Natural Cleaners That Can Replace Detergents

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. We cannot recommend the use of some items below because, due to the many different types of surfaces in the average modern home, some items may cause damage when used abundantly on a particular surface.

Tired of that chemical miasma invading your nostrils with every breath? Concerned about the harmful effects many commercial detergents may have on the planet? Below we explore some natural cleaners that can be used instead of their commercial chemical counterparts.

Baking Soda

Perhaps one of the most common natural cleaners, baking soda can be purchased at almost any supermarket. This multipurpose cleaner, formally known as sodium bicarbonate, is effective as a general cleaning agent – even to remove rust. But be warned: baking soda reacts with aluminum, and can leave your window frames (or other aluminum objects) permanently tarnished.

Distilled White Vinegar

Just as well-known as baking soda, distilled white vinegar is another multipurpose cleaner for most surfaces in your home. It can cut through grease and soap scum, kills 99% of bacteria, 80% of viruses, and can also help you to get rid of mould.

The deodorizing properties of distilled white vinegar has made it quite popular; a bowl of undiluted white vinegar left overnight in a room can remove unpleasant odors; a cup-full poured into the sink can eliminate nasty stenches coming from your drain or garbage disposal. Diluting a cup of vinegar with 2 gallons of water can even turn smelly pooches odorless (rinse the dog with fresh water, then with the vinegar solution, and dry him or her off).

Essential Oils

Think of it as aromatherapy for your home. Those pricey oils come packed with anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-viral properties, which make them great disinfectants. They’ll also endow each room with a lovely lingering scent. Oils often recommended for cleaning include:
• Grapefruit
• Eucalyptus
• Tea Tree
• Peppermint
• Lavender
• Lemon
• Rosemary
But beware: these oils are potent. Allergic reactions are one of the more common dangers associated with these oils. Direct skin contact with undiluted oils should be avoided, especially by children under the age of five.


The items mentioned above can sometimes be mixed together to suit a specific cleaning purpose.
• Mixing ½ cup baking soda with ½ cup distilled white vinegar and adding a few drops of your choice of essential oil is a great way to clean toilets. Just be careful – vinegar and baking soda may react violently when combined.
• Mix ½ cup baking soda with ½ cup hot distilled vinegar to deodorize your garbage disposal. Again, take care when combining the two.
• Got semi-opaque glassware you want to restore to their natural see-through condition? Soak paper towels in undiluted white vinegar and place them on both the inside and outside of the glassware you want to treat. Leave for 10 to 20 minutes before rinsing.
• Keep ants out of your house by spraying undiluted distilled white vinegar at entrance points into your home. Lemon juice, or liquid cleaners that contain lemon extract work just as well.