homemade cleaning products

Make Your Own Homemade Cleaning Products

homemade cleaning products

I want my home to be clean, but at the same time I don’t really want a cocktail of chemicals in the air that I breathe, or the surfaces that I touch or prepare food on, so I’ve turned to some homemade cleaning products.

There are all sorts of health and environmental dangers associated with using cleaning products, so over the past few years we’ve been trying to cut down on the amount of harsh chemicals in our home.  We first switched to Ecover about six years ago, then Method a couple of years ago, and now we’re using a mix of Ecover (for dishwasher tablets and for toilet cleaner) and BioD products (for laundry, and for hand-washing dishes).

Where we can we’ve also started making our own homemade cleaning products, and I thought it would be useful if I shared my instructions for making these chemical free cleaning products.  You can make your own homemade cleaning products quite easily and cheaply, that are as effective as any shop bought chemical cleaner, so I’ve got a host of recipes here for your kitchen and bathroom, and for doing laundry and the dishes.  They’ll soon have your house sparkling!

First up, select your arsenal of essential oils:

essential oils for cleaning your home

I use these organic Soil Association accredited ones to make my homemade cleaning products with.  I’ve got lavender, lemon, sweet orange, peppermint and tea tree.  As well as smelling great, I like them because as they’re organic I know there are no hidden chemicals in them from the growing process.

Next, you’ll need a bottle or two of white vinegar.  Vinegar is quite a key component in making homemade cleaning products.  You can buy white vinegar in the supermarket that you can transfer into a spray bottle, but you can most likely find big bottles of spray vinegar in pound shops.  I found mine in Poundland for, you’ve guessed it, £1.  You get 750 ml of vinegar which is much better value than the little bottles you find at the supermarket, and you have the convenience of not having to find an empty spray bottle.  You can also buy white vinegar in bulk, which saves even more money.

Homemade Cleaning Products

Kitchen Cleaner

For my homemade kitchen cleaner, I add twenty drops of lemon oil and twenty drops of lavender oil to a 50/50 solution of cooled boiled water and vinegar.  Lemon is a great degreaser and lavender has brilliant antibacterial properties:

household kitchen cleaning products made with vinegar and essential oils

My home-made spray made light work of my dirty worktops.  Here you can see the before and after shots:

before and after cleaning with vinegar

Sparkling clean, and germ-free without any trace of harsh chemicals!  When you use the spray (or any other vinegar based homemade cleaning products) then you do get a smell of vinegar, but that completely disappears once dry, and you’re left with a very light and pleasant scent of the essential oils.

If you have any tough spots of grime or dried in food then I find a light sprinkling of bicarbonate of soda, followed by a spray of your vinegar solution and a good rub helps remove the dirt.  If it’s particularly dried on or hard to shift try spraying it with a liberal amount of vinegar and leaving it to soak for 10 minutes before wiping.

Bathroom Cleaner

I also made bathroom cleaning spray, again using another vinegar spray bottle.  This time, to the 50/50 cooled boiled water and vinegar solution I added 20 drops of lavender oil and 20 drops of tea tree oil.  Tea tree oil has brilliant antiseptic and anti-fungal properties, making it brilliant for cleaning bathrooms:

bathroom cleaner spray made with vinegar and essential oils lavender tea tree

I’ve been spraying it on my tiles after showering to inhibit the growth of mould and remove soap scum, and also using it to wipe down the sink and toilet and everything else.  Again, it initially smells of vinegar but when it dries you can’t smell it – only a very subtle aroma of tea tree and lavender.

Fabric Softener

I’ve used vinegar for years as a fabric softener, but I’ve only just started adding essential oils to the vinegar.  Simply fill an old jar with vinegar, and add 30 drops of orange oil to your vinegar for softened clothes and a delicate and clean aroma to your laundry, without a hint of vinegar, I promise!  With regards to dosage I just fill up to the line on the fabric conditioner drawer of my machine and that seems to work a treat.

Dishwasher Rinse Aid

Vinegar also makes a fantastic rinse aid in your dishwasher – leaving your glasses, cutlery and plates sparkling!  I just use the same solution as I do for my fabric softener – making it fantastically multipurpose!

Do you make any of your own homemade cleaning products?  Do share in the comments below!  I’m always on the lookout for great tips!

Ps: if you enjoyed this then you might also enjoy my post on green cleaning favourites.  I’ve been on quite the green cleaning journey since I wrote this post, and have since shared lots of recipes and methods, that I’ve summarised in my cleaning favourites post.

PPS: I’ve been on ever the green cleaning journey since I published this post AND my post on my green cleaning favourites.  In 2018 I wrote a book all about green cleaning, called Fresh Clean Home, which is available to purchase now.  Do check it out!

Main image from here, all others are my own.

45 comments

  1. Thanks for the inspiration. At the moment I use the Bio-D brand of eco-cleaning products but I think I might have a go at making my own now!

    Reply
  2. stepneycarpetcleaners
    January 21, 2015 at 4:26 pm

    I’ve been “green” cleaning my place for about 4 months now and I’m loving it. Not only does using natural ingredients make my place smell nice and fresh but I’m saving money not having to buy toxic cleaning products. A great plus.I read some of the comments concerning the use of essential oils around pets. Can tea tree be used to clean around dogs? I plan on doing some cleaning at my daughter’s and she has a dog. Also, can you inform me what other essential oils I can use in my cleaning solutions that will be safe to use around dogs.

    Best regards!
    Stepney Carpet Cleaners Ltd.

