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Homemade house cleaning recipes

Updated on July 10, 2014

Save money with easy & inexpensive cleansers you can mix yourself

This page is about homemade cleaning product recipes.

I have collected (and continue to collect) recipes for homemade cleaners from various sources. Most of these cleaning recipes are created out of ingredients you probably already have around the house! I'm personally a big fan of baking soda, salt, and vinegar for cleaning. They works great and are so inexpensive! My personal favorites are baking soda and vinegar. Baking soda is a gentle scrub and vinegar is a wonderful natural way to clean with disinfectant properties. Let me know how these work for you and if you have any suggestions or additions.

A word of caution before we begin

Although ingredients for these cleaners are baby and environmentally friendly for the most part, always use due care in mixing up your own cleansers. These 'recipes' are meant to be used by adults.

Use new empty containers (spray bottles etc) to store your solutions in -due to residue that could be left on containers if you re-used a store product's bottle.

Always label what's in the container with a permanent marker. Include the ingredients, in case of emergency. HINT: Write the recipe for the mix right on the bottle with a permanent marker, for easier mixing the next time.

Never mix ammonia based cleaners with chlorine bleach, or anything that contains bleach. The fumes that are created are very dangerous. ALWAYS read product labels before doing any mixing.

Homemade glass cleaner recipe

2 cups of water

½ cup white (clear) or cider vinegar

¼ cup rubbing alcohol (the 70% concentration type)

you can also add a couple drops of orange essential oil, if you want it to smell nicer.

Mix these ingredients and store in a spray bottle*. Spray on paper towel or a cloth first and then wipe glass/mirror.

*Spray bottles can be found at your local Dollar store or discounter. Be sure to use a permanent marker or else write on masking tape and apply to bottle to identify what is in the bottle - not only that it's Glass Cleaner, but the ingredients, just in case of emergency.

All purpose cleaner and deodorizer recipe

4 Tbsp baking soda

1 Quart warm water

Pour this on a clean sponge and wipe. It's really good for inside the

Refrigerator, your appliances and your kitchen counters.

TO CLEAN A TOILET with the same basic 'recipe':

Sprinkle around the edges inside the toilet bowl with about 1/4 cup of baking soda. Carefully and lightly pour 1/4 cup white vinegar, (watch the reaction, but don't get your face too close) Go "whoo hoo!" then scrub your toilet with a toilet brush.

Microfiber Cleaning Cloths

I hope you have at least 3 microfiber cloths on hand. They are the greatest thing since...well, since paper towels. Since I started using microfiber cloths, I have needed to buy paper towels less often. Eventually, I would like to eliminate needing to buy paper towels altogether.

Homemade scrub cleaner recipe

½ of a lemon

½ cup borax*

Dip lemon into borax and scrub the area you want to clean then rinse.

(not safe to use on marble or granite surfaces).

*find borax on the detergent aisle of your grocery - it is a laundry additive.

Another Scrub Idea:

I also like to sprinkle salt and baking soda in my sink and scrub with an old wet rag. The salt and baking soda become like a paste and it works great! Then I run a bit of white vinegar over it and down the drain to clean and freshen. Rinse.

Airpura air cleaner purifier purifying machine
Airpura air cleaner purifier purifying machine

Are you concerned about microbes, airborne chemicals and particles?

The Airpura UV600 Air Purifier Cleaner air purifier has 3 levels of filtration for microbes, particles, and chemicals in the air . Features 20W UV Germicidal Light 17", 40' HEPA that Filters out 99.97% Microorganisms. As of this writing, this Airpura model retails for $850.

Airpura UV600 Air Purifier Cleaner 560CFM, 20W UV Germicidal Light 17", 40' HEPA Filters 99.97% Microorganisms, 18 Pounds Carbon, 2000' in 30 Minutes

Home made degreaser recipe

½ cup sudsy ammonia, mix with enough water to fill a 1 gallon container.

Sudsy ammonia has detergent as an additive so that helps it get off the really heavy grime.

To use this, dip your sponge or mop in it and wipe over the surface, then you rinse with water.

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Money saving site:

Print Free Coupons Online

Homemade oven cleaner recipe

Just baking soda and water

Sprinkle the bottom of your oven with 1/3 cup baking soda then spray over it with water. Leave it alone overnight or at least for several hours to let it work in. After letting it sit, you can scrape off the spills with a spatula. Rinse the oven well with water.

