Eco-Friendly Cleaning Products: Make vs. Buy

Ahhh the age-old question rears its head again, this time in regards to cleaning products: should you make your own household cleaning products or should you buy them? Three main points can help you make your decision:

  1. Is it worthwhile to make your own products (does it make sense financially? Is it worth your time?)
  2. Will homemade cleaning products be as effective as purchased cleaning products?
  3. What are the potential health and environmental benefits of making your own products vs. purchasing them?

To help you further, we’ve put together a list of some common household cleaners, and our recommendations for if you you should make vs. buy.

Laundry Detergent

The most common recipe for a homemade laundry detergent is a mix of Borax and Washing Soda, and while this mixture works great for standard laundry loads, the recipe is missing enyzmes, which help to break down and lift stains, protect colours and prevent future soils from re-penetrating fabrics. So while you might save money by making bulk mixes of your own laundry detergent, that benefit will be outweighed by the need to replace clothing, bedding and towels more often, as that homemade detergent just won’t protect and deep clean your fabrics the way a store-purchased product would.

But that doesn’t mean you need to compromise on your health and environmental impacts: there are plenty of natural and eco-friendly laundry detergent options available, such as Natura Solution’s own Concentrated Enzymatic Laundry Detergent and Chemical-Free Stain Remover, both of which use powerful, active and biodegradable enzymes to thoroughly clean, lift stains and remove odours from your daily laundry loads.

Furniture and Dusting Spray

One of the most commonly known furniture and dusting spray brands contains carcinogenic ingredients, in addition to causing skin and respiratory irritations. In comparison, a homemade version is inexpensive, easy to make, cuts through grease and grime, and makes your home smell just as lemony fresh.

All you need are a few simple ingredients, mixed together in a spray bottle:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup vinegar
  • 2 tbsp olive oil (which will help to protect and shine wood surfaces)
  • 10-15 drops of lemon essential oil (or use any other citrus essential oil, like orange or grapefruit)

Simply shake well, spray on to furniture, and wipe off with a clean and dry cloth.

Dishwasher Detergent

It’s tough to find the right recipe for a homemade dishwasher detergent that will actually provide consistent and effective results. The mixed ingredients tend to clump, don’t clean the dishes thoroughly (unless you give the dishes a thorough handwash before putting them in the dishwasher…but really, then what’s the point?), and can cause hard-water deposit build-ups to show up on your dishes and glassware.

But those same enzymes we mentioned above can help with all of these issues, and leave you with clean and streak-free dinnerware. A biodegradable, natural enzyme Pot & Pan Pre-Soak solution will help break down even the toughest kitchen pots and pans (just in time for your holiday entertaining!), and a concentrated dish washing solution is a natural way to help with the day to day dishes.

And if you do find a homemade detergent recipe that works to your standards, you can use a combo of both: soak your toughest dirty dishes in the enyzmatic pre-soak, and then pop them into the dishwasher using your homemade detergent.

Toilet Cleaner

You don’t need toxic bleach to make your toilet bowl shine; just a simple mix of Borax, vinegar and an essential oil. The vinegar will help to kill bacteria and eliminate odours, the Borax will whiten the bowl, and the essential oil will freshen it all up.

  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup Borax
  • 15-20 drops lemon essential oil

Bring the vinegar and water mixture to a boil, and then add the Borax until completely dissolved. Once cooled, add in your drops of lemon essential oil, mix well, pour the entire mixture into your toilet bowl, scrub with your toilet brush, and walk away! It’s best to let the solution sit in the toilet overnight, and then give it another quick scrub with the toilet brush in the morning, flush and enjoy your gleaming white toilet bowl!

Disinfectant Wipes

Re-using a cloth or rag to wipe up spills can be bacteria-filled and a bit gross. But that doesn’t mean you have to reach for bleach-soaked disposable cloths you’d find in most stores. There are biodegradable household wipe options available, made from Bamboo (so you don’t have to feel guilty using them once and throwing them away), and they contain a non-corrosive, enzyme solution so that you can quickly clean up messes and spills in the most environmentally friendly and family-safe way.

Glass Cleaner

A lot of homemade glass cleaner recipes don’t include the ability to cut through greasy finger prints or nose prints (if your family members enjoy pressing their faces up to the windows!). And those recipes that do include a drop or two of Dawn dish soap to help cut through grease just end up causing streaks on glass and windows, making things worse. In addition, they also rely on ammonia and rubbing alcohol in the recipe as well, which are not eco-friendly nor safe, natural products to use around your family, children and pets.

Natura Solution’s own natural window and glass cleaner uses plant-based enzymes and natural surfactants to clean all glass surfaces, including windows, mirrors, glass tables and even cooktop surfaces, leaving them perfectly clean and streak-free.

Are there any other homemade cleaning products that you regularly use that we’ve missed on our list? Or do you have any great, tried-and-tested homemade recipes we should be aware of? We’d love to know your thoughts in the comments below.

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