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