Mop-tastic - Mops and Floor Cleaners from Amazon

Homemade hardwood floor cleaning recipe

Mix 1/2 cup of distilled white vinegar and a gallon of warm water in a bucket or your wash pail. Simply use this to mop your wood or linoleum floors, then RINSE with water.

Very important to RINSE it and don't leave any large areas of water sitting. The vinegar is acidic and could potentially damage your flooring if you don't rinse it...so I say again, DO RINSE!

Cleaning Information

We weren't all born knowing how to clean. I know I wasn't! I'm learning new things every day.

Homemade Veggie & Fruit Wash

This is a home recipe for a spray you can use to help kill some contaminants on fruits and vegetables. If you wash your produce as soon as you bring it home, this cleanser will kill bacteria and spores, with the added bonus of helping your produce last longer.

To a new spray bottle, add:

1 TBSP lemon juice

1 TBSP white vinegar

1 cup water

Leave this on your produce for 1-2 minutes and then rinse well.

Thanks to SouthernSavers.com for this great information!

Pre-made Vegetable and Fruit Washes

Some of the commercially prepared fruit and veggie washes, available at Amazon.

Making a homemade fly trap

Get a tall drinking glass (glass rather than plastic is best, so the plastic wrap will stick to it.)

Pour apple cider vinegar into the glass until about 1/3 filled. It's important to use apple cider vinegar, or any fruity type vinegar, so it will smell like rotting fruit to the flies.

Put a piece of plastic wrap over the top of the glass. Seal it tightly around the rim. Take a pen or a pencil and poke 2-3 holes in the plastic wrap.

That's all there is to it! The flies are attracted to the rotting fruit smell, go inside and are trapped.

Now, if we could just keep the kids from letting the door hang open so the flies wouldn't get in in the FIRST place! Sorry, there's no easy home-made recipe for that.

Does a Bag of Water Hung Over a Door Deter Flies

A reader wrote in to me about filling a plastic baggie half full of water and hanging it over a door. I have found different theories about why and how this works, one being that the flies think it's a wasp's nest so it scares them away.

Another theory is that the housefly sees it's own reflection and thinks there's a bigger fly in front of him! The jury's still out on whether it truly works or not.

Some people say it does, while others say they have tried it and it definitely did not work for them. Maybe some flies are smarter than others.

Perhaps a Fly IQ test is in order. I know my houseflies buzz with a southern accent, but I'm not sure about the quality of fly-schools down here.

The Straight Dope says the flies see reflections of movement of people around the bag, and houseflies are skittish so it scares them away.

Books about living a more frugal lifestyle

Great tips and ideas to save money.

I would love to know what you think of this page. If you have some good cleaning ideas or recipes to share, please do!

Disclaimer

You know, all the boring legal stuff...

The recipes here are posted free and as a service. The writer of the article and Squidoo.com take no responsibility for anything that happens if you choose to use these recipes. Everything posted is believed to be useful and safe, and should be safer than products you buy in the store. But user/reader understands that the use of the ideas, products, and recipes on this page or any other webpage (aka "lens") are provided only as a service.

Let me know what you think of this page

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    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Very interesting lens why here to help save money on cleaning supplies.

      I gave you 5 stars and thanks for the information.

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 8 years ago from Arkansas USA

      So simple and such good ideas! Lensrolling to my Housework Fast-Fun lens.

    • profile image

      AmyH 8 years ago

      About flies ...if you'll nail a ziploc bag filled with water over your door, the flies will think it's a hornet's nest and stay away.

    • LisaDH profile image

      LisaDH 8 years ago

      Great tips! And love the humor about the kids leaving the door open and letting the flies in!

    • jolou profile image

      jolou 8 years ago

      Excellent lens! It's great to see the trend towards safe, environmentally friendly products.

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      I like your lens. I lensrolled it to Cleaning Tips.

    • jimbo10 profile image

      jim 8 years ago

      These sound a lot safer than bleach and various store bought cleaners.

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Great info. I had never heard of putting rubbing alcohol in the window cleaner. I always heard a couple drops of dish soap. I admire all you people who want to go green. I personally don't have time for all that scrubbing - and working with amonia? UGH!

      I'd love for you to visit my blog If you want my take on Natural Cleaning - tell me what you think.

