Household cleaners are necessary to keep your home clean and free from germs, bacteria, and viruses. However, you may not realize just how many types of cleaners you are using at home. Looking under your sink, there may be too many cleaning products to count. Regardless of your current cleaning situation, consider that you may be able to toss out unnecessary cleaners by learning more about what is really inside your cleaning products.
Today, the average person may have up to 15 different cleaning products for just one room of the house. You may be interested to know that there are many ways you can make your own DIY household cleaning products. Before you start creating cleaning concoctions in your kitchen sink, take a closer look at the most common types of cleaning products you can use at home.
5 Types of Household Cleaning Products
You may have a variety of cleaning products in your home right now for each category of cleaning. The main types of cleaning agents include abrasives, non-abrasives, detergents, and degreasers. However, there are other types, too. Here are the 5 most common types of household cleaning products:
- Abrasive Cleaner – When your household cleaner is able to agitate the surface, it is working to achieve a deeper clean result. These types of cleaning products are called abrasive. You see, abrasive cleaners are made to remove heavy soiling in small, and large areas. They are available in both liquid, and powder form, to help reduce the amount of elbow grease needed to clean any area of your home. Scouring pads are not necessary when you are using a home cleaner in this category. The unique, gritty texture of abrasive cleaners are made of small particles, minerals, or fine steel wool, copper, or metal particles in a matrix of plastic, or another material.
The most common use of abrasive cleaners is to remove heavy soiling, and greasy messes however, these cleaning agents can also be used to disinfect surfaces. Abrasive cleaning products are typically used to reduce oily soils, grease, sink film, and dishwashing residue. Baking soda is an excellent non-toxic cleaner commonly used around the house, in the bathroom, and kitchen. Use it along with cleansing essential oils for an easy-to-use DIY abrasive cleaner recipe that works in any room. Add 3 to 5 tablespoons of white vinegar to the mixture to create a paste, and then add more water to create a liquid abrasive cleanser for household use.
- Non-Abrasive Cleaner – Antimicrobial agents that work to disinfect your home can be mixed into any concentration. Powder and liquid cleaners that are mixed with water may also kill germs, but in order to clean where you have the most traffic, they must contain active ingredients that work. Non-abrasive cleaners are concentrated solutions that can be prepared at any strength. In diluted water solutions, you can use a general formulation to produce a small amount of foam to make cleaning, and rinsing easier. Most non-abrasive cleaners contain surfactants, and low-levels of builders to offer the type of cleaning power needed to clean all washable areas in your home. Soiled walls, chrome fixtures, cooking tops, appliances, and other dirty areas are particularly ideal for non-abrasive cleaners.
- All-Purpose Cleaner – You can find a wide range of options for all-purpose cleaners. Fight dirt, dust, grease, and grime around the house, and clean sticky countertops, and heavily soiled stoves with all-purpose cleaners you buy or make yourself – it’s up to you! You can use these as your household cleaning secret weapon, and simply stash your favorite all-purpose solution in your arsenal. You can use a castile soap, with essential oils as an all-purpose cleaner or choose from some of the hottest picks for cleaners on the shelves.
- Detergent – Laundry detergent is the most common type of this kind of household cleaner. Used primarily for cleaning clothing, the job of a detergent is to remove dirt, grime, stains, and general soiling during the laundering process. Usually, laundry detergents work because they contain surfactants as an active agent to create bubbles that help to loosen dirt and grime. Alternatively, you can find that some detergents are found in laundry soap, bleaches, pre-treatment products, fabric softeners, and specialty fabric cleaner.
- Specialty Cleaners – This category of household cleaning products includes a wide variety of cleaners designed to address a specific area or problem at home.
- Basic disinfectants contain an active antimicrobial agent which may include sodium hypochlorite, ammonium compounds, phenols, or pine oil.
- Drain openers commonly include enzymes or a bacterial culture to maintain the free-flowing drains. When drains clog, you may need organic, or synthetic openers.
- Bleach, or sodium hypochlorite, is one of the best disinfectants used to kill all types of bacterial strains, viruses, mold, and fungi. Used as a specialty cleaner in business, medical, and home settings, diluted bleach solutions make the most effective at-home cleaners for any purpose.
- Glass cleaners provide the additional benefit of leaving a streak-free surface for glass and other kitchen surfaces.
- Metal cleaners eliminate tarnishing which is the buildup on metals caused by the oxidation process.
- Hard water mineral removers eliminate the buildup of salts, calcium, magnesium, manganese, and iron. These minerals leave behind deposits that can clog water flow over time.
- Oven cleaners typically come in aerosol cans and bottles. Designed to work on the toughest burned-in stains, this type of cleanser is able to remove the worst soil.
- Shower cleaners are formulated to remove soap scum, mildew, stains, hard water deposits, and more. A high-quality shower cleaner will be able to remove grime and buildup without leaving a residue, or streaks behind.
- Sink, tub, and tile cleaners are made to disinfect and shine up your toilet bowl. These products may contain strong oxidizing agents so it is not recommended that you mix these types of cleaners with other household cleaning products.
Non-Toxic Household Cleaning Alternatives
If you want to use the best household cleaners, you can choose from any of the most popular abrasive cleaners, along with non-abrasive options. Some of the most popular household cleaning products include natural cleaners and DIY cleaning mixes. For example, here is a simple DIY recipe for a household, all-purpose cleaner you can make at home.
DIY All-Purpose Cleaner Recipe
- 1 part distilled white vinegar
- 2 parts of water
- 5 to 15 drops of essential oils for fragrance, and antimicrobial benefits
This all-purpose house cleaner is easy to make. Just take a plastic spray bottle, and mix equal parts of white vinegar, and water. Then you can use your favorite essential oils to create an anti-bacterial solution that also has a fragrance you enjoy. Some of the most popular essential oils for household cleaners include lemon, orange, pine, peppermint, and lavender. Use between 5 to 10 drops of the oil of your choice. Store-bought non-abrasive cleaners that create a thick foam contain surfactants however, you may not get the same results from your DIY all-purpose cleaner. Be prepared for a different type of result when you make the mixture at home.
Using a range of household cleaners is the best way to ensure your entire home gets clean and stays free of germs, and bacteria. However, you may not realize that there are different categories of cleaning products to take care of every different type of household cleaning you need to do. While you can use an all-purpose cleaner for most of the cleaning tasks around your house, you can also use this guide to household cleaners to better understand the best use for each of them. You can also browse our product line to find the best organic absorbents.