The month of March marks the official start of the spring season, which means spring cleaning. It doesn’t matter if you begin with the clutter in your closets, the fridge or the kitchen, you’ll want to give all of your spaces a good scrub down. And if one of your current goals is to live a more natural or sustainable lifestyle, consider ditching the commercial chemical-based cleaning supplies and create your own natural DIY cleaners. Here’s how (and why) to do it.
Why you should make DIY cleaners
First of all, you may be asking, “Why should I make my own DIY cleaners anyways?” Here’s why: natural cleaners don’t contain the heavier, often more toxic ingredients found in conventional cleaners that can pose health risks – especially to those with allergies or underlying conditions.
Plus, “some of the more natural cleaners are just as effective as their synthetic chemical counterparts,” says ServiceMaster Restoration by Zaba, a certified residential cleaning company based in Chicago, Illinois. For example, “Vinegar is fantastic, because it not only works very effectively at cleaning, it is also a sanitizer.”
If you want to take a cue from Mother Nature and keep things all natural in your arsenal of cleaning supplies, here are three super simple recipes you can use to create your own homemade all-natural DIY cleaning sprays.
DIY Cleaner – Vinegar solution
Known as the do-it-all cleaner, vinegar is a natural cleaning option that is safe to use on almost all types of surfaces. The best part is, it’s usually right in your kitchen pantry, so you’ll always have it on hand. Now you don’t have an excuse to skip out on all that spring cleaning. (Sorry, not sorry).
- First, fill a reusable spray bottle with tap water and two teaspoons of vinegar.
- Gently shake or swirl the bottle so the water and vinegar mix together. Do this until the solution is well combined. That’s it!
Use this homemade vinegar solution on all of your home’s surfaces including bathroom and kitchen countertops, hard floor surfaces, sinks and windows.
DIY Cleaner – Castile soap
The smell of vinegar is mild in comparison to some other commercial chemical-based cleaning solutions like bleach, but some people simply cannot stand the smell of vinegar. If you are one of them (cue my hand going up), try creating a DIY cleaner using Castile soap. It’s just as effective as vinegar and bonus, no stinky smell!
- Add hot water to a reusable cleaning bucket and add ⅛-¼ cup of liquid Castile soap.
- Gently stir the hot water and liquid Castile soap together until they are thoroughly mixed and bubbles begin to form, but make sure you don’t have a ton of bubbles. No need for a foam party!
A word of caution: Don’t mix vinegar and Castile soap together when cleaning. Feel free to use vinegar for cleaning and then Castile soap, just make sure you give your surfaces a thorough rinse with clean water in between. Vinegar and Castile soap aren’t dangerous if combined, but one is acidic (vinegar) and one is alkaline (Castile soap)—so they essentially cancel out each other’s cleaning properties. You don’t want all of your spring cleaning power to go to waste now, do you?
DIY Cleaner – Lightly scented all purpose cleaner
If you don’t have Castile soap on hand and the smell of vinegar doesn’t bother you, then you may enjoy this third organic cleaning spray option. Created by Jen Stark, Founder of Happy DIY Home, this solution combines the cleaning power of vinegar with a fresh citrus smell.
- In a reusable spray bottle, combine one part water with one part white vinegar, then add a lemon rind and rosemary sprig. If you don’t have lemon or rosemary, use 15-20 drops of your favorite essential oil that is particularly refreshing, like grapefruit, lemon, orange, peppermint or rose.
- Shake it and let it infuse for several days, then get your clean on.
Enjoy the invigorating scent of your DIY cleaner and use it to clean trash cans, get rid of wall smudges and remove hard water stains. Just don’t use it on granite, cautions Stark, as the lemon may cause etching.
Homemade DIY cleaners don’t have to be complicated. Grab a reusable bucket or spray bottle, search out some easy, all natural ingredients you probably already have on hand and roll up your sleeves for some spring cleaning using organic solutions.