Homemade Cleaners

Updated on October 12, 2009
S.H. asks from Nampa, ID
11 answers

I was wondering if any of you have good homemade multipurpose cleaners you like to use. Like to clean my stove (inside and out), clean my cabinets, walls, etc. Buying cleaners is so expensive that any way to cut back is great as long as they also work! Thanks

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So What Happened?

You ladies are awesome. I knew you were the right people to ask. I'm going to start using all your ideas this weekend! Thanks bunches

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answers from Salt Lake City on

I have seven or so pages worth of homemade cleaners. I don't remember if they are "green" or not, but you can IM me if you want the recipes.

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answers from Colorado Springs on

I use some Lysol mixed w/peroxide & water to clean most everything-that's my multipurpose cleaner. It's a bit less than the standard diluted amount of Lysol for a spray bottle (I just pour some in, can't give you exact) & about 1/3 spray bottle of peroxide & the rest hot water. I've heard that peroxide & rubbing alcohol are both great for household cleaning. I ran out of peroxide & tried the rubbing alcohol in the same quantities-it works but I have to rub longer to get it to dry (dries on its own, but I like to put stuff back right away).
For windows, other glass, my walls (cheap flat paint) I use vinegar water-about 1/2 & 1/2 usually, less if the kids haven't made a big nasty mess of it all. I use the same bottle to clean carpet spots-doesn't leave scum like soap-based cleaners (including carpet cleaner) do & it's still possible to have stains commercially lifted after you use it (not so w/most carpet cleaners). Also have vinegar water in my Swiffer Wet Jet-doesn't have the industrial smell that their solution does & vinegar is MUCH cheaper! (I use rags instead of Swiffer pads too)
To clean my kitchen surfaces, I have a spray bottle of mostly water w/maybe 2 tsp of dish soap (not dishwasher, handdwashing soap) added to it.
I usually keep my oven fairly clean but when it gets bad I'll spray it down w/vinegar water, turn it on the lowest setting for a bit & when it cools off enough to stick my head in, I wipe down the surfaces w/a scratch pad.
lol to Kate P-I saw the Windex w/vinegar & thought "wow, this is a great NEW product?"

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Denver on

I use vinegar and water to clean just about everything. I use a 50/50 mixture and put it right into a spray bottle but like the woman in the post before me said, you can adjust that to your own preferences. It does smell a little but that goes away as soon as it dries. Bleach and water can kills bacteria so you can use that on counter tops or table tops. It doesn't get much cheaper. When you have something a little grimier, like the bathtub or a really dirty sink, use straight baking soda. I also sprinkle baking soda on my carpets a few minutes before I vacuum, to absorb odors and "freshen" them up and I put in my cat's litter boxes, too, for the same reason. It's ridiculous to spend all that money on those expensive cleaners that are nothing but toxic chemicals. When my kids were really little it really worried me to use those and all the natural choices in the stores were 3x as expensive. I've been completely satisfied with my homemade cleaners.

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answers from Denver on

I personally make all of my own cleaning products. It's safer, I know exactly what is going into my products and cost effective. Everything I make is non-toxic. While I would NOT recommend mixing Lysol and hydrogen peroxide, using peroxide alone is a fantastic disinfectant.

Here is my list


• Countertops and Sinks
Baking Soda and Water: Keep counters clean by sprinkling with baking soda, then scrubbing with a damp cloth or sponge. If you have stains, knead the baking soda and water into a paste and let set for a while before you remove. This method also works great for stainless steel sinks, cutting boards, containers, refrigerators, oven tops and more.
Kosher Salt and Water: If you need a tougher abrasive on sinks and cast iron pans, sprinkle on kosher salt, and scrub with a wet cloth or sponge.
Natural Disinfectant: To knock out germs, mix 2 cups of water, 3 tablespoons of liquid soap and 20 to 30 drops of tea tree oil. Spray or rub on countertops and other kitchen surfaces.

• Ovens
Baking Soda and Water: Coat the inside of your dirty appliance with a paste made from water and baking soda. Let stand overnight. Then, don gloves and scour off that grime. Make spotless with a moist cloth.

• Fruits and Vegetables
Baking Soda: Worried about toxic pesticide residue, germs and dirty fingerprints on your juicy peaches and crisp carrots? Just sprinkle a little baking soda on wet produce, then gently scrub and rinse.

• Porcelain and Tile
Baking Soda and Water (with Kosher Salt): To keep bathroom surfaces clean and odor-free, dust with baking soda, and scrub with a moist sponge or cloth. Kosher salt can be added to the mix to help with tougher grime.
Lemon Juice or Vinegar: Attack stains, mildew and any grease streaks by spraying or dousing with lemon juice or vinegar. Let sit a few minutes, then scrub with a stiff brush.

Disinfectant: Instead of bleach, make your own bathroom disinfectant by mixing: 2 cups of water, 3 tablespoons of liquid soap and 20 to 30 drops of tea tree oil. Hydrogen Peroxide is a fantastic disinfectant, can be diluted ¼ cup of H2O2 to 2 cups water.

• Mirrors and Windows
It's simple: mix 2 tablespoons of white vinegar with a gallon of water, and dispense into a used spray bottle. Squirt on, then scrub with newspaper, not paper towels, which cause streaking.
If you can't stand the smell of vinegar, you can substitute straight lemon juice or club soda (don't dilute either in water).

