Making your own household cleaners

making household cleanersWe’ve been sharing a series of articles about the toxins found in some conventional cleaning products.

If you’re convinced it would be safer to make your own, you’re in the right place and I’ve got some great recipes to share.

It is a fun and satisfying thing to make your own cleaners, but we need to take sensible precautions, as ‘natural’ doesn’t automatically mean ‘safe’. Therefore, think about the following, basic ‘kitchen-chemistry’ before you get mixing!

Mix carefully

Only mix ingredients as directed by a reputable source. Avoid recipes with hazardous ingredients such as bleach, ammonia, alcohols, turpentine, etc.

Never mix products containing chlorine bleach and ammonia, or chlorine bleach and a strong acid, as they combine to form highly toxic gases. The mixture produces toxic chloramine gas, which destroys the oxygen content of air in enclosed spaces. Short term effects range from mild asthmatic symptoms to serious respiratory ailments.


When you store homemade cleaners, always mark your containers, saying what the product is for and what it contains. This is important in case a child should accidentally drink some of your concoction; you will need to know what they have swallowed in order to know how best to deal with the situation.

Keep all cleaning products out of reach of children.


Wear rubber gloves when making your own recipes, especially those using borax and washing soda.

Safe disposal

If you are convinced to give home-made recipes a go and now want to get rid of your toxic household products, please don’t pour them down the sink or put them out in the rubbish! Remember that many household products are considered hazardous waste; so contact your local environment agency to find out about disposal of such products in your area.

Coming up: Some of my tried and tested favourite recipes!