Keeping a clean and hygienic home is essential for maintaining a healthy living environment. One important aspect of cleaning is degreasing, which can be especially challenging in areas such as the kitchen or garage where grease and oil tend to accumulate.
While there are many commercial degreasers available, they can be expensive and often contain harsh chemicals that may not be ideal for everyday use. Fortunately, you can make a homemade degreaser using simple and natural ingredients that are not only effective but also safe for your family and the environment.
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Homemade degreaser versus commercial degreaser
There are several key differences between homemade degreasers and commercial degreasers that are worth elaborating on.
- Cost: Homemade degreasers are often much cheaper to make than commercial products. Many of the ingredients used in homemade degreasers, such as vinegar, baking soda, and lemon juice, are inexpensive and readily available. In contrast, commercial degreasers can be quite expensive, especially if you need to use them frequently.
- Ingredients: Homemade degreasers use natural and safe ingredients, whereas commercial products may contain harsh chemicals that can be harmful to human health and the environment. Some of the chemicals found in commercial degreasers, such as alkyl C12-16 dimethylbenzyl ammonium chloride and propylene glycol butyl ether, have been linked to respiratory issues, skin irritation, and even asthma. In contrast, homemade degreasers typically use ingredients that are safe and non-toxic, such as vinegar, baking soda, and essential oils.
- Customization: Homemade degreasers can be customized to meet specific cleaning needs. For example, you can adjust the recipe to work on different surfaces or levels of grease. In contrast, commercial products may not be as versatile and may only be effective for certain cleaning tasks.
- Effectiveness: Homemade degreasers can be just as effective as commercial products, especially for everyday cleaning tasks. However, commercial products may be more effective for heavy-duty cleaning tasks, such as removing grease from industrial machinery.
- Convenience: Commercial degreasers can be convenient for those who don’t have time to make their own cleaning solutions. However, with a little bit of planning and preparation, homemade degreasers can be just as convenient.
- Scent: Commercial degreasers often come in scents and fragrances that appeal to some users. In contrast, homemade degreasers may have a more natural scent or can be scented with essential oils.
What supplies do you need for homemade degreaser
If you want to make a natural, safe degreaser for your kitchen, look no further than your pantry or kitchen sink! Many natural ingredients, such as lemon juice and vinegar, can act as excellent degreasers when mixed with other cleaners.
- Baking soda: Baking soda is an effective degreasing agent because it is a mild alkali and can react with fatty acids to break down grease and grime. It’s also a mild abrasive, so it can help scrub away any stuck-on grime. Baking soda is a natural, non-toxic alternative to harsh chemical cleaners.
- Castile soap: Castile soap is great to use in degreaser cleaning solutions because it is natural, biodegradable, and gentle on surfaces. It can be used to effectively clean grease and oil without the need for harsh chemicals or abrasive scrubbing. It’s a safe choice for surfaces that are prone to scratching or damage. It’s also plant-based and non-toxic, making it safe to use around pets and children.
- Lemon juice (or other citrus juice): Lemon juice is a natural degreaser due to its acidity. The acidity helps to break down grease, oil, and dirt, making it an effective cleaning agent. Lemon juice is also non-toxic, so it is safe to use on surfaces without causing any harm or damage.
How to make citrus cleaning solution out of citrus peels
- Gather citrus rinds and place them in a jar.
- Pour distilled vinegar into the jar until the rinds are completely covered.
- Close the jar and let the mixture sit for 2 weeks.
- Then, remove the rinds and strain the liquid and you have a citrus cleaning juice you can use for cleaning.
- White vinegar: White vinegar is a great degreaser because it is acidic. Its acidity helps to break down and dissolve grease, grime, and dirt. Additionally, white vinegar is non-toxic and non-corrosive, making it safe to use on many surfaces.
- Salt: Salt is a great addition to degreaser cleaning solutions because it helps to break down grease and oil. Salt acts as an abrasive, so it helps to scrub away the debris that has been stuck to the surface. Salt also helps to neutralize odors and can help to reduce the amount of cleaning chemicals needed in the solution.
- Ammonia: Ammonia is great to use in degreaser cleaning solutions because it is a strong alkaline that can quickly and effectively break down grease, oils, and other organic residues. It is a low-cost, non-toxic, and biodegradable cleaner that is widely available. Additionally, ammonia is effective at removing stains and odors.
- Essential oils: Essential oils are used in cleaning solutions because they are natural and non-toxic, and have antimicrobial, antifungal, and antibacterial properties. They are also effective at removing dirt, grease, and odors.
- Natural soap: Natural soaps are created from plant-based oils and are biodegradable, so they don’t leave behind toxic residue. They also don’t contain any harsh chemicals like bleach or ammonia, so they won’t damage surfaces or irritate skin. Natural soaps are also typically more effective at removing grease and grime than chemical degreasers, making them an ideal choice for degreaser cleaning solutions.
How to make natural soap
- Gather your ingredients. You will need distilled water, lye, oil (such as coconut, olive, or jojoba oil), essential oils, herbs, and other additives (such as oatmeal, honey, or clay).
- Measure the lye and water. Use a digital scale to measure out the lye and water accurately.
- Mix the lye and water. Carefully pour the lye into the water and stir until the lye is dissolved.
- Measure the oils. Use a digital scale to measure out the oils accurately.
- Heat the oils. Heat the oils in a double boiler or a slow cooker on low heat.
- Add the lye mixture to the oils. Slowly pour the lye mixture into the oils and stir until it is fully incorporated.
