Enjoy this guest post from Emily Huddleston of Redfin (original post can be found here)
With cleaning supplies dwindling down at just about any store, you might be searching for alternative ways to keep your house clean. Fortunately, you can easily create a variety of homemade cleaners with a few basic supplies you likely already have in your home.
So, the next time you need a carpet stain remover or you’ve run out of disinfectant wipes, just raid your pantry and mix up a homemade cleaning solution based on the tips below. Everyday products like club soda, vinegar, baking soda, and much more make for fast, money-saving, and effective homemade cleaners. To help you get started we reached out to experts from all over the country, from those living in Dallas to those living in Portland, and many others in between. Here is a roundup of their favorite simple and natural DIY cleaning recipes to keep your house sparkling.
- Deodorize carpets and rugs
Cleaning carpets and rugs are easy, but it’s not always easy to get rid of the odors as well.
Sprinkle baking soda over the entire area, let it sit for a few hours, and then vacuum it up. This is a wonderfully simple yet effective way to deodorize your carpets and rugs. – Sparkling Places
- Create a nightly sink scrub
This little evening ritual might just be your key to a clean kitchen. Clean up after dinner, wipe the table and counters, and scrub your sink with this homemade cleaner.
– 2 cups baking soda
– 20 drops essential oil (lemon + clove are my favorites)
– A squirt of Castile or dish soap in the sink
Mix up the baking soda and essential oil in a mason jar – sprinkle a couple of tablespoons in your wet kitchen sink. Add a squirt of liquid soap in the sink and scrub with a sink-safe scrub brush or sponge (make sure you are using a brush or sponge designated for the sink). Rinse thoroughly and dry. – Clean Mama
- Refresh and disinfect your garbage disposal
You may think that the garbage disposal is clean since water passes through it every time you use it. On the contrary, it actually collects a lot of grease and scum and may fill up your house with pungent smells if not cleaned regularly. The good news is that you can use lemon peels as a homemade cleaner to sanitize and deodorize this important kitchen gadget.
Start by switching off the power supply. Get a pair of tongs and pull out any non-disposable waste trapped inside the line. Then, add a cup of rock or coarse salt and two cups of ice into the disposal. Switch it on and allow cold water through it for five seconds. After that, connect your sink and open the water into the sink to a level of two to four inches while your garbage disposal is still on. This should purge the drain line and force all waste down. Throw into the disposal four slices of lemon peels one at a time when cold water is running. This will disinfect and kill any nasty odors from the garbage disposal leaving your kitchen and house smelling fresh. – Oh, The Things We’ll Make!
- Clean your bath and shower with baking soda
Baking soda is a fabulous homemade cleaner for when you need something that’s a little abrasive, but you don’t want a caustic chemical to do the job.
Shake some baking soda onto the soap scum and go to town with your scrub brush. You can also use it to clean Sharpie off stone counters (a lesson learned the hard way!). – Force of Nature
- Keep your home smelling great
Scents can uplift your mood and having your home smelling nice can help you feel better during these uncertain times.
Put a few drops of your favorite essential oil on some small pieces of tissue and vacuum it. Then every time you vacuum, the fresh scent will spread throughout the room you are vacuuming. – MB Green Cleaning
- Make your own disinfectant wipes
You have likely noticed, but store-bought disinfectant wipes have become very hard to come by. Luckily you can make your own reusable ones at home.
Cut up a t-shirt into 5×5 inch squares. Place them in a can (ex: coffee or tea can), or a glass or plastic container that has an airtight lid. In a large bowl of your choice mix 1/2 cup white distilled vinegar, 1/4 cup water, 1/4 cup rubbing alcohol and 10 drops of lavender or tea tree essential oil. Pour the homemade cleaner into your container and let the t-shirt squares soak up the solution. These can be washed and reused over and over again. – Ecoclean Services
- Remove stuck-on grease and gunk from pots and pans
The abrasive crystals of salt help remove stuck and burnt-on food without hurting your cookware.
Just pour a small amount of salt onto your pots or pans before scrubbing them. – Germz Be Gone
- Remove wine stains from carpet and furniture
If you’ve noticed your wine intake increase since self-isolating, it’s best to prepare for the inevitable spill.
