Updated February 2020
EASY DIY CLEANING RECIPES
Recently, as I picked up my homemade spray cleaner to clean handprints off various surfaces, I began mentally adding up all the different household cleaners I no longer buy.
Honestly, even I was surprised how long the list was. As it turns out, our house is pretty much cleaned with DIY cleaning recipes.
What’s equally amazing is I barely noticed the dramatic switch, because it was the result of many small changes over time. In essence, it’s a process that just evolved. Better still, I don’t miss any of those things, and I know you won’t, either.
There are several reasons for using DIY natural cleaners and you might recognize and identify with a few, if not all of them. Are you looking for ways to cut out toxic chemicals?
Do you want to know what is actually in your cleaning supplies? Are you just are tired of lugging home so many bottles all the time? What about all that packaging winding up in a landfill? Do you want to save money?
I know that’s a lot of questions, but I hear those concerns all the time.
Personally speaking, for me, it was all of those reasons. No matter your incentive, I’m sure you will find useful information as well as motivation in this post.
In the spirit of keeping everything as simple as possible, none of the replacements are time-consuming and most contain basic ingredients. Each of those ingredients is versatile and can be used in many different ways.
This post contains affiliate links. You may read my full affiliate link policy here.
CLEANING SUPPLIES YOU CAN EASILY REPLACE IN YOUR HOME
- window/glass cleaner
- all-purpose cleaner
- floor cleaning solutions
- carpet cleaner
- air fresheners/deodorizers
- laundry soap
- fabric softener
Before you decide how to swap out your current, probably more toxic and expensive versions, let’s take a closer look at some of the reasons for making the change.
ELIMINATE TOXINS FROM YOUR HOME AND THE ENVIRONMENT
This is probably the most important reason for ditching many, if not all artificial chemicals from the house. In our case with one family member a cancer survivor and another on the more severe end of the autism spectrum, cutting potentially harmful substances just made sense.
Advertisers would have us believe that we cannot get a sparkling clean home without using their products. But I have found that this is simply not true.
If reducing toxins is your biggest concern you have the option of going with safer, commercially available products to replace more toxic versions. Products like liquid castile soap, Sal suds, and thieves cleaner may seem a little pricey at first glance.
But since they are quite concentrated, you actually get a whole lot more bang for your buck. Concentrates are versatile and take up a lot less shelf space than commercially diluted solutions in big plastic bottles.
Over time, I have settled on a combination of concentrated products as well as other readily available ingredients like distilled white vinegar, baking soda, and even bottled lemon juice. Combine them with high-quality essential oils to create your own arsenal of very effective cleaning solutions.
By opting to mix up your own homemade cleaners you are helping reduce the amount of packaging that might otherwise wind up in a landfill. Using refillable glass spray bottles cuts out several plastic spray bottles. Even if you choose to use plastic, you will get a lot more use from one container before recycling it.
SAVE MONEY AND TIME BY MAKING YOUR OWN CLEANERS
Even if you are not actively trying to eliminate toxins, you might be attracted to making your own supplies to save a few bucks. How does making your own version of store-bought items save you money?
For one, many of the base ingredients can be bought in bulk. Think things like vinegar or baking soda. Both are incredibly versatile not only in cooking but cleaning as well. And both are dirt cheap.
That pricey laundry soap can easily be replaced by a homemade version you can create by making your own for pennies a load. It’s much easier than you think.
You save time as well as money. How? No more trips to the store, because you ran out of window cleaner! Besides, who wants to lug around all these heavy bottles?
Be kind to yourself my friend, you have better things to do, don’t you? You can create your own homemade in cleaner in the time it would take to make a shopping list!
And since you are using bulk ingredients and/or concentrates you save on space as well. This is a biggie for anyone who is trying to embrace a more minimalist lifestyle.
If you are wondering how long it will take you to gather recipes to create your own cleaners and come up with safer, cheaper ways to incorporate into your cleaning routine, I’ve got you covered!
To make it easy for you I only share recipes with that I know for certain will work.
must-have ingredients to have on hand all the time:
- White distilled vinegar
- Baking soda
- 3 % hydrogen peroxide
- Washing soda (can be made from baking soda)
- Liquid castile soap
- Sal Suds
- Essential oils – lemon, tea tree, lavender, mint, thieves blend etc.
- Non-toxic dish liquid
The manufacturers of cleaning chemicals would like you to believe that you absolutely need a different product for each and every cleaning job in your home.
Well, that is just not true. It actually takes surprisingly few cleaners to accomplish a whole lot.
The recipes in this post as well as cute labels for your DIY cleaning products are all available as printables in the FREE Resource Library.
EASY AND EFFECTIVE DIY CLEANING RECIPES
GLASS AND ALL-PURPOSE CLEANER
This recipe is so simple to put together, it’s almost hard to believe that it works as well as it does. You may have heard that vinegar is an excellent cleaner, but may not have had much luck cleaning your windows with vinegar alone.
Why is that? Most windows and glass surfaces that have been cleaned with commercial cleaning solutions, you know the blue stuff, have an invisible waxy residue.
Plain vinegar will not cut through the wax buildup left behind by commercial cleaners. By adding just enough dish liquid, you gain the power to wipe away the waxy residue and pesky streaks for a beautiful clean.
Here is the super simple glass and all-purpose cleaner recipe:
2 cups of filtered or distilled water
1/2 cup white distilled vinegar,
Generally, this simple glass cleaner recipe will work exceptionally well for most all-purpose cleaning tasks. All of my favorite cleaning recipes are available as handy printables in my FREE Resource Library.