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Priceless infos plus it can saves money! Well done!

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      I think that this is a wonderful website. I have gotten a lot of uselful information out of it. Thanks so much!! this will definitely save me some money!

    • Darla Dixon profile image
      Author

      Darla Dixon 8 years ago

      [in reply to Justine Baker] Thanks Justine! I hope you will check out my other Squidoo pages. I have several that have money saving ideas and tips.

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      I would love to know how to get dog and cat smell out of a small travel trailor. I have bleached everything and I even put baking soda, salt and white viniger down the drain and put really hot water behind it and the smell is still there. What do I do? Help! The person who lived in it had 4 cats and 1 dog that she let crap and pee on everything and now I need to get the smell out. i am highly alergic to the smell. It is almost unbarible!

    • Ecolicious LM profile image

      Penny Pincher G 8 years ago

      great lens. Very helpful

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      This came from a recipe I bought on ebay and it really does work. You take a bottle of peroxide and you place 2 tablespoons of baking soda in it and spray it on the surfaces I had no problems with stains but you may want to check first before using over wider areas. Good luck.

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      I am looking for a good shower tile cleaner. Tilex is now $5.00! No problem with mildew, just need to daily spray for soap scum. Thans

    • SoyCandleLover profile image

      BW Duerr 8 years ago from Henrietta, New York

      I've listed this as a feature lens on my newest lens https://hubpages.com/politics/the-10-best-green-cl... Thanks for the great info. 5 stars!

    • EpicFarms profile image

      EpicFarms 8 years ago

      Great lens and some handy tips to have...I read somewhere that salt was supposed to be excellent for producing brighter whites in the wash (I haven't tried it yet, though :o) I like the glass cleaner particularly; I think I'll try that with some old newspapers (they are supposed to be the best way to clean glass). 5* for a very informative lens!

      Http://www.Squidoo.com/ConnieCrankpot

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      [in reply to mary ann ramabeau]

      I always found CLR liquid to be pretty good for removing soap scum, rust stains, and sometimes you even get those white hardwater deposits off pretty well. They say it is a natural cleaner, I don't know if it is or not, but I intend to check. It says you can even use it for coffee pot carafes and I have used it to wipe down the shower curtain and get stains or spots of mold off. Works well, just let it sit a bit after wiping on, can also unclog the spray holes in shower head. I HOPE that it is a natural based cleaner! Since they said it was I have been using it! I like it really well. HTH! I know not a recipe but is multi use and easy to use.

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      when using newspapers to clean windows, be sure to use ones at least 3 days old so you don't get ink all over your hands

    • CherylK profile image

      Cheryl Kohan 7 years ago from Minnesota

      A very nice lens with lots of good information! Am lensrolling, as well. I always make my own cleaning products. It's less expensive and I know what't in it!

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      I find tea tree a great deodoriser for urine etc. it doesn't stain carpets. I guess it works because it kills the odour producing bacteria. I use it all over the place. EG I sprinkle it on mattresses after vacuming them. I dab it on my dogs ankles and neck to stop tick attack. ( we live in sheep country.) Also when dabbed on their hindquarters it deters flys landing and therefore prevents fly strike. Its Great mixed with lemon, lavender and water as a spray on curtains and upholstery ........ : )

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Hi clean freaks : ) for windows I use no products whatsoever $6 when cleaning windows. Ever had a eureka moment? lol i just had one last week. There i was carrying out my routine ritual of washing the windows. EG washing them first with soapy water then using a window cloth to dry them and finally polishing them with a lint free cloth. YES i hear u say overkill? Well no more. I bought a microfibre cloth( 75p) its refreshingly effective!

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Hi i know the problem i had a similar one to yourself. I used teatree oil hope it works for you too : )

    • AppalachianCoun profile image

      AppalachianCoun 7 years ago

      Wow, Thank-you for the great tips, info and recipes. We'll do it. 5 stars*****

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Just FYI, teatree oil can be deadly to some cats. Like peanuts can be deadly to some people.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      love the show & tips. Where can one purchase the wash and toss for dishes?? am trying to copy all of your cleaning ideas. I think I need a book of yours and some extra hints!!!

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      What is the best way to clean silk flowers?

