If there’s one place where you can really cut costs in your household spending, it’s household cleaners. The cost of most home cleaning products is getting outrageous. While I don’t advocate throwing out what you may have accumulated, I recommend going forward you consider making homemade cleaners from downright cheap ingredients that perform as well, maybe better, than their commercial cousins.
Tub and Shower Homemade Cleaner
This is truly #1 on my list of favorite homemade cleaners. It is better than any commercial product on the market. Use it for the toughest, scummiest, “mildew-iest” situations—or for routine maintenance. Prepare to be amazed.
- Blue Dawn liquid dishwashing detergent*
- white vinegar
Pour 1/2 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 to about 1-inch from the top with plain white vinegar. Apply sprayer top; shake gently to mix. Label bottle.
*may substitute with pure-castile liquid soap
**assumes original Blue Dawn, which is no longer readily available. If using Blue Dawn Ultra, Platinum, 4x, or 5x which are highly concentrated, reduce the 1/2 cup measurement accordingly. Don’t worry, this is not an exact science. For example, if 1/2 cup means unconcentrated original Blue Dawn, then 4x concentrate means dividing by 4, which is 1/8 cup or about two tablespoons.
Spray liberally on the areas to be cleaned—tub or shower walls, doors, floor, fixtures. Allow to sit from 30 minutes to overnight, depending on the soap and scum build-up amount. The offensive scum, gunk, and grime will break down and become soft and gooey. Simply rinse it away.
For incredibly 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.
Toilet Bowl Cleaner
- 1 cup baking soda
- 1 cup white vinegar
- Remove the water from the toilet bowl by reaching down behind the toilet near the floor and turning off the water input valve. This is easy. Just turn the handle clockwise until it no longer turns.
- 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 removed mildew and odors.
Granite Homemade Cleaner
- 1/4 cup rubbing alcohol
- 3 drops blue Dawn
- 2 cups water
- 5 drops essential oil (optional)
Pour 1/4 cup rubbing alcohol into a 16-oz. spray bottle. Add blue Dawn dishwashing liquid, and essential oil (optional, but makes it smell great) and water.
Label and keep out of reach of children. Shake to mix. Label the bottle.
Use this cleaner to keep your granite countertops beautifully clean and shiny without wrecking the sealant or causing harm to the granite. Note: Any size spray bottle will work. Simply adjust the proportions to accommodate.
Heavy-duty Bathroom Cleaner
- rubbing alcohol
- white vinegar
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.
This is heavy-duty and will sanitize as well as clean bathroom counters, floors, sink, glass and mirrors. The great thing about this cleaner—no rinsing required. Simply spray, scrub with a sponge or cloth, and wipe clean.
Wood, Laminate, Vinyl Floor Cleaner
- 1 cup rubbing alcohol
- 4 cups distilled water
- 8 drops blue Dawn
Pour ingredients into a 2 quart (or larger) bottle, jar, or jug with a tightly fitting lid. Label clearly.
Pour cleaner into a spray bottle. Sweep or vacuum the floor. Spray the cleaner in a small area, scrub well with a sponge and immediately wipe the area dry with a microfiber cloth. Never leave standing water on wood, laminate, or vinyl flooring.
The secret is to work in small areas—spray, scrub, and wipe dry immediately.
Updated Jan 8, 2023!
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