    Reply
  3. I started to try green cleaning recipes last month when I found out that I have allergy to some of the ingredients of my floor cleaner. Then I realized that I have to find some other way of cleaning the floor. Thanks a lot for sharing this green recipe here! You should be sure that I will try it! Dalston Carpet Cleaners Ltd.

    Reply
  4. Baking Soda Use Ideas:

    Deodorize Trash Cans
    – Refresh carpets by shaking a bit of baking soda over your carpet before you vacuum!
    – Clean walls by adding a bit of baking soda to a sponge! This even removes crayon stains!
    – Freshen up those gym bags by dusting baking soda on it directly
    – Freshen up those shoes by adding baking soda directly in the soles and let it set overnight, shake out in the morning

    Reply
  5. Decades ago homes around the country were clean, and there were no harsh chemical cleaners available on the high street. There is certainly something to be said about getting back to basics and saving the environment by using products found in the home for cleaning

    Reply
  6. I love when I can make my own stuff. Especially when it comes to cleaning. I hate cleaning but I know we have to do it often and the result equals pure happiness :) My daughter is old enough to help me with it too, so it works out for me :) Thanks for sharing. Fantastic post! I will show it to some of my friends as well <3

    Reply
  7. Thank you for your article. It was very helpful. I love using eco friendly cleaning solutions. I tried the bathroom cleaner and it really worked out. Thanks again!

    Reply
  8. It’s so great to use essential oils for homemade natural cleaners! I prefer cleaning my home with solutions I’ve made, so I’m sure what is it inside the bottle and if my baby-girl is somewhere around in the room playing, I know that the place I’ve just cleaned is safe for her. Thanks for the useful recipes, I’m definitely trying them. Greets!

    Reply
  9. Olive oil isn’t just good for cooking with or drizzling over salads. It can also be used as a natural furniture polish giving everything from cupboards and draws to tables and chairs a wonderful shine. A little goes a long way meaning one bottle will last a long time and as olive oil has a very long shelf life you won’t have to worry about it going out of date any time soon. You can also use jojoba oil and liquid wax to keep your household items in good condition.

    Reply
    • Another oil that’s good for using as a furniture polish is baby oil. A little really does go a long way and has a pleasant scent too! Just apply then buff up with a soft cloth.

      Reply
  10. What a great post! I own a cleaning company and an increasing number of people are making an effort to be greener. I will definitely refer them to your post!

    Reply
  11. Stupid question – but do you refill those bottles with normal vinegar or is that some kind of special cleaning vinegar?

    Reply
    • Hello i have found teabags work great on grease!! Simply sprinkle and scrub empty contents into bin not sink like i did!! Then use bicarb mix with lemon and vineger to wipe clean. Love this page ❤️

      Reply
  12. Scarlett Anderson
    July 14, 2017 at 10:51 am

    Hey, very informative post! Thanks for sharing us. You can try useful cleaning products from here: https://www.bulkwholesale.com.au
    I think it is the best natural eco-friendly cleaning products.

    Reply
  13. Hey, nice post, thanks for sharing such a informative ideas, recently i bought cleaning products from Clean & Pack cleaning supplies Melbourne. They provides good cleaning products which are very useful to clean your home.

    Hope this will be helpful for you

    Reply
  14. None of these are chemical-free. Vinegar is made of chemicals. Water is made of chemicals. Air is made of chemicals. Wood is made of chemicals. Essential oils are made of chemicals. Human beings are made of chemicals.

    Reply
    • Thanks for pointing that out Kirsten. You make a good point, I wrote this post four years ago when I was using the term chemical free as short-hand for free of dubious harsh chemicals, but have since stopped using this term to avoid confusion.

      Reply
  15. I’d love to try these! Can either the bathroom or kitchen one be used on the floor? We have tiled kitchen and toilet floors and vinyl bathroom floor.

    Where is the best place to buy bicarb and essential oils?

    Reply
  16. Dealing with cleaning has always been a task for me. And, when it comes to the toilet it makes me go mad. Even though I use chemicals(that harm my skin), I don’t get good results. I’ll try this & see if it works for me. And, if it does, it will be a real help for me.

    Reply
  17. I have found sites for cleaning using kitchen ingredients, ie white vinegar bicar of soda lemon for cleaning the bathroom BUT the one for caked on soap and water stains on s
    Glass shower door and walls is from USA and I can’t get the items they suggest. Can you recommend anything? Also the blue cleaner leaves blue stains in one of my toilets!! Any good strong day Eco products I can make up? Thanks for other ideas. Lots of us out there need more UK ideas. Not all stuff from Aus or USA. Surely we have good stuff too?

    Reply
  18. Thank you so much for your green cleaning tips – I am trying to reduce our plastic intake, so they have been really helpful. I am just trying the fabric conditioner today, having slowly worked through my last (gigantic) bottle, and will be trying the rinse aid soon.

    We use our old kitchen and bathroom spray bottles (plastic) but find that they regularly block and won’t spray, meaning that we have to tip the solution onto the surfaces or cloths. Any suggestions as to why this might be? My husband loves spraying the kitchen worktops and is getting a bit annoyed at the lack of spray action! We keep them in cupboards, out of sunlight, sometimes they spray but usually they block as we start using them.

    Could you offer any advice or suggestions as to how to combat this?

    Many thanks.

    Reply
  19. Removing dust, dirt, allergens, and infection-causing agents like viruses is a key component of a healthy indoor environment and doing it in a Eco-friendly way is best of all the techniques. Making your own chemical free cleaning product has many benefits as one can change the ingredients according to their needs. Keep sharing!

    Reply
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