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Guide to Homemade Cleaners


Natural Cleaning Solutions for Household Items

A growing trend worldwide is that of home-made natural cleaning solutions for those everyday problems. People are turning more and more to natural solutions over chemicals and for many reasons.

Homemade cleaning solutions are so easy to make and often everything you need can be found right at home. They are also much safer to use as you know exactly what you are putting in them, there are no unknown chemicals or solutions hidden in there. This is a much healthier option, especially if you have pets or young children at home, as homemade chemicals are safer should they be ingested accidentally, and even help the air quality – there is no spraying harsh chemicals into the air.

There is also the added bonuses of money and convenience. Chemical products are often expensive and can damage surfaces and items in the long-term. Many of the ingredients used in homemade solutions can be found anywhere in your house, particularly in the kitchen, saving you a trip to the stores to buy expensive and dangerous cleaning products.

Some simple items you will find at home that can help you clean include:

  • Vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Lemon Juice
  • Water
  • Dish Soap
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Microfiber cloths
  • Spray bottles

Natural Cleaners for Different Surfaces

Different surfaces often need different cleaning solutions depending on what they are made from. It is always import to know what to use when cleaning a particular surface – both what solutions to use and also what materials will do the best job. It is important to clean without doing any damage to the surface. Below are some common household surfaces you may wish to clean with homemade cleaning products.

Wood

Wood is a particularly delicate material that is susceptible to damage from cleaners that contain harsh chemicals.

Things you will need:

  1. Vinegar
  2. Water

Combine ¼ cup of vinegar with one cup water to create an easy cleaning solution that is great at getting out that tough marks and fingerprints. The solution will clean the surface without doing any lasting damage. Mix into a cup or spray bottle and use with a microfiber cloth to be gentle on the wood. If you wish to clean a large area such as wooden floors, simply increase the amount of vinegar and water to the same ratio in a bucket, and use a floor cloth.

Olive oil can also be used in very small amounts to clean spots or smudges on wooden furniture, but in large amounts in will leave smudge marks and attract dust.

TIP: Vinegar can leave an acidic smell in the room when used. For a sweeter smell, try adding lemon or orange peel.

Tile

Things you will need:

  1. Vinegar
  2. Baking soda (optional)
  3. Water

Tiles such as those found in the kitchen or bathroom can be relatively easy to clean due to their smooth, protected surfaces but there are those odd stains that won’t simply come off. For most tile surfaces, the same solution found above for wood can be used. If the stains are a little tougher to get out, increase the amount of vinegar used in ratio to the water, e.g. one part vinegar to one part water.

If you find that those stains still are not coming off, try using a paste made of baking soda mixed with water, leave it on the stain for half an hour, and then try cleaning with the vinegar solution. For dirty grouting in between tiles, use a toothbrush and the baking soda paste to scrub the dirt marks off.

TIP: Tile floors can be cleaned with the same solution as wooden floors

Stone

Stone, despite its tough exterior, is actually a very sensitive material and you must be careful what you use. Vinegar, lemon or other acidic cleaners that work well on other surfaces should NOT be used on stone. They will eat away at it, leaving permanent damage. A homemade solution of simple dish soap and water can often do the trick.

Things you will need:

  1. Dish Soap
  2. Water
  3. 3 Rubbing alcohol (optional)

Combine between 2-6 drops of dish soap with 2 cups of warm water for an easy homemade solution that will clean your stone surfaces with any damage. Wipe down with the solution and then buff with a clean, dry cloth. For tougher stains, try using half a cup of rubbing alcohol mixed with 2 cups of warm water and leave it on for a few minutes before wiping off and drying.

TIP: Stone should NOT be left to air dry due to its porous nature. It should be dried and buffed with a clean, dry cloth.

Natural Cleaning Products for Delicate Items

There are of course certain household items that are a little more delicate when it comes to cleaning and these require a little more care and attention.

Clothes and jewelry are two areas that

Clothing

Clothes will get stained, it is a fact of life. Especially if you have babies or small children, stains will get everywhere.

Sometimes it is so easy to grab a bottle of stain remover and spay, but conventional stain removers can be some of the most toxic and dangerous chemicals to breathe in, especially if you have young children in the home.

However, help is at hand. You can make your own stain removers and laundry detergents at home that will be so much better and safer to use on your clothes. Some use stronger items like hydrogen peroxide or borax (a natural compound found in laundry detergent) but they are still so much better to use than store-bough stain removers.

Here are some stain removal tips to help you out.

Yellow underarms stains: Mix one part hydrogen peroxide with one part water and soak the stain in it for around 30 minutes. Then wash regularly – if the stain is a tough one add one cup of hydrogen peroxide to the wash.

Food: Treat with the same mixture of hydrogen peroxide and water as above, before a regular wash. Add a ½ cup of baking soda to the wash for an extra clean.

Ink stains: Sponge in rubbing alcohol and rub off with a paper towel. Keep applying until the stain comes out. Then wash regularly. Grease or oil stains: Apply dry baking soda to remove any residue before brushing off. Soak in vinegar for around 15 minutes before washing.

Protein-based stains: Protein-based stains such as blood, baby formula, urine and vomit are tough to remove. Rinse in cool water then use a mixture of ½ cup hydrogen peroxide, or ½ cup vinegar with ½ cup baking soda in the wash.

TIP: Do not use put hot water on a protein-based stain before cleaning as it will make it even worse and leave a smell.

