Make Your Own Housecleaning Products


    Making your own cleaning products is a great way to save money and control the use of chemicals in your home. Most of the following recipes are made from non-toxic ingredients, but there are some chemicals as well. If you store any of these, be sure to label them so you know what is in the container -- and keep all household cleaners well out of reach of children and pets!

    Here are our simple recipes for cleansers to take care of the most common household chores.

    Window Cleaner

    • Spray bottle with club soda
    • 2 teaspoons white vinegar in a quart of warm water. 

    Put in a spray bottle.

    Consumer Reports' tried-and-true window cleaner:

    • 1/2 cup soapy ammonia
    • 1 pint rubbing alcohol

    Mix well, put in spray bottles and label.


    • White vinegar
    • 3 tablespoons castile soap
    • 20-30 drops of tea tree extract

    Mix in a 16-oz. sprayer and top with water. 

    All-Purpose Cleaner

    • Club soda
    • 1 part white vinegar
    • 1 part water

    Mix in a spray bottle. Do not use vinegar on stone surfaces (such as granite, quartz, soapstone, slate, etc.) 

    Non-Abrasive Cleaner

    • 1 part baking soda
    • 1 part lemon juice

    Make a paste and use a sponge to scrub.

    Toilet Bowl Cleaner

    • Baking soda
    • White vinegar

    Flush the toilet, sprinkle in the baking soda, spray with vinegar and scrub.

    Bath Tile Mold Prevention

    • 1 part water
    • 1 part bleach

    Spray tile and wipe off with a warm, damp sponge. 

    Grout Mold Cleaner

    • 1 part hydrogen peroxide
    • 2 parts water

    Combine in spray bottle. Spray, let sit for an hour, and wipe with a damp sponge. 

    Drain Cleaner (not for full clogs)

    • 1 cup white vinegar
    • 1 cup of baking soda

    Pour baking soda then vinegar down drain. Let sit for 10 minutes and flush with boiling water followed by warm tap water until drain clears.

    TIPS: Never pour boiling water into a porcelain fixture -- it might crack. For serious drain clogs, call a reliable plumber.

    Furniture Polish

    • 1/4 cup white vinegar (or 1/2 cup lemon juice)
    • 3/4 cup olive oil

    Mix. Apply and buff with soft cloth.

    Air Freshener

    • 2 cups hot water
    • 2 tablespoons baking soda

    Add a few drops of essential oil or cologne for fragrance if you like. Mix in spray bottle. 

    Carpet Cleaner/Deodorizer

    Sprinkle carpet with baking soda. Let it sit for a half-hour and vacuum.

    All-Purpose Floor Cleaner

    • 1/2 cup vinegar
    • 1 gallon water

    Mix and mop. (NOTE: Vinegar should not be used on grout or any type of stone flooring.

    Wood Floor Cleaner

    • Few drops of dish soap
    • 1 gallon of warm water

    Mix and damp mop.

    Dishwasher Liquid

    • 1/2 cup liquid castile soap
    • 1/2 cup water
    • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
    • 3 drops tea tree extract
    • 1/4 cup white vinegar

    Stir water and soap together. Add rest of ingredients and stir until blended. Put in squeeze bottle. Use 2 tablespoons per load.

    (From "Natural Cleaning for Your Home: 95 Pure and Simple Recipes," by Casey Keller)

    Dishwashing Rinse

    • White vinegar

    Pour vinegar into the rinse agent disperser compartment. 

    Garbage Disposal Freshener

    Grind orange and lemon peels in the disposal. 

    Laundry Detergent

    • 1 bar of soap, shaved (Ivory, Fels-Naptha or Zote)
    • 1/2 cup of washing soda

    Stir together until combined well and store in an airtight container. Use 1 tablespoon per load (2 for heavy soils). This is low-suds and should work well for front-loading laundry machines.

    Fabric Softener

    Add 1/2 cup white vinegar to rinse cycle.


    These ideas will save you money and put your mind at ease about using too many chemicals. 

    Updated August 29, 2018.

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