DIY: Homemade Cleaners

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homemade cleaners

By Contributor Sarah from Chickie Momma Crafts

My boys, especially my oldest, is getting to the age where he loves to help me.  I love to indulge this stage (since I know it won’t last forever), but I have been leery to when it comes to cleaning because of the toxic cleaners.  A few years ago when my youngest was diagnosed with asthma, we began using a number of non-toxic cleaners, but they are expensive and can really get expensive, especially when trying to keep the house clean with two little boys and a large dog!  I really didn’t want my oldest helping due to how much he would use and how expensive it was!!

After making my own laundry soap for the past few years, I decided almost a year ago it was time to do the same with homemade cleaners.  I started with a few simple recipes I found online, but honestly was disappointed in the “quality” of clean.  Yes, they were cheaper but they didn’t seem to get things REALLY clean.  After more research I discovered what I was missing-liquid soap!  It has made a huge difference in the quality of clean I am now able to achieve.  I must confess I still keep bleach and a few other “toxic” cleaner around.  I still feel the need to bleach our toilets and whites now and again, but for the most part much of my cleaning even deep cleaning is done using natural or homemade products.

Now I am happy to have my oldest help me clean and not nearly as worried about how much he uses-however we do go through a LOT on those days.

My favorite liquid soap is Dr. Bonners liquid soap from Trader Joe’s or Amazon.   I prefer  the peppermint one, but it is also available in lavender and tea tree as well.

I have found various spray bottles at the Dollar Tree and have found they last about as long and work as well as other more expensive ones.  Just like my home-made laundry soap, I mix my cleaners up and fill reusable spray bottles or containers.  I keep a small Tupperware container of borax and of baking soda in each bathroom under the sinks. I highly recommend transferring them from the cardboard box they come in to  plastic or glass containers.  This way if the package becomes wet, they aren’t ruined.

Sink Pre-Cleaning

Sink -Post clean

Homemade Cleaner Recipes:

All purpose spay cleaner:

(counter tops, microwave, stove top, porcelain or ceramic surfaces)

  • 1 gallon hot water (I boil mine-it helps the baking soda dissolve)
  • 1 Tablespoon Baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons liquid soap

Tub and toilet cleaner:

Brush and scrub on, wait 15 minutes and rinse.

Abrasive cleaner-(I use this for my kitchen sink)

Scrub on and let sit 5-10 minutes, rinse clean.

Hardwood, tile and linoleum floor cleaner:

  • 1 gallon water
  • ¼ cup liquid soap
  • 1/8 cup white distilled vinegar

Wood furniture cleaner:

  • ½ teaspoon olive oil
  • ¼ cup lemon juice

Scented Cleaners:

If you want a scented cleaner you can also add a few drops of natural essential oils to your cleaners.  I have found using the peppermint-scented Dr. Bonners liquid soap, I don’t need to do this.

I have been experimenting with other combinations and other recipes, but these are my favorite.  I love that my kids can help and I am not freaking out about chemicals.

What are some of your favorite natural cleaning recipes?

Here are more DIY posts you might be interested in:


  1. Rachyl says

    Thank you for this post! I’ve been thinking about doing this for awhile and now I have all the recipes! I’m also going to try the detergent you posted about. Can’t wait!

  2. LaceyLady says

    Thanks for all the great tips! I’ve used olive oil on my kitchen cabnets and stainless steel before and it worked great. Later today I’m going to try the baking soda in my sink. Another great “green” idea I learned is for weed killer. Its pickling vinegar and a squirt of liquid dishsoap (add salt if you never want anything to grow there, like in driveway cracks) put it in a spray bottle and spray those weeds away.

  3. Jen says

    Love the weed killer idea, LaceyLady! Will definitely try that for some of our hard-to-kill weeds.

  4. LaceyLady says

    I guess the weed killer works best on a sunny day. Soo if we ever get any of those here in western wa it’ll kinda be fun to try.

  5. says

    My youngest still has potty accidents, and I’ve found vinegar to be the only thing that reliably gets odor out of his laundry. I just pour it on in with the detergent and let it soak in hot for a while. The cheapest I’ve found it is Winco. I also saw an Oprah where Kirstie Alley, of all people, talked about using it to make fixtures shine.
    We rarely get to that level of cleaning around here!

    Love Sarah’s posts. Thanks for sharing them!