ECOLOGIC: DIY cleaning tips for Diwali

28-Oct-2018, Pavitra Sriprakash, Director and Chief Designer, Shilpa Architects Planners Designers Pvt. Ltd, in her weekly column on Sustainability, writes about healthier alternatives for “Cleaning Products” as we embark on our Diwali cleaning and purge routine.  Do reach out to us at and email your thoughts to if you have additional ideas to share!

You can read the full article below, or go to The New Indian Express Site to read the same.

The sweets are being prepared and there is a general festive mood that is slowly setting in. While we used to eat anything that came our way and then compensate with our traditional “leghium” to detoxify, there is slowly a shift in mind set wherein we are now moving towards starting off on a healthy note. Similarly even for our homes, it is time to look for healthier alternatives as we embark on our Diwali cleaning and purge routine.

So don’t reach for the grocery store cleaning spray as yet, let us look at some simple DIY (do it yourself) ways to make some cleaning products that are both eco and pocket friendly! So let me introduce the major players in our household cleaners list—vinegar, baking soda, lime and a few essential oils are all we will need for a majority of our cleaning needs around the home. Another popular ingredient in DIY cleaners is castile soap – which is a type of soap made from 100% plant oils- mostly olive oil in international markets.

Nowadays we can find some local alternatives for this as well on e-commerce sites—you can feel extra good if you can find a castile soap with a local oil (like coconut oil) as a base! Since this is a hard to find ingredient, let’s work without it for starters. So let us start with the larger surfaces. For a simple, effective tile floor cleaner, combine one part white vinegar with two parts warm water in a bucket. Use a mop to clean the floors with the solution.

While this works well on tile, it is not recommended for natural stone and wood floors. For an all-purpose window/glass cleaner, combine one part white vinegar with four parts water with a dash of lemon juice for a fresh smell. The mixture can be stored in a spray bottle and used to clean glass for a streak free shine. When it comes to the toilet too these simple ingredients can help rid off chemical laden cleaners that are usually found in our bathrooms. For a heavy-duty toilet bowl scrub that deodorizes while it cleans, pour half cup of baking soda and about 10 drops of tea tree essential oil into the toilet. Add one-fourth cup of vinegar to the bowl and scrub away while the mixture fizzes.

For daily cleaning, fill a small spray bottle with vinegar ( about one cup) and a few drops of an essential oil like lemon or tea tree should work well. Spray on the toilet seats, let it sit for a few minutes and then wipe the surface clean. For daily cleaning of shower area tiles or to get rid of soap scum, mix one part water with one part vinegar (and a few drops of essential oils if you’re not into the smell of vinegar) in a spray bottle.

Spray, let it sit for at least several minutes and then wipe away. A great homemade, non-toxic air freshener can easily be made from baking soda, your favorite essential oil, and an old jar. Fill the jar with the ingredients and poke some holes on the lid for a clean smelling space! Use these natural DIY cleaners to keep your home sparkly clean and fresh without the toxins that can affect your indoor air quality!