8 Homemade Cleaners to Keep Your Home Clean and Safe

Woman cleaning her home
Prostock-studio / Shutterstock.com

This story originally appeared on The Penny Hoarder.

A clean home is a healthy home, right? But a lot of store-bought cleaners are filled with harsh chemicals, and they are often expensive. While those ready-made cleaners may be convenient, there are alternatives.

You don’t need the fancy name brands to have safe, effective cleaners to use in your home. Take matters into your own hands by making your own do-it-yourself cleaning supplies.

As a bonus, you’ll know exactly what you are using in your home — and you’ll save money, too.

Basic Supplies for Homemade Cleaners

Pixel-Shot / Shutterstock.com

There are a few tried-but-true ingredients you’ll want to keep around the house. Most of these are inexpensive and readily available. Here are some of the essentials.

White Vinegar

White vinegar is a versatile cleaning product and is the base for a lot of DIY cleaners.

Isopropyl Rubbing Alcohol 91%

Isopropyl rubbing alcohol works not only as a cleaner but also as a disinfectant. The higher the alcohol content, the more effective it will be.

Baking Soda

This is another product with myriad uses. Baking soda can help you clean a lot of different types of messes. It’s a must-have for the DIY cleaner.

Hydrogen Peroxide (3% to 6%)

Hydrogen peroxide is a common household disinfectant. It can also be used as a bleach in a pinch. Note that it comes in a dark, solid-colored bottle. That’s because it decomposes when exposed to light.

Liquid Castile Soap

Liquid Castile soap is made from natural plant ingredients (frequently hemp), and it has a lot of handy uses. It’s a bit more expensive than most of the other items on this list.

Essential Oils

Essential oils may not be essential for your DIY cleaners, but they can add a lot in the way of fragrance. Let’s face it, not all of the other products listed here smell great, so a touch of lavender or sweet orange won’t hurt.

Bleach

Bleach can be a little harsh, but it doesn’t take much to make an effective cleaner and disinfectant. Plus, it’s always pretty cheap.

Spray Bottles

Go for “heavy-duty” options if you can, as some of these cleaning products can be hard on plastics.

Now that you know what to keep on hand, let’s get to the cleaners. Here are recipes to keep your whole house sparkling and safe.

1. Disinfectant Wipes

Cleaning wipes
Love the wind / Shutterstock.com

With bleach, you can make your own reusable disinfectant wipes to keep your countertops, doorknobs and other surfaces clean and free of bacteria and viruses. Here is a recipe from Better Homes and Gardens.

You’ll need:

  • At least 70% rubbing alcohol
  • Paper towels or cloths
  • Airtight containers that are not used for food or beverages (make sure they are large enough to fit the cloths)

Label the containers appropriately so they don’t get confused with other liquids. Pour the rubbing alcohol into the containers. Let the cloths soak for at least five minutes. Add some drops of essential oils for a better aroma.

2. Glass Cleaner

Wstockstudio / Shutterstock.com

Keep those windows and mirrors spotless with this homemade formula from Good Housekeeping.

You’ll need:

  • 2 cups water
  • ½ cup white or cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup rubbing alcohol (70% concentration or higher)
  • 1 or 2 drops of orange essential oil (optional)
  • Spray bottle

Add all the ingredients to the spray bottle. When it’s time to clean windows and mirrors, simply spray the mixture on a soft cloth or paper towel and wipe down the glass.

3. Grease Cleaner

Tiplyashina Evgeniya / Shutterstock.com

This heavy-duty formula will help get the gunk out of oven hoods, grills and more.

You’ll need:

  • ½ cup sudsy ammonia (available commercially or make your own)
  • 1-gallon container
  • Water

Put the sudsy ammonia into the 1-gallon container. Add enough water to fill it. It’s that easy — this solution is ready to use. Just dip in a mop or sponge, soak up some solution and use it to wipe down oven hoods or other greasy items. Then, rinse thoroughly with clean water.

Be sure to fully rinse and dry your sponge or mop before reusing them. You should use gloves when preparing and using this solution. Also, be sure not to inhale any fumes.

4. All-Purpose Cleaner and Deodorizer

Woman with cleaning supplies
InesBazdar / Shutterstock.com

Scrub down kitchen counters, appliances and even the refrigerator with this simple solution made from a basic kitchen ingredient.

You’ll need:

  • 4 tablespoons baking soda
  • 1 quart warm water
  • Container to mix them in

Mix the baking soda and water together in a container. Then, moisten a sponge or cloth with the mixture and use it to clean.

5. Everyday Toilet Cleaner

VGstockstudio / Shutterstock.com

This solution uses the antibacterial properties of tea tree oil to disinfect your toilet.

You’ll need:

  • ½ cup baking soda
  • 1 cup distilled white vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon tea tree essential oil

First, get a spray bottle and add the vinegar and tea tree oil. Spray this mixture all over the toilet, including the seat, lid, handle and bowl. Let it sit for 5 minutes.

Then, sprinkle the baking soda into the toilet bowl and scrub with a toilet brush. Use a cloth to wipe the vinegar and tea tree mixture off of the seat, lid and handle.

6. Deep-Cleaning Toilet Cleaner

Skeptical woman with cleaning brush
STUDIO GRAND WEB / Shutterstock.com

If your toilet is stained and needs a deeper clean, use this mixture.

