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Natural Cleaning Ingredients

Updated on November 11, 2012

There are many reasons not to use harsh chemical cleaners. And, there are just as many, if not more, reasons to use natural, herbal cleaners. Here is some information about natural cleaners that can be used in the home.

The main reason you want to use natural cleaners is that they are so much better for anyone who has to be around them. But, first let us start with a list of the harsh, harmful chemicals that are in many every day cleaners you can buy at the store. They include ammonia, bleach, butyl cellosolve, cresol, dye, ethanol, formaldehyde, glycol, hydrochloric acid, hydrofluoric acid, lye, napthalene, paradichlorobenzenes, perchloroethylene, petroleum distillates, phenol, phosphoric acid, propellants, sulfuric acid, and trichloroethylene. Just to name a few. You can do an internet search on these chemicals and see how bad they are for you, your family, and the environment. These are the chemicals you want to avoid.

Luckily, there are alternatives to any type of chemical cleaner. There is a way to get your home clean and not use anything that is harmful. You just have to be willing to try something new. Here are some of the substances you can use.

Baking soda, or sodium bicarbonate, is a mild alkali. It is useful in a variety of cleaning situations. White vinegar is also a useful substance. It is slightly acidic. Heinz brand of white vinegar is made from grains. Many others are made from petroleum alcohols. Either can be used, but if you are trying to get away from harsh chemicals, you do not want petroleum in your cleaners.

Sodium lauryl sulfate powder, also known as SLS, is a simple and safe detergent. It is derives from coconut oil. When used to clean surfaces, it is stronger than soap. You can order SLS powder from companies on the internet. Like SLS, unscented bulk castile soap can be used to loosen and wash away dirt. A bar of the soap can be granted into formulas. It is also available from companies on the internet.


One way to get a wonderful, fresh smell in your natural cleaners is to use lemon, lime, or grapefruit juices. They can either be used fresh or from a concentrate. They are acid and antibacterial, as well. They make a lovely addition to your cleaning formulas.

Borax, or sodium bromate, is a mildly alkaline, water-soluble salt. It will loosen dirt and stains and remove odors. It is widely available at supermarkets. If you are unable to find it, again, look on the internet.

Both carnauba and olive oils are wonderful additions to natural wood cleaners. They will recondition, as well as polish the surfaces. Beeswax is also good for waxing and shining. It is usually made into pastes.

Lanolin is a natural oil extracted from wool. It will restore a natural sheen to fibers and is also a water repellent when added to wool-washing soaps.

A mild abrasive that is nice to use is clay powder. It can easily absorb essential oils and make them easy to disperse in powdered cleaning formulas. Pumice is a finely ground volcanic rock and is a bit more abrasive. It can be added to scrubbing compounds.

There are many recipes for herbal cleaners that can be used. Hopefully, you will use this list of natural cleaners to find a way to get away from all the harsh, harmful chemicals in readily available home cleaners.


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  • GracieLake profile image

    GracieLake 6 years ago from Arizona

    I heartily agree with your suggestions, and I appreciate that you've pointed these out. How much money did we spend at Walmart on bathroom cleaners, polishers, window cleaners, etc.? This is a sensible and effective approach. THANKS

  • laral profile image

    laral 6 years ago from England

    Great hub! Thank you for sharing these tips. I use wine vinegar to cleanse my mirrors and it is fantastic!I always wanted to use many more natural ingredients so I booked this hub.

  • Miss Mellie profile image

    M.S. Ross 6 years ago

    Vinegars are made from...petroleum alcohols??? I never knew! Voted useful. Thanks for sharing your helpful tips.