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Beat the Flu Season with 10 Recipes for All-Natural Cleaning Products (Updated 2020)

Flu season may be a regular occurrence, but with 2020’s COVID-19 pandemic, we all have to go the extra mile when it comes to keeping ourselves safe from infectious germs and illnesses. One of the best ways we can protect ourselves and the people around us is to make sure that we disinfect our surroundings as often as possible.

If you’re stuck at home while your city is in lockdown, or you just want to get creative with keeping your home sanitized, you can try making your own all-natural cleaning products. Making your own cleaners is actually quite easy and simple, and you may already have most of the ingredients in your kitchen or cupboards.

IMPORTANT: At present, no essential oil has been found to be effective against the novel coronavirus. Essential oils can help boost your immunity to a variety of germs, but only soap and alcohol have been found to be effective against stripping the virus of its protective membrane.

Aroma Foundry offers a wide variety of essential oils that you can use to bring your homemade cleaning products to the next level. Check out the recipes below to find out how to use essential oils for your home!

We did a side-by-side comparison with two of the world's biggest essential oil brands:

essential oil brands

Household Ingredients You’ll Use

If you’re on lockdown and can’t leave the house much, making your own cleaners can be a productive use of your time. You likely already have at least some of the ingredients, which are common household items. If you have the following items, you’ll likely be able to start making your own cleaning products.


Distilled Water

distilled water

Distilled water is basically water that’s been purified and is free of contaminants, minerals, and potentially harmful microorganisms. You can buy bottles or gallons of distilled water, but you can also make your own at home.

The process is actually quite simple if you have the right tools. These are the things you’ll need:

  • A large stainless steel pot, preferably able to accommodate 5 gallons
  • A heat-resistant glass bowl
  • A round metal baking rack
  • Ice
  • A water bottle

First, fill the steel pot halfway with water from the tap. Put the round baking rack on the bottom of the pot, then place the glass bowl on the rack. Make sure that the bowl is not submerged in water and that it’s not touching the bottom of the pot.

Bring the water to boil. Take the pot’s lid and put it back inverted, so its interior is facing out. Place ice on the inverted lid.

The ice will then enable condensation. As the steam from the boiling water rises up and makes contact with the cooler lid, it will turn back to liquid and drip down to the glass bowl. Make sure that the water collecting in the bowl won’t boil; if it does, turn the heat down.

Once you have enough water in the bowl, turn off the heat and carefully take the bowl out of the pot. Use pot holders to avoid burning your hands, or you can wait for the water to cool down before retrieving the bowl.

The water in the bowl is your homemade distilled water, and you can use it to make a variety of all-natural cleaning products. Store the water in a bottle to keep it clean and easily accessible.

White Vinegar

White vinegar is remarkably versatile and is a household staple. You may already have it in your kitchen. It’s an important product in many homemade household cleaner recipes.

Because white vinegar is highly acidic, it can get rid of a lot of dirt. However, it can also be quite harsh -- too harsh for a variety of items and surfaces. The recipes below will teach you to mix white vinegar with other ingredients that will make it less harsh and more widely useful.

Borax

Borax, also known as sodium tetraborate, is a chemical compound that appears as a component of many cleaning products. It is naturally-occurring, but it’s still important to handle it with utmost care. 

It’s important to remember that you should avoid getting borax in your eyes, and it should also not be ingested even when diluted. If you or anyone in your household accidentally ingests borax or gets it in their eyes, call your local emergency service or dial 1-800-222-1222 for the American Association of Poison Control Centers.

Baking Soda

baking soda

Because it’s a mild alkali, baking soda (also known as sodium bicarbonate) can make grease and grime dissolve in water more easily. This will allow you to get rid of grease spots that may be harboring harmful and infectious microbes. Baking soda can also neutralize odors, so you can use it to get rid of bad smells in kitchens, bathrooms, and the like.

Alcohol

Rubbing alcohol may currently be in short supply in many places due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, if you happen to have it, you can mix it with other ingredients to make a variety of cleaning products.

Alcohol is also effective against the novel coronavirus. With regular use, alcohol can help protect you and the people around you from getting infected. Of course, make sure to practice proper social distancing and proper hygiene to reduce your chances of getting infected as well as passing the virus on to other vulnerable and high-risk people.

Liquid Castile Soap

Supermarkets typically carry liquid castile soap, and you can also order a bottle or two online if you don’t have it. Castile soap is typically vegetable based and free of animal products or synthetic ingredients. Because of this, it’s a prominent ingredient in many all-natural cleaning products.

