Natural & Environmentally Friendly Cleaning Tips | Part 1


Welcome to a part one of a two-part blog post on natural & environmentally friendly cleaning tips.
In part one we cover 5 natural ingredients for environmentally friendly cleaning.
In part two, we cover ways to make and use these effective natural cleaners.

Making your own natural cleaning products is a great inexpensive, toxic-free way to ensure your house is free from unnecessary chemicals. Plus, it smells divine! You can easily customize the scent and be in control of the quality of ingredients you use.
Importantly, these alternatives are easy and safe to use in place of commercial household cleaning products.

This blog post is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to natural & environmentally friendly cleaning. There are plenty of other fantastic ingredients to help clean but these are just to point you in the right direction.

Here are 5 ingredients you will need for your environmentally friendly cleaning:

Environmentally Friendly Cleaning Tips

No. 1 – Vinegar

Vinegar is made from soured fruit juice, grain or wine. It has fantastic natural disinfectant properties which makes it great for cleaning use around the house.

Vinegar can:

  • cut grease
  • remove stains
  • remove odours 
  • soften water
  • dissolve mineral deposit
  • remove mildew
  • clean window without leaving smears
  • remove wax build-up
  • remove stains on carpets, countertops, pots and pans

No. 2 – Baking Soda AKA Bicarbonate of Soda

Bicarbonate of soda is a common ingredient in baking, but it doesn’t need to end there. In fact, bicarbonate of soda/Baking soda is actually an all-purpose, non-toxic cleaner that is effective at:

  • removing stains
  • getting rid of dirt and grime
  • working as a mild abrasive for scouring stovetops, ovens, pots, pans and sinks
  • cleaning and polishing aluminium, chrome, porcelain, silver, stainless steel, tin and jewellery.
  • deodorizing smells around the house and in the fridge. (It absorbs unwanted smells.)
  • deodorizing carpets – before vacuuming, sprinkle some on your carpets for added freshness and to help deodorize them. 
essential oils for environmentally friendly cleaning

No. 3 – Essential Oils

Essential oils are absolutely wonderful to use in homemade cleaning products. Not only do they smell amazing, but they also add that extra germ-fighting power to your cleaning. Essential oils are great for cleaning anything from the floor to your sinks, tubs and toilets.
They’re also brilliant for diffusing into the air to kill unwanted bacteria.

Here are just some of the available essential oils that are great for cleaning:


Undoubtlyably a favourite in my house, eucalyptus is a fantastic antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral oil with immune-boosting effects too.
Additionally, it is great for cutting grease, especially around the hob, bathtub and grease on counters.
Because of its antifungal properties, it’s also great to use in areas that are often moist, like bathrooms, to help prevent mould growth


Lemon oil has antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties that make it wonderful for cleaning.
Add it to your natural cleaning products for a clean fresh smell. Additionally, you can even add it to your white laundry items to help brighten them.

You don’t even need to use lemon essential oil to get a good clean going.
When using a lemon to squeeze over your salad or into your green tea, run the half-slice of lemon over your counters and sink. It helps to cut grease, polish metal and lighten stains.

Before putting your stained item into the wash, rub the stain with lemon to help break it down.
For use as a laundry brightener in place of the essential oil, add 1/2 cup of strained lemon juice to the rinse cycle.

For a non-cleaning related fact, let’s talk insect bites. If you happen to get nibbled by anything, lemon oil also works as an anti-histamine. Simply dab a diluted drop onto insect bites to reduce the itch and redness.


Lavender oil has great cleaning properties, plus it smells amazing! It is antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral, and like Eucalyptus also boosts the immune system.
It’s great for sensitive skin. You can even use it directly on the skin for burns and bites too.
Lavender essential oil is a fantastic oil to diffuse into the air around the house to clean the air. Alternatively, add to a bottle and use it as an air freshener. It has a fantastic effect on mood, helping to release tension, calm the nervous system and help you relax.
In the case of migraines, this oil can also be rubbed onto temples to help ease a tension migraine.


Peppermint is a beautiful oil to use in homemade cleaning products. Definitely, for its refreshing minty scent, but also for its powerful antibacterial properties.
I love to use it in antibacterial cleaners for areas like the bathroom or kitchen. Additionally, it has the added bonus of acting as a natural pest deterrent.
Another bonus is that peppermint blends well with many other oils. With this in mind, try it with lavender, eucalyptus, lemon and rosemary.

Tea tree oil

A well known anti-fungal, tea tree works to kill mould and mildew as well as being a great antibacterial and antiseptic.
Simply mix two teaspoons tea tree oil with two cups water in a spray bottle then spritz the mixture on to any mouldy or mildewy areas, like showers. Don’t rinse off the mixture, just let it work its anti-fungal magic.


Naturally antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal and anti-parasitic, oregano oil is very potent and must be diluted.
It’s great for cleaning, but also for helping prevent a cold or flu, or help speed up recovery should you have got one. Additionally, it’s also great against fungal infections.
North American Herb and Spice Oregano oil can be used internally and externally for this purpose.

Essential oils are extremely concentrated and potent. Most essential oils should be diluted before use. Unless they state they are food-grade, they are not for internal use.
If you’re pregnant, diabetic or have a medical condition please consult a medical professional before using essential oils.

dr bronners for environmentally friendly cleaning

No. 4 – Castile Soap

Castile Soap is traditionally made from olive oil and comes from the Castile region of Spain, which is where it derives its name. It is a vegetable oil-based soap as opposed to animal (tallow) fat-based soap. Nowadays, it is also made from coconut, castor and hemp oils.
Since it is free from synthetic ingredients, it is very environmentally friendly and biodegradable.
Look for a castile soap in liquid form that is free from dyes and one that is not petroleum-based, such as Dr Bronner’s liquid castile soap.

No. 5 – Salt

Salt is one of the most versatile ingredients as it has abrasive and bleaching properties. It is a great natural deodorizer and can be mixed with vinegar and flour to make a cleaning paste.

To learn how to use these to make effective cleaning products, check out part two.

Emily Nöth

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