SOAP SCUM REMOVER
For a very effective soap scum remover combine
1/2 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup Sal suds detergent (often sold in health food stores in the cleaning aisle)
in a glass spray bottle.
Shake well before use and spray on the area to be cleaned. Let sit for 10 minutes, then rinse. This stuff works, but be sure to work in a well-ventilated area due to the strong smell.
For added cleaning power use a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser pad. I always keep plenty of those on hand and they make cleaning so much easier and faster!
CLEANING FLOORS FAST AND EASY
For laminate, tile, and sealed wood floors, the best non-toxic cleaning method I have found is a steam cleaner. The cleaning pads are washable and reusable and steam is amazingly effective in loosening even stuck-on dirt. I was lucky enough to find my current steam cleaner at our local Aldi store. This model is very similar to the one I have.
After owning another steamer with a rectangular mop surface, I prefer the triangle shape, because it gets into corners more easily. Most models also come with a carpet glide which allows you to run the steamer over your carpet surface to freshen carpet in between deep cleanings. This won’t pick up dirt but will refresh the carpet.
Always test first in a hidden spot.
If you are not up for the steamer route, you can use my glass and all-purpose cleaner spray. Spray the pad of a microfiber dust mop to give your floors a nice clean. Always sweep or vacuum well before using any steam or wet cleaner on your floors.
DIY CARPET CLEANING SOLUTION
At our house, a carpet cleaning machine is an absolute must. I couldn’t imagine not having mine. This is the model I have.
After buying commercially available cleaning solutions for years, I figured out that I could probably make my own solution for much cheaper. Well, it works like a champ!
HERE IS MY FAVORITE DIY CARPET CLEANER RECIPE:
1 gallon of hot tap water
1 TBS of dish soap ( without bleach of course!!!)
2 TBS white vinegar
1/4 cup of 3% Hydrogen peroxide
Fill the tank with hot water, add remaining ingredients. Always test first on a hidden area to make sure it won’t fade carpet.
AIR FRESHENING SPRAY AND DEODORIZER RECIPE
Advertisers want you to believe that your home has to smell like Spring rain or some other fragrance to be clean. Clean doesn’t have a smell.
The fact is that most air fresheners are actually quite toxic, not to mention unnecessary. And if you want your house to smell like a Spring rain, just open the windows in Spring when it rains.
Still, there are those times when you would like to enjoy a pleasant scent. That is where essential oils really shine. Just a few drops of the oils of your choice in a spray bottle with distilled water and organic witch hazel (acts as a dispersing agent) and you can spray those stale odors away quickly and naturally.
Always use any cleaner and essential oils with caution around pets. Cats, in particular, are very sensitive to essential oils.
HERE IS MY SUPER SIMPLE AIR FRESHENER AND DEODORIZER RECIPE:
8 oz distilled or filtered water
2 oz organic witch hazel
10 – 15 drops essential oils, a combination of mint and lemon works well as a pick me up, lavender and mint as a calming scent – feel free to experiment with your favorite oils.
Alternately, place essential oils in a diffuser and freshen your rooms that way. Just be sure to use high-quality pure oils that don’t contain fillers and added chemicals or you are defeating the purpose. Here is where I buy all of my essential oils.
Always use caution when using or diffusing or spraying essential oils around pets. Consult with your veterinarian.
DIY LAUNDRY SOAP
After recently finding out that even the “all-natural” Costco laundry soap I’ve been using scores poorly with regards to the environment, I am determined to begin making my own laundry soap again. It’s really not that difficult and it lasts for a very long time.
You can find my favorite liquid laundry soap recipe as a FREE printable in the Resource Library. It’s easy, super frugal and the preferred formula for my High-Efficiency top-loading washer.
Only three basic ingredients that you can find at any larger grocery store in the laundry aisle. And just in case you want to go even more old school and make your own washing soda I found the simple recipe for you! Pretty cool, right?
The Borax used in this recipe is also great for combating ants. There is some discussion about the safety of Borax, a natural ingredient so I thought I’d link you to this article, to allow you to make an informed decision. Personally, I’m cool with it, though.
DIY FABRIC SOFTENER ALTERNATIVE
Have you ever walked through your neighborhood and smelled someone’s fabric softener from the dryer sheets they were using?
Fabric softener sheets were one of the first things to leave our house. After initially switching to unscented and dye-free liquid fabric softener, I replaced it with white distilled vinegar a long time ago. The vinegar actually helps rinse excess soap from your laundry.
Stinky washer? That won’t an issue at your house if you add vinegar to every load and letting your washer air out after.
After using plastic dryer balls for a while, I discovered wool dryer balls and haven’t looked back. I love that I can add a few drops of essential oils to them for lovely smelling clothes.
When it comes to laundry stains, regardless of which type of pre-treatment or detergent/soap is used, immediate treatment is key. The longer a stain is allowed to sit, the more difficult it will be to treat. Always test any stain remover first to make sure it won’t harm your garment.
Use a dab of Sal suds on tough stains. It is especially useful for those tough to get out grease stains and will work for even those types of stains set by the dryer.
For stains like blood, cold water will do the trick along with hydrogen peroxide. I usually keep a bottle of peroxide fitted with a spray nozzle handy for when nose bleed season strikes our house.
If you are interested in creating a clean and easy version of OxyClean laundry booster, it’s super easy to create your own. I have found a great recipe here.
None of these recipes are difficult or time-consuming. They all work exceptionally well and will not only save you money and time but might have you breathing a little easier as well. After reading far too many labels with chemicals I cannot pronounce, I love knowing exactly what is in my cleaning supplies.
Check out some of my other homemade money-saving cleaning tips!
Share your own tips or ask questions in our Facebook group!