For centuries, people did. Out on the frontier, trips into town were rare, and few general stores or trading posts sold much beyond the most basic wares. Keeping the house clean amounted to little more than a mop, water, and handmade soap; in the 19th century, if there was any way to make something you needed, you did. That just isn’t the case anymore. Since the invention of the suburban supermarket, homeowners have simply relied on brands and the dozens of cleaners that line grocery shelves. With the ability to buy everything you need, you’ve probably never even thought to make your own cleaning products, and that’s okay. Considering the effort and money savings, there’s not a huge difference between buying these products and making them at home. And now that commercial earth friendly cleaning products are so readily available, it’s no longer a green necessity.
It takes a fair amount of time and research to make your own cleaning products, and chances are, most recipes you find will call for a lot of vinegar. If you don’t mind your whole home smelling sour, that works, but a lot of people clean their homes to eliminate odors. A few decades ago, there just weren’t many alternatives. If you wanted earth friendly cleaning products, you had to make your own. It’s still the case that most cleaning supplies contain harmful chemicals and toxins as primary ingredients, but, finally, alternatives can be purchased. As more people have shown they care about the planet, more earth friendly cleaning products have appeared on store shelves. For homeowners who want to reduce their toxic footprint and keep their house from reeking of vinegar, that’s great news. Some still choose to make their own cleaning supplies, but when you don’t have to, there’s not much of a financial or ecological difference.