Make Your Own Homemade Cleaning Products

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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 and guides.

I want my home to be clean. However, at the same time, I don’t really want a cocktail of harsh chemicals in the air that I breathe, or on the surfaces that I touch or prepare food on. Particularly because 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. It seems like cleaning our homes can be dirty business.

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.

As an easy introduction, we first switched to using more eco-friendly cleaning products. And then where we could we’ve also started making our own homemade cleaning products. My technique was to go slowly, replacing a conventional product with a homemade one as I went along, to avoid overwhelm.

As I’ve been doing this for quite some years now, let me show you how to make some of my favourite homemade cleaning products that you can whip up in seconds.

What You’ll Need

To get started, you’ll first need a few simple supplies. Some of them you might already have in your kitchen cupboard.

To make my homemade cleaning products, I also have a small selection of essential oils, that I buy from Ethical Superstore. 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 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. Do see my full guide on everything you need to know about cleaning with white vinegar for the full list of dos and don’ts.

Homemade Kitchen Cleaning Spray

For my homemade kitchen cleaner, I simply 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. Pour it into a bottle, add the spray top, give it a shake and you are good to go in seconds.

household kitchen cleaning products made with vinegar and essential oils

My homemade cleaning 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.

Although it makes for impressive bubbles, that look like they should work well at cleaning, don’t mix the bicarbonate of soda and vinegar. This is because the bicarbonate of soda neutralises the vinegar, and you are left with a weak salty water solution that is no good at cleaning anything.

This homemade cleaning product keeps for up to around 8 weeks. However, if it starts to look or smell bad before then, then 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 one of these brilliant homemade cleaning products for tackling your bathroom.

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. This inhibits the growth of mould and removes 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. Instead, you are left with a very subtle aroma of tea tree and lavender.

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

If you don’t like the smell of vinegar in your bathroom, then try this homemade citric acid cleaning spray instead. It’s fantastic at tackling hard water deposits without a hint of Eau de vinegar!

Homemade Fabric Softener

I’ve used vinegar for years as a homemade fabric softener. However, 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. This gives you 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 discard it 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! And 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 post. Yes, I have since shared lots of recipes and methods, that I’ve summarised in that post.

As another update to this post, I’ve also been on ever such the green cleaning journey since I published this post AND my post on my green cleaning favourites. I’ve actually written a book all about green cleaning, called Fresh Clean Home! It contains over 35 natural cleaning 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.

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  1. 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.

      1. Thanks for your reply and sorry for the delay ni getting back to you. It’s the kitchen / bathroom spray, so water, white vinegar and essential oils. Any advice gratefully received, thank you

  2. 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?

  3. 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.

  4. 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?

  5. 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.

    1. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

    1. 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 ❤️

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

    1. It’s just standard white vinegar. I buy in bulk on eBay, and it works out really cheaply. I’m working on some updated recipes (this post is quite old and at the start of my green cleaning adventure) so do check back!

  9. 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!

  10. 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.

    1. 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.

  11. 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!

  12. 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!

  13. Great article on home made cleaning products. A very good read, thanks for sharing with us.

    1. Thanks very much for the advice & recipes for homemade cleaning products. Can somebody advise me on how I get dirt & grease from the grout on my kitchen tiles pls many thanks Lesley 😊

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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!