Why I’m Switching My Homemade Cleaners Out For Branch Basics Natural Cleaners

Why I'm Switching My Homemade Cleaners Out For Branch Basics Natural Cleaners | Growing Up Herbal | So you thought homemade natural cleaning recipes were simple? It's true. They are. It's keeping up with the many different cleaners that is overwhelming. Here's how I'm simplifying my natural cleaners.

I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired of making DIY homemade cleaners.

Seriously… it’s never-ending!

Okay, don’t get me wrong… I love homemade cleaners. I like DIY projects, I like saving money, and I like being in control of what’s in my cleaning products. Unfortunately, it can be overwhelming at times… like right now for instance.

If you, like me, often feel overwhelmed with making your own natural homemade cleaners, this post is for you. I’m sharing why I’m trading in my homemade cleaners for Branch Basics natural cleaners instead!

The Sick, Sick Situation

Cold and flu season is here, and right now it just so happens that all of my kids have croup (a viral illness), there’s a stomach bug going around in my extended family which, let’s face it, is bound to make its way into my home any day now, and the news is saying Tennessee has been hit the hardest with the flu virus so far this year. That means, being the crazy natural mama I am, I’m cleaning the house way more than normal (because I most certainly don’t love cleaning), I’m force-feeding my kids elderberry syrup (is there such a thing), and we’re home-bound for a bit which makes me nuts (I’m an out and about kinda girl)!

On top of making herbal remedies for immune boosting, coughs, and fevers, I now have to somehow make super-strong disinfectant natural cleaners to keep the germs away so all four of my kids (including dad and I) don’t wind up spending hours puking in the bathroom or in bed with the flu.

On a side note… if you’ve been making your own cleaners for a while now, you know there’s no such thing as “super strong disinfectant” natural cleaners. That takes chemicals my friends. However, there are certain steps you can take to make natural cleaners work for you from the order in which you use these cleaners to the essential oils you put in them. More on that below.

So when my kids first started to get sick and I learned about all the nastiness going on elsewhere in the Visser family, I sat down to make a list of herbal preparations and natural homemade cleaners that I needed to stock up on.

The Breakdown

Unfortunately, I felt completely overwhelmed with everything I needed to do. You know the kind of feeling you get when everything fogs over, blackness starts to weigh down on you, you can’t breathe, and you start to think crazy things like, “Oh my goodness… why don’t I just go to the store and buy toxins and drugs because it would be so much easier!!”

Yeah, it was a moment of weakness. Sorry. I’m human too.

Then I took a preverbal chill pill and decided to quit being lazy, get my act together, and start thinking clearly.

The Plan

First off, we need herbal preparations. There’s nothing better at boosting the immune system and dealing with nasty viruses than a day worth of echinacea root tincture along with elderberry syrup for the duration of the illness. Plus, all four of my kids had whooping cough over the summer so croupy coughs are nothing… NOTHING to this mama. Herbal cough syrup. Check.

As for keeping the vomit and flu virus away, I knew I simply needed to break out the essential oils and clean more. I hate cleaning… did I mention that?

Finally, I opened my cleaning cabinet to find it spilling over with natural homemade cleaners.

Holy cow! Where does it all come from?!

I don’t like having 100 different things to use when I clean so I normally keep things to a minimum, but it seems like there’s always something coming up that I need another cleaner for. The oven, a stainless steel sink scrub, stain remover, refrigerator deodorizer, soap scum remover… uh! The list could seriously go on. Thankfully I have my handy-dandy homemade cleaner list handy so I can make what I need when I need it, but dang… my cabinet is a mess which really helped my overwhelmed self feel much better.

The Solution

Then it hit me. It was time to clear all of the junk out from under my sink, reorganize, and start fresh.

Is organizing and planning a good form of therapy for you, or is it just me?

So the first thing I did was to toss out almost everything I’d made that was in my cabinet which freed up a lot of room and glass bottles.

Did it hurt? Kinda, but it was nice too. Plus, it helped that overwhelmed feeling go away a bit.

Next, I made three cleaners that I’ll be using to clean my whole house in under 5 minutes. Yes… my WHOLE house, thanks to Branch Basics natural cleaners.

Why I'm Switching My Homemade Cleaners Out For Branch Basics Natural Cleaners | Growing Up Herbal | So you thought homemade natural cleaning recipes were simple? It's true. They are. It's keeping up with the many different cleaners that is overwhelming. Here's how I'm simplifying my natural cleaners.

I recently tried Branch Basics soap concentrate because I’d seen a lot of other bloggers talk about how great it is (and because I’ve been dying to work with them for so long). Well, guess what? I LOVE it… surprise, surprise!!

How did I go this long without Branch Basics natural cleaners? It’s crazy! It does seem a bit pricey when you look at the concentrate on its own, but when you think about how long that one bottle will last you, the price drops significantly. Plus, you don’t have to buy all those extra natural cleaning supplies which really appeals to me. I don’t know about you, but when I have to drag tons of stuff out to make homemade cleaners, it’s a serious chore that most times gets put off as long as possible. I’d much rather grab my Branch Basics natural cleaners and that’s it.

So basically I made their all-purpose cleaner for surfaces around the house, their streak-free cleaner for mirrors and windows, and their bathroom cleaner for all bathroom surfaces. I put in the essential oils I wanted (I almost always use this cleaning blend for everyday cleaning) and that’s it. Three bottles under the cabinet instead of 15 which will work for almost all my natural cleaning needs.

Branch Basics natural cleaners are definitely a keeper! Click here to learn more about their company, their great products, and what other people are saying about them. You can even get 15% off your starter kit using coupon code “GROWINGUPHERBAL“!

Simplifying Cleaning Year-Round with Branch Basics Natural Cleaners

Will I ever go back to a cabinet full of cleaners? Hopefully not. I’m not saying that I’ll never need to make a DIY homemade cleaning recipe every again (maybe during spring cleaning), but I certainly don’t want to have so many cleaners that I can’t find what I need in my cabinet or that cleaning becomes overwhelming because of all the products I have to use.

No matter, I’m happy with Branch Basics natural cleaners, and I’m grateful that a little vinegar, peroxide, and essential oils are all that’s needed to get a bit more disinfecting action in.

Here’s hoping my family stays away from this stomach bug and the flu virus this year!

** Post Update: I’ve now been using Branch Basics natural cleaners for four years now, and I’m happy to report that they are still my favorite natural cleaner. Branch Basics natural cleaners work great, I can add essential oils to the bottles for extra antimicrobial action, and my cleaning is not as overwhelming as it once was. Hallelujah!! Don’t forget to use coupon code “GROWINGUPHERBAL” to get 15% off your starter kit!

Do you get sick and tired of making different homemade cleaners for every little thing? If so, what have you done to simplify things? Share with me in the comments below!

This post was underwritten by Branch Basics. All opinions are mine. Branch Basics Cleaning Soap concentrate is human-safe and 100% plant-based, with a multi-purpose formula designed to replace virtually every cleaning product in your home. When diluted with water, our plant enzymes make Branch Basics soap a multitasking powerhouse, tough enough to dissolve car engine grease, yet safe and gentle enough to wash a baby. And the best part? It works! Use Branch Basics soap to tackle dirt, dust, grease, grime, and even the toxic residues left behind by other cleaners. We use ingredients you can trust, down to the last drop.

  1. Janell says:

    Do you have any idea how Branch Basics compares to Amway’s LOC or to Shaklee’s Basic H?

    • Meagan says:

      No idea Janell. I’ve never heard of those other companies. I’m sure you could contact Branch Basics and ask them. I’m sure they’re aware of their competitor’s products.

    • Melinda says:

      Shaklee basic h is simply the best cleaner I’ve used. And it’s cheaper than Branch Badics

  2. Leslie says:

    This was very informative, thank you for sharing. I have a question though about using the essential oils in the plastic bottles. I’ve been told that the oils will “eat” at the plastic. Have you had any problems with this? Thanks for any information.

    • Meagan says:

      Hi Leslie… yes, I’ve heard this too, but so far I’ve had no problems with this. Like I said in the article, I just started using the Branch Basics products so I’ve not really had time to test this. From my understanding, EOs wear plastic down overtime so you aren’t to reuse plastic containers with EOs over and over.

      You could always skip the EOs altogether or you could skip the plastic bottles and use glass instead… which may be what I end up doing if I want to keep my EOs in the cleaners. The thing I like about their bottles is that the soap to water ratios are right on the bottle so there’s no measuring. Just pour in your soap, add your water, and you’re done. Anyway, hope this helps some.

  3. Annie says:

    It’s mainly the Citrus oils that eat at plastic, that’s what I was told anyways

  4. Taiya says:

    I just saw this post on Pinterest for the first time, better late than never right? I’ve been doing massive research trying to find a product that can be used all over my home. I agree that making your own EVERYTHING gets exhausting and messy. Now that it’s been a few months of using these, do you still love it? I really want to look into getting a start pack but am hesitant about making the investment!

    • Meagan says:

      Yes Taiya… I still use Branch Basics, and I’m still loving it. I use it for cleaning my home mostly, but I’ve used it in skincare products that need call for soap too. I just use it to replace the regular liquid castile soap, and it all works great. The only thing I’ve not used it for consistently yet is laundry. It is an investment, but it’s really gone a long way for me. I’ll definitely be purchasing it again!

  5. Tiffany says:

    Can you use this product as a carpet cleaner?

    • Meagan says:

      Yes I’d say so. I think you can use it to clean anything! I don’t have carpet, but my guess is you can mix it with water (a strong mix is my guess) and shampoo your carpets with it. In fact, I may try this on my car and see how it works. Thanks for the idea Tiffany!

  6. Susan Brownfield says:

    I only use two natural homemade cleaners to clean my apartment – an all purpose and then a wood cleaner. Baking soda if I’m cleaning the bathroom and that’s it. Not too complicated and super inexpensive.

  7. Monica says:

    Ok has anyone tried just hydrogen perixode with essential oil of their liking? That what I use for my carpet, bathroom,kitchen etc..yes just one bottle adda sprayer to the bottle and your favorite oil. This is my cleaning, germ killer cleaner. Oh did I say I clean out the dog accidents too. Don’t leave the spray on wood to long or it will leave a water mark. Wipe immediately. Just thought I help some of you out, a bottle of perixode is 88 cent. Hope this helps..that my all purpose cleaner, yes we had the flu here too we got mixed up with the school kids and I dwindle my daily elderberry syrup, well I paid for it this year..??

    • Meagan says:

      Thanks for sharing, Monica!! That definitely sounds easy. I’m curious if anyone else knows anything about mixing peroxide and essential oils.

  8. Kathy says:

    What a great product idea. I like that they can still be tailored to specific needs or likes. The packaging is lovely too. Though not a busy mother, anything to free up a few minutes in the day is welcome. I look forward to trying them in the future, though I would still enjoy making and using a few of the cleaning standbys I’ve used for years. Thanks for the post and all you do.

  9. Julie says:

    I use Castile soap for some things but still struggle finding products thar are natural but actually work.

  10. Abigail says:

    One thing I’ve done to simplify is to use hydrogen peroxide in place of water for my basic tub/tile scrub, and now I use it for the toilet, too. I use a modified version of the Clean House, Clean Planet book’s Earth scrub with that modification for most bathroom surfaces, and now the toilet, too! Then I have a surface cleaner and a glass cleaner. 3 and done is a good number in my book!

  11. Tanya Donahue says:

    I’m very interested in these cleaner. I already use eCloth and live it!!

  12. Milla Ezman says:

    wonder if it’s possible to make your own?

    • Meagan Visser says:

      I don’t think so, Milla. It is a plant-based detergent, but the formula is secret. If you’re looking for some DIY cleaners, I have a whole list of some that may be helpful to you here.

  13. Eron says:

    I use a lot of hydrogen peroxide and essential oils when I clean. I love the effectiveness of hydrogen peroxide and I’ve loved EOs forever!! Love using just vinegar for my laundry fabric softener – it really works!!!

  14. Blythe says:

    Just want to say thank you for your post and all the research you do to bring info to the rest of us. I’m glad to hear you have given this product the test of time & still like it. I hate throwing things away, but I also don’t want to use chemicals on surfaces we touch every day – as a result, I often don’t use anything! Just a simple wipe-down or maybe a little vinegar. I think if I had a spray bottle all mixed up and ready to go, I would do a better job of cleaning more consistently. Especially with incorporating essential oils. Simplifying the whole process is the key. Thanks for the inspiration.

  15. Marisa says:

    I use vinegar, baking soda and hydrogen peroxide, occasionally lemon essential oil.

  16. Kera says:

    Thank you for sharing! We’ve spent the last year simplifying so many things. It does start to get a little overwhelming with all the products to make (they seem to go out at the same time!! haha) I love that with homemade cleaners and simplifying products, you don’t need a hundred bottles of this and that and for this and for that. I only need a couple ingedients to provide a variety of cleaners!

  17. Barb says:

    I switched to making most of my own cleaners a few years ago. I use vinegar, baking soda, peroxide and a few other ingredients.

  18. Britt says:

    Hello Meagan! I so appreciate ALL of your wisom and guidance. I have only been a follower for a few months now, but I find myself returning to your site SEVERAL times A WEEK for insight and how to’s.
    After attempting numerous recipes for safe diy cleaning products..I have resorted to one simple and likely not so effective mixture of vinegar (just the plain old grocery store kind! I just now learned of the higher grades in another one of your posts!), water and essential oils. And with, as you have said, sick kids and all sorts of ickies..I sometimes wonder and can only hope that this vinegar mix is helping!
    I’m thrilled to hear that there may be a trust worthy product out there!
    Thank you for all of the guidance you give me. Super grateful!

  19. Lori Jones says:

    I currently use homemade cleaners but I’m very interested in trying branch basics.

  20. Judith Martinez says:

    I use simple green or my citrus vinegar for almost everything. It just makes things easy.

  21. latanya says:

    I usually buy natural or organic cleaners for at home.

  22. Gayle Drake says:

    I am getting rid of bleach in my cleaning.

  23. Annie Rossbach says:

    I can’t wait to try these ! I’ve been using dilute white vinegar for years so I’m ready for a switch. Thank you for sharing 🙂

  24. Pam Pangle says:

    I’ve only been using vinegar for cleaning lately – haven’t gotten around to cleaning the rugs (no carpet in my house). I’d love to try the Branch Basics cleaning products, as I’m working (ever so slowly) towards switching everything to natural cleansers – I’ve already done that with my medications, so why not the house? LOL!

    I love your letters (growing up herbal), so thank you so much for those!!!

  25. Jennifer says:

    I’ve never tried Branch Basics but grew up with mom using Amway’s products. It’d be fun to compare the two!

  26. Nd. says:

    I have switched from chemical mopping to steam mops with some vinegar.

  27. Tamar Meadowhawk says:

    I use vinegar and baking soda to clean sinks, toilet, tub – and I add essential oils (usually citrus) to mop water. I have recently discovered I am allergic to synthetic scents, so cleaning “naturally” is much better for my health! I would love to try “Branch Basics”!

  28. Lucille says:

    I use branch basics all the way and have for a few years now. Love that company. Honestly it’s the only laundry detergent that gets my hubby’s oil and grease stained work pants clean!

  29. Jamie Sherwood says:

    I have been using vinegar and a mixture of thrown together essential oils in my swiffer to clean the floors. I have young children, so any harsh and dangerous chemicals being absorbed through their skin is avoided at any cost! Thank you for this post. I loved reading about this natural cleaner and I can’t wait to give it a try!

  30. JC says:

    I haven’t found an easier way yet. I am still making the cleaners!!! I’d love some help.

  31. nicole zaino says:

    Lately, I have been making my own vinegar based cleaning products and love to find new recipes or products. Thanks for all your great posts & Growing up herbal letters!

  32. Lisa Kelley says:

    I only use non toxic cleaners for my home. My go to is vinegar infused with lemon and hydrogen peroxide and plant therapy essential oils! I also use Dr. Bronners castile soap. I have looked and read the blog on branch basics for some time. I want to try their products. Thanks for letting your readers know that you love them in the letter to mamas and have been using them for 4 years!

  33. Anne says:

    I really like using more natural cleaners in my home. It gives peace of mind. And my favorite part is that I can have my kids HELP me with cleaning too.

  34. Tiffany says:

    I recently ordered the trial sample of branch basics after reading this post and LOVED it so much!! It cleaned everything even carpet, which was the one thing I hadn’t found a natural cleaner I love for yet. I also really loved it in my laundry and as hand soap! I love how multi purpose it is, it really simplifies things and helps me feel confident things are actually clean but also not poisoned.

  35. Audrey Ascenzo says:

    Always enjoy your informative articles. I have been using nontoxic cleaning ingredients for over 30 years. Mostly homemade, I mostly use borax, baking soda, white vinegar, washing soda, castile soap, & tea tree oil. Do like to sue store bought for tough jobs, but it is hard to find good ones with low or no scents. Thank you for the time and dedication to the natural life. It is appreciated!

  36. Anonymous says:


  37. ALEXANDRIA says:

    Thank you for introducing me to Branch Basics! I’m super interested to try them out now with your vote of confidence in them! 🙂

  38. Elizabeth says:

    Never heard of this brand.. is it available in stores?

  39. Tiffany says:

    I can not wait to try these!!

  40. Valerie Gordon says:

    I mainly use peroxide and vinegar as a cleaner and disinfectant and then baking soda as a scrubbing aid. I am still in the process of finding personal care cleaners like body wash and hand soap.

  41. jberry says:

    I use citrus, vinegar, baking soda and peroxide as often as possible before ever trying a store bought cleaner.

  42. Lindsay says:

    I’m still new to going more natural when cleaning and the like. I love your posts to get the information I need to make educated decisions. I love being introduced to all these amazing brands. Looking forward to more posts.

  43. Elise says:

    We have switched to all natural cleaners in our home. White vinegar spray, tea tree oil spray, baking soda for scrubbing, even wash my hair with baking soda and apple cider vinegar rinse.

  44. Sarah says:

    Overwhelmed mama? Check. =) I usually use vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, tea tree oil, baking soda, dawn soap, etc.
    By the way, I hate cleaning, too. I’d much rather be outside. 😉

  45. Ashlee Binderim says:

    This summer I’m hoping to protect my skin more than I ever have with some sunblock and to not wear make up as much and just let my skin breathe!

  46. SWITHAM says:

    My goal is to not let my face get sunburnt. I’m. Of a fan of traditional sunscreen, so I’d be interested in learning more about natural ones. One less sun spot to deal with would be super!!

  47. Nd says:

    Summer Goals: Use better cleansers on my body (and home).

  48. Ricki Jones says:

    Summer goals: Being more diligent with my daily skincare routine. Looking forward to trying some of your DIY recipes!!

  49. Elise says:

    I’m going to add this to my budget of getting by the Fall especially. I need simpler cleaners and ones that I know will kill those germs.

  50. RaeAnn Sepulveda says:

    My summer skincare goal is to become more consistent with my skincare regimen. I haven’t found a product I live and can also afford, so I need to make that a priority this summer for sure!

  51. Jenelle says:

    I am constantly on the look out for healthier beauty care options and I am so excited about these products. I can’t wait to try them.

  52. Carolyn Wicklein says:

    I’ve recently started having some weird random skin issues, mainly upper body. I’ve tried natural deodorants and I won’t go back to anything else, but it’s irritated my skin. I’ve used them for a year now and it still bothers my skin. I’m wanting to try using hollyhocks in my remedies and am hoping it will help with the irritation. Anyone have any experience with mallow plants?

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