Additionally, castile soap is highly versatile. You can use it on your skin and hair, your pets, and many surfaces around the house.


The Best Recipes for All-Natural Cleaning Products

Essential oils can help enhance the fragrance and cleaning capabilities of your homemade cleaning products. With the COVID-19 pandemic coinciding with the tail end of the flu season, we need all the help we can get. Plus, if your city or town is on lockdown, it won’t hurt to make your home smell better than it ever has.

We offer 10 different cleaning product recipes, each with a specific essential oil blend. Check them out below!


Disinfecting Spray

multipurpose spray

A multipurpose disinfecting spray can get rid of grime from various surfaces around the house, making it easier to get rid of harmful microbes. Simply spray this mixture on a surface, then wipe it down with a clean rag.

Here are the things you’ll need:

Instructions:

Clean your spray bottle to prepare it for storing your cleaning mixture. When it’s ready, pour all the ingredients into the bottle. Screw the cap back on securely and shake the bottle to thoroughly mix the ingredients together.

Shake the bottle each time you use the cleaner. Simply spray the mixture onto a surface that needs cleaning, such as the exterior of appliances, bathroom and kitchen counters, cabinet doors, kitchen backsplashes, and more.


Mold and Mildew Remover

mold and mildew cleaner

Mold and mildew can be harmful in varying degrees. If you have asthma or allergies, it’s definitely much better for your health to keep your home as free of mold and mildew as possible. In fact, even if you’re not allergic, the presence of mold can still be harmful to your health.

It can be tough to remove mold and mildew. They’re not your run-of-the-mill stain; they are fungi that can be difficult to get rid of, especially if they’ve been left for too long. Use the recipe below to get rid of spores that can affect your health and even possibly damage your home.

Here are the things you’ll need: 

Instructions:

After you clean the glass bottle, uncap it and pour in all the ingredients. Put the cap back on, making sure it’s secure and tight, then shake the bottle to mix all the ingredients together. Simply spray the mixture on areas with mold and mildew and let it sit for at least 15 minutes. 

Depending on how bad the mold or mildew problem is, the spores can be easy to remove. Wipe the problem area down with a clean rag or scrub it to get rid of the more stubborn stains.


Grease Remover

cleaning spray

A well-used kitchen is the site of many a good meal, but that also means that grease and grime will tend to build up. Not only is grease unappealing, to say the least, it can also harbor microbes that can multiply and cause stains, bad odors, or maybe even infections.

This grease remover recipe uses a fragrant essential oil blend that will not only deodorize your kitchen, it can kill harmful germs as well. Meanwhile, the baking soda will make the grease easier to wipe off completely.

Here are the things you’ll need:

  • 3 drops of lemon essential oil
  • 3 drops of grapefruit essential oil
  • 2 drops of basil essential oil
  • 2 cups of white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup of baking soda
  • A spray bottle
  • An empty spice or salt shaker

Instructions:

Take your glass bottle, uncap it, and pour in the vinegar. Don’t pour in anything else. Put the bottle cap back on and set the bottle aside.

Next, take a bowl and pour in the baking soda and essential oils. Mix these ingredients together thoroughly.

Make sure that the spice or salt shaker is clean, then pour in the baking soda and essential oils mixture. Screw the shaker’s cap back on.

When cleaning a greasy surface, spray the vinegar on it first. Using the shaker, sprinkle the baking soda mixture over the same area. Spray another layer of vinegar over the baking soda, then let it sit for about 15 minutes so the ingredients have the time to react to each other.

Once the 15 minutes are over, wipe the surface down with a clean rag or microfiber towel. Make sure to toss these towels or rags in the wash after using.


Dust Buster Spray

dust cleaner

Dust is simply a fact of life, albeit an irritating one. If you have allergies or are asthmatic, dust can trigger a reaction. However, getting rid of dust can trigger a reaction as well if you’re highly allergic to it.

This spray, however, can help prevent dust from floating up into the air and into your airways. The liquid will weigh the dust motes down and make it easier for you to wipe them up without triggering an allergic reaction.

Here are the things you’ll need:

  • An ultraviolet glass fine mist spray bottle (like the one suggested for the disinfectant spray)

Instructions:

Make sure to clean the bottle first if you’ve already used it for something else. Once it’s clean, pour in all the ingredients except for the water. Put the bottle cap back on and shake the bottle to mix the essential oils, vinegar, and olive oil together.

Once all the ingredients have been mixed together, add the water into the bottle as well. Put the cap back on and shake the bottle again to incorporate the water into the mixture.

