- Homemade essential oil washing powder
- Homemade surface cleaner
- Homemade floor cleaner
- Homemade oven cleaner
- Homemade dishwasher powder
- Homemade window cleaner
With refill counters popping up at supermarkets across the country and more and more companies offering alternatives to excessive packaging, it seems the world is waking up to the need for an end to single-use plastics.
Most households still produce a lot of plastic waste, and a significant proportion of that comes from cleaning product bottles, caps, and lids. It is estimated that UK households throw away 100 billion pieces of plastic packaging a year, averaging 66 items per household per week (source: www.statista.com).
The good news is that small steps can cut down your output. If you’ve already switched to shampoo bars and shop local for your fruit and veg, making your own cleaning products is another cheaper and greener alternative to stocking up on big brands at the supermarket. Homemade floor cleaners, surface sprays and washing powder can be stored in glass containers – or even empty plastic containers – meaning you can refill them over and over again.
Also, you may already have many of the ingredients needed to start making plastic-free cleaning products in your cupboards. Things like baking soda and white vinegar are effective cleaners and cheap to buy. Using essential oils allows you to create unique scents, too. Plus, certain oils have antibacterial qualities, adding to the effectiveness of your mixtures. So what are you waiting for? Here’s our guide to the best plastic-free homemade cleaning products.
Key ingredients for homemade cleaning products
- White vinegar – The acidic nature of white – or distilled – vinegar means it can help dissolve dirt, limescale and light stains. If you have granite surfaces, it’s best to avoid it as vinegar can cause discolouration.
- Bicarbonate of soda – Commonly used in baking and known as baking soda in the US, this is a mild alkaline salt which helps grease and dirt dissolve in water.
- Soda crystals – Also known as washing soda (or sodium carbonate), this is an alkaline salt which helps to cut through grease. You can buy it from most hardware stores.
- Borax – Borax (sodium tetraborate) – or borax substitute (sodium sesquicarbonate) – is another type of alkaline salt, which was once a popular household cleaner. It can cut through grease, blitz stains and sanitise.
- Surgical spirit – Otherwise known as rubbing alcohol, surgical spirit is an antiseptic. Its quick dry properties make it useful for cleaning glass surfaces.
- Castille soap – A gentle soap that comes in liquid or bar form and is made from vegetable oils rather than animal fats.
What essential oils to use?
- For an uplifting ‘clean’ scent, go for citrus oils like orange, grapefruit, lemon and bergamot. They also have antiviral and antibacterial qualities.
- Tea tree is a good addition to washing powder due its antifungal nature. It can also help get rid of the mildewy odour washing machines can develop.
- Peppermint and spearmint have antimicrobial, antibacterial, and antiviral properties so work well in surface sprays.
- Rosemary also has antimicrobial, antifungal, and antibacterial properties.
- Everyone knows lavender can help you sleep. So why not add a few drops to your washing powder blend when you’re washing your sheets?
Homemade essential oil washing powder
Imagine never having to buy a giant bottle of washing liquid, powder or expensive washing pods again. Well, it’s easier than you think with this simple homemade washing powder recipe:
- 2 x cups borax
- 2 x cups soda crystals
- 1 x bar grated castile soap
- 25 drops of essential oils of your choice
- 1 x airtight container
- Put the borax, soda crystals and grated castile soap into a large mixing bowl. Mix well.
- Add the essential oils of your choice.
- Store in an airtight container and use a quarter of a cup per load.
Homemade surface cleaner
For kitchen countertops or bathroom surfaces, this homemade cleaning spray can be stored in a used shop-bought spray bottle and refilled.
- 1 x teaspoon soda crystals
- 1 x teaspoon liquid castile soap
- 2 x cups hot water
- 2 x tablespoon white vinegar (avoid using with granite countertops)
- 10 drops essential oil of your choice
- A funnel
- An empty spray bottle
- Mix all of the ingredients in a large bowl, making sure to get any lumps out.
- Using a funnel, fill the spray bottle with mixture.
Homemade floor cleaner
This essential oil floor cleaner recipe is safe to use on the majority of floor types, including tiles, hardwood and vinyl floors.
- 1 x cup white vinegar
- 15 drops essential oil of your choice
- Grab a mop and a bucket of hot water and add the ingredients below.
- Mop and leave to dry.
Homemade oven cleaner
It’s nobody’s favourite job, but this homemade essential oil oven cleaner will leave the oven sparkling.
- ½ x cup bicarbonate of soda
- 1 x tablespoon coarse salt
- ¼ x cup washing up liquid
- 5 drops lemon essential oil
- Add the ingredients into a large mixing bowl, and mix to make a thick paste.
- Using an old cloth, apply a generous layer to the inside of the oven and leave for 2-3 hours.
- Clean out with a rough sponge.
Homemade dishwasher powder
Ditch the expensive tablets and their packaging with this brilliant homemade dishwasher powder recipe.
- 1 x cup soda crystals
- 1 x cup bicarbonate of soda
- 1 x cup coarse salt
- ½ x cup citric acid
- 30 drops lemon essential oil
- A large glass jar
- Combine the crystals, bicarb, salt and citric acid in a mixing bowl.
- Add essential oil drops and blend until the mixture is smooth.
- Pour into a clean glass jar to store.
- To use, put one tablespoon of mixture into the dishwasher’s soap dispenser.
Homemade window cleaner
The addition of vinegar to this homemade glass cleaner will make your mirrors, windows and glass surfaces shine.
- 2 x cups water
- 1/2 x cup white vinegar
- 1/4 x cup surgical spirit
- 1 to 2 drops of essential oil
- A funnel
- An empty spray bottle
- Put the ingredients in a bowl and mix well.
- Pour the mixture into an old spray bottle using the funnel.
- To use, spray onto the glass and use a clean cloth to remove streaks.