    • Darla Dixon profile image
      Author

      Darla Dixon 7 years ago

      [in reply to Sandy Klusmann] Sandy, I think I have seen instructions to put some salt and some baking soda in a large trash bag or paper sack, then you put the artificial flowers in and shake it up. The soda deodorizes and the salt "scrubs" it - BUT, I'm not so sure I'd want to put any dark colored flowers in with baking soda...and if they are truly SILK flowers, it woiuld probably be best to contact the manufacturer of the flowers (or a local craft store sales rep) about it to be on the safe side.

    • Darla Dixon profile image
      Author

      Darla Dixon 7 years ago

      [in reply to Darcy] Thank you Darcy, for the info on tea tree oil. I'll be sure to add that safety notice wherever teatree oil is in the cleaning "recipes." Thank you! Darla

    • Demaw profile image

      Demaw 7 years ago

      I also use citrus peels in making home made cleaners and house deodorizers. 5*

    • norma-holt profile image

      norma-holt 7 years ago

      Great lens, beaut ideas. 5* and fave

      Norma

    • profile image

      ScientificGear 7 years ago

      Nice lens. I guess it's time to convince more people to use inexpensive and environment-friendly solutions made from readily available ingredients.

    • VarietyWriter2 profile image

      VarietyWriter2 7 years ago

      Great tips! Blessed by a SquidAngel :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      I especially like the toliet cleaner with baking soda and vinegar. I've been asking my husband to use safer cleaners in his cleaning business for years. He's finally agreed. Thanks for the receipes were going to try some of these out.

    • profile image

      CannyGranny 6 years ago

      I'm going to try your suggestion of the hanging bag of water to repel flies. I'll let you know how it goes

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Nice tips! great lens.

    • profile image

      jordachep 6 years ago

      Homeowners should also own antibacterial and disinfectants along with their homemade products.

      I know many homeowners who assume that the green products they own or have made are antibacterial or disinfectants. Really, they are not.

    • Darla Dixon profile image
      Author

      Darla Dixon 6 years ago

      @jordachep: A lot of people would argue that - for instance, vinegar is a good disinfectant - but I tend to use both homemade and antibacterial (Lysol wipes for example) depending on what I'm cleaning. I'm not very militant about it, but if a homemade cleaner will do the job well enough, often safer, and cheaper, it has my vote.

    • Darla Dixon profile image
      Author

      Darla Dixon 6 years ago

      @anonymous: Thank you

    • profile image

      Squidoo_Queen 6 years ago

      Love this lens and the ideas are going to be put to use this afternoon - I plan to have a good clear out of the kids bedrooms and give them a deep clean! Excellent lens very well done :)

    • profile image

      Sojourn 6 years ago

      What a great resource for home-made cleaning supplies! I know my mom swears by baking soda but I've never used it for more than cleaning my sink. I'm going to have to try some of these!

    • profile image

      marsha32 6 years ago

      I do enjoy making my own cleaners, including laundry soap. However, where I live right now, the others in the house sure don't appreciate it :( I will start making them again! I am saving your lenses into favorites to stop back in.

      Blessed by a Squid Angel.

    • Darla Dixon profile image
      Author

      Darla Dixon 6 years ago

      @marsha32: Thank you very much!

    • puerdycat lm profile image

      puerdycat lm 6 years ago

      Thanks! I love your homemade recipes. Showing you on my "15-Minute Bliss"

    • profile image

      tssfacts 6 years ago

      Lots of great information and easy to follow directions. I have tried some of these myself and have been pleased with the outcome. Blessed by a SquidAngel. You are featured on Home and Garden SquidAngel.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Nice lens

    • profile image

      careermom 6 years ago

      I love that these are pretty eco friendly. I've heard about baking soda to clean the oven but not tried it. It sounds so simple I'm going to have to. Thanks!

    • profile image

      eliminatethefruitflies 6 years ago

      Really good :)

    • BeaGabrielle1 profile image

      BeaGabrielle1 6 years ago

      SquidLiked, Favorited and shared on FB. Do I need to say that I enjoy reading your lens? :-)

    • Darla Dixon profile image
      Author

      Darla Dixon 6 years ago

      @BeaGabrielle1: Thank you so much! I'm glad you found it useful and thanks for sharing it!

    • human2 profile image

      human2 6 years ago

      the pleasure of reading lens all of your lens, especially those who that talk about cleaning.

