Homemade Living Series: Homemade Cleaners

I've written a couple of separate posts in the past highlighting a homemade cleaner or two that we have switched to.  Today I decided to write a post with all the cleaner recipes we use.

In the post I wrote about my favorite window cleaner, I suggested making labels for the cleaners that included the recipe.  This way, when you need to make more there's no worries on trying to hunt down the recipes.

When we first began making homemade changes to our lives, this was one of the first things we switched.  I tried different recipes and came up with these as the cleaners we currently use.

The Best Window Cleaner
2 cups distilled water
1/4 cup rubbing alcohol
1/4 cup white vinegar
2 Tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
2 drops essential oil, or more to your liking, optional

Mix all ingredients together in a spray bottle.  Shake prior to each use.

Drain Cleaner
I use 1/2 cup of baking soda, pour it down the drain, followed by 1 cup of white vinegar.  It will fizz upon contact.  You want to keep the fizzing in the drain, so cover it if needed.  Let it sit for 10 minutes then pour 1/2 - 1 gallon of boiling water down the drain.  This should release the clog.  It can be treated a second time if needed.

To clean a smaller drain, such as that in a bathroom sink, I use half of the recipe.

Cleaning Our Porcelain Sink
I use only 2 products to clean our sink.  To scrub it down I sprinkle 1/4 cup of baking soda in each side of the dry sink, and using a damp sponge, scrub the sink.  Cleans it every time.

I use a large parmesan cheese shaker, added baking soda and a few drops of essential oil, mixed it together and leave this under the sink.  Anytime I need to clean the sink I just shake some of the scented baking soda onto it.

To get discoloration out of any cracks, use a bit of Cream Of Tartar.  Sprinkle it on, let it sit a few minutes then scrub with a damp sponge.

Toilet Cleaner
I use white vinegar for cleaning the toilet.  Once every 2 weeks in the evening, when we are on our way to bed, I pour 1-2 cups of white vinegar {don't use cider vinegar} into the toilet.  It sits overnight and I give it a quick scrub first thing in the morning.  The vinegar repels dirt and grime, so it gives the toilet a light coating, almost like a non-stick coating, making it so light scrubbing is the only thing needed for the next couple of weeks.

**you can add an essential oil to the vinegar if you would like to lessen the vinegar smell**

Shower Head Cleaner
Any item, such as the shower head, that tends to accumulate hard water mineral deposits or soap scum can simply be soaked overnight in warm white vinegar.  In the morning all it needs is a quick rinse and any mineral deposits or soap scum will be washed away.

Basic Cleaner for Countertops, Sinks, Bathtub, Etc.
For quick clean-up:  1/2 cup liquid soap and 3 Tablespoons baking soda.  Mix together and use.

All-Purpose Household Cleaner
*makes 16 ounces*
2 Tablespoons white vinegar
1 teaspoon borax
Hot Water
1/4 cup liquid soap {I use castile}
Essential Oils, if desired
In a 16 ounce spray bottle, add the white vinegar, borax and 10 ounces of hot water.  Put the top on the bottle and shake until the borax is dissolved.  Add the liquid soap and essential oils, if using.  Tighten the top again and shake.  Add up to 4 ounces more hot water, or until the bottle is full.

Shake before using.  Spray and wipe.  Use it on the refrigerator, tile, shower, etc.

Hard Wood, Porcelain Tile or Linoleum Floor Cleaner
Liquid Castile Soap and water.  That's it!  Sometimes I spray the hard wood floors with a vinegar-water mix after I've cleaned it to get some of the shine back.
Why does this simple combo work?  Soap and baking soda are both alkaline.  When mixed, they make a soft, effective cleaner.

Those are our favorites.  What are some of yours?

Additional Cleaner Recipes:
Liquid & Powdered Laundry Detergent
Laundry Detergent Update
Liquid Soap
Dish Soap - Make It or Buy It?

Today is Homemade Living Wednesday!  Please visit Daisy at Maple Hill 101 to see her Homemade Living Post!
Next week's Homemade Living Posts will be written by:


  1. Oh, I'm excited to try some of these!

  2. Awesome ideas! Making my own cleaners is something on my to do list :)

  3. Thanks for sharing these recipes with me! We are always thinking of how to eliminate extras. Even though we buy environmentally friendly products...they still come in plastic bottles & that is a waste. We will try your recipes & have some fun!

  4. I've been making homemade cleaners for years, due to Lil' Guy's allergies, but I'm gonna switch it up and try some of yours. Thanks!

  5. I've been making apple cider vinegar for the first time this year. I'm wondering how it will do for cleaning?


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