Natural Alternatives To Store-Bought Cleaning & Hygiene Products

Natural Alternatives To Store-Bought Cleaning & Hygiene Products

Here’s to hoping you did not participate in panic-buying



When disaster strikes—in our case, a pandemic—supplies will always be the utmost concern. It’s natural; you want to make sure there’s enough food, water and basic necessities for yourself, your family, your pets, your entire household, just in case. But see, the operative word is enough. Not hundreds of the same items your neighbor and everyone else are also in dire need of. 


Panic buying and stockpiling to cope with fear have been humanity’s collective reaction to coronavirus, whether you're from this side of the world or across. Alcohol, hand sanitizer, canned goods, cleaning agents and toilet paper have been emptied from every retail shelf you can imagine—yes, even your neighborhood’s humble sari-sari store.The trend continues even as authorities and world leaders attempt to assure communities they don’t need to, and even as retailers impose restrictions on the sale of hygiene products per person.



Consumer psychologists explain that “people buy to manage their emotional state;” it’s an attempt to take back control in times when you feel, well, out of control and leaders are unable to provide clarity or guidance. But know this: your actions cause a ripple effect that may endanger the welfare—and in extreme cases, the lives—of others. 


While retailers frantically replenish stocks and deal with frustrated customers, here’s a list of natural alternatives to disinfectants and hygiene products that are currently out of stock:


For cleaning the house, here are some of the common ingredients you’ll need:

  1. White vinegar – the most acidic of vinegars, making it a potent cleaner. Needs to be diluted in water depending on the material or surface you are cleaning
  2. Natural salt – a gentle scouring agent. Boosts cleaning and deodorizing effects of other ingredients, like white vinegar and baking soda  
  3. Baking soda – cleans and deodorizes almost everything, from the kitchen to the laundry 
  4. Hydrogen peroxide – a natural disinfectant safe for use on cuts to cleaning showers. Do not mix with anything else but water
  5. Lemon (or calamansi) – contains acid that’s antibacterial and antiseptic. Also acts as a natural bleach


Citrus + Vinegar

Alternative to: commercial cleaning products
Best for: cleaning windows, mopping floors and disinfecting surfaces 


Combine citrus peels (orange, lemon, literally any citrus) in a jar and pour white vinegar over them—do not dilute! Then let sit for two days up to two weeks and strain before use. 


Baking Soda + Vinegar

Alternative to: commercial cleaning products

Best for: cleaning the garbage bin


Mix ½ cup of baking soda and 1 cup of white vinegar. Pour in the garbage bin and let sit for 10 minutes before adding running water.


Lemon + Rosemary + Vanilla

Alternative to: air fresheners

Best for: freshening and cleaning the air


In a pot or saucepan, add four cups of water and throw in a slice of lemon, a handful of rosemary and a dash of vanilla. Let simmer but make sure to not let the water evaporate. Still works well even without rosemary and vanilla.



As for alcohol and hand sanitizer alternatives, experts recommend washing hands thoroughly with soap and water above anything else. But if you have some alcohol left, here’s how you can extend it:


Make Your Own Hand Sanitizer

What you need:
2/3 cup 99% rubbing alcohol (isopropyl alcohol) or ethanol

1/3 cup aloe vera gel

Essential oils, optional


Mix ingredients in a bowl, stir well and add into a bottle of your choice.


In the absence of alcohol, hydrogen peroxide can be used. 



RELATED: Hear It From the Experts: Here’s How to Keep That Immune System in Check


As we try to navigate through challenging times and our own anxieties and fears, we need to think of not just our own health and survival, but our communities, too. Don’t take far more than you need because you are depriving others of what they need—those who might be more vulnerable than you or your family.


You don’t want that on your hands, do you? 



If you have more than enough to give, tap on this link to see how you can help. Need assistance in easing the anxiety? Mind Nation is offering FREE mental health services to Philippine-based employees. Learn more here



Art Alexandra Lara

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