DIY Cleaning Products

I have been testing out some DIY cleaning products from recipes that I found at http://cleanmyspace.com/ and also http://clutterbug.me/ for the past couple of months.  I have been so pleased with the results, for example my kitchen granite counter never looked better.  I wanted to share a summary of my top cleaners which I have in spray bottles (various sizes) ready to go.  I keep my bottles in a plastic tote which I take around to different rooms with my microfiber clothes.  The upfront cost of purchasing any of the spray bottles and other items that you might not have on hand does add up.  However, it will save more money than purchasing the pre-made cleaners.  Right now the only pre-made cleaners I use are for cleaning the toilet – I like the Seventh Generation disinfecting wipes and also the Method toilet bowl cleaner.

Just some background = I had swapped from the chemical loaded cleaners to the more natural and cruelty-free brands like Seventh Generation and Method (see former blog post).  I think they are fantastic products and I would recommend them.  However, I still had a sensitivity to their ingredients and odor.  Especially when cleaning spaces like our bathrooms which are small and do not have a window to open to air out the space.  I would even try using a mask for painting/dust in order to clean the shower.  It would still cause me sinus issues which sometimes led to headaches.  I also wanted to take advantage of the antibacterial, antiseptic, antifungal and antiviral properties of my essential oils.       

Special notes =

  • I have been researching how to properly clean each room and surface for the past 6 months now.  I have discovered something that I never realized.  Cleaners and Disinfectants are two separate beasts and you need both.  A cleaner does not disinfect and a disinfectant does not clean!  Yes, this means that I end up cleaning my surfaces (counters, sinks) twice.  Once with a cleaner and second time with a disinfectant (which I let sit for 5 minutes before wiping off).  This was a huge eye opener for me since I would spray a surface with an all-purpose cleaner and then wipe it right away and move on.  Now I use the daily cleaner (recipe below) first and wipe right away.  Then I spray with the disinfectant (recipe below) and leave for 5 minutes and then wipe this away.
  • All of the DIY cleaners last for at most 2 months.  So far I have run out of them before that time expired.  Just a note since if you have a smaller space, you might want to just fill up a spray bottle half way in order to not have any waste.
  • Never use vinegar or citrus on stone countertops like granite.

Products

  • Microfiber clothes = I cannot be happier with the Maker’s Clean brand. I purchased the value pack which comes with 2 of each type (general purpose to electronic).  I have been washing them on a delicate (cold) cycle and then laying out to air dry.  I only clean my microfiber towels with other microfiber.  I do not add any other type of fabric or bath towels to the load since this damages their properties.  They are nice and thick quality and a great large size.  I use the waffle weave one as my every day kitchen towel and it dries super fast.  http://cleanmyspace.com/caring-for-your-microfiber-cloths/
  • Containers = I have found debating info online if you need to use a glass container vs. plastic vs. aluminum for your DIY cleaners which contain essential oils.  Of course if you do not use any essential oils, then any container is fine.  I opted for using amber and blue glass spray bottles for the glass and all-purpose cleaners and aluminum ones for the furniture polish and electronic cleaner.  My favorite brand for glass spray bottles is Sally’s Organics from Amazon and aluminum small ones from Simply Earth (since I was purchasing the essential oils there anyway).
  • Small funnel = I like using a funnel to make sure the ingredients actually get into the spray bottle.
  • 70% Rubbing alcohol
  • White vinegar
  • Liquid dish soap
  • Cornstarch 
  • Baking soda
  • Olive oil
  • Essential oils (optional) = My favorites include Cinnamon, Lavender, Tea Tree and Lemon.  However, I avoid anything citrus (lemon, lime, grapefruit, orange) on my granite countertops.  I do like to use citrus in my bathroom scrub.  Other ones that I like include Cedarwood, Rosemary, Thyme and Eucalyptus.

Recipes (All essential oils are optional, I am just listing my favorites.  Most cleaners you can use 10 to 20 drops.)

  • I use the daily cleaner, disinfectant and glass/mirror cleaner very often, those are my top 3 cleaners that I have in 16oz spray bottles ready to go.

Daily Cleaner (can be used on stone countertops like granite)

Disinfectant (can be used on granite)

  • 16 oz Spray bottle
  • ½ of bottle fill with Rubbing alcohol
  • ½ of bottle fill with water
  • 1 tsp Liquid dish soap
  • 5 drops Tea Tree essential oil
  • 5 drops Lavender essential oil
  • 5 drops Cinnamon essential oil
  • Source : http://cleanmyspace.com/disinfectant/ 

Glass & Mirror Cleaner (NOT for stone like granite due to the vinegar)

  • 16 oz Spray bottle
  • ½ of bottle (8 oz or 1 cup) White vinegar
  • ½ of bottle (8 oz or 1 cup) Water
  • 1 tsp Cornstarch – I have not tried this but it is supposed to help with eliminating streaks
  • 10 drops of Tea Tree essential oil
  • 10 drops of Lemon essential oil – I cannot stand the smell of vinegar and I feel like the lemon helps to cover the odor.
  • Source : http://cleanmyspace.com/glass-mirror-cleaner/
  • This cleaner along with the Maker’s microfiber cloth that is designed for glass/mirrors worked wonders on my mirrors and windows.  No streaks and no lint.

Furniture Polish for Finished Wood (aka a drop of water beads up on surface)

Stainless Steel

Electronic Cleaner (iPad, Cell phone, TV screen, etc)

  • Mini spray bottle (under 3 oz size)
  • ½ Rubbing alcohol
  • ½ Distilled water (do NOT use tap water)
  • Spray on an electronic microfiber cloth (same one that you use for glass/mirrors).  Do not spray directly onto electronic.  Also do not use a paper towel which will scratch surface.
  • This works fantastic for cleaning off cell phones which contain icky germs/bacteria.
  • Source : http://cleanmyspace.com/screen-cleaner/

Bathroom Scrub

  • Small old tupperware or bowl mix the following…this you cannot make ahead of time, only make what you will use that day.  It cannot be stored.
  • 1/4 cup Liquid dish soap
  • 1/4 cup Baking soda (around 1/4 cup
  • Little bit of water to make a paste
  • 10 drops of either Lemon or Wild Orange
  • Let mixture sit on area for 10 minutes before wiping it off.  I love this for the shower tiles and floor.
  • Source : http://cleanmyspace.com/how-to-clean-a-bathtub/

Happy Cleaning!