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5 Homemade Cleaners that Perform Even Better than Expensive Brands

Why bother? Why go to the trouble of homemade cleaners when buying commercial products is so much easier?

That was my arrogant response years ago when the idea of making my own cleaning products made no sense to me at all. I’ve come a long way!

A colorful toy on a table

Here are my top four reasons to make your own cleaning products:

  1. It takes as little as 30 seconds to mix up any number of homemade natural cleaning products—a lot less time than finding the right aisle in the supermarket or another store.
  2. Homemade cleaners give you complete control over the ingredients. Conventional cleaning products often contain toxic chemicals, harsh smells, unpleasant residues, or allergy-inducing irritants. 
  3. Making your own cleaning products is super cheap because they use simple everyday ingredients—things you may have already in your pantry.
  4. Homemade cleaners using natural ingredients often perform equally well if not better than expensive name brands cleaners. 

Come to think of it, I can’t really think of any valid reasons not to make our own household cleaning products.

Kitchen Surface Degreaser

Pour all ingredients into a clean, empty 16-ounce. spray bottle, mix well. To use: Spray onto any greasy surface then wipe away with a damp microfiber cloth. Polish to shiny clean with a second dry microfiber cloth. 

RELATED: Some (But Not All) Spray Bottles are Designed to Fail

All-Purpose Heavy Duty Cleaner

Pour all ingredients into a 16-ounce or larger clean spray bottle. Mix well. Use to clean just about anything around the house. 

Natural Grout Cleaner

Mix ingredients in a small bowl until incorporated. This will create a very loose paste-like substance. Clean tile and grout area first with a strong water-and-white vinegar mixture of 50:50 or greater. Now, sprinkle or apply this grout cleaner to the grout. Allow to sit for at least 15 minutes. Scrub with a heavy-duty brush and rinse well. Work on small areas at a time rather than trying to do the entire area at once.

Natural Granite Cleaner

  • ½ cup vodka (or rubbing alcohol)
  • 1 1/2 cups water*
  • ½ teaspoon Blue Dawn or Castile soap
  • 20 to 30 drops lemon essential oil of your choice

Pour ingredients into a 16-ounce spray bottle. Mix well. To Use: Spray on the granite surface, wipe away with a damp microfiber cloth. Will not harm sealant or leave behind any residue or watermarks. Note: Absolutely fine to use on quartz.

All-Purpose Natural Bathroom Cleaner

Pour washing soda, borax, and hot water into a 16-ounce spray bottle. Shake well to dissolve as well as possible. Remove top and add Sal Suds and essential oil. Add just enough warm water to fit within about 1 inch of top. Apply spray top and gently shake to mix. To use: spray on all bathroom surfaces including sinks, toilets, tub, shower, walls, fixtures. Wait for a few minutes before wiping off for disinfection. 

A word about essential oils

I’ve been learning a lot about essential oils and their benefits around the house. There is research to indicate that essential oils provide the antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-fungal properties to homemade cleaners. Essential oils, especially cinnamon, clove, and lime when used properly and in the right concentration, have germ-busting qualities. This explains why cleaners meant to kill germs, like the All-Purpose Natural Bathroom Cleaner above, require a greater concentration of oils.

Concentrations around 1% are effective on stronger pathogens commonly found in bathrooms, like E. coli, Staphylococcus, and salmonella. Essential oils also add a nice scent.

*distilled water is advisable especially if your tap water is hard. This assures no minerals or hard water marks are left behind.

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10 replies
  1. Michelle says:

    I’ve been using natural essential oils (never artificial!) for years for cleaning and disinfecting. I buy mine at a nearby healthfood store. Not the cheapest but not as expensive as some well-known brands, either.

  2. Christal Krein says:

    what brand of essential oils which are pure, not fake stuff do you suggest to purchase besides DoTerra and Young living??

  3. Diane says:

    Is there an alternative way to apply products other than spraying? I find that some of them bother me if I breathe it in.

    Love your terrific advice. Keep ’em coming!

  4. Shannon says:

    Any suggestions on what to use for a brick fireplace? Decades of soot build up. (Was wood burning, now gas burning but the exposed brick is much darker than it should be.) To clarify, I’m not speaking about the “inside” of the fireplace where the actual fire would have been built. I’m talking about the brick (hearth and the brick that goes from floor to ceiling).


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