To use this mixture, spray a sufficient amount on a microfiber towel. Then, use the towel to wipe down a dusty area. Make sure to shake the bottle before each use.

Window/Glass Cleaner Spray

window cleaner

Sick of grimy windows? You’re definitely not the only one. No need for store-bought window cleaner; this easy recipe doesn’t just clean windows, it can handle mirrors and other glass surfaces as well.

Here are the things you’ll need:

  • 14 drops of lemon essential oil
  • 3 drops of basil essential oil
  • 3 drops of spearmint essential oil
  • 1/4 cup of vinegar
  • 3 cups of distilled water
  • 1/4 cup of rubbing alcohol
  • An ultraviolet glass fine mist spray bottle (like the one suggested for the disinfectant spray)

Instructions:

Note: if you don’t have rubbing alcohol but happen to have vodka in the house, you can substitute that instead.

As with the other recipes, make sure that the spray bottle you’ll be using is clean and ready to use. Once your bottle is ready, take the cap off and pour in all the ingredients. Screw the cap back on and shake the bottle to mix all the ingredients together.

Spray the mixture on glass surfaces that need some cleaning. Make sure that you shake the bottle well before use. Wipe the mixture off to remove dirt and grime.


Carpet Cleaner

carpet cleaner

Carpets can get funky after some time, and they often harbor all sorts of germs and microbes. Additionally, because they’re laid out on the floor, they catch all kinds of dirt that you, your family members, your guests, and your pets track into the house.

While vacuuming can get a lot of the dirt out of your carpets, sometimes you need a carpet cleaning solution to deodorize and get the worst of the dirt out.

Here are the things you’ll need:

  • 14 drops of cedarwood essential oil
  • 11 drops of lemon essential oil
  • 5 drops of rosemary essential oil
  • 2 cups of baking soda
  • An clean and empty jar
  • A hammer and nail, or anything that can make perforations on plastic or metal
  • A piece of paper or plastic cling wrap

Instructions:

Take the jar you’ve cleaned and prepared for this project and pour in the essential oils and the baking soda. Screw the lid back on, making sure that it’s on tight. Shake the contents well to mix them together.

Punch holes into the lid of the jar. Make sure not to make them too big. With these holes on the lid, you’ll be able to apply the mixture evenly on the carpet.

To protect the mixture while not in use, put a piece of paper or plastic on the interior of the lid. Make sure that the paper or plastic is big enough that it won’t fall into the jar.

Leave the mixture on the carpet for 1 to 2 hours. It’s best to do this when you can be sure that no one, including your pets, will be walking on the carpet during that time. Once the 1 to 2 hours are up, vacuum up the mixture thoroughly, making sure that you get all of it.

Dish Soap

dish cleaner

While it’s pretty easy to get your hands on dish soap, you might want to try to make your own, using essential oils. However, this recipe uses vegetable glycerin, which might not be as readily available as other ingredients. Fortunately, it can be found in supermarkets and you can also order it online.

Here are the things you’ll need:

Instructions:

Wash the bottle and mixing container, then wipe them dry. Take the mixing container and pour in all the ingredients. Whisk them thoroughly together, making sure that the ingredients are incorporated well.

If you don’t have anything that has a spout for easy pouring, you can use a clean bowl and funnel.

Store the mixture in the glass bottle. Pump out a sufficient amount to ensure that your dishes are thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. 

Stovetop and Sink Scrub

stove cleaner

Our stovetops and sinks get their fair share of grime, grease, and dirt. After all, they catch specks and drops of cooking oil, bits of food, and more. All this debris can harbor harmful microbes and even allow them to proliferate. In the time of the pandemic as well as the flu season, it’s best to make sure that you’re able to get rid of as many harmful pathogens as possible.

Cleaning stovetops and sinks sometimes isn’t as simple as spraying on a cleaning solution and wiping it down. More likely than not, you’ll have to scrub these surfaces down to get to even the most stubborn of the debris. This homemade scrub can make things easier for you.

Here are the things you’ll need:

Instructions:

Pour all the ingredients into the jar. Use a spoon to thoroughly mix the ingredients together and form a paste. You can also adjust the ingredient amounts accordingly to get the consistency you want.

Take a clean rag or sponge and use it to apply the mixture onto the stovetop or sink. You can then scrub the mixture into the surfaces to loosen up the debris and make them easier to wash off. Let the mixture rest for up to 15 minutes before washing it off with water.

