Guide to DIY Non-toxic Cleaning Recipes


Best non-toxic, hypoallergenic cleaning recipes

Eliminating toxins and chemicals from your home makes both environmental and financial sense, not to mention how easy it is to make the eco-conscious switch.

To make the change from conventional chemical cleaners to non-toxic alternatives quickly, get to know the six basic ingredients for cleaning your home safely, effectively and naturally - many of them you may already have in your kitchen.

Baking soda – a cheap, multi-purpose alkaline cleaner that effectively sanitizes and deodorizes, helping remove odors from the air.

Vinegar – plain white vinegar and apple cider vinegar both work wonders for a green clean. Its acidity eliminates soap scum, grease and other grime. Vinegar makes your glasses sparkle when you add a cupful to the dishwasher, it can clean your coffeemaker with a 50/50 solution of vinegar and water, at the same time it is strong enough to remove mineral deposits from your shower head when soaked in a concentrated solution overnight. White vinegar is also an effective bacteria killer and water softener.

Castile soap – a benign soap, not detergent, made from plant oils. It is gentle on your sensitive skin, biodegradable and a great alternative to chemical cleaners.

Essential oils – naturally antimicrobial and antibacterial, essential oils can infuse your home with fragrances such as lemon, mint, lavender, rosemary, eucalyptus, cinnamon and tea tree.

Lemon juice – cuts through tough grease and disinfects surfaces naturally. Cleans wood cutting boards and acts as a stain remover on most plastic food containers.

Olive oil – not only a great salad oil, it also serves as a wood polisher.

Now, that you know the simple ingredients, get started by creating some basic, eco-friendly DIY cleaners. With experience, you can modify them to fit your preferences.

All-purpose spray – use a spray bottle and spritz liberally most anywhere in the home - on countertops, cabinet doors, in the fridge, etc.

  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup vinegar
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • 5-10 drops essential oil (lavender, mint, lemon, or any other scent you choose)
  • Optional – add a squirt of Castile soap to the mix for improved degreasing power

Glass and mirror cleaner – mix in a spray bottle and apply as needed.

  • ½ cup vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • Optional – add 5 drops of mint essential oil

Floor cleaner – this quick and easy solution can be made just when you need it. If your floors are greasy, add a splash of vinegar for an extra level of clean.

  • Bucket of warm water
  • Small amount of Castile soap
  • Splash of vinegar
  • Optional: 5 drops tea tree oil

Sink, shower and tub scrub – mix ingredients in a glass jar and scrub on ceramic and tile surfaces.

  • 1 T. liquid Castile soap
  • 1/3 cup baking soda

Toilet cleaner – sprinkle baking soda inside toilet bowl, pour on half a cup of vinegar, add a couple drops of essential oil and let sit for 10 minutes, then scrub with a brush and flush.

  • Baking soda
  • Vinegar
  • Lemon or tea tree oil

Furniture polish – mix in a bowl or jar and test each surface before use.

  • 2 cups olive oil
  • Juice of one lemon

Carpet deodorizer – mix baking soda and oils in a container with lid, sprinkle on carpet and let sit 15 minutes before vacuuming.

  • 1 cup baking soda
  • 5-10 drops of essential oils

Air freshener – fill a spray bottle with the three ingredients, give it a good shake before spraying around the room.

  • Distilled water
  • 1 T. baking soda
  • 5 drops of your favorite essential oil

Fresh linen spray – add all ingredients to a spritzer and shake well before spraying on sheets and bed linens.

  • ¼ cup water
  • 3 T. alcohol
  • 20 drops lavender essential oil
  • 15 drops frankincense essential oil

A few tips for cleaning your home naturally: always use distilled, filtered or boiled water to keep your homemade cleaners fresh and free from mold, make small batches to prevent your cleaners from spoiling, and don’t be afraid to experiment to find the recipes that work best for you and your home furnishings.

Most of these recipes are gentle on the skin, but use your intuition and wear plastic gloves when and where necessary, especially if you are sensitive to oils/vinegar.

When making the switch to non-toxic cleaners, make sure to get rid of the traditional cleaners responsibly, don’t toss them in the garbage bin or dump them down the drain. Dispose of them correctly as hazardous waste.

Eliminate toxic chemicals from your home and inhale the purity of your natural environment. You may even find yourself adding an air purifying plant or two!