    • EcoPottiJo profile image

      EcoPottiJo 5 years ago

      Good and useful info on your page. Regarding the plastic bag with water in to keep flies away. I found it works if you put a small shiny coin in the bag. I hang over the conservatory door entrance to keep them at bay. The other deterrent I use is incense sticks as they seem to stay away if I burn them at the door entrance.

    • profile image

      Pete Schultz 5 years ago

      I mix a mild solution of water and murphy's oil soap in a spray bottle, spray on my hardwoor floor and wipe it dry with an old terry towel, works great and keeps the hardowwd looking good. The best advice for hardowwd though is to wipe up any spill immediately.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Wow!! just took a quick peek at your page and can say "I'll be back" !! Great stuff!

    • profile image

      spraybottles1 5 years ago

      You do cover a lot of information. I started camping way back, however those camping trips required a lot of hiking (4 hours and up), I learned to travel light and comfortable

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      spray bottles

    • jadehorseshoe profile image

      jadehorseshoe 5 years ago

      A timely and USEFUL lens.

    • tracy159 profile image

      Tracy Smith 5 years ago from Maryville, TN

      Wonderful ideas and great way to save some money.

    • Lauriej1 profile image

      Lauriej1 5 years ago

      Awesome lens!

    • PuttinUpWithSuzy profile image

      PuttinUpWithSuzy 5 years ago

      Great info! Here's another suggestion: When peeling an orange (or lemon), put the peel in a Mason jar with vinegar. The essential oils from the peel give the vinegar an extra cleaning boost. It'll give you something extra to do with the peel and it'll smell a little better too.

    • waldenthreenet profile image

      waldenthreenet 5 years ago

      yea, great topic. Have a recipe for making liquid soap for dishwashing ? Congrads on reacing Squidoo level 59. Am going for next level. Conversations helps with new ideas and topics. thanks.

    • Darla Dixon profile image
      Author

      Darla Dixon 5 years ago

      @Pete Schultz: Murphy's Oil Soap is a great product.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I would love to try some of these recipes! I have a cleaning service that comes once a month, but I'd love to have some of my own remedies for the times that they aren't here. I've heard home cleaning recipes are the best ones, thanks for sharing!

    • AshleySears LM profile image

      AshleySears LM 5 years ago

      Love these recipes!

    • IQplusone profile image

      IQplusone 5 years ago

      nice lens - thanks for sharing

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Love the tips and recipes!

      I'm on the District staff of our local Little League and have introduced the ZIP BAG of WATER as a FLY REPELLENT to all of our ball parks, for use in their concession stands. It really does work! The key is to place the bags over all open doors and windows BEFORE opening them.

    • profile image

      MintySea 4 years ago

      I hate cleaning but I prefer baking soda, salt lemon, juice

    • profile image

      Donnette Davis 4 years ago from South Africa

      Excellent ideas, thank you so much x

    • Gayle Dowell profile image

      Gayle Dowell 4 years ago from Kansas

      Great list of home made cleaning recipes. I love using natural cleaning products in my home. Thanks for sharing these.

    • workable profile image

      workable 4 years ago

      I like your deodorizer tip with the baking soda, sounds like a great method when I have to clean out my cat's litter box instead of using chemicals.

    • gracelowau profile image

      gracelowau 4 years ago

      I cannot stand some of the commercially available cleaning solutions because they can be pretty strong. I like your cleaning solution recipes as they are at least environmentally friendly.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      An easy way to clean coffee pots is to add lemon juice (or lemon quarters), ice and salt into the glass pot itself. Swirl it around for a few minutes and then pour out, rinse. (Make sure to get the materials on all of the surfaces of pot.) If you have really built up deposits, rub the lemon directly onto the area first. This deoderizes, cleans and disinfects the decanter !!

    • Darla Dixon profile image
      Author

      Darla Dixon 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Oooh, great tips Ashley!

    • Darla Dixon profile image
      Author

      Darla Dixon 4 years ago

      @gracelowau: I am sensitive to chemicals, odors, etc and try to keep the use of chemicals low

    • profile image

      anonymous 3 years ago

      I love the homemade fly trap and fruit wash recipes. I'll have to give them a try. If you want more cleaning ideas check out www.diycleaningproducts.org . They have a lot other all natural cleaning recipes to use around the house. Thanks for sharing your recipes!

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