Handy Looks at Chemical-Free Cleaning Materials


According to Handy, most commercial cleaners contain chemicals and toxic substances that can result in health issues such as sinusitis, allergies, bronchitis, asthma, and more over the long term. Many commercial cleaners can also irritate your skin and eyes and even be responsible for causing cancer.

The Materials

Fortunately, you can create homemade cleaning solutions using ingredients in your pantry that are just as powerful as commercial cleaning products but don’t include harmful chemicals. Here are a few chemical-free cleaners you can make at home using common household materials:

1. All-purpose cleaner – An all-purpose cleaner can be used to remove hard water stains from different surfaces, wipe away wall smudges, clean trash cans, and more. However, avoid using it on granite since it is an acidic cleaner.

To create an all-purpose cleaner, simply mix one-part white vinegar, one part water, lemon rind, and rosemary sprigs. Pour the content into a spray bottle, shake it well, and allow the mixture to infuse for a week before using. The lemon rind will infuse the solution with a fresh fragrance and boost its cleaning power too.

2. Window and glass cleaner – To create a window and glass cleaner, you need to mix 2 cups of water, ¼ cup of rubbing alcohol (70% concentration), ½ cup white or cider vinegar, and 1 or 2 drops of orange essential oil for smell (optional) and pour them into a spray bottle.

The rubbing alcohol allows the cleaning solution to evaporate quickly from the glass surface which helps to minimize streaks or spots. Just ensure you don’t clean your windows in direct sunlight or on a hot, sunny day. For cleaning the mirror, ensure you spray the solution on a soft cloth or paper towel and use it to wipe the surface.

3. DIY grease cleaner – To remove tough grime on metal surfaces such as oven racks, grills, stove hoods, and more, you need to use a strong grease cleaner. To create a homemade grease cleaner, pour ½ cup sudsy ammonia (contains detergent) into a one-gallon container and fill it with water.

You can dip a sponge in the grease-cleaning solution and use it to wipe the surface of kitchen products and surfaces stained with grease. Then, rinse them with fresh water. To remove tough grease stains from grill grates and oven racks, you can soak them in the grease cleaner overnight.

4. Kitchen cleaner and deodorizer – You can mix 1-quart warm water with 4 tablespoons of baking soda to create a homemade kitchen cleaner and deodorizer. It can be used to clean kitchen counters, the inside of your refrigerators, kitchen appliances, shine stainless sinks, and appliances, and more.


Handy suggests you avoid using commercial cleaning products that contain formaldehyde, 1,4-dioxane, ammonia, 2-butoxyethanol (also 2-BE, BCEE, or butyl cellosolve), and antibacterials. Instead, create powerful cleaning solutions using ingredients available at home since these are safer to handle and don’t cause harm to the environment, unlike commercial cleaning products that contain harmful chemicals.

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