10 Simple Homemade Cleaners That Actually Work - Public Goods

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10 Simple Homemade Cleaners That Actually Work

I started regularly making homemade cleaners a few years back after struggling with a stubborn carpet stain that no commercially manufactured remover could resolve.

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Once I realized that making my own cleaners was simpler, cheaper and more effective than I expected, I was hooked.

At first I thought I would need to buy all kinds of expensive specialty ingredients, but it turns out that most of what you need to make your own cleaners are already in your kitchen cabinets! The other ingredients are easy to find either online or at your local natural food market. Most are inexpensive, and even the ones that are a tad pricier, such as essential oils or castile soap, are a reasonable investment that lasts a long time.

Key Ingredients to Keep On Hand:

  • Vinegar
  • Baking Soda
  • Essential oils
  • Castile soap
  • Rubbing alcohol

What I love about whipping these cleaners up is that I can rest assured I’m not breathing in noxious fumes as I clean and scour my home. At the same time, I’m not sacrificing any cleanliness. Many of these cleaners actually work better than some of the heavy-duty products I’ve previously purchased. It goes without saying, too, that these cleaners are fantastic for the environment: they are all made of non-toxic, biodegradable and eco-friendly ingredients.

But do you want to know my favorite thing about homemade cleaners? They are really fun to prepare. You truly get to unleash your inner — albeit amateur — chemist.

Start out with some basic recipes. Then tinker a bit with each blend to get your perfect cleaner. Combine the essential oils you want to add to create brand new scents — so fun. You can even search online for variations of the recipes so you can mix and match the different components.

So without further ado, here are my top 10 favorite homemade cleaners. I use them regularly, and I swear they take me only a few minutes to prepare. They work like magic, too.

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1. All Purpose Cleaner

  • Equal parts water and vinegar
  • 10-20 drops essential oils
  • Empty spray bottle

Combine water and vinegar in a spray bottle. Add a generous amount of your favorite essential oils. I like lavender, orange and bergamot for this one.

2. Glass Cleaner

  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup vinegar
  • 1/4 cup rubbing alcohol
  • A few drops of essential oils
  • Empty spray bottle

Mix ingredients into spray bottle. Can be used on mirrors and windows. Spray on soft cloth or paper towel first, then apply to cleaning surface.

3. Oven Cleaner

  • ½ cup baking soda
  • 2 – 3 tablespoons water
  • ½ cup vinegar

First, combine baking soda and water to form a thick paste. Spread evenly on oven surface. Let sit for a few hours, or overnight. Then spray with vinegar (the baking soda will “fizz up”) and wipe away.

4. Drain Cleaner

  • Equal parts baking soda and vinegar

I have used this to deodorize a drain, break up small clogs and to maintain the cleanliness and fresh scent of my pipes. Best of all, unlike other drain cleaners out there, there are no noxious fumes. It’s gentle on pipes.

5. Air Freshener

  • ½ cup white vinegar or rubbing alcohol
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • 10-20 drops essential oils
  • Spray bottle

This stuff works! Combine vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Add in your favorite essential oils and spray generously.

6. Carpet Cleaner and Deodorizer

  • 2 cups baking soda (more depending on carpet size)
  • 30 drops lavender oil
  • Vinegar

Combine baking soda and lavender oil in jar or bowl. Apply liberally to carpet. Let sit a few hours or overnight. Then add vinegar until it bubbles up and fizzes. Let sit a few more hours. Wipe up with towels and warm water. For tough stains/smells, you may need to repeat the above steps several times.

7. Bathroom Cleaner

  • 2 cups warm water
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons castile soap
  • 40-50 drops essential oil
  • Spray bottle

Combine water and baking in spray bottle. Mix and then add soap. Finally, add essentials oils (tea tree oil and lavender are natural disinfectants) to your liking. Use to clean and disinfect all bathroom surfaces, including tub, sink, toilet, and floor.

8. Toilet Bowl Cleaner

  • 2 cups water
  • ¼ cup castile soap
  • 2-3 tablespoons baking soda
  • Spray bottle

Combine ingredients in spray bottle, then spray in toilet bowl. Let sit for 5-10 minutes, then scour with toilet bowl scrubber.

9. Floor Cleaner

  • 1 gallon warm water
  • 2 tablespoons castile soap
  • Essential oils
  • Cleaning bucket

Combine ingredients in cleaning bucket and mop floor. I love orange oil for this. Again, adding a little tea tree oil or lavender oil is good for disinfecting.

10. Kitchen Countertop Cleaner

  • 1/4 cup rubbing alcohol
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 10-2- drops essential oil
  • A few squirts of dish soap
  • Spray bottle

You’ve got to be cautious when cleaning quartz, granite or marble countertops. Commercially-packaged stone cleaners can be pricey. Mix together these four ingredients, spray on the counter, wipe dry and you will be good to go.

If you change your mind and decide it’s too much trouble to make these cleaners, Public Goods has some cleaning products that are also natural and affordable:

No matter what you do, remember to use healthy ingredients that will clean your home without harming the environment or triggering any allergies. With this approach, cleanliness can be even closer to godliness.

Download Our Free Guide to Sustainable Living.

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Comments (4)

  • Hi, we have very hard water, hence lime scale. I add vinegar to my Public Goods bathroom cleaner which already smells great and then it both cleans and gets rid of the lime film and scale. 20% vinegar to 80% bathroom cleaner. I also use it in my kitchen on the stainless steel sink and faucet.
    I prefer Public Goods glass cleaner over making my own. No streaks and smells great!

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