Jewelry

Keeping your jewelry sparkling and looking great is always important, and that’s why it is equally important to know what material you are dealing with and how best to clean it. Certain metals react differently to chemicals causing long-lasting damage and tarnishing, so it is always vital to know exactly what your jewelry is made from. Corrosive chemicals, whilst maybe removing any tarnish or rust, if used improperly will ruin your jewelry.

Personalized jewelry such as engraved names and dates can have lots of little gaps and nooks that it is important to get into and clean properly to keep your jewelry shining. Similarly, chains should also be kept clean and fresh to prevent any damage and to keep them looking great.

Below we take a look at the two metals gold and silver. Whether it is a, necklace, bracelet , or ring, you want to clean, the method is the same based on the metal.

Gold

Things you will need:

  1. Dish Soap
  2. Water

Gold is one of the least reactive metals, and as such, it can stay relatively safe from corrosion and tarnishing. However, should you want to clean your gold jewelry it is so simple and everything can be found in your home.

Take a bowl of warm water and add a mild dish soap. Then simply dip the gold jewelry into the mixture and allow it to soak for about 20 minutes.

After soaking, dry the gold jewelry using a clean dry cloth and then allow the gold jewelry to air dry on a towel completely before wearing it.

If your gold jewelry contains gemstones, to clean them without damaging, simply follow the above steps but instead of dipping your gold jewelry in the water, take a clean cloth, dip it into the solution, and apply to the jewelry.

TIP: Chemical such as hairspray, deodorants and even acidic foods like onions and fruit juices can cause tarnishing, so be sure to keep your gold jewelry stored properly

FOR MORE INFORMATION CHECK OUT OUR PAGE ON HOW TO CLEAN GOLD JEWELRY

Silver

Silver, unlike gold, is a little more resistant to chemicals, so you will need to use something tougher to get rid of that tarnish and dirt. However, the best items are still to be found all around the house! Here are a few of the best cleaning methods we discovered.

METHOD ONE

Things you will need:

  1. Aluminum foil
  2. Boiling water
  3. Baking soda

This method is so simple and works a treat! Simply line a bowl with aluminium foil and add boiling water with 1 tablespoon of baking soda. As the solution mixes, simply put in your silver jewelry for around 3 minutes, take out (carefully, the water will still be hot!) and dry off with a clean, dry cloth. You will see an incredible difference to your silver.

METHOD TWO

Things you will need:

  1. Beer

That’s right, beer can be a great way to clean your silver jewelry and it couldn’t be easier. Simply pour a cup of beer into a bowl and soak the jewelry in there for 5-10 minutes. Remove and rub clean with a cloth.

METHOD THREE

Things you will need:

  1. Salt
  2. Water

Again, three easy household and natural items which can be found in your kitchen. Take the lemon and squeeze the lemon juice into a bowl along with 3 tablespoons of salt and hot water and placed the tarnished silver to rest in there for 5 minutes.

Remove and rub with soft cloth.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CHECK OUT OUR PAGE ON DIY METHODS TO CLEAN SILVER JEWELRY

Natural, Food-Safe Cleaners

As you can see, a lot of the homemade cleaning products you can find around the house are made from natural products, or if not natural, they are at least non-poisonous and harmless. This can make them great for use everywhere, but especially the kitchen or anywhere where you would prepare food or keep dishes.

Think of the journey your food can take and all the implements used in its preparation and cooking. From cleaning utensils in the dishwasher, to slicing on a cutting board, or leaving food on a countertop, to cooking in the oven. If all of these processes have been cleaned with, or come into contact with, harsh cleaning chemicals, residue from those chemicals will come into contact with your food no matter how well you think it has been wiped off.

This means the food we eat will contain some of the cleaning chemicals used, which is very dangerous, especially if there are babies or young children eating too.

Food-safe cleaners that we can use around the house are also, as it happens, often made of food! As you will have seen above, so many of the homemade natural cleaning products you can make involve items such as lemon juice, baking soda, vinegar. These not only clean your appliances better than most store-bought cleaners, but they are completely food-safe and will not leave any dangerous residue either on surfaces or in the air. Even castile soap, which can be found in certain homemade cleaning recipes, is made from 100% plant oils and is completely food-safe.

The same can be applied to many things. If you have young child in the habit of picking up everything and putting it in their mouth, it is much safer to use a food-safe, homemade cleaning product.

Tips for Making Homemade Cleaners

  • Check for ingredients - It might sound strange but a lot of people assume they don’t have something they’ll need to make their own cleaning solution, so they go straight out and buy one. Always check first what you need and whether you have it.
  • Check what can be mixed and what cannot – As simple as it sounds, it is so important to understand which ingredients can be mixed and which cannot. You do not want to do any unnecessary damage to any surfaces or appliances, and some simply may not work like you thought they would!
  • Add a touch of citrus – If the smell of vinegar, rubbing alcohol, or some other product, makes you feel a bit nauseous, consider adding orange peel or lemon peel to a bottle to freshen it up and add a citrusy smell.
  • Labelling home products – Keep your homemade products accurately labelled to know exactly what is in them. That way, it’s easier when you need to use them! This is especially important if there are young children around who are at risk of swallowing something.
  • Storing home products – Just as with labelling, storing your products properly is very important. Keeping them out of direct sunlight or direct heat, will help keep them in use for longer, and keeping them stored securely or in a high place will keep them out of the hands of children.
  • Using microfibers – Microfiber cloths are reusable and washable so they are great to have around the house. They also clean really well, sometimes without any spray or cleaning product needed so they’re definitely worth investing in.
  • Enjoy yourself – Again, it might sound strange, but cleaning with heavy chemical products can be such a chore, yet making your own products from healthy, natural products around the house, and watching them work their magic can be so much fun.
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