5 Easy Homemade Household Cleaners
A go-to guide for simple, all natural household cleaners that won't break the bank.
I’m not a big fan of household chemicals, especially cleaning products. Walking down the cleaning aisle in the supermarket or discount store makes me hold my breath. Everything smells so strong and makes my eyes water. The mix of hundreds of different chemicals down that one tiny aisle is dizzying (literally). Are these chemicals really necessary to beat household grime? Isn't it ironic to introduce another chemical into your household just to clean a stain or shine a surface - using something icky to make something less icky? I'm not a scientist (clearly) but I know that there are easy all natural ways to achieve clean without harsh chemicals. Household cleaners can be easily made with all natural products and for less money than you'd spend on a commercial product. Let’s get started.
First, not all surfaces are made for the cleaners we're talking about. Porous surfaces like marble or wood will discolor or scratch. Use common sense and test a small area before you use any of these products or you might ruin your entire surface. You've been warned so be responsible.
I spent about $8 to make a variety of household cleaners. I bought white vinegar, lemons, baking soda, alcohol, and borax. You'll need empty spray bottles. These may be purchased at a discount store. The time to make everything is less than 30 minutes so the investment is minimal cost and time wise.
I'll start with the toughest first. Lemons are good for everything. They're great for facial exfoliating, cleaning tough stains and grime, and killing disgusting odors. My bathtub is made from fiberglass and after several oil baths gets sticky and gross. This is where the power of the lemon comes to my rescue. Cut a lemon in half and dip it into Borax powder. (In all honesty, the lemon alone works great too.)
Use the lemon half like a scrubbing sponge. This is great to use for all types of grime - test the surface first - but I use it for ceramic tile and kitchen sink stains as well. You don't even have to press that hard and the grime dissolves in no time.
Once you've cleaned the surface, cut up the lemon, peel and all, and throw it into the sink disposal. The lemon will clean the disposal blades and also make the disposal smell fresh and clean. For extra gross odors in the sink, pour in 1 cup of white vinegar and give the disposal a spin. Allow the vinegar to sit for about 10 minutes and then throw in the lemon. Presto, it will be clean and fresh.
2. Glass Cleaner
Commercial glass cleaner burns my eyes. Anything that makes your eyes burn can't be good for you. Homemade glass cleaner is easy to make and this is not so stinky and doesn't have chemicals you can't pronounce. Pour 2 cups water, 1/2 cup white vinegar, and 1/4 cup rubbing alcohol into a spray bottle. Use as your normally would use glass cleaner for a streak free shine.
3. All Purpose Cleaner
All purpose cleaner can be made for far less you can purchase it and I think it works the same. Again, this recipe uses two ingredients and it's not so chemically, if that's a word. I use 4 tablespoons of baking soda and about 1 quart of warm water. I mix it each time I'm cleaning because I think warm water works better, maybe that's just me. Give the bottle a good shake and go to work. I like this because it works on different stains and household messes and is great for bathroom cleaning as well.
For tough oven stains, sprinkle some baking soda on the stain and spray this on top. Allow to sit for an hour or so and the oven stains go away quickly with not so much scrubbing.
A good degreaser is a must if you like to cook. This cleaner is great to use on the stove top and eliminates grease and left over grill residue effectively - again without the harsh chemicals. Pour 2 cups of water, 2-3 tablespoons of lemon juice, and 1 tablespoon of baking soda into a spray bottle. This can be made as you need it or a bottle at a time. Give the bottle a good shake regardless and you'll be good to go.
5. Toilet Cleaner
And finally the toilet.... Pour 2 cups of white vinegar into a flushed toilet. Scrub the toilet with a brush and let the vinegar sit for about 20-30 minutes. Vinegar is a natural disinfectant and also helps keep the bowl white. It is the best all natural deodorizer I have found so this is a huge plus for bathroom cleaning.