• Clogged Drain
Baking Soda and Boiling Water (Vinegar if needed): plugged up? Pour 1/2-cup of baking soda into the problem drain, followed by 2 cups of boiling water. If that isn't doing it for you, chase the baking soda with a 1/2-cup of vinegar and cover tightly, allowing the vigorous fizzing of the chemical reaction to breakup the gunk. Then flush that with one gallon of boiling water.

• Wood Floors
Oil and White Vinegar: You've heard that wood floors are more hygienic than carpet, but you aren't sure how to keep that gorgeous glow all year long. Just mix equal parts oil and white vinegar, and apply in a thin coat. Rub it in well to bring out the best in the grain.

• Carpet and Rugs
Club Soda: spill something colored? Your best defense is to clean it up immediately with club soda. Here's how: first, carefully lift off any solids. Then, liberally pour on club soda. Blot with an old rag until all the color from the spill is absorbed by your cloth. The soda's carbonation should bring the spill to the surface, and the salts in the soda thwart staining.

Cornmeal: For big spills, dump cornmeal on the mess, wait 5 to 15 minutes, and vacuum up all the gunk.
Spot Cleaner: Make yourself a spot cleaner by mixing: 1/4-cup liquid soap or detergent in a blender, with 1/3-cup water. Mix until foamy. Spray on, then rinse with vinegar.

Just Beat It: For routine cleaning, take rugs outside and beat the dirt out of them the old-fashioned way.

To Deodorize: Sprinkle baking soda or cornstarch on the carpet or rug, using about 1 cup per medium-sized room. Vacuum after 30 minutes. Or mix two parts cornmeal with one part borax, sprinkle it around, and leave for an hour. Then vacuum.

• Antique Linens
Sunlight: What could be easier than sanitizing and removing stains... with sunlight! (Just don't do it too often with fragile pieces, because they can start to breakdown). Simply lay your old lace, curtains and other fine linens on the grass in the sun for a few hours. Dirtier pieces can be dampened first.

Boiling: If that doesn't do the trick, fill a pot with water and bring to a boil on your stovetop. Drop in linens and let steep until stains lift.

Detergent and Borax: Mix dishwasher detergent and borax together until you get a thick rubbing paste. Rub into soiled linens, then rinse clean.

Peroxide: If you have stubborn stains, try spraying them with peroxide, then rinsing with water.

• Laundry
Baking Soda: To gently soften and deodorize a load of laundry, add in 1 cup of baking soda before you put in your regular soap and the clothes.

Borax: For heavily soiled items, add 1/2 cup borax to your regular detergent. As a bleach alternative, try 1/4-cup borax mixed with 2 cups of water.

• Silver
Aluminum Foil, Boiling Water, Baking Soda and Salt: Keep your sterling shined with this seemingly magic method. Line your sink or a bucket with aluminum foil, and drop in tarnished silver. Pour in boiling water, a cup of baking soda and a dash of salt. Let sit for a few minutes. The tarnish will transfer from the silver to the foil.

Toothpaste: If you can't immerse your items or are otherwise inclined to polish by hand, rub tarnished silver with toothpaste and a soft cloth. Rinse with warm water and dry. Instead of toothpaste you can substitute a concoction made of 3 parts baking soda to 1 part water.

• Copper
Ketchup: To keep your copper pots, pans and accents looking bright and shiny, try rubbing with ketchup.

Hope this helps!!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Boise on

Vinegar and Water solution is the best homemade multipurpose cleaner. It will clean windows, mirrors, greasy cabinets/stoves, and even the inside of your washing machine after you've washed really dirty/grimy stuff. My favorite thing about it is that it doesn't leave streaks on glass or mirrors. You can play with how strong you want it. I put mine in an old Windex bottle and use about a quarter of the bottle for vinegar and fill the rest up with water. Funny thing, I've been doing this for years, and the other day I was in Wal-Mart and noticed a bottle of Windex at the check out (you know where they put stuff to WOW you into buying it) and they have a NEW product of Windex with VINEGAR in it. Don't waste your money, just use vinegar/water. As for the smell, it goes away after drying.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Denver on

Beverly at www.ababymaybe.com has a bunch in a recent post. Good for you for going "green" and making your own!



answers from Colorado Springs on

I too use diluted plain white vinegar in a squirt bottle to clean a ton of surfaces. Diluted with hot water, it has taken pet spots out of my carpets better than any commercial spot remover. Yes, it makes your house smell like a salad at first, but the smell goes away as soon as it dries. I'd rather have my house smell like something edible than chlorine or some other noxious chemical.



answers from Denver on

Diluted baking soda will clean just about anything. For tough stains use it directly on the stain.

D. H
The Franchise Pro



answers from Colorado Springs on

I also use the vinegar and water solution (it is a natural disinfectant and a great cleaner) - but you can't use it on granite. If you have granite, you can make a homemade cleaner by mixing 5-6 drops of dish soap (like Dawn) with 1/2 cup of rubbing alcohol and a quart of water in a spray bottle.

Another great cheap cleaner is baking soda - you can mix it with a bit of water to make a paste and use it to get rid of tough grimy spots in tile.



answers from Denver on

I like to use Castille Soap and water as a general cleaner. I also use the shark which is just hot water. I use vinegar and water for the mirrors and windows. If I need a scrubber I use baking soda with Castille soap.



answers from Great Falls on

I have been shopping at an online store that specializes in 100% Naturally based products for a little over a year now. I absolutely love it because all their cleaning products can be used for so many other purposes! One product called is a cleaner, disinfectant, and stain remover! If you'd like to know more just drop me a line!

I hope you find your answer!


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