You can clean nearly everything in your home with just these seven natural cleaning ingredients! Things like baking soda, Castile Soap, Distilled White Vinegar, Hydrogen Peroxide and more. I started buying and making my own cleaning, laundry, bath, body and beauty products in 2011 after learning about the toxins in conventional products and how badly they affect our health and haven't looked back!
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Natural Cleaning Ingredients
Here are some natural cleaning ingredients I suggest always keeping on hand to be able to make your own non-toxic cleaning products at home. Click on the links below to buy these natural cleaning ingredients from Amazon.
- Baking Soda
- Castile Soap (peppermint, lavender, or citrus)
- Dr. Bronner's Sal Suds
- Distilled White Vinegar
- Super Washing Soda
- Hydrogen Peroxide
- Essential oils – there are many options, but here are my cleaning favs – Thieves, Purification, Lemon, Lavender, Pine, Citrus Fresh, or Tea Tree
- Kosher Salt
- 24 oz. plastic spray bottle or 16 oz. brown amber spray bottle
Baking Soda is my number one most-used natural cleaning ingredient! Also known as sodium bicarbonate, it is a component of the natural mineral natron that is found in mineral springs. It is a natural deodorizer and scrubbing agent, perfect for removing soap scum and stuck-on particles. Make a paste with some Castile soap and water, or just water, and you might be surprised by how effective this very simple and safe ingredient can be!
Castile Soap is traditionally made from Olive Oil and comes from the Castile region of Spain, which is where it derives its name. I always always have this on hand as a natural cleaning ingredient! Today it is also made from coconut, castor, and hemp oils. It is free of animal fats, making it vegan and free from synthetic ingredients, making it environmentally friendly and biodegradable. It is also a gentle surfactant, unlike harsh ones such as sodium laureth sulfate that strips your hair and skin of its natural protective oils (like sebum). I have written extensively about Castile Soap here on the blog – see all of the ways you can use it here!
Sal Suds is an all-purpose cleaner. As it says on the bottle: “Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) is a surfactant that cuts grease and dirt, generates copious suds, and biodegrades quickly and completely. SLS is made by combining a sulfate group with lauryl alcohol from coconut oil, then attaching sodium. If improperly formulated, SLS can irritate the skin, but our superb formula uses coco-betaine and lauryl glucoside to counter this.”
It is a sulfate, not just a soap like Castile soap, so therefore, it is not appropriate for use on the body or hair. It's much better for household cleaning, washing the car, washing outdoor furniture, and other tough jobs. I use it in my Laundry Detergent and Dishwashing Soap recipes.
For a list of all of the ways to use it, click here to visit the post on Dr. Bronner's website.
Distilled White Vinegar
This was one of the first ingredients I bought when I decided to go natural. It is so good for household cleaning, but of course, it doesn’t smell the greatest. I found that I did get used to the scent, and adding essentials to it really helped to mask the unpleasant scent. It is a mild disinfectant, more powerful if followed by hydrogen peroxide, and left on for 30 minutes or more. The addition of essential oils, especially if they’re from Young Living Essential Oils, can really help the solution kill germs!
Super Washing Soda
This is baking soda’s cousin, also known as sodium carbonate, SAL soda, or soda ash. It is a naturally occurring alkaline mineral with a pH of 11. Super Washing Soda is a great addition to your natural laundry and dishwashing routine.
You can use Super Washing Soda to:
- Soften water naturally
- To whiten clothes in the washing machine
- Neutralize odors (much like baking soda)
- Shine silver
- Replace chemical solvents when removing heavy-duty household spills and stains like motor oil, grease, wine, crayons, lipstick, and wax
One caution with Super Washing Soda is that it is very alkaline and caustic – make sure to wear gloves when you use it and keep it out of reach of children and pets.