Shower and Bathtub Spray

shower cleaner

Even our showers and tubs build up grime and dirt over time, though it may be less noticeable. When the dirt sets into the grout, it can be difficult to clean. The best way to maintain your shower or tub’s cleanliness and avoid stubborn stains is to do some light cleaning every time you shower or take a bath.

This mixture is great for frequent or everyday use, because it won’t take up too much of your time. 

Here are the things you’ll need:

  • 2 drops of bergamot essential oil
  • 2 drops of lemon essential oil
  • 2 drops of fir essential oil
  • 1/2 cup of white vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cup of water
  • An ultraviolet glass fine mist spray bottle (like the one suggested for the disinfectant spray)

NOTE: You can replace the vinegar with the same amount of alcohol for marble and natural stone surfaces.

Instructions:

Make sure that the bottle you use to store the mixture is clean and dry. Once you’ve prepped the bottle, pour in all the ingredients. Screw the bottle cap back on tightly.

Shake the bottle to combine all the ingredients. Spray the mixture on the walls and floor of your shower, as well as the interior and exterior of your bathtub. Make sure to shake the bottle well before each use. 

Toilet Cleaner

toilet cleaner

Toilets are a hotbed of bacteria and other microbes, and thus need regular cleaning so you can avoid infections, bad odors, and unsightly stains on the porcelain. There are many toilet cleaners that are easily available in supermarkets, but you can easily make your own with essential oils and ingredients that are probably in your cupboard right now.

Here are the things you’ll need:

  • 6 drops of lime
  • 3 drops of lemon
  • 1 drop of spearmint
  • 1 cup of white vinegar
  • 1 cup of baking soda
  • 1/4 cup of salt
  • A spray bottle
  • A clean and empty jar
  • A hammer and nail, or anything that can make perforations on plastic or metal
  • A piece of paper or plastic cling wrap

Instructions:

Take your spray bottle and pour in the vinegar. Screw the cap back on and set the bottle aside.

Pour the rest of the ingredients into the jar. Screw the lid tightly back on and shake the bottle to mix the ingredients together thoroughly. 

Next, take the lid off and make small perforations on the top. This will allow you to easily sprinkle the mixture evenly across any surface. Place a piece of paper or plastic under the lid when not in use.

Spray the vinegar on the toilet, then sprinkle the baking soda mixture over the vinegar. Spray another layer of vinegar over the baking soda. Leave the ingredients to react with each other for up to 15 minutes.

After this, scrub with a toilet brush. Wash the toilet down and flush.

essential oils for cleaning

Summary

Recipes for homemade all-natural cleaning products have been around for generations, but you can put your own spin on them with essential oils. Because essential oils have their own antiseptic, anti-germ, and cleansing properties, you can use them as additional ingredients in home remedies, such as DIY cleaners. 

Aroma Foundry has a wide selection of all-natural essential oils, each guaranteed to be efficacious and 100% pure.

Keep yourself and your family safe, healthy, and primed to fight infections during the flu season and beyond.

 

References

  1. Berry, K. (2020). Easy homemade spray keeps your shower clean!. Housewife How-Tos®. Retrieved 19 March 2020, from https://housewifehowtos.com/clean/homemade-daily-shower-spray-recipe/.
  2. Cirino, E. (2020). Is Borax Safe: To Ingest, For Kids, on Skin, and More. Healthline. Retrieved 19 March 2020, from https://www.healthline.com/health/is-borax-safe.
  3. Cronkleton, E. (2020). Is Castile Soap the Miracle Cleaning and Beauty Product You Need?. Healthline. Retrieved 19 March 2020, from https://www.healthline.com/health/castile-soap.
  4. How to Make Distilled Water. wikiHow. (2020). Retrieved 19 March 2020, from https://www.wikihow.com/Make-Distilled-Water.
  5. Lane, J. (2020). Disinfecting Spray With Essential Oils. Loving Essential Oils. Retrieved 19 March 2020, from https://www.lovingessentialoils.com/blogs/diy-recipes/disinfecting-spray-with-essential-oils.
  6. Vance, K. (2020). Baking Soda Carpet Cleaner / Deodorizer with Essential Oils. DIY Natural. Retrieved 19 March 2020, from https://www.diynatural.com/baking-soda-carpet-cleaner-deodorizer/.
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Author Profile

Fagjun Santos is an avid reader who eventually decided to try her hand at writing her own stuff. After spending her teen years writing what can be considered to be Vogon poetry, she now writes things that aren't a pain to read. Her favorite Aroma Foundry scent is peppermint, with lavender coming in a close second.

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