8 homemade alternatives to toxic household cleaners

Today I unleashed my inner activist with a post over on BabyCenter about the fact we’re still overwhelmingly cleaning our homes with toxic solutions.

Look, I know green cleaners are out of reach for a lot of people. I just checked at my local Stop & Shop and found that the general spread between the “green” cleaners and the toxic stuff was at least 30% and often double the cost on a $/ounce basis. So I went in search of some homemade alternatives that didn’t look too time intensive or use ingredients that were hard to find.

Now – to be full disclosure, I used to think there was NO WAY I’d ever make my own cleaning supplies (who has the time?). But as I looked around and researched, I’ve got to admit, it doesn’t look that hard. And the more I read about what is in cleaners (and even a lot of the ones marketed as “green”), the more I am coming to the conclusion that I have to learn how to make my own safe alternatives.

I’m going to be testing these out in my own home over the coming weeks. But I wanted to share the initial roundup with you all here.

Citrus All Purpose Cleaner


This looks easy and interesting. I wonder if the scent leans more in the direction of vinegar or orange/grapefruit and can’t wait to find out. You can find the recipe here.

Lavender All Purpose Cleaner


If you’re anything like me, how something smells is important. It looks like this recipe for a lavender/citrus-scented all purpose cleaner by Wellness Mama would smell divine. Just be sure to use essential oils, not fragrance oils as the latter are full of toxic ingredients.

Oven Cleaner


Tip Nut has a variety of homemade oven cleaner recipes, all of which look relatively easy to assemble. I like the simplicity of #1 and would skip #2 as it contains ammonia, an ingredient our asthma-suffering family can’t have around.

Laundry Detergent


There are lots of recipes for homemade laundry detergent all over Pinterest. But I really like this one tested by my fellow BabyCenter blogger, Denise, because it uses lavender soap for a hint of scent.

Window and Glass Cleaner


I really like how the author tested three different homemade glass cleaner recipes and landed on a fourth one that really worked wonders.

Wood Floor Cleaner


Castile soap has a million uses. I like the stripped-down simplicity of this floor cleaning recipe from Real Simple. We have hardwood floors in a lot of rooms, and I worried about many of the other recipes I saw online that included vinegar. This one looks nice and gentle.

Tub Scrub


This tub cleaner recipe from Martha Stewart looks fantastic. Since I already have eucalyptus essential oil around (I used it when my guys were little and suffering from colds or bronchitis), I don’t have to buy a thing to test this.

Tablet Toilet Cleaner


You take it when you’ve eaten too much Thanksgiving dinner. If it’s safe enough to ingest, then it’s safe enough to clean with! I love the idea from Apartment Therapy on how to use these little tablets to brighten up your toilets.

What do you think? Would you ever make your own cleaning supplies? If so, what have you made?