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Top 5 Homemade Cleaning Products

I enjoy living holistically and giving advice on how to live a more natural life.

You'll be surprised at how many homemade cleaning products you can make with vinegar, essential oils, water, dishwashing detergent and baking soda.

You'll be surprised at how many homemade cleaning products you can make with vinegar, essential oils, water, dishwashing detergent and baking soda.

Natural Homemade Cleaning Agents: 5 Easy DIY Cleaning Solutions

Whether you have chemical sensitivities, don’t want to spend a lot on cleaning solutions, or just want to start living a more natural life, making your own cleaning substances is the way to go. They’re quick and easy to make, plus they do the job as well, if not better, than many of the commercial cleaners.

1. Homemade Kitchen Cleaner

To help prevent the spread of germs, you’ll want a cleaner with good antibiotic properties. Vinegar and assorted essential oils do this job admirably. This cleaner works well on countertops, our gas stovetop, and the kitchen sink.

Here’s what you need to make your own countertop cleaner:

  • Reusable spray bottle
  • White vinegar
  • Water
  • Essential oil or lemon juice

Here is how to make your cleaner.

  1. Fill the bottle half full of water.
  2. Fill it the rest of the way with vinegar.
  3. Add about half a teaspoon of essential oil or a tablespoon of lemon juice.
  4. Shake well to mix.

Quick and Easy DIY Kitchen Cleaner

Use this spray to wipe your counters down with whenever you clean up after meals. The vinegar is a natural disinfectant, as is lemon juice and many essential oils.

I prefer tea tree oil because it’s a well-known germ killer, and I enjoy the scent. I put less than a teaspoon’s worth in, and it still helped cut the vinegar smell down when I used it. Next time, I’ll either use a little less vinegar or a little more essential oil. As it was, the smell cleared rather quickly. It works very well in wiping up dried-on messes.

Since this recipe calls for essential oils, keep your countertop cleaner in a dark place when you’re not using it. This will help preserve the oils. Remember to shake well before using.

Our counters are some sort of vinyl or plastic, so they’re pretty tolerant of most substances, but if you have marble or granite-topped counters, double-check to see which cleaners are safe for everyday use. I’ve