As a property holder, mother and pet owner, the debate of whether natural products clean as well, or better than, chemically based products is something that I have always struggled with over the years. Are traditional cleaning products and methods really that bad? If we go back hundreds of years then there was no ‘Mr Muscle’ – they had to make do with what they had. Yet even though we all know this fact some are sceptical - can natural products and ingredients really clean as efficiently as chemical based products?

Cleaning products are everywhere, from homes, to offices, even in our cars! Most conventional cleaning products that were around in the late 80’s were petroleum-based, all of which obviously have health and environmental implications. Instead of opting for cleaning products that overpower everything in their path (including the wrenched smell), there are plenty of natural products that you could either make yourself or buy from your local shop. Methods that keep a house clean and fresh-smelling without the poisonous side effects.

There was a time (many years ago now) when I, and probably many others, defined clean by how the air smelled, ‘It's not clean unless I can smell the chemicals!’ Thankfully this is no longer the standard by which I measure the cleanliness of my home. In fact, I now do everything to avoid using those toxic chemicals as I believe they could potentially be harmful to my health, my families’, and the health of the environment.

The Numbers

Did you know that there are over 17,000 petrochemicals available for home use, only 30 percent of which have been tested for exposure, to human health, and to the environment! Therefore we actually have no idea what these products are doing to our health – do you wear a surgical mask, no? Then you could be breathing in all of those toxic chemicals unknowingly, having them festering in not only ours, but our families’ lungs too!

There are over 5 billion pounds worth of chemicals being used in the institutional cleaning industry each year. Not only this, but over 23 gallons of chemicals (that’s 87 litres!!), on average are used by cleaners alone each year and 25% of those gallons are hazardous.

There are many benefits to making your own green cleaners. Not only will you more than likely have most of the ingredients you need in your cupboards already but you will also save money by not having to buy an expensive array of cleaning products, each of which are targeted to clean only one type of area/surface in your home.


Now you may think that the first point of comparison between green cleaning and chemical cleaning would be the environmental aspect of cleaning products. Of course this is a crucial point, however there are a number of other reasons that eco-friendly cleaning wins over using chemicals to clean your home with.

Safety and Health

Many household and commercial cleaning products are labelled irritant or hazardous. We are advised to wear gloves and a surgical mask when using them and to only use the products in a well-ventilated area so that we don't inhale them. Doesn’t this scream ‘toxic!’ at you, suggesting that it doesn’t have pleasant ingredients in that you would want to surround yourself with? On a personal level, when I am cleaning I really struggle with the pungent smell of chemical cleaners, they often get to back of my throat causing me to cough and splutter, I can almost taste the cleaner! I always have to have windows and doors open as otherwise I can feel the products on my lungs when I breathe – it’s not a nice feeling.

Like most of us, we are drawn to a particular cleaner mainly because of its so called cleaning power and its delicious smell that it promises to deliver to your home, no one wants their home to smell like a surgery or dentist. However, these very products often have a synthetic fragrance created by a chemical rather than a natural smell – which in turn is harming you even more!

Many people suffer from allergies and they find that their allergies can be worsened by reactions to chemicals used around the home (for me, my daughter suffers from a terrible cold whenever I used to dust), however I figured out that by using natural products – such as vinegar and lavender her allergies died down and I was finally able to dust freely!


Firstly, a number of the key ingredients for natural cleaning you may already have in your kitchen cupboard. Have a look, lemon juice, baking soda and white vinegar are all common ingredients that are used in green cleaning. These items are cheap to buy and can be used in cooking as well as cleaning so have multiple purposes! To add a splash of fragrance, I always use a small dose of essential oils to my products - you need such a little amount in the preparation that the cost works out as very low and you can change the smell as and when you want to.

Secondly, I use a lot of micro fibre cloths because the different fibres in the cloths are said to break up the dirt and retain it, plus they can be used alone, with water or soap or anything! It is said that 'the average UK household spends £109 a year on cleaning materials.’ Whereas these micro fibre cloths are also machine washable so they really can last years and years – bringing the cost of cleaning down even more!

In my opinion; natural products clean just as well as and if not better than traditional cleaning products! The phrase on everybody's lips is 'climate change'. If ordinary cleaning products are contributing to climate change then it is important to use environmentally friendly products for cleaning. However, if there is an environmentally friendly alternative to cleaning that is viable, cheap and efficient then why not do it?

Author's Bio: 

Becky writes for BrightR, a dependable, thorough and guaranteed cleaning service. She strives to be green in all things and carries this passion into every element of her life.