Homemade Household Cleaners 

There is a lot of reasons why making your own household cleaners is a good idea.  I have read a lot of information on the dangers of common store bought cleaners. The list of dangers seems to encompass everything from breathing toxic fumes, the harmful effects of the cleaners on your skin to some cleaners being carcinogenic.  Aside from the health concerns there is also a financial consideration.  Cleaners can be quite an expense on the budget.  If you purchase a separate cleaner for everything from wiping down counters to cleaning floors, polishing and dusting, tub cleaners, toilet bowl cleaners, and the list goes on, this is a fairly large slice of the family’s budget.   

You can make many of your own household cleaners utilizing some very basic and common ingredients.  This does not have to take a lot of your time with mixing and making.  Sometimes it is just a matter of a change in habit.  A friend of mine once recommended using baking soda and Dawn detergent to cleaning the bath tub.  No pre-mixing, simply sprinkle the baking soda on your tub and squirt some Dawn detergent and start scrubbing!  I tried and it worked so well!  Much better than many of the products I have used in the past and it does not scratch surfaces.  Change of habits and a few extra minutes will usually be all that is required to make your cleaners.   

There are some household cleaners that are basic simple recipes.  Most you make up right in the spray bottle.  If your cleaning shelves become stocked with the basic ingredients than putting them in the spray bottle takes close to the same amount of time as pouring the chemical laden store-bought cleaners right into the bottle.  


If you are wondering what this list of “basic ingredients” are, I will show you: 

Baking Soda


Rubbing Alcohol

Washing Soda (can be found near laundry detergent in most stores)

Borax (also near the laundry section)

Mild Dish Detergent


How do you use these ingredient to clean you house, you may be wondering?  Let’s go through a breakdown of “types” of cleaners that you can create with the above ingredients. 

Floor Cleaners 

Homemade Floor Cleaner 

1 cup white vinegar

1 gallon warm water 

Mix in your cleaning bucket and use this to clean vinyl type floors. 


Wood Floor Cleaner 

½ cup vinegar

1 gallon water 

The most important thing to keep in mind while cleaning wood floors is that they can not get overly wet.  When you use the above mixture, dip your sponge mop into the solution and squeeze until almost dry.  Then mop.  Never put the cleaner directly on the floor. Dry any streaked or wet area with a clean towel as you go along the floor. 


All Purpose Cleaners 

I like to make a large batch of my favorite household cleaner.  I make this in a gallon size container and fill spray bottles as I need it.  

My Homemade Cleaner

Crystal Miller 

In a clean, empty gallon milk jug put: 

2 Tablespoons ammonia

1 teaspoon dish detergent

1 pint (2 cups) rubbing alcohol

4 drops food coloring – optional

a few drops of your favorite essential oil for a nice fresh scent, I use Orange 

Fill the rest of the gallon jug with hot water.  Pour into spray container to use.


Here is a cleaner you make right in your spray bottle: 

All-Purpose Cleaner 

2T vinegar

1 t Borax

Hot water

a few drops of a mild dish detergent

10 drops of essential oil, optional 

In a 16 spray bottle put vinegar, borax and  hot water.  Swish around until borax has dissolved.  Add the drops of dish detergent and fill the rest of the bottle with water.  Add the essential oil (I like using orange or lavender). 


All Purpose Cleaner in a Bucket (for big jobs like walls) 

½ cup ammonia

¼ cup vinegar

¼ cup baking soda 

Mix the above ingredients with 1 gallon of warm water and use for basic cleaning jobs around the home.  Double the above ingredients for cleaning shower walls or other extra heavy duty areas.


Soft Scrubbing Type Cleaners 

Here is one of my favorites for cleaning counter tops, sinks or any area that needs some scrubbing without the worry of scratching the surface. 

Homemade “soft scrub” Type Cleaner 

There are no measurements necessary for this one. Simply put a small amount of baking soda in a bowl and add liquid dish detergent until you have smooth paste or frosting like substance.  This very well on sinks and counters and won’t scratch the surface. 


Window Cleaner 

Homemade Window Cleaner 

This one can be made right in your spray bottle. 

½ t mild dish detergent

3T vinegar

2 cups water  

Put all these ingredients into a spray bottle.  Shake this up some and use it just like the commercial variety. 


Homemade Window Cleaner #2 

3T Ammonia

1T vinegar 

Put in spray bottle and fill the rest of the way up with water. 


Commet Type Scrub Powders 

This is an easy one.  You can use baking soda!  Sprinkle on sinks, counters or anywhere you need to get rid of build up or stains.  Dampen slightly and scrub with a soft cloth to prevent scratching.   




****A word of caution on making homemade cleaners: never mix bleach with ammonia or vinegar.  It will cause toxic fumes that are very dangerous.


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