Being environmentally friendly doesn’t have to break the bank. There are plenty of inexpensive, nontoxic ingredients that you might already have in your own home that work just as well as conventional cleaners. In fact, most of these ingredients can be bought in bulk and used for many different purposes, and they can be just as disinfecting as ready-made products. If you’re interested in saving money, and going package-free, then DIY is the way to go. For our guide to package-free bulk shopping in the Seattle area, check out our article here.

As great as DIY products are, you might still prefer the convenience of store-bought ones. If there are products that you would prefer to buy, here is our guide to do so in a sustainable, nontoxic way.  

Drain cleaner

Flush out the drains with boiling water and dish soap. The dish soap removes any grease and the hot water loosens any gunk that is stuck on the sides of the pipes.

Metal polish

Wipe metal surfaces with vodka.

Oven cleaner

First use hot water and soap for an initial cleaning. Next mix baking soda, water, castile soap and essential oils (for scent) into a paste. Rub the paste on all surfaces and leave for four hours. Rinse with warm, soapy water and a sponge.

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Bathroom cleaner for mold and mildew

Dilute 2 teaspoons of tea tree oil with 2 cups of water and spray liberally on problem areas. Let soak overnight. Another option is to make a mixture of half distilled vinegar, half hydrogen peroxide, let sit on the problem area for 10 minutes and then rinse.

All-purpose cleaner

In a spray bottle mix 1 tbsp baking soda, 1 tsp castile soap, 3-5 drops tea tree oil, and enough water to fill the bottle. Shake before each use. The baking soda acts as a gentle scrubber while the castile soap breaks up dirt and oil and the tea tree oil adds antibacterial properties to the solution.

Bath cleaner

Mix together 1 cup baking soda, ¼ cup castile soap, and 1 tbsp hydrogen peroxide and place in an airtight container. Be sure to leave 2-3 inches of room in the container as the mixture will rise. This can be used immediately or can hold for several months. To use, apply a layer to dirty surfaces, allow the product to sit for a few minutes and then scrub and rinse.

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Floor cleaner

Mix 1 cup water, ½ cup vinegar, ½ cup rubbing alcohol, 2-3 drops dish soap, 25-30 drops of essential oils in a spray bottle. Let sit for a few minutes and then mop. As a warning, do not use this solution on marble or granite, but it is safe for hardwood, laminate floors, and a variety of other surfaces.

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Fabric softener

Add 1/2 cup of vinegar during the rinse cycle

Window cleaner

Mix ¼ cup white vinegar, ¼ cup rubbing alcohol, 2 cups of water, and 8-10 drop essential oils in a clean spray bottle. Mist the surface and wipe using newspaper or coffee filters for streak free finish.

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Featured photo by Volha from Unsplash