Updated: Jul 13
I'm a huge fan of making my own products where I can and let me tell you, it is much easier than you think. I see making my own products much like cooking or baking. A few simple, natural store-cupboard ingredients and you can make a plethora of products or even just use them as they are for a variety of reasons.
Knowing what goes into my products is important to me. It's safer, gentle on the skin and I can hand select essential oils for homemade products to benefit my family therapeutically.
Recently, I ended up with a famous, branded kitchen spray in my shopping basket. Don't get me wrong, there's absolutely nothing at all wrong with that, I was quite excited to explore this "Eco refill", with "100% biodegradable fragrance", "naturally derived cleaning agent" and "no harsh smells". So away I went, spritzing my worktops, getting stuck into cleaning the daily grease and grime.
No sooner had I started spraying, I began to cough. The scent was really hitting the back of my throat. It wasn't a nice smell either, it was harsh and certainly didn't smell natural. Shortly after, Anya came in to see what I was doing...she began to cough too. It was the first time this had happened and alarm bells started to ring.
Upon trying to find the ingredients on the bottle, I couldn't find any specific information, other than this label:
What on earth is 'phenoxyethanol' and what's in 'non-ionic surfactants'? This made me think that if the company weren't prepared to fully disclose the full ingredients on their label then they must have something to hide. Heading over to their website, I thought I'd have more joy but discovered much of the same. No specific ingredients listed, no way to find out what specific chemical and perfumes have been used. I had no choice but to head to my trusty friend, Google, for answers and what I found wasn't pretty...or natural. I'll let you do the Googling if you wish but as you're here for a lovely, natural, chemical free DIY surface cleaner, I'll get straight to it.
There's absolutely no need to go out and buy a spray bottle, simply wash out and recycle an old one that you already have (make note, save your next spray bottle!).
Here’s a list of the most commonly used natural cleaners you can use around the home:
An acid that kills bacteria and other nasties, it’s one of the most widely used natural cleaners. It's also excellent for removing limescale, which can build up a lot in hard water areas. Best of all, it dries odourless so your house won't end up smelling like the local chippy!
A plant based, concentrated, unscented soap which helps to add foam to cleaning products and also kills bacteria.
You can buy bottles of Castile soap very easily online and you can use it in anything from kitchen spray to hand soap. Do not mix with vinegar though as you will get a solution with bits in - this is the soap coming together in clumps. Best to use Castile soap first to clean and then vinegar to kill any last germs and add shine.
BICARBONATE OF SODA
A naturally occurring, powdery substance that is an excellent, gentle abrasive.
By boiling and cooling clean tap water, you can remove almost all bacteria from the water.
This will help to keep your cleaning products fresher for longer and prevent them from going bad.
Many essential oils are known for their cleansing and antibacterial properties, which make some particularly beneficial for cleaning your home. As well as that is the incredible scent they give off. So nmot only can you clean, you can energise yourself with the help of lemon, de-stress with lavender or enhance your mood with geranium.
Here’s my list of the best essential oils to use when cleaning:
You can also blend your oils for different scents. Experiment and find your favourite.
Lavender with tea tree: Relax and disinfect bathrooms with this powerful combo.
Lavender and orange: Lift your spirits and cut through grease and grime.
Lavender and peppermint: Get pepped up for cleaning with this pleasant scent.
Lemon and lavender: Brighten your mood and tackle tough cleaning.
Remember, if you are blending essential oils, do not exceed the maximum number of drops.
All of these have some level of antibacterial properties and are great additions to natural cleaners.
Like a recipe for baking a cake, it's important that when you use essential oils, you stick to the quantities recommended. Too little and they just won't have the desired effect, too much and they will be far too overpowering, not to mention wasteful. If you are using a high quality, certified organic essential oil then you will not need much at all.
So without further ado, here's the 'recipe' for your very own DIY all natural, chemical free, therapeutic surface cleaner...
750ml cooled, boiled water
3tbsp castile soap
15-20 drops of essential oil
Funnel or jug
Pour cooled water directly into your chosen bottle using a funnel. Alternatively pour into a jug to avoid spillages when decanting into the bottle. Add the castile soap and essential oils, screw the spray top on tightly and gently tip upside down and back a few times until the liquids mix together.
If you would like any information about choosing the right essential oils then contact me and I'd be happy to guide you through my favourite products.
I'd love see your homemade surface cleaners so please tag me on Instagram or Facebook or email me directly: firstname.lastname@example.org