Skip to Accessibility Tools Skip to Content Skip to Footer
all natural cleaning options

Simple, DIY Cleaning Solutions

With “Spring Cleaning” season upon us, it probably comes as no surprise to hear our Spotlight this month centers around tips and tricks for tidying your space. However, many of us are quite concerned about the chemicals and irritants in household cleaning products. Irritants can trigger larger health issues, especially for those chronic conditions that affect the airways, like COPD.

So, how do you limit exposure to harmful chemicals?

One way to reduce your exposure to these harmful chemicals is to make your own cleaning solutions at home. Using simple, homemade cleaning formulas can be an easy, inexpensive way to disinfect your home and reduce your exposure to potentially toxic chemicals. These environmentally friendly recipes are cheaper than most cleaning products you can find in the store, and in most cases, you may already have the ingredients on hand.

Here are some simple DIY home cleaning products you may want to try:

Window Cleaner– Most store bought window cleaners contain ammonia and sulfates. This simple natural glass cleaner avoids these chemicals, while still working great on windows and mirrors.

  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup vinegar
  • Lemon (for scent)

Combine and store in a spray bottle.

All Purpose Cleaner– A must have for any cleaning job!

  • 4 tablespoons Baking Soda
  • 1-quart warm water

Pour on a clean sponge and wipe.

Heavy Duty Scrub– This is great for sinks and tubs, as well as rust stains and dried in stains.

  • Half a Lemon
  • 1/2 cup borax

Dip the lemon in borax and scrub.

White Ring Remover– Water stains and moisture can do a number on wood furniture. This simple solution can help eliminate these unsightly marks, while avoiding the heavy-duty store-bought brands.

  • One-part non-gel toothpaste
  • One-part baking soda

Dampen a cloth with water, add toothpaste mixture and rub with the grain. Buff over the ring, then take a dry cloth and wipe off. Use another cloth for the final shine.

Oven Cleaner– For some, cleaning your oven is a must, but self cleaners lock it up for hours, and spray cleaners emit fumes that can be horrible. Try this simple solution instead:

  • One-part vinegar
  • One-part baking soda
  • One-part water

Mix together in an oven safe dish. Dab some of the solution on the bottom of the oven and place the rest of the solution in the container on an oven rack. Set the oven for 100 degrees and let it run for 45 minutes. Wipe up all the loose grit and gunk.

Clean your Dishwasher– If your dishwasher isn’t running as smoothly or beginning to smell you can pour lemon or Citrus powdered drink mix into the detergent cup and run on regular cycle. This will also help remove rust stains inside the walls.

Brass Cleaner– This includes door knobs, faucets and fixtures

  • White Vinegar
  • Salt

Dampen sponge with vinegar then sprinkle on salt. Lightly rub over surface, then immediately dry with a clean soft cloth.

Marble– Easily cleans natural stone countertops.

  • A drop or two of dish wash liquid.
  • Two cups warm water

Mix together, then sponge over marble and rinse completely. Finish by buffing with a soft dry cloth.

GOO GONE– Here is a substitute for that miracle product that removes sticky, gooey, gummy problems.

  • Equal parts coconut oil and baking soda.

Mix together and apply to the sticky situation.

Laundry Detergent– This substitute is easy to make and goes a long way.
Equal parts:

  • Borax
  • Washing Soda
  • Dawn Dish soap

Add to 4 parts HOT water. Mix thoroughly in to a sealable container and shake well. Use approximately 1/4 for a large load of laundry.

Going natural when it comes to cleaning can be easier than it seems, and may provide a benefit in the long run.

A few other important tips to keep in mind before you clean:

  • Make sure you have adequate ventilation, such as a fan nearby, or an open window.
  • Take it slow! It can be overwhelming not only to tackle a huge cleaning project but also to change up your normal routine. Focus on one area at a time, and remember, there is no need to clean an entire house all at once! Take it slow, and take breaks when you need them. You know your body best, and know how much you can do!

Let us know if you try any of the above and what you think! 

  1. "Cleaning Products 101." Martha Stewart. Martha Stewart, 20 Jan. 2017. Web. 05 Apr. 2017.
  2. HGTV. "9 Homemade Cleaning Products." HGTV. HGTV, 10 Nov. 2015. Web. 05 Apr. 2017.
  3. Heloise. "9 Household Cleaners You Can Make Yourself." Good Housekeeping. N.p., 29 Mar. 2016. Web. 05 Apr. 2017.

Comments

  • emfraser2015
    1 week ago

    Awe, Thank you so much for this! Cleaning solutions and aerosol spray has made me so sick and didn’t know what to use!! I love Dawn and use it with my pots and pans but have a dish washer for the rest, I can’t wait to use this, when I feel better

  • Leon Lebowitz, BA, RRT moderator
    1 week ago

    Hi emfraser and thanks for chiming in here. Glad this article resonated so clearly with you. I also hope you feel better soon! Warm regards, Leon (site moderator)

  • WandaT
    1 week ago

    For tub, sinks, and faucets: Mix equal parts blue dawn & vinegar in a spray bottle. Spray and let sit for about 15 mins., then wipe off with wet rag or sponge. Saves a lot of scrubbing.

  • Leon Lebowitz, BA, RRT moderator
    1 week ago

    Hi WandaT and thank you for chiming in in response to this article on do-it-yourself cleaning solutions. We appreciate your input. Others may read what you’ve suggested and have some ideas of their own. Regards, Leon (site moderator)

  • Janet Plank moderator
    2 years ago

    Great information and these sound like things even I can use.

    I would like to hear about something to take the place of an air freshener. I can’t use any scented products and our lower level is like a basement on 3 sides, so it can smell musty.

    Thank you for any feedback.

  • Jenn Patel
    2 years ago

    Hey Janet!

    Glad you commented and asked! In this article: https://copd.net/living/creating-a-friendly-home-part-1/, Mary has this to say about air fresheners: “If you must use air freshener try using natural ingredients such as, lemon, lime, orange, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, ginger root, or rosemary. Simmer a quart of water with one or more of the natural ingredients, (experiment until you find the combination you like best), to freshen and clean the air. Or if it’s a beautiful day out, open your windows and let in the fresh air to replace the stale air of your home – your lungs will thank you.”

    I hope this helps with what you’re looking for!

    Best,
    Jenn (COPD.net Team)

  • Poll