DIY eco-friendly cleaning products that are safe to use on furniture

Nature provides us with everything we need to make eco-friendly cleaners at home and you probably have all the ingredients sitting in your pantry. 

Super easy to make, these cheeky DIY cleaners are great for both the planet and your wallet, being kinder to the environment and also incredibly cost effective.

Plus, your home is your castle and this gentler (yet equally effective) approach to looking after your furniture, fixtures and fabrics will ensure they last longer.

Here are five DIY cleaners that are safe to use on furniture.

1. DIY upholstery refresher

A good ‘every now and again’ habit to get into is freshening up your upholstery. This spray is perfect for situations where things aren’t “dirty, dirty”, but could use a refresh (we’re looking at you, sofas of the world). Vinegar is both a cleaning agent and deodoriser, so works well for lighter stains.

As an added bonus for those who do not own pets, you can choose to add essential oils, which will leave your sofa and chairs smelling lovely. 

Ingredients and method

  • ½ cup white vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • A few drops of your favourite essential oil, such as sweet orange or eucalyptus 
  • Glass spray bottle

Pour all the ingredients into your bottle, screw on the lid and give it a good shake. Lightly spritz down your furniture fabric, giving areas with stains an extra spray. Let the couch air dry. Use the mix within two weeks.

2. DIY upholstery cleaner

When you’re dealing with some decent stains and the upholstery needs more than a nice smell to sort things out, this mix should do the trick. 

Ingredients and method

  • ½ cup white vinegar
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 teaspoon clear, natural dishwashing liquid 
  • Dry microfiber cloth
  • Damp microfiber cloth
  • Glass spray bottle

For best results, vacuum your upholstery on low suction to remove any dirt, dust, pet hair and debris. 

In a glass spray bottle, combine the vinegar, liquid soap and warm water and shake to mix.

Start spritzing the mixture from top to bottom, working your way down your upholstery with a microfibre cloth. Feel free to give areas with heavier stains a light scrubbing. 

To finish the job, use a cloth dampened with clean water to give your upholstery a final wipe-down ‘rinse’. Let your furniture air dry naturally.

3. DIY all-purpose cleaner safe for surfaces and furniture

If you don’t want to mess around with multiple recipes and prefer a one-hit wonder, you’re after an all-purpose cleaner. 

But you might be surprised to know that many DIY all-purpose cleaner recipes contain bicarbonate of soda (bicarb soda) and vinegar – two ingredients that neutralise each other, making the cleaner ineffective.

One of the safest and most efficient natural all-round cleaners is also one of the simplest: a humble mix of natural dishwashing detergent (the kind you use for hand washing dishes) and water. Yep, that’s it.

It’s great for pretty much everything, including granite, marble and other stone countertops, wood, cabinetry, stainless steel, laminate, sinks, floors, walls and… you get the drift.

Ingredients and method

  • ½ litre water
  • 1 teaspoon clear, natural dishwashing detergent
  • Microfiber cloth
  • Glass spray bottle

Mix one teaspoon of liquid detergent in half a litre of water, swirl to combine and then spritz onto surfaces. Use a microfiber cloth and give things a solid rub down.

4. DIY wood cleaner and polish 

This all-purpose cleaner is specifically for wooden furniture that can be damaged from too much water exposure. 

Ingredients and method

  • ¼ cup white vinegar
  • ¾ cup olive oil
  • The juice of half a lemon
  • Microfibre cloth
  • Glass spray bottle

Pour all your ingredients in the spray bottle and shake well. You can then spray the mixture directly over your wooden furniture like the coffee or dining room table. Use the soft cloth to wipe clean.

Remember to give it a good shake before each use.

5. DIY carpet and mattress deodoriser 

Super simple and effective, this recipe only requires two ingredients: bicarb soda and essential oil. You’ll need to adjust the amounts depending on the size of the area you’d like to cover. Please note that you should not use essential oils if you own animals.

While the best line of defence against stains and smells on your mattress is a mattress protector, this cleaning method helps remove odours and dust mites as well. 

Fill a jar with bicarb soda and add 10 drops of your favourite essential oil (lavender is a nice choice for the bedroom). Sprinkle across your mattress liberally, and allow it to work its absorbent magic for a full day – roughly eight hours for best results, but anything over two is great. 

Once ready, grab the vacuum cleaner and suck up the bicarb soda, taking with it funky smells and dust mites that have no place in your sanctuary.

For carpets, use the same method but you can leave the bicarb soda to rest for 30 minutes to one hour before vacuuming.

For more information on looking after your mattress, click here.

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