’t reach to scrub? Add salt and shake until it is scrubbed. For best results soak in hot soapy water to loosen things up before adding the largest salt chunks you have available.
Bringing your home to a polished shine is easier than ever with a few drops of olive oil. If you want a scent you can even add a bit of orange or lemon essential oil to make a great smelling polish perfect for dusting wooden furniture and polishing chrome surfaces.
All you need for beautiful furniture is a little olive oil and a soft microfiber cloth.
Cream of Tartar
Cream of tartar is a slightly acidic ingredient found in most spice isles. This can be used as a buffing and polishing powder as well and is used similarly to baking soda on hard surfaces. You can use cream of tartar and a little water for a wonderful stainless steel cleaner.
Cream of tartar is acidic. This makes it a great bleaching agent for removing stains from things like coffee cups and other ceramic dishes, tiles, and grout. Make a paste of cream of tartar and water to apply to the stain. Let sit until dry, then remoisten and rub to remove stains with ease.
Lemon juice is a great acid-based cleaning agent, is powerful for removing dirt and grime and is one of the best options for when you need to clean away tarnish and grime.
Lemon juice is great for cleaning your microwave. Microwave a bowl with 1/4 cup lemon juice for 3-5 minutes then wipe out your microwave to clean away tough messes and make it smell fresh and clean.
Again, don’t use lemon juice or other acidic products on marble, granite or other easily etched surfaces – use a vodka based cleaner.
Vodka can safely disinfect surfaces that acidic cleaners can damage. No need to buy fancy vodka either! When the vodka spray dries, it won’t leave behind any odor.
Non-Etching Vodka All Purpose Cleaner
- Add ¼ c vodka and 2 cups of distilled water to a spray bottle.
- Shake and spray on surfaces to disinfect and clean.
Homemade Cleaning Products without Essential Oils
All of these natural cleaning products are effective without the addition of essential oils. If you’re sensitive to smells, feel free to leave out the oils. These pantry staples work just as well on their own!
The Takeaway: DIY Natural Cleaning Products from Ordinary Pantry Items
Now that I know I don’t have to buy all the chemicals in the cleaning aisle to keep my house clean, I find that not only are my allergies better, my house is just as clean! Just a few simple pantry staples can effectively clean so many things in your home.