I have been making my own household cleaners for almost 5 years now, and I love them! I was inspired to find non-toxic cleaners, after my first baby started crawling. Every time I mopped my floors with a commercial cleaner, she would break out into a rash whenever her skin touched the floors. After I did more research, I discovered EWG, and learned that commercial cleaners can be unsafe. I certainly didn’t want my baby exposed to possible carcinogens or toxins that could affect her development.
Over the years, I have created numerous homemade cleaning recipes, most of them involving 3 basic natural ingredients:
- Baking Soda
- Essential Oils
Do they work?
When I first started making my own homemade cleaners, my first concern was whether they could do the job!
Do homemade cleaners work? The short answer is: it depends! If your objective is to clean your home, yes, these homemade cleaning recipes work! If you are looking to disinfect your home, the answer is, maybe. Let me explain.
- Disinfectant against Human Pathogens: This study looked at the efficacy of vinegar and baking soda as a disinfectant against staff infection, salmonella, E. coli, polovirus, and a few other human pathogens. They did demonstrate some antimicrobial activity, but were found to be overall, less effective than other commercial household disinfectants.
- Antibacterial Activity of Essential Oils: Do studies show essential oils to have antibacterial properties? Again, the answer is not so simple. Some essential oils show varying degrees of efficacy, depending on the dilution.
The bottom line – vinegar, baking soda and essential oils, in specific concentrations, do kill some bacteria and provide some disinfectant properties, but it is unlikely to be as effective of a disinfectant as commercial cleaners. BUT, this article does a great job of posing the question – what is your objective? Your household is not an operating room, so is sanitizing your home necessary? I tend to think we may be over-doing it.
I feel more than comfortable using homemade cleaners in my home. If you are still on the fence, but want something safer than what you can buy at your regular market, I recommend you checkout the natural cleaning products at