You can search natural household cleaners and come up with a long list of homemade cleaners. Each having the same ingredients, just different proportions. If you look long enough you can find the same recipes titled for different use. Here’s the skinny on things as far as I’m concerned.
Hot water and elbow grease will go a long way. Commercial cleaners are made to work at a cold or room temperature and with little or no scrubbing. This is fine and dandy, but how harsh of chemicals do you want to have on hand? I would rather not have any. If my little guy gets into the cleaning supplies he may get sick but I won’t have to call poison control or make a trip to the E.R.
Because vinegar is very acidic it works well as an antibacterial and antifungal. Granted, I wouldn’t rely on it to kill absolutely everything, it will kill a fair amount. For a better smelling vinegar you can place any citrus peels in a jar and fill it with vinegar. Allow this to sit for a week or two. Strain the vinegar and use as normal. This will have a more citrus scent.
Baking soda or Sodium Bicarbonate is an alkaline and is a great scrubbing abrasive. Combined with vinegar you get a great fizz. This works well for unclogging drains. It will also loosen scum that is hard to scrub off. The benefits of both baking soda and vinegar are best not combined. Once the chemical reaction has occurred between the two, you are left with carbon dioxide and water.
I like the fizz when vinegar and soda are combined. So I will first scrub with the soda then rinse with the vinegar. Once the fizz is finished I then rinse with hot water. Everything gets nice and shiny clean.
Borax Washing Soda is another great cleaning product. This too works for almost everything. Chemically it is very close to Baking soda. I use it in my homemade laundry detergent as well as adding some to extra dirty laundry. It also makes a great scrubbing agent. I like to use this in combination with baking soda as my scouring powder in place of Ajax or Bar Keepers Friend.
Salt is a cleaning supply that might surprise you. Not only is it great for scrubbing your cast iron but as a paste it will polish brass and copper. It will remove oil stains on fabric and coffee stains in your favorite mug, for a couple examples.
Cleaning supplies don’t need to be fancy or made of artificial chemicals to get the job done. The homemade alternative don’t need to be an extra long list of recipes either.