homemade cleaning products

Want to make your own homemade cleaning products but don’t know where to start? Let me show you how with these super simple recipes.

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 on the surfaces that I touch or prepare food on. Particularly as scientists have warned that some household cleaning products could be as bad for your lungs as smoking 20 cigarettes a day. Meanwhile, there is a link between cleaning products and breast cancer.

As there are all sorts of health and environmental dangers associated with using cleaning products, over the past few years we’ve been trying to cut down on the number of harsh chemicals we use in our home.

We first switched to using more eco-friendly cleaning products. And where we can we’ve also started making our own homemade cleaning products. Let me show you how to make them.

What You’ll Need

To get started, you’ll need a few simple supplies.

To make my homemade cleaning products, I have a small selection of essential oils, that I buy from eBay*.  I’ve got lavender, lemon, sweet orange, peppermint, and tea tree.  As well as smelling great, I like them because these specific oils have great cleaning and germ-killing properties.

essential oils for cleaning your home

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 glass bottles in the supermarket that you can transfer into a spray bottle. A more economical way is to buy white vinegar in bulk, which is very economical, and you can refill any empty spray bottle.

In terms of spray bottles, here’s where I source glass bottles to hold my homemade cleaning products.

Homemade Cleaning Products

Now that you’ve got your supplies, let me show you my step-by-step instructions for making my homemade chemical-free cleaning products.  You can make them easily and cheaply, and I promise you they are as effective as any shop-bought chemical cleaner.

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 naturally sparkling!

Please note that vinegar shouldn’t be used on granite, marble, quartz, or other forms of natural stone.

Homemade Kitchen Cleaning Spray

For my homemade kitchen cleaner, I add twenty drops of lemon oil and twenty drops of lavender oil to a solution of 250 ml cooled boiled water and 250 ml white 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. However it completely disappears once dry, and you’re left with a very light and pleasant scent of the essential oils.

For an extra cleaning boost, you can add 1 teaspoon of regular washing up liquid to the oil, vinegar and essential oil solution.

If you have any tough spots of grime or dried in food then try spraying it with a liberal amount of vinegar and leaving it to soak for 10 minutes before wiping. If that doesn’t help, try a light sprinkling of bicarbonate of soda on the affected area, and then rubbing it with a damp cloth. You may want to patch test this in an inconspicuous area first to test that it’s not going to damage the surface you are cleaning.

This homemade cleaning product keeps for up to around 8 weeks. However if it starts to look or smell bad before then, then do discard it and make a fresh batch.

Homemade Bathroom Cleaner

You can also make homemade bathroom cleaning spray, again using vinegar.  This time, to the 250 ml cooled boiled water and 250 ml vinegar solution add 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 my homemade cleaning spray on my tiles after showering to inhibit the growth of mould and remove soap scum. I also use 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 the vinegar. Only a very subtle aroma of tea tree and lavender.

Again, the shelf life of this is around 8 weeks.

Homemade Fabric Softener

I’ve used vinegar for years as a homemade fabric softener, but I’ve only just started adding essential oils to the vinegar.  Simply fill an old jar with vinegar, and add around 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 the dosage I just fill up to the line on the fabric conditioner drawer of my machine and that seems to work a treat.

As you are not adding water to the vinegar, your homemade fabric softener will last indefinitely. Again, if it starts to look or smell bad then do discard and make a fresh batch.

Homemade Dishwasher Rinse Aid

Vinegar also makes a fantastic rinse aid in your dishwasher. It leaves 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 and plastic reduction journey since I wrote this, and have since shared lots of recipes and methods, that I’ve summarised in my cleaning favourites post.

PPS: I’ve been on ever such the green cleaning journey since I published this post AND my post on my green cleaning favourites.  I’ve written a book all about green cleaning, called Fresh Clean Home, with over 35 recipes for every room in your home. It’s available to purchase now.  Do check it out!

Main image from here, all others are my own.