Blot (don’t rub) the stain with clean rags to absorb as much of the wine as possible, then shake salt over the stain and pour club soda on it. Wait a few hours or overnight while the salt soaks up the stain, then gently wipe or vacuum away the salt. – Truman’s
- Disinfect your sponges in the microwave
You use your kitchen sponge to clean utensils, dishes, and even countertops. Ironically though, this is very likely spreading millions of bacteria throughout your home unless brand new sponges are being used very frequently. During this current situation, getting to the store for new sponges may not be safe or ideal. However, you can disinfect your used sponges right at home using the microwave.
Slightly dampen your sponge, pop it in the microwave for 90 seconds on full power, and you’ll reduce the amount of bacterial contamination on it by up to 99 percent! Just ensure that no metal is in the sponge prior to using this method. – Evergreen Cleaning Company
- Disinfect often-touched surfaces
If you want your home to sparkle, then finding an effective disinfectant is essential. Using these natural ingredients, you can make a homemade disinfectant spray that is not only cheap but is free of toxic chemicals.
Put 1 cup of alcohol in a container. Add 1 tablespoon of hydrogen peroxide and ten drops of your favorite essential oil to the solution. I like to use lemon essential oil. This is a great homemade cleaner for high-touch surfaces such as doorknobs, light switches, phones, sink faucets and toys. – Maids in Brown
- Create your own dishwashing detergent
It’s time to wash the dishes. However, there’s one small problem: you’re completely out of dishwasher detergent.
Make sure your glassware comes out sparkly clean by adding 1 tbsp. citric acid to the detergent cup before running the dishwasher. Citric acid is a great dishwasher detergent because of its disinfectant, antibacterial, and antifungal properties. You can also create a solution by combining 1/2 cup citric acid with 1/4 cup salt and 1 cup washing soda. – Purisure
- Deep clean the toilet bowl
Using just a few simple ingredients, you can create your own homemade toilet bowl cleaner that works just as well as the store-bought stuff.
Mix all ingredients into a 16 oz. bottle: 14 fluid ounces of water, 1 1/2 fluid ounces of castile soap, 1/2 teaspoons of essential oil blend (suggested blend sweet orange, Texas cedar wood, clove bud, pine, grapefruit, frankincense, coriander, tea tree). Pro Tip- Drain water from the toilet bowl for better cleaning. – Wild Earth Acupuncture
- Give your windows and mirrors a streak-free shine
Vinegar can be a great ally when it comes to cleaning. It makes windows and mirrors shine. At the same time preventing the person who cleans from inhaling harmful chemicals.
For rinse-free cleaning, use 1/2 cup of white distilled vinegar to a half-gallon of warm water. – Eco Handy Solutions
- Rethink your kitchen sponge
Did you know that those green & yellow sponges aren’t safe to use on most of your kitchen surfaces? They will scratch your stainless and wear down the shine on your stone countertops and the worst part is the tiny scratches will harbor bacteria!
If you have blue or pink nylon sponges lying around the house, use those instead for scratch-free scrubbing and don’t forget to let them air-dry. – Park Avenue Cleaning
- Make a scented all-purpose homemade cleaner
The ingredients are so simple, you probably already have them in your home. You can use it on most surfaces except for marble or granite. Here are a few different options for you to try:
Add equal parts white vinegar and water and up to 20 drops of essential oil in a spray bottle to make it smell fresh! Make sure to use a plant-based cleaning brush for hard to remove dirt while using the spray. – Ecozoi
Mix 1 cup and a half of water, 2 tbsp. of white vinegar, 2 tbsp. of castile soap, 15 drops of peppermint essential oil and 1 tbsp. of 70% alcohol, stir the mixture until all the ingredients are really well blended. Shake it well before using it. Wipe the surfaces with a microfiber cloth since it’s very effective at removing organic matter and germs (sometimes up to 99%) from surfaces. – Gmaids
Using a measuring cup and funnel, add white distilled vinegar and water in the desired ratio (1:1 mix for everyday cleaning and 2:1 for tougher jobs such as mold or mildew) to a spray bottle and shake to mix them together. Add the 15-20 drops of essential oils directly to your spray bottle and shake to incorporate. To use, spray any areas that need to be cleaned, rinse well, and wipe dry. For tougher cleaning jobs, such as grout spray and scrub with a brush. Some of our favorite essential oil combinations are lavender with tea tree, orange, and lime, grapefruit, and cinnamon, lemon, and sage. – Kosmatology
Originally published by Redfin