- Add the essential oils and other additives. Stir the essential oils and other additives into the soap mixture.
- Pour the soap into molds. Pour the soap into molds and allow it to set for 24-48 hours.
- Cut the soap into bars. Cut the soap into bars and allow it to cure for 4-6 weeks before using.
Various types of homemade degreasers
Baking soda, lemon and water
- Mix 2 cups of warm water, 1 tablespoon of baking soda, and 20 drops of lemon essential oil or lemon juice
- Apply the solution on the greasy area, let work for a bit and wipe away with damp towel
Baking soda, castile soap and orange
- Mix baking soda with castile soap and orange essential oil.
- Combine 4 ounces of baking soda with 2 ounces of castile soap in a container until a paste forms. Add 20-25 drops of orange oil.
- Mix together until you create a paste.
- Wet the surface with water and place the paste on a sponge and let sit for a while to work the grease.
- Scrub the surface and wipe away with a towel.
Diluted white vinegar, castile soap, and baking soda
- Combine vinegar, a drop or two of liquid soap, baking soda and water.
- Add essential oils if you want to cover the smell of vinegar.
- Apply the solution onto the surface and scrub with a clean sponge.
- Wipe with a damp clean cloth afterwards.
Natural soap with vinegar, baking soda and essential oils
- Combine 1/2 cup of the homemade soap, 1 1/2 cups of baking soda, 1/4 cup vinegar, 2-4 drops of a citrus essential oil (lemon, orange, grapefruit, lime), and as much water as needed to make a thick, spreadable paste to a bowl.
- Mix together, then spread the paste over the greasy area and let it sit.
- Scrub the area and wash away with warm water.
Salt, baking soda, essential oils
- Mix 1/2 cup of salt, 1/4 cup of baking soda, and 16 ounces of baking soda in a bowl, then add 1/4 cup of water to make a paste.
- Spread the paste on the grease and let it set.
- Then combine 3/4 cup of distilled vinegar, 10 drops of thyme essential oil, and 10 drops of lemon or orange essential oil in a spray bottle.
- Shake well and spray over the paste.
- Wipe clean.
Vinegar and citrus juice
- Add 1 part water to 1 part citrus and 1 part of vinegar.
- Spray the area, let sit and wipe with wet cloth.
- White vinegar can be used alone as a degreaser. The vinegar can be applied to greasy surfaces with either a spray bottle or a cloth, and should cut most grease with minimal rubbing.
- Mix 1 part vinegar to 4 parts water. Let it stand for 5-10 minutes before rinsing with water.
- The vinegar’s smell will dissipate shortly after it has dried away.
- Mix it with water to form a paste.
- Depending on how strong you want the mixture to be, you can add up to 5 parts water to 1 part baking soda, although adding less water will give you a thicker, more potent paste.
- Smear the paste directly onto the surface and let sit for a few minutes before scrubbing.
- When done, rinse the surface with water to avoid leaving a granular residue.
Ammonia, castile soap and water
- Fill the bottle about halfway with ammonia and fill the remaining portion with hot water.
- Add a few drops of natural castile soap.
- Cap the bottle and shake it well.
- Apply the solution directly onto the greasy surfaces.
Ammonia, vinegar, baking soda, water
- Pour 1 gallon of water into a large bucket.
- Add a cup of ammonia, half a cup of vinegar, and a quarter cup of baking soda.
- Apply to the greasy spots with a cloth and let it sit for a bit.
- Scrub the area and rinse well with water.
“Housework is what a woman does that nobody notices unless she hasn’t done it.”
What should you do before you apply degreaser
Cleaning the surface before applying a degreaser is important to ensure that the degreaser can effectively remove any grease or oil buildup on the surface. Here are the steps to follow:
- Remove any loose dirt or debris from the surface using a broom, brush, or vacuum cleaner.
- Wipe down the surface with a damp cloth to remove any remaining dirt or dust.
- If there are any stubborn stains or marks on the surface, use a mild detergent and warm water to scrub them off. Rinse the surface thoroughly with water.
- Allow the surface to dry completely before applying the degreaser. You can use a dry cloth or let it air dry.
- Once the surface is dry, apply the degreaser according to the instructions on the label. This may involve spraying or wiping the degreaser onto the surface and letting it sit for a few minutes before wiping it off with a clean cloth.
What should you do after you use the degreaser
- Let the degreaser sit for the recommended amount of time. This will vary depending on the product, but typically it is recommended to let it sit for a few minutes to allow it to penetrate and break down the grease or oil.
- Once the degreaser has had time to work, wipe the surface clean with a clean cloth or sponge. Be sure to remove all traces of the degreaser from the surface.
- Rinse the surface with water to remove any remaining residue from the degreaser. You may need to use a hose or bucket of water to thoroughly rinse the surface.
- Dry the surface with a clean towel or allow it to air dry completely before using it again.
In conclusion, making a DIY degreaser is not only easy, but it can also save you money and reduce the amount of harsh chemicals you use in your home. By using simple ingredients such as vinegar, baking soda, and dish soap, you can create an effective and natural degreaser that is safe for you and the environment.
It is important to remember that while these ingredients are safe and natural, they can still be harmful if not used properly. Always wear gloves and use in a well-ventilated area. It is also important to test your DIY degreaser on a small, inconspicuous area first to ensure it is safe to use on your surface.
By following our blog post, you can create a DIY degreaser that is effective and environmentally friendly. So, the next time you need to tackle a greasy mess, give your DIY degreaser a try!