Do-It-Yourself solutions are all the rage at the moment.
A homemade cleaning solution can be a safe, easy to make, and a cost effective option for keeping your home clean. Here are a few things you should know about homemade cleaning solution before you dive in.
Homemade Cleaning Solutions Sanitize, but Don’t Disinfect.
A homemade cleaning solution is not going to disinfect your hard surfaces. Disinfection refers to killing all organisms and bacteria on a flat surface. To do a true disinfection you’re going to have to break out the bleach. There are no approved methods of disinfecting a three dimensional surface (like carpet or upholstery). A homemade cleaning solution will help to sanitize your hard surfaces, like tile, stainless steel and glass. This means the amount of bacteria, fungi and viruses will be reduced, not eliminated.
Homemade Cleaning Solution
There are a variety of recipes available to make your own homemade cleaning solution. What you should know is that vinegar and/or citrus are the main “workhorses” in a homemade cleaning solution. Don’t exclude them in your recipe. They offer acid which helps remove food spills and other substances on your hard surfaces – eliminating the places for bacteria to live. Other ingredients like rosemary or lavender can offer a pleasing scent.
Making your own homemade cleaning solution may save you a small amount of money, but not a lot. A basic recipe may include vinegar and lemons, costing less than $3.00 for all the ingredients. A regular bottle of Windex or Clorox Clean-Up will typically set you back $5.
Make Sure To Test Spot
Take the time to do a test spot. Generally speaking, a homemade cleaning solution is safe and non-toxic. However, you don’t always know how it will react with your hard surfaces. Always do a test spot in an inconspicuous location to ensure there will not be a reaction between your homemade cleaning solution and your hard surface. Sometimes engineered wood or vinyl flooring may have a sealant coating that is sensitive to the acid in your cleaning solution. You should also know that natural stone can be permanently etched by acid. Always do a test spot. Always.
Carpet Cleaning and Homemade Cleaning Solution
A citrus-based homemade cleaning solution should NOT be used on upholstery or for carpet cleaning. In addition to acid, citrus also contains oil which will leave a residue in your carpet or upholstery. Try a 50/50 mix of white vinegar and water for a homemade carpet cleaning solution.
Ready to make your own homemade cleaning solution? Try slicing up 2 lemons and 2 limes. Soak them in a large Mason jar for a month in a dark place. After a month, strain the citrus out and pour the liquid into a spray bottle. Throw a few chunks of the citrus into the garbage disposal to freshen it up. Remember, test spot first, then clean.