Maintaining a clean home requires a little bit of work, the right equipment and effective cleaning products. With so many products and cleaning solutions to choose from, homeowners can easily clean and disinfect their homes without worry.
However, for environmental or economic reasons, some homeowners have decided to forgo store-bought cleaning products by making homemade products using common ingredients such as vinegar, baking soda and borax.
When properly combined, these ingredients can clean and disinfect most areas in a home nearly as well as commercial products. Free of toxic chemicals like ammonia, methyl chloride and nonoxynols, homemade products made from natural ingredients do not cause air or water pollution, leave no toxic residue and are a better option for eco-friendly disposal.
But as with any cleaning product, there are pros and cons that homeowners should consider before making the switch from commercial products to homemade cleaning solutions.
Pros of Homemade Cleaning Products
Cost savings is one of the major advantages of using homemade cleaning products. For those who need to clean their homes often (those with small children, pets or those with allergies and other ailments) or for budget-conscience homeowners, mixing up their own cleaning solutions costs much less over time than purchasing commercial products, including eco-friendly commercial cleaning products.
Products made from natural ingredients don’t contain harmful toxins that can trigger allergic reactions in adults, children and pets. Limiting the use of toxins when cleaning the house can improve the air quality, making it safer for those with asthma and other respiratory illnesses.
Harmless to the environment, ingredients like vinegar and baking soda won’t corrode pipes or negatively impact water tables, sewer systems or the soil. Natural and biodegradable, these products leave very little imprint on the environment.
Cons of Homemade Cleaning Products
Even though homemade cleaning products have many advantages, these products do have a few disadvantages that homeowners should consider.
It takes a little time and planning to mix up effective cleaning products. Homeowners should carefully research natural ingredients and how to mix them properly for the best results. Homeowners will also have to invest some money upfront to purchase the ingredients.
Natural ingredients like vinegar can cut through dirt and grime, disinfect porcelain and other non-porous surfaces, but typically aren’t as effective for removing stains or for disinfecting porous surfaces like granite, marble and wood. For deep cleaning and stain removal, homeowners may have to purchase commercial cleaning products.
Other Things to Consider
For many homeowners, a clean home smells fresh and inviting. Unfortunately, vinegar has a strong, sour smell that isn’t very pleasant. Even when diluted with water, vinegar can smell for days after cleaning. Adding essential oils can help, but for those with sensitive noses, the vinegar scent will still be noticeable.
Before using homemade cleaning products, it’s best to contact flooring and countertop manufacturers or do some research to determine if it’s safe to clean these surfaces with vinegar and other natural ingredients. In some cases, natural products can permanently stain or discolor countertops, floors and tile.
Over the past few years, eco-friendly cleaning products have become more popular and more accessible for house cleaning. If homeowners want to switch to biodegradable products and cleaning solutions, but don’t want to mix up their own products, plant-based commercial products feature fewer toxins, but include essential oils and other natural ingredients.
When it comes to maintaining a clean home, homeowners should take a closer look at the products they use. While commercial products are relatively safe; for those with allergies or those prone to skin irritation, switching to homemade cleaning solutions made from natural ingredients may help reduce and manage these and other health issues.