Five Killer Make-Your-Own Cleaning Products

There are so many good reasons to make your own household cleaners. It’s cheaper, healthier and greener, too. These five homemade household cleaners do not contain chemicals. That means you can always count on them to be non-toxic.

The ingredients in each of the products that follow are specific; follow the recipes carefully, no substitutions.

Take the distilled water in the floor cleaner below, for example. It must be distilled. If you were to substitute tap water thinking it won’t make any difference, soon you will see your beautiful wood and or laminate floors become dull and plagued with water marks. That’s because tap water contains minerals (good for you but not for your floors) and those minerals get left behind even if you rinse well with more tap water. Distilled water contains no minerals. It’s really cheap at any supermarket, drug or discount department store.

BATHROOM CLEANER. This is heavy-duty and will sanitize as well as clean bathroom counters, floors, sink, glass, fixtures and mirrors. Get a clean spray bottle. Fill it halfway with rubbing alcohol; the rest of the way to the top with white vinegar. Label the bottle. The ratio is 50/50 rubbing alcohol to white vinegar no matter the size of the container. The great thing about this cleaner—no rinsing required. Simply spray, scrub with a sponge or cloth and wipe clean.

GRANITE CLEANER: Pour 1/4 cup rubbing alcohol (vodka, or gin are good substitutes) into a 16-oz. spray bottle. Add 3 drops blue Dawn dishwashing liquid and 5 drops essential oil (optional, but makes it smell great). Add 2 cups water to fill the bottle. Label and keep out of reach of children. Shake to mix. Label the bottle. From now on, use this cleaner to keep your granite countertops beautifully clean and shiny without wrecking the sealant or causing any harm to the granite. Note: Any size spray bottle will work. Simply adjust the proportions to accommodate.

TOILET CLEANER: 1 cup baking soda, 1 cup white vinegar. To use: First remove the water from the toilet bowl by reaching down behind the toilet and turning off the water input valve. This is easy. Just turn the handle clockwise until it will no longer turn. Now flush the toilet once or twice or until all of the water disappears. (Because you turned the input off, no water will fill the tank.) Sprinkle the baking soda all around the inside of the toilet bowl. Next pour or spray the plain white distilled vinegar into the bowl. You’ll get a little bubbling show and even a popping sound. Great! That’s the reaction you want. Using a good toilet brush, scrub it down including under the rim. Last, turn the inlet valve back on by turning it counterclockwise until it stops turning. The toilet tank will fill. Flush to rinse. Repeat as necessary. You’ve just cleaned, scoured, deodorized that toilet and also removed mildew and odors.

TUB AND SHOWER CLEANER. Pour one cup blue Dawn into a 32-ounce spray bottle (1/2 cup Dawn if you are using a 16-ounce bottle; 1/3 cup for a 12-ounce bottle). Fill the bottle the rest of the way with plain white vinegar. Apply sprayer top; shake gently to mix. Label bottle. To use: Spray liberally on the areas to be cleaned—tub or shower walls, doors, floor, fixtures. Allow to sit from 30 minutes up to overnight, depending on the amount of soap and scum build-up. All of the offensive gunk and grime will break down and become soft and gooey. Simply rinse it away. For especially challenging situations (or if this is the initial treatment) use a sponge or brush to gently scrub the surfaces before rinsing. To maintain: Spray down the walls and floor of the tub/shower once a week. Rinse. Admire.

WOOD AND LAMINATE FLOOR CLEANER. One part alcohol (rubbing alcohol is cheap and available in any supermarket or dug store) to four parts distilled water plus a few drops blue Dawn dishwashing liquid. Mix this up in a spray bottle each time you clean the floors. Or if you make it up ahead, be sure to label it well and keep it out of the reach of children. To use: Sweep or vacuum the floor, spray the cleaner in a small area, scrub well with a cloth or sponge and immediately wipe the area dry with a microfiber cloth. The secret is to spray, scrub and wipe dry immediately. If you do not want to do this on your hands and knees, I recommend this Hardwood Floor Spray Mop for both wood and laminate floors. It sprays the cleaner from its removable bottle that lets you make your own cleaner; a large surface mop with even bigger detachable microfiber cleaning pad that swivels for really easy handling. This mop makes scrubbing wood and laminate floors a breeze.

NOTE: If you can’t handle the strong smell of vinegar in some of these products, you can mask it by adding a good amount of any essential oil (lemon is a good choice), and by good amount I’m suggesting at least 20 drops to a 16-ounce spray bottle of product. Essential oil adds a lovely fragrance and boosts the cleaning power of any of these products, but not necessary.

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  • Donna Freedman

    I can vouch for the vinegar/blue Dawn cleaner. It’s miraculous! And the smell goes away. I promise. It also beats the heck out of stuff like Scrubbing Bubbles, which was an asthma trigger for me.

    • Bookworm

      I second everything you said. I’ve been using this since Mary first told us about it. I used to hate vinegar for cleaning because of the smell, but the blue Dawn masks a lot of it, and the rest goes away very quickly.

  • Ronald Jones

    Do you have a good cleaner and sanitizer for
    marble floors?

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  • Beck

    What about marble vanities?