You’ll need:

  • ¾ cup borax
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 10 drops lavender essential oil
  • 5 drops lemon essential oil

Mix all ingredients together. Flush the toilet to get the inside wet and then pour the mixture into the toilet bowl. Let it sit for several hours or, better yet, overnight.

Do not use the toilet during this time. After the mixture has been in the bowl for several hours, scrub down the toilet bowl and flush again to rinse.

7. Dish Soap

Andrey_Popov / Shutterstock.com

If you don’t have a dishwasher, hand-washing is not just a daily chore — it’s also a test of your efficiency and cleaning skills.

There are probably 1,000 ways to mix your own dish soap, but let’s start with a simple recipe. This formula from the Fulfilled Homemaking blog uses vegetable-based Castile soap (it’s biodegradable!).

  • 1 cup liquid Castile soap
  • A few drops of essential oil
  • ¼ cup water

This recipe isn’t as effective on heavily soiled dishes as your regular dish soap, but it can do in a pinch.

8. Wet Floor Wipes

Woman mopping an office
Andrey_Popov / Shutterstock.com

Here’s a great one from Live Simply. Who doesn’t love doing quick spot cleanups with a sweeper stick?

But the wet versions of cleaning cloths are expensive, and you can burn through them quickly. This recipe makes for easy, reusable wipes so you can always do a quick floor touch-up.

  • 2 cups water
  • ¼ cup white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons rubbing alcohol
  • A few drops of essential oil

All you need to do is roll up (or don’t) some washcloths and put them into a jar. Create your vinegar mixture, stirring it together and pour it into the jar.

Mash those washcloths down into the mixture as well as you can. Let them soak and pull one out as needed.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
17 Amazon Purchases We Are Loving Right Now
17 Amazon Purchases We Are Loving Right Now

These practical products make everyday life a little easier.

11 ‘Disposable’ Items You Should Be Reusing
9 Houseplants That Remove Toxins From Your Indoor Air
9 Houseplants That Remove Toxins From Your Indoor Air

These plants may also do everything from reduce the amount of dust in your home to improve your productivity.

13 Small Gadgets Under $20 That Make Life Better
13 Small Gadgets Under $20 That Make Life Better

These inexpensive electronics will make your day-to-day life a little easier — and happier.

17 Surprising Things You Can Clean in a Dishwasher
17 Surprising Things You Can Clean in a Dishwasher

It’s often easier and faster to put these household items in the dishwasher than to clean them by hand.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco

Even if it seems you save a bundle buying Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand products, they may not be the bargain they appear to be.

How to Buy Gas At Costco Without a Membership
How to Buy Gas At Costco Without a Membership

The warehouse club often has some of the cheapest gas in town. Here’s how you can get it as a nonmember.

If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It
If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It

Vacuums from this brand can last a half-century, if not longer — and they’re hot on the resale market.

10 Things to Stop Buying If You Want a Clutter-Free Home
10 Things to Stop Buying If You Want a Clutter-Free Home

If you like to keep things simple, avoid these purchases.

A Simple Way to Silence Robocalls Today
A Simple Way to Silence Robocalls Today

A few steps can keep your phone from ringing when a spammer calls.

This Company Makes the Best Tires in America
This Company Makes the Best Tires in America

Driver satisfaction with tires is at an all-time high, but one brand stands out.

Can I Switch to Spousal Social Security Benefits When My Ex Dies?
Can I Switch to Spousal Social Security Benefits When My Ex Dies?

Knowing when to claim can help you maximize benefits.

36 Things That Will Be Obsolete Soon
36 Things That Will Be Obsolete Soon

The writing is on the wall for dozens of things we have grown up with.

17 Surprising Things You Can Sell for Extra Money
17 Surprising Things You Can Sell for Extra Money

You probably don’t realize these items are worth decent cash.

8 Things You Should Always Buy on Amazon
8 Things You Should Always Buy on Amazon

The giant retailer shines when it comes to these things, from basics to hard-to-find specialty goods.

This Health Issue Can Hint at Dementia Years in Advance
This Health Issue Can Hint at Dementia Years in Advance

One type of pain is especially associated with cognitive decline.

8 Federal Income Tax Breaks for Homeowners
8 Federal Income Tax Breaks for Homeowners

Some of these deductions and credits are available to a wide swath of homeowners.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free
5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free

Hesitant to drop $119 a year on an Amazon Prime membership? Here’s how to get it for free.

5 Ways to Fill Your Pantry With Free Food
5 Ways to Fill Your Pantry With Free Food

Anyone can take advantage of these resources.

10 Types of Retirement Income That Are Not Taxable
10 Types of Retirement Income That Are Not Taxable

There are lots of things Uncle Sam can’t touch — so long as you play by the rules.

9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again
9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again

The warehouse store offers an enormous selection, but these products aren’t coming back.

6 Reasons You Should Stop Hiding Cash at Home
6 Reasons You Should Stop Hiding Cash at Home

Stashing money around the house is anything but harmless.

These 5 States Are the Most Expensive Places to Retire
These 5 States Are the Most Expensive Places to Retire

If you expect to have modest retirement income, you may want to avoid spending your golden years here.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.