Natural Cleaning Ideas

Here at She Lives Cruelty Free, we are all about make up and skincare that is not tested on animals - That's pretty obvious. But we cannot forget about ALL of the other products you buy for yourself, pets and household. I think it's pretty safe to say that the majority of the products sitting in a normal 'everyday' consumers pantry, laundry or bathroom cabinet will have been tested on animals at some stage of the manufacturing process, you just need to do a quick Google search on brands you have and you should be able to find out for yourself.

Items such as glass cleaner, washing up liquid, toothpaste, toilet cleaner, dishwashing liquid, washing powder, car cleaner, surface cleaners, polish, bleaches, floor cleaner and even your makeup brush cleaners.. You get the idea.

Luckily for us here in NZ, we have easily accessible supermarket brands such as Eco Store and Earthwise who offer eco friendly, cruelty free household products that use natural and plant based ingredients.

If you are feeling super natural and a little scientific, we have gathered some easy cruelty free o'natural hacks for keeping your home spick and span, the natural & cruelty free way.

So there are a few main pantry ingredients that are super household cleaners; white vinegar, baking soda and lemon.

Baking soda: Helps regulate pH, so not too acidic and not too alkaline. Baking soda helps regulate and neutralise acidic odours, perfect for cleaning your refrigerator. You can even throw some into your regular laundry wash to help maintain a neutral pH. for more info on the benefits and uses of baking soda, check out this awesome link here.

Lemon: A perfect natural cleaner, high in citric acid, has a low pH and awesome antibacterial properties. Plus they leave behind a fresh, zesty scent. 

White Vinegar: Vinegar is affordable, versatile and doesn't irritate allergies like most highly fragranced cleaners can. A clean, green product perfect for pretty much any cleaning task. Also a natural deodoriser. However there are a few places you shouldn't attempt to use vinegar such as marble bench tops & stone tiles. Check them out here.

So, have a squizz at some of our DIY natural cleaning alternatives below..

All purpose cleaner

Fill a container or jar with vinegar and lemon peels, let it sit for two weeks and you will be left with a beautifully scented cleaner. (If you don't want to wait that long, add a few drops of lemon essential oil instead). Water down to dilute and you can clean your windows and floors with this baby. A really great disinfectant in the kitchen too.


Perfect for bathroom soap scum that is a little harder to remove. Mix two parts baking soda, one part salt and a dab of vinegar to create a paste. Scrub that scum away, using a toothbrush really helps. You can use your old Go bamboo toothbrush for these tricky areas, a great way to recycle! Baking soda is a great whitening tool too. You can even add a lavender essential oil to the mix, this will leave behind a beautiful scent. 

Handy hint:

To make lemon oil in the kitchen; Peel a lemon, squeeze peels between garlic crusher. The 'juice' or oil that you are left with has a highly concentrated lemon scent. (You can use this technique with any citrus fruit peel).

Makeup Brush cleaner

You only need a few ingredients to clean your makeup brushes. Remember, these are coming in contact with your face, so we want to keep things as natural as possible. Grab your brushes and have them next to your sink. In a small bowl pour in a little olive or almond oil. Taking each brush, dip them in just a little and massage into the bristles, this will help break down any heavy duty foundation buildup and help to condition the bristles. The second step is to combine boiling water with 1 tbs of white vinegar. Give things a really good stir and let sit for 5 minutes to cool slightly. Dip in each oiled brush and swirl the bristles around on the bottom of your jar to clean. You can use your fingers to really get in there. Just make sure the water isn't too hot. If you find that the oil is still sticking to the bristles, just add a little natural soap to the mix to break it down. 

Handy hint:

Try and keep the bristles facing downwards at all time, as you don't want any liquid entering the barrel of the brush. This will cause rot and may breakdown any glue holding them together. Dry them on a slight angle on a towel or on a window sill with the window slightly ajar with the bristles facing down.

Facial Cleanser/spot treatment

As well as in the kitchen and around the house, baking soda is awesome in helping fight bacteria within your skin. Create a paste by combining 2 tbs of baking soda and 1 tbs of water. You can add in any essential oils you like for a really nice scent. Apply all over the face for a 5 minute masque or spot treat any pimples and leave on for 10 minutes. 

Handy hint: 

Add some raw honey or tea tree oil to your paste. Honey is a natural antibacterial moisturiser that also helps sooth dry or acne prone skin whilst tea tree oil is an anti-fungal, perfect for helping treat spots and sores.


You can use this in the car, on your linen, or anywhere there may be a nasty smell lingering that you need to neutralise. You will just need to find a wee spray bottle and some cruelty free essential oils. Peta compile a list of cruelty free aromatherapy brands here. You can find essential oils at your local health food store, just be sure to google the brand and company to ensure they're in fact cruelty free (or make your own with the garlic crusher). 

Mix together 2T white vinegar, 2T vodka (optional), 4T water and 30 or so drops of essential oils of your choice to create this deodoriser (use more of one oil for a stronger note). Some sweet smelling mixes of oils;

Vanilla, cinnamon bark & orange

Lavender & jasmine - a relaxing and calming scent

Orange, lemon, & Basil/rosemary - a fragrance to awaken the senses.

Cederwood, geranium, vanilla & rose

Let us know if you use any natural at home cleaners, we would love to hear your feedback!

Much love,

S + H

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