Hydrogen Peroxide is a safe and effective disinfectant and an alternative option to chlorine bleach – another must-have as a natural cleaning ingredient. Its molecules are made of two hydrogen and two oxygen atoms (H2O2) that decompose after use back into oxygen and hydrogen, so it’s completely green and non-toxic and is colorless and odorless to boot. It must be stored in a dark container or cabinet out of direct sunlight as sunlight will break it back down into oxygen and hydrogen.
For household cleaning, the 3% solution is an effective disinfectant if left on for 30 minutes or more. It can also be used as a laundry and upholstery stain remover for light or white items. I wouldn’t use it on colored items as it will remove the color as bleach does.
Learn more about hydrogen peroxide in a post I wrote here!
Essential oils are wonderful to use in cleaners. They add extra cleaning and germ-fighting power and also smell wonderful, making the cleaning experience more enjoyable! In my family, we also use them for our health. I only use Young Living Essential Oils as I’ve found them to be the best and most effective ones on the market. Learn more about their oils here. If you do decide to get your essential oils from Young Living, quite a few of the products you'll use in your cleaning products come in their starter kit – Lemon, Thieves, Peppermint, Tea Tree, Lavender, and Citrus Fresh. But with this course, I welcome any essential oil brand you'd like to use.
This particular type of salt has larger granules than other types of salt, which makes it a perfect scrubbing cleaner for cast iron pans and for thickening up Sal Suds for Laundry Detergent and Dishwashing Detergent. I've used other types of salt, such as Sea Salt and Table Salt, in these recipes, and it didn't work!
Waterproof, Vinyl Labels for Natural Cleaning Supplies
Grab my waterproof vinyl labels that include the recipes on them here in my Etsy shop! These labels make it super easy when you need to refill your bottles.
Why Use Natural Cleaners?
So now you know which natural cleaning ingredients to keep on hand, but do you know why natural cleaning is so important?
The last time the FDA passed a chemical regulations law was in 1976. More than 150,000 chemicals have been released on the market that has not been tested for safety! Chemicals are considered innocent until people start getting sick. There are no regulations requiring companies to disclose the ingredients in household cleaners, so we have no way of knowing whether or not a product is safe for humans, animals, and the environment.
Many Cleaners Cause Indoor Air Pollution
The Environmental Protection Agency reports that the air inside the typical American home is 2-5 times more polluted than the air immediately outside – and in some extreme cases, 100 times more contaminated. Ten percent of all toxic exposures reported to the U.S. Poison Control Agency are from common household cleaners. Chemicals within our homes contribute to indoor air pollution, especially ones containing fragrances, chlorine bleach, and ammonia.
Health Affects of These Chemicals
Common cleaning products can release more than 450 chemicals into the air and are linked to asthma, reproductive toxicity, cancer, neurotoxicity, and more! They are even harmful to babies growing in the womb.
According to the Environmental Working Group (ewg.org):
Studies have shown that infants exposed in the womb to cleaning products used by their mothers may suffer lower birth weight, lower IQ, and wheezing and respiratory symptoms that may persist throughout childhood.
They can even worsen asthma and CAUSE adult-onset asthma – what?! How is this okay?
Many cleaning products, including spray cleaners and disinfecting wipes, contain asthmagens—chemicals that can either worsen asthma or cause asthma in someone who never previously had it. Studies show that using traditional cleaning sprays as rarely as once a week can increase your risk of developing adult-onset asthma. Common asthmagens and respiratory irritants in cleaning products include quats, ethanolamines, glutaral and sodium hypochlorite (chlorine bleach).
Natural Cleaning Recipes
Use the natural cleaning ingredients listed above to make these recipes!
- All-Purpose Household Cleaner
- Glass Cleaner
- Laundry Booster and Softener
- Dishwashing Soap
- Foaming Hand Soap
- Drain Cleaner
- My Favorite All Purpose Household Cleaner
- Toilet Bowl Cleaner
- Baking Soda Deodorizer and Scouring Powder
- Laundry Detergent
- Laundry Fragrance and Softener
- Disinfecting Spray
- Disinfecting Wipes (Reusable)
- Cleaning Wipes (Reusable)