The Only 6 Ingredients You Need for a Clean Home

When you do a quick browse at your standard cleaning aisle, society tells you that you need a different chemical for every single task you could think of.

  • Toilet bowl cleaner
  • All purpose cleaner
  • Bathroom counter spray
  • Glass spray
  • Carpet refresher
  • Room freshening spray
  • Daily shower spray
  • Glass cook top cleaner
  • Stainless steel cleaner
  • Tub and tile cleaner
  • Washing machine cleaner
  • Fabric softener
  • Laundry detergent
  • Wrinkle release spray
  • Laundry starch spray
  • Anti-static dryer sheets
  • Laminate floor cleaner
  • Hardwood floor cleaner
  • Oven cleaner

....whatttt? That was just a search on a big box store's website for cleaning products. 19 cleaning products for 19 different uses (supposedly). Marketing tactics are trying to convince you that you need one product for each task because, simply put, it makes companies more money. Did your grandmother have closets full of cleaners for each thing? Nope. The only thing that has changed in 50 years is advertising, not the dirt we accumulate.

According to the Huffington Post, in 2011 Americans spent over $500 per year on cleaning supplies. What's even scarier is that there are no federal regulations on chemicals in household cleaning products. 

Rebecca Sutton, PhD, a senior scientist at the Environmental Working Group (EWG), explains,

“In terms of household cleaners, neither ingredients nor products must meet any sort of safety standard, nor is any testing data or notification required before bringing a product to market.”

Scary, right? There are laws for beauty products and food but not for the surfaces we touch daily and the air we breathe in our homes?

Many of these cleaners have immediate health effects such as coughing, skin irritation and rashes, watery eyes, and sneezing. Oftentimes the labels will tell you to not let it touch your skin and to work in a well ventilated area so as to not breathe it.

The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health has found that,

"One-third of the substances used in the fragrance industry are toxic. But because the chemical formulas of fragrances are considered trade secrets, companies aren't required to list their ingredients but merely label them as containing "fragrance."

Is this really what we want to surround our families with simply to get rid of dirt and grime? Seems to be defeating the purpose of cleaning if you're only replacing the dirt with dangerous chemicals.

Related Post: 4 Easy Green Swaps for Sustainable Living

I recently found the Think Dirty app. You can scan or search the products you have in your home to see how they rank on the 'dirty scale'. Which chemicals are in them and what are the effects?

There are ways to clean your home and still use safe products. You can even save money in the process. Let's review the only ingredients you need to keep in your home to create cleaning products to cover every inch.


  • White Vinegar $3.44 for one gallon (128 oz.)
  • Castile Soap $15.99 for 32 oz.
  • Baking Soda $2.24 for 4 pounds
  • Rubbing Alcohol $.98 for 16 oz.
  • Tea Tree Oil (has antimicrobial properties to kill bacteria) $6.88 for 2 oz.
  • Essential Oil (whichever scents you prefer!) Prices vary but generally around $10

Total cost = $39.53

Cleaning Recipes

Multipurpose Spray (counters, tile, etc.)

Mix in spray bottle.

  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons Castile soap
  • 10-12 drops of essential oil

cleaning products

Glass Cleaner

Combine all into a spray bottle and shake.

  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons of white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons of rubbing alcohol
  • 5 drops of essential oil

Related Post: Natural Allergy Relief Remedies

Microwave Cleaner

Mix these in a microwave safe bowl and heat for 2-3 minutes, until steam is created. Any grime will wipe off super easily!

  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 2 cups water
  • Optional - 1 drop of essential oil (to cover vinegar smell)

Toilet Scrub

Combine vinegar and tea tree oil in spray bottle and spray into bowl and all over toilet (lid, handle, etc.). Let the bowl sit while cleaning the outside of the toilet then sprinkle baking soda inside the bowl and scrub.

  • 1/2 cup baking soda
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 1/2 tea tree oil

Shower Spray

  • 1/4 cup of white vinegar
  • 1 cup water

cleaning products

Floor Cleaner (including hardwood!)

  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 1 gallon water
  • 2-3 drops of essential oil

Mold Remover

Mix water and tea tree oil in spray bottle and shake. Spray down affected areas and let sit, the longer the better. Mix the baking soda with a bit of water until a paste forms and use this to scrub the area.

  • 2 cups water
  • 2 teaspoons of tea-tree oil
  • 1/4 cup baking soda

Related Post: Natural Ways to Repel Mosquitoes

Oven Cleaner

Heat oven to 125 degrees and spray vinegar on caked on areas and then pour baking soda onto area. Turn off oven, let cool, then use a damp towel to wipe away.

  • Vinegar
  • Baking Soda

What are your favorite cleaning recipes for a natural home?


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