If you are keen to start making your own cleaning products or want to take your making to the next level, you are in the right place. There are three ways you can approach this & we will help which ever path you choose

1. Start with the ingredients:

This is like using a few items available in your pantry & working out what dinner you could make.

The research is done for you & we have your pantry list of DIY cleaning Ingredients 😊 Now you can explore what each ingredient does,  where it comes from & how you use it. In some cases, a single ingredient could solve the cleaning task or mixing a paste, spray or powder could be a better option.

2: Start with cleaning products 

This is like wanting to make a specific recipe & then sourcing the ingredients you need. 

We are used to certain products to do certain jobs, like Dishwashing Liquid, Dishwasher Tablets & Laundry Powder & that’s ok – the good news is we can make these cleaning products with simple natural ingredients & a bit of chemistry.  on what is most effective, easiest, cheapest, fastest solution for you!

3: Start with the cleaning task 

This is like being asked to bring a dish to a party, you need to figure out the product & ingredients. 

There is always more than one way to accomplish a cleaning task – simply post a recommendation on Facebook & you would receive a range of winner solutions provided by the masses. 

In this instance you need more guidance & tailored advice on what is most effective, easiest, cheapest, fastest solution for you!

which path do you choose?

Start with the ingredients

Lets look at the Under Your Sink pantry list of ingredients for homemade cleaning products. Besides being zero-waste, vegan friendly, eco-friendly & more, there is a reason each ingredient is in the toolkit which we will also explore.

1. Alkali's

Nearly all cleaning products by nature will contain an alkali ingredient, which means the pH > 7. Strong Alkali's are used to make soap through the process of saponification. The same principal applies when cleaning with them, as they turn the grease, grime & oils into a dissolvable ‘soap’ which can be cleaned away with water. 

By nature they have powerful degreasing & stain removing qualities as well as can soften water. 

Washing Soda, Borax & Bicarb are the alkali sodium cousins which range in pH levels & in power.  They can all be found naturally in ancient mineral deposits & in your Under Your Sink Starter Kits. 

Click on the tabs for a quick summary & the picture if you want even more detail about each ingredient

Sodium Carbonate

It raises the pH of water which assists in breaking up grease & grime. Strong degreaser, disinfectant & general cleaner.

The strongest of the sodium cousins, but may be considered a bit harsher for sensitive skin.

Sodium Borate

A builder which enhances the action of surfactants (eg soap)  by softening water. Also has moderate whitening/disinfecting power.

A controversial ingredient that is often promoted as great for health if ingested, this is where majority of the ‘safety concerns’ lay. But in terms of cleaning with it, centuries have proven its benefits.

Sodium Bicarbonate

Very well known with many practical uses around the home. It converts some water molecules to hydrogen peroxide providing a mild whitening/disinfecting power.

A natural odour eater too!

2. Oxygen Bleach

Oxygen bleaches are materials that release oxygen for cleaning, bleaching and dirt removal upon addition to water. They are a much safer alternative to chlorine bleach. This is the key ingredient in Napisan & other whitening products & also found in most commercial cleaners like dishwasher tablets, laundry powder.

Our Crystal Clear Percarbonate is a natural, powerful Oxybleach which is simply a combination of washing soda & hydrogen peroxide.

Sodium Percarbonate

A non-chlorine natural Oxybleach which brightens, whitens & removes stains. Brilliant in the laundry but also as a heavy duty general cleaner around the home.

It combines the alkali strength of Washing Soda with the disinfecting qualities of Hydrogen Peroxide

3. Surfactants

There are MANY surfactants on the market – chemical companies are falling over themselves to invent new more powerful & now ‘greener’ options, because this is the function of cleaning that is vital in lifting dirt & oil. Two of the mot common are Soap & Detergent. 

Soap is made with lye (strong alkali), oils (plant or animal) & water. During the process the lye is fully converted to soap & no traces should be left in the end product. Let’s face it, oils can be expensive & during the war there was limited access to it. So, companies came up with other synthetic methods to create surfactants, many of which don't even contain a single natural ingredient.

For your toolkit, we offer 2 beautiful true handmade soaps, Organic Liquid Castile Soap & Organic Coconut Soap Flakes made with only pure virgin oils, water & lye. 

Organic Castile Soap

To be a true Castile Soap it must contain at least 80% olive oil. It can be a liquid or hard soap depending on the lye uses. 

Ours is a liquid soap, handmade in Melbourne from only pure organic virgin olive & coconut oil, water & lye. It's versatile, safe & the gentlest purest form of soap. 

Organic Coconut Soap Flakes

This is a hard soap ground into fine powder/flakes. It's handmade in Sri Lanka from only pure organic virgin coconut oil, water & lye. This means it's very high in cleansing properties & provided a lot more lather than Castile Soap. 

It only has its own natural fragrance, none added! So don't take a bit smell of the powder & avoid breathing the raised dust. 

4. Acids

No, not talking about having some LSD in your toolkit, just some good old Vinegar & Citric Acid will do the job! Acids are at the opposite end of the pH spectrum to the alkalis (which are bases). The thing with Acids & Bases is they neutralise each other when mixed together. That is why I cringe when I see recipes suggest mixing vinegar with Castile Soap, never do this! Yet when used one after the other they make a great team. 

The problem with soap is the dreaded soap scum, which is the soap reacting with the calcium & other ions in the water. This is not limited to the bathroom, this also happens to your clothes when you wash with, leaving them stiff. The answer is rinsing with an acid to neutralise & remove any of that leftover soap scum. 

Citric Acid

Made from the rinds of citrus fruits, this easily to dissolve white crystal like powder removes hard water deposits & neutralises soap scum. 

Making this ideal in the bathroom, as a fabric softener, disinfectant & rinse aid. 

5. Emulsifiers & Thickeners

Although not essential to your toolkit, the ability to emulsify your essential oils & thicken your liquid products can come in handy.  What makes them great, is they don't react with the pH of other ingredients when mixing.

We recommend Organic Vegetable Glycerine & Xanthan Gum as your thickener duo.  

Organic Vegetable Glycerine

A by-product of the soap making process, rhis is a perfect emulsifier for Xanthan Gum & essential oils. 

Glycerine naturally absorbs moisture, making it an amazing moisturiser to use directly on your skin or in DIY beauty recipes. Warning though, it can get a bit 'sticky'

Xanthan Gum

Used from cosmetics to cooking, it works (& looks) very much like corn flour. It's a natural thickening agent and stabilizer which prevent ingredients from separating.

Made from natural sugars & the power of fermentation. 

Next, let’s see what cleaning products can be made with these ingredients

Finally, you can take a deeper dive into each ingredient, find out where they come from, their chemical properties & individual benefits HERE 

It can be daunting looking at all the ingredients first time, that is why the Give it a Go Starter Kit was born 😊 So you can have all the ingredients, all the instructions & all the knowledge in one fun kit. 

This way you can see how versatile the ingredients are, how easy cleaning products are to make & most important you get to test the results for yourself. 

This is a perfect place to get a sample of most  ingredient in the Under Your Sink pantry list of ingredients for homemade cleaning products

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Start with the cleaning products

Commercial manufacturers of cleaning products have undeniably invested money in the chemistry behind cleaning, understanding the functions of ingredients, pH levels & chemistry behind their solutions will help with your handmade creations. 

Good news, we have done all this research for you & put together recipes to replicate the effectiveness of a commercial brand without all the added crap 😊

You will find that these recipes that most of the ingredients are used in more than one solution. That’s why having the Under Your Sink pantry list of ingredients is a winner & why we have put together a Complete Home Green Cleaning Starter Kit to give you just that.

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Start with the cleaning task

Just say you want to clean the loo & looking for a natural DIY solution – then there probably are quite a few ways you could do it. This is about getting the right advice on the ingredients, products & solution that is best for you.The best place to start here would be with the blogs as they are full of cleaning guides to help you tackle a domestic cleaning task.

The alternative is to seek some guidance from the tribe – you can always contact us directly or post your problem on the Green Cleaning Forum on Facebook . 

 If you are often looking for natural DIY alternatives, you should consider one if our starter kits to show you a complete range of cleaning solutions that you can use for life!

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