Store bought household products are convenient and easy to use, but sometimes they contain harsh ingredients that can irritate sensitive skin and overpowering scents that can assault our noses. You can make your own cleaning agents, oftentimes with products you already have at home, and you don’t have to devote hours of your time to it.
If the pungent odor of ammonia keeps you from cleaning your glass surfaces as frequently as you’d like, you can opt to make your own glass cleaner, so you know exactly what’s in it. Katie Wells at WellnessMama posted her own recipe for glass cleaner that just uses vinegar and water, with an optional essential oil. Joan Clark at Tips Bulletin lists 5 homemade glass cleaner recipes, one that throws rubbing alcohol into the mix of vinegar and water. I have a glass stovetop. I sprinkle a light dusting of banking soda onto it and then mist vinegar with a sprayer I bought on amazon. I wait until the vinegar dissolves the baking soda and wipe with a rag or scrub with a dobie. This method works really well, with the only down-side being that sometimes I get undissolved baking soda pushed into the corners of my stove top. When that happens, I simply spray that area with more vinegar and wipe it once the powder is fully dissolved.
When it comes to laundry, sometimes fabric softener has a super harsh scent and can leave our towels and clothes a little filmy. In addition to that, they produce extra waste in the form of used sheets and discarded plastic cartons. If you’re not into one or more of those things, you have alternatives. Wool dryer balls are touted as an eco-friendly, non-toxic way to cut down on your drying time. Simone Kitchens at New York Magazine says the wool balls, “last for 500-plus loads, or about a year (my mom says you’ll know they’re done when they get too fuzzy).” If you want to scent your balls, you can add some essential oils to them in your preferred fragrance. ConsumerReporting tested several brands and lists their pick here. If you like to soften in the wash, WikiHow suggests combining 25 drops of essential oil to a gallon of white vinegar. The oil is optional for a scented product. The vinegar “strips away residue on your clothes that would otherwise make them stiff, and it has properties that can break down some of the minerals found in hard water supplies.” Once you’ve made the mixture, you put a quarter cup into the rinse cycle to let it work its clothes softening magic.
Disinfecting wipes for your counters and doorknobs can be easily made with paper towels, vinegar, alcohol, and dish soap, according to Sarah Lipoff at Popsugar. If you’d like to skip the vinegar, AMindfullMom posts her three ingredient recipe here.
If you’re tired of all the perfumes and harsh ingredients in pre-packaged cleaners, just buy vinegar in bulk and spend a little time doing it yourself.