There’s nothing more satisfying than a clean and tidy home. With so many of us working from home, it’s easy to get distracted from work when there’s dust all over your desk and splatters all over the kitchen floor. Plus, if you’re off for the holidays, it’s nice to start your days off with a clean home, including fresh and clean flooring, dust-free window coverings, and spotless surfaces.
Many of us rely on expensive chemical cleaning products that are made with a variety of unpronounceable ingredients. According to the American Lung Association, “Many cleaning supplies or household products can irritate the eyes or throat, or cause headaches and other health problems, including cancer.”
Most people use these chemicals because they think they’re the most effective. Plus, they’re easily accessible, and offer reassuring claims of their germ and bacteria-fighting abilities.
What if we told you that you already have what you need to clean your whole house without using harmful chemicals? Today, we’ll show you some of our favourite recipes for DIY cleaning solutions.
Our Favourite DIY Cleaning Solutions for Every Surface
These recipes that we found use simple ingredients that you probably already have in your cupboards, like white vinegar, baking soda, salt, and lemon. By mixing these together carefully, you can quickly whip up the cleaning solution that you need to clean every surface in your house.
When you first get started, you won’t need more than a bowl and a rag. If you find that these solutions are effective, you can purchase a few empty spray bottles, and keep them filled with your favourite DIY solutions. Eventually, you can replace your old chemical cleaners with these new, healthy alternatives.
Our countertops are some of the highest traffic areas in your home. There are many different types of homemade cleaners that work well on countertops, but you should be careful to use cleaners that work with the materials your countertops are made of.
Certain countertops, like stainless steel, granite, or glass, need to be treated carefully to avoid permanent damage.
A great all-purpose cleaner works well on laminate, tile, and solid-surface material. It should not be used on granite or marble, since the vinegar could etch the stone permanently.
For a great all-purpose cleaner, mix ½ cup white vinegar with 2 tablespoons of baking soda in a spray bottle, and fill it up the rest of the way with water. If you want, you can add in some essential oils to take away the smell of the vinegar. Some of our favorites include anti-bacterial tea tree or eucalyptus.
Granite and Marble
For granite and marble, you need to be careful to avoid harsh cleaners. Even something as innocuous as vinegar could affect your natural stone countertops.
To clean these countertops, use a simple mixture of water along with a few drops of mild dishwashing soap like Dawn. You can also add ¼ cup of rubbing alcohol, to help get rid of streaks.
This cleaner works well, and won’t harm the sealant on your marble or granite countertops.
Love the look of clear, streak-free windows but don’t want to risk inhaling chemicals every time you clean? There are a few easy ways to get clean windows using water, and one other surprise ingredient: rubbing alcohol! Here’s a recipe we love:
- 1/2 gallon of water
- 1/2 cup ammonia
- 16 oz. rubbing alcohol
- 1 teaspoon of Dawn dish soap
If you don’t have ammonia, you can keep it simple with a mixture of ½ cup white vinegar and ¼ cup rubbing alcohol, diluted with 2 cups of water. The rubbing alcohol helps to minimize streaks, but spraying the solution on a rag or cloth rather than directly onto the window helps as well.
Stainless steel surfaces and appliances look beautiful, but use the wrong cleaner, and you’re left with a streaky, fingerprinted mess! To get rid of water stains and grime, start with a mixture of 1 tablespoon baking soda to 1 cup water. Use this solution to gently buff away marks, scrubbing in the direction of the grain.
If you’re scrubbing a higher-traffic area like your sink, you can omit the water entirely and use plain baking soda paired with a wet sponge. The baking soda acts as an abrasive, cleaning away dirt and grime.
After you’re done scrubbing, spritz the stainless steel surface with plain white vinegar, then wash the baking soda and vinegar mixture away.
Brass isn’t used often these days, but many people still treasure brass bowls, candlesticks, fixtures, and even doorknockers. It’s a unique metal that looks beautiful when it’s cleaned and polished to a high shine.
If dirt, dust, and oil accumulate on your brass items, it can quickly cause them to tarnish. You can avoid this by giving them a quick pass with a microfiber cloth every few days.
To keep brass shining, you can clean and polish it with toothpaste, or a 1:1:1 mixture of white vinegar, flour, and water. Polish in a circular motion, and remember to clean it with water and dry it off carefully before returning it to use.
Without regular cleanings, your porcelain tub or vanity can quickly look dull and grimy. You can clean it quickly with a small amount of dishwashing soap mixed into hot water, which will remove grease.
If your porcelain surfaces need a thorough cleaning, mix up a solution of ¼ cup baking soda to ¼ cup ammonia. Then, use a sponge dipped in the solution to carefully buff out stains and build up. Rinse it with water and repeat if necessary.
If you have rust stains on your porcelain sink or tub, you can lift them away with a mixture of lemon juice and salt. Just pour enough table salt on the stain to cover it, and squeeze half a lemon over the salt. Leave it for up to an hour to let the lemon juice penetrate, then scrub it away.
Many people believe that they need bleach to safely scrub their toilet. What if we told you that simple Castile soap and baking soda could get the job done just as well? Here’s our favourite toilet bowl cleaner.
- 1/3 cup liquid Castile soap
- 2 cups water
- 2 tablespoons baking soda
- Essential oil (our favourites are lemon, eucalyptus, or lavender)
Mix up the cleaner and spray it generously into the toilet bowl. Let it sit for a few minutes, then scrub it away with a toilet brush.
When cleaning hardwood floors, you need to be careful to ensure your cleaning solution doesn’t leave streaks or water damage. Many people swear by a solution of ½ to 1 cup white vinegar mixed with a gallon of water, applied carefully with a well-wrung mop. If you live in an older home with hardwood flooring that has warped or shrunk, you should be very careful to avoid dripping water into these cracks.
For wooden furniture, try this polishing spray:
- ½ cup water
- ¼ cup white vinegar
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 10-15 drops of essential oil like lemon or orange
The water and vinegar help to get rid of grime and dirt, while the olive oil leaves the wooden surface clean and shiny. The essential oils add a pleasant smell. Just remember to shake the bottle well before use.
Get Help with Any Cleaning Conundrum at Duby’s Home Centre
Have you recently done a full kitchen or bathroom renovation, and need to know how to clean all your new surfaces? Get in touch with the experts at Duby’s Home Centre. We can help you learn the best methods for cleaning any material and guide you through the steps you need to take to protect every surface in your home.