I love saving money! Making my own DIY cleaners is one of the ways I save tons of money on my homestead.
I never was a fan of all the chemicals in the cleaning products we find in stores. Those chemicals cause health issues in humans and animals.
And they are definitely not good for the environment. Instead, I opted for more natural versions that were safe for me and my family and even for my pets too.
There are many recipes for DIY cleaners on the internet so I am sure the ones I use are out there. However, below is a menagerie of cleaning products I keep on hand and swear by.
Please note a lot of recipes call for Borax, and although there is much debate over whether or not it is harmful to the skin or not, I choose to not use it at all. (Update, 2022, I have found many safe and useful reasons to use Borax around the homestead.)
DIY Cleaners: The Ingredients
The basic ingredients I use are listed below with their cleaning properties. I order the bulk sizes of these products from Amazon since I use so much of these products, and not just for cleaning.
All of these ingredients can be found in most grocery stores except Tea Tree oil which I purchase from my local drug store.
- Virus killing abilities
- Cuts through grease
- Made from 100% plant oils
- Cuts grease
- Considered acidic
- Cuts grease
- Eliminates mold and mildew
- Shines hard surfaces
For specific cleaners that use Vinegar other than listed here, see DIY Vinegar Cleaners.
- Called “good for you” cooking oil
- Odor eliminator
- Adds scent to cleaners
- Masks pungency of the vinegar smell
- Optional ingredient
Special Note: Vinegar and lemons are considered acidic and Castile Soap is Neutral. Mixing equal parts of an acid and a neutral will cancel out the properties of each ingredient.
DIY Cleaners: Bathroom
Option 1: Mix baking soda with a small amount of castile soap, scrub with a sponge, rinse well.
Option 2: Spray plain white vinegar on tough spots and let it sit for 30 minutes, rinse and repeat if necessary.
Mix 1 cup of water with 1 cup of white vinegar in a spray bottle. Spray the entire tub/shower and let sit for 10 minutes then rinse and wipe.
Pour 1/2 cup of baking soda and 1/4 cup of vinegar directly into the toilet bowl.
This mixture will start fizzing immediately.
While still fizzing, scrub the bowl with a toilet brush.
I do this about once a week.
Spray the toilet seat and lid and exterior of the bowl with a spray bottle of straight vinegar.
Let sit a minute or two and wipe clean.
DIY Cleaners: Kitchen
Option 1: Rub half of a lemon over the surface, let sit 5 minutes and rinse.
Option 2: Sprinkle Kosher salt on the surface then “scrub” using a half of a lemon. Rinse and let dry.
Tops with no ceramic tile: Mix 1 cup vinegar and 1 cup of water in a spray bottle, wipe clean.
Tops with ceramic tile: Substitute the vinegar with rubbing alcohol or plain vodka.
Heat your oven to 125°.
Use 1 cup of vinegar and 1 cup of water combined in a spray bottle and spray dirty areas until it is damp.
Once damp, pour salt over the spots and turn off the oven.
Once the oven cools use a wet towel and scrub.
Rinse when cooled down.
If spots are really bad you can use baking soda in place of the salt.
Pour vinegar into a small glass jar, add a bit of lemon juice and place the jar inside the microwave.
Run the microwave on high for about 2 minutes.
Let the hot liquid sit inside the microwave for a few minutes then open and wipe the inside clean.
You can pour the contents of the jar right down the sink drain.
The best way to clean the disposal is to freeze vinegar into ice cube trays.
When you need the disposal cleaned just drop a few into the drain and turn the disposal on.
It will sanitize and clean the blades of the disposal at the same time.
Slow or Clogged Sink Drain:
Pour 1 cup of baking soda into drain then immediately dump 2 to 3 cups of boiling water into the drain.
You may need to repeat for stubborn drains.
Mix 1 cup of baking soda to a bucket of hot water and wipe.
You can also leave a small cup of baking soda in your refrigerator to absorb odors.
Replace the baking soda monthly.
DIY Cleaners: Floors
Tile, vinyl, marble:
Mix 1 cup white vinegar with 2 cups of hot water.
Mop floors as usual.
Note: This same mixture can be used on walls also.
I do not use anything on my wood floors other than a slightly damp mop or duster.
DIY Cleaners: Miscellaneous
Microwave 1 cup of vinegar until boiling.
Add 1/4 cup of washing soda and stir until dissolved.
Add 3 drops of liquid castile soap, 4 drops of teat tree oil, 1/2 cup of vodka.
Pour into a spray bottle and shake to mix.
Option 1: Mix 2 cups of water with 3 Tbsp. liquid castile soap and 20 or so drops of tea tree oil into a spray bottle. (Bleach Alternative)
Option 2: Mix 1/2 cup of baking soda, 1 tsp. castile soap, and 1/2 tsp. hydrogen peroxide into a spray bottle. (Another bleach alternative)
Mix a few drops of tea tree oil into some baking soda in a jar that has a lid with holes.
Place on a shelf. Replace monthly.
Option 1: Mix 1/4 cup of vinegar and 3/4 cup of olive oil, rub into furniture with a soft cloth.
Option 2: Mix 1/4 cup of lemon juice with 1/2 cup of olive oil, rub the wood with a soft cloth.
You can also rub coconut oil directly onto the wood surface and buff with a clean soft cloth.
Option 1: Mix 1 cup vinegar and 4 cups of water in a spray bottle. Spray glass and wipe clean.
Option 2: Pour rubbing alcohol into a spray bottle and use it as a glass cleaner. (Great for car windows!)
DIY Cleaners: Soaps
Using a foam dispenser bottle, add liquid castile soap to equal 1/4 of the bottle then fill to the top with water.
Combine 1 cup liquid castile soap and 3 Tbsp. water to a squeeze bottle. Shake well.
Combine 1 cup of liquid castile soap and 1 cup of water and 2 tsp of lemon juice in a one-quart glass jar.
Place this mixture in one compartment of the dishwasher and white vinegar in the other compartment.
Run the dishwasher as usual.
All of these cleaners are a safer alternative to the harmful chemicals we find in the cleaning products in our local stores. Feel free to add some essential oils to add scent to your cleaners if you so choose.
Do you make your own cleaners at home? Please share any recipes you may have with my readers in the comments below.