A bowl of fruit sitting on a table, with Vinegar

My Top 5 Favorite Homemade Cleaning Products

If there’s one place in your household spending that you can really cut the cost, 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 do recommend that in the future you consider making your own cleaning products from ingredients that are downright cheap and perform as well, maybe better, than their commercial cousins.

A bowl of fruit sitting on a table, with Vinegar

 

Tub and shower cleaner

Ingredients

  • blue Dawn liquid* dishwashing detergent
  • white vinegar

Instructions

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 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

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 scum, 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.


MORE: How to Make Ugly Soap Scum, Mildew, and Water Marks Disappear Like Magic


Toilet bowl cleaner

Ingredients

  • 1 cup baking soda
  • 1 cup white vinegar

Instructions

  1. 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 will no longer turn.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

Granite cleaner

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup rubbing alcohol
  • 3 drops blue Dawn
  • 2 cups water
  • 5 drops essential oil (optional)

Instructions

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.

To use

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.


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


Heavy duty bathroom cleaner

Ingredients

  • rubbing alcohol
  • white vinegar

Instructions

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.

To use

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

Ingredients

  • 1 cup rubbing alcohol
  • 4 cups distilled water
  • 8 drops blue Dawn

Instructions

Pour ingredients into a 2 quart (or larger) bottle, jar or jug that has a tightly fitting lid. Label clearly.

To use

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.


Up Next:

How to Clean a Painted Wood Floor

How to Clean and Care for Hardwood and Laminate Floors

The 3 Vacuums I Use Every Day and Absolutely Swear By


Everyday Cheapskate participates in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon affiliated sites.

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24 replies
  1. Madi says:

    Can I tell you that i use the dawn/vinegar bathroom cleaner as a spot remover?? Got some motor oil on a pair of jeans. The oil did not come out. Before putting it in the dryer, I used the bathroom cleaner, worked it in well & rewashed. Came out great!! Also works on ground-in dirt!! I love this stuff!!

    Reply
  2. Kaite French says:

    Can’t live without your Laundry soap or the bathroom cleaner. Not just cheaper, but better in my opinion. Just got granite countertops after Hurricane Florence Flood rehab. I can’t wait to try out the granite cleaning formula.

    Reply
  3. Rudy U. says:

    For the heavy duty bathroom cleaner, you say that it is a ‘ratio is 50/50 rubbing alcohol to white vinegar’. The more appropriate way to describe this is a ratio of 1:1 rubbing alcohol to white vinegar or it is 50% rubbing alcohol and 50% white vinegar. However, both of these do lead to a further confusion since isopropyl alcohol (isopropanol) can be commonly bought in strengths of 50%, 70%, and 90%. True ‘rubbing alcohol’ is the 70% isopropyl alcohol. Is this correct for your formula?

    Reply
  4. Belted cow lady says:

    Hello, I use the shower cleaner daily and my shower looks new!! I’ve used this formula for years.
    I do however recall, that you posted a everyday spray onshower cleaner with a slightly different formulation.
    Could you repost that, Please!
    Thanks

    Reply
    • Mary Hunt says:

      You are partially right, WEB. Vinegar can penetrate into the spaces for air if used continuously over a long period of time. If, however, you have sealed your grout on a regular basis—a regular maintenance task for all tile grout—the vinegar won’t be an issue. It’s a given that just like granite, grout must be resealed at least annually.

      Reply
    • Mary Hunt says:

      Yes, all safe for septic systems. In fact, cleaning with vinegar can save your septic system. In fact you should consider replacing dangerous chemical cleaners around your house with non-toxic alternatives, such as baking soda, salt, isopropyl alcohol,vinegar, and hydrogen peroxide solutions. These are environmentally safe and are beneficial to your septic system.

      Reply
      • Donna says:

        Thank you for the quick reply. I have been a fan for many years, and tell everybody to check out Everyday Cheapskate!

    • Mary Hunt says:

      Is the marble sealed? It should be and should be re-sealed annually, the same as granite. Marble is soft and will stain easily so it’s important to keep it sealed. No vinegar on marble! Use the granite cleaner above and you’ll be golden.

      Reply
      • Mary Hunt says:

        Yes. Yes, all safe for septic systems. In fact, cleaning with vinegar can save your septic system. As a septic system owner, I’m sure you know that phosphate is the enemy of your system. According to its manufacturer and also the International Bird Rescue Research Center that uses blue Dawn to degrease and rescue wildlife, Dawn is harmless, biodegradable, and contains no phosphates.

    • Mary Hunt says:

      Yes, perfect on porcelain or ceramic tile! But NOT natural stone or any surface that has been “sealed.” The vinegar will break down the sealant.

      Reply
  5. Marti Buurkarl says:

    Can totally vouch for the tub and shower cleaner! I thought I was going to have to use a lime and scale cleaner on some neglected shower doors. But this worked in one overnight, they sparkle!

    Reply

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