To keep your home sparkling clean and always fresh, you can use natural antibacterial cleaners like vinegar, alcohol, essential oils and hydrogen peroxide. If you want to avoid exposure to harsh chemicals, you can also create a DIY natural cleaner using essential oils and vinegar or vodka and vinegar.
There’s no doubt that a clean home is a healthy home. Creating a clean home that is free of harmful bacteria is vital, especially for homes with children.
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Why not bleach?
Now, you may be asking yourself, “But isn’t that what bleach is for?”
Yes, you are totally right! Bleach is a strong bacteria killer that can keep your home germs-free. However, this powerful cleaner can be harmful to your health if you breathe it in, or it’s exposed to your skin.
Many homeowners are looking for a safer alternative that will not only keep their homes clean, but also ensure a safe environment. Here are a few natural alternatives and a how-to-guide on how to use them.
Vinegar is one of the most common natural house cleaners that gets the job done, due to its strong acidity. This property allows it to kill bacteria as well as other substances such as mildew and molds.
While it may not kill bacteria as fast as bleach, there is no doubt that it is a much safer alternative to harmful chemicals. However, this means that you may need to clean a little longer and employ more effort to get the cleaning strength of bleach.
It’s also very important to be aware that vinegar is not a certified disinfectant. While it is proven to be effective against some bacteria like E. coli and Salmonella, it doesn’t eliminate all types of bacteria. For instance, it is not proven to be effective against Covid-19.
Vodka is not just used for parties– it can also be used for cleaning. Vodka has a 40% alcohol volume which makes it a strong antibacterial cleaner for molds and bacteria. Not only can it kill bacteria, but it also leaves a nice shine on the floor, giving it great value for money.
It can also get rid of bad odors caused by debris. It is even more effective when you use vodka that has 60% alcohol volume. You can just leave it on the floor for a few minutes then wipe it after. It actually works better than white vinegar in most cases.
Essential oils are also amazing natural cleaners that can not only kill bacteria, but also get rid of fungus and viruses. In fact, you can mix essential oils with your regular soap and water to create an even more powerful cleaning agent. Add in a little vodka or vinegar to the mix and you can even eliminate musty odors.
The essential oils that we recommend for cleaning are tea tree, lemon, and patchouli. Whatever essential oils you choose, just make sure that you do your research first so you can find the perfect fit for your home’s material.
From the name alone, one may think hydrogen peroxide isn’t a natural cleaning product. However, it is a natural and biodegradable substance that contains water with added oxygen inside.
It is a much safer option than chlorine bleach and it can get the job done effortlessly. To use it, simply put hydrogen peroxide solution inside a bottle and spray it on your target area. If you want to use it for soaking clothes, you can just mix it with baking soda to create a foamy substance.
Just make sure that you don’t mix it with the other substances we’ve mentioned above. For instance, it is not recommendable to mix hydrogen peroxide with vinegar or essential oils.
DIY natural cleaners
While these natural antibacterial cleaners work well in isolation, you can choose to mix them with a few other ingredients to form even stronger cleaners. For instance, mixing vinegar with essential oils can amp up the vinegar’s effects. Here’s how to do it:
White vinegar and essential oils
- White vinegar
- Tea tree oil
- One half slice of lemon
Steps to follow:
- Fill a spray bottle with ½ cups of white vinegar.
- Add 3 cups of water and mix.
- Once mixed, add in 15 drops of the tea tree oil.
- Squeeze in some lemon to give the cleaner a pleasant smell.
Vodka, vinegar and lemon
Mix these ingredients together to create a powerful antibacterial cleaner. With the lemon essential oil, you won’t need to add any extra lemon for a nice smell. Here’s how to do it:
- Lemon essential oil
Steps to follow:
- Mix 1.5 cups of water and ¼ cups of vinegar in a spray bottle.
- Add in ¼ cup of vodka and mix thoroughly.
- Once mixed, add 15 drops of lemon essential oils and mix again.
Another great natural cleaning product to add to your home cleaning routine are enzyme cleaners. Enzyme cleaners are the best at tackling stinky odors and stains in the home. Read here about how to make your own enzyme cleaner.
Frequently asked questions about natural cleaners
Can I completely replace bleach with natural cleaners?
Bleach is not necessary for keeping your home clean and bacteria-free. In fact, natural cleaners are much safer to use, especially if you have children around. You may have to clean a little longer with these cleaners, but you can protect your health and home at the same time.
Can I create a thicker natural cleaner that can be used for soaking?
Yes, all you need to do is mix the cleaner in some baking soda. For instance, you can mix baking soda with vinegar to create a thicker paste natural cleaner. You can also use this mixture as a natural fabric softener.
Do I need to watch out for anything when using essential oils?
Essential oils are safe and won’t harm your health if used properly. However, they are very potent, so you are advised not put any of the oils in your eyes, nose or mouth. Essential oils can burn if not used properly.
Before putting any essential oils directly on your skin, make sure to dilute them with a carrier oil or lotion, as unconcentrated essential oils are harmful to the skin.
Can I add more drops of essential oils to my cleaners for higher strength?
Adding more drops of essential oils to your cleaners will give you more potency and a stronger smell. You can add up to 20 drops of oil to your cleaners. However, doing this is not necessary since essential oils are generally potent enough by themselves.
The bottom line
The goal of any homeowner is to create a good living environment using natural and chemical-free cleaners. This is especially true for homes that have children. If you want to maintain a good home, you must first consider the things you use to clean it with.
We all know that chemicals and bleach are harmful to our health. For this reason, natural alternatives like essential oils, vinegar and vodka are becoming an option for most homeowners. If you want to create a clean and safe home for your family, consider these natural cleaners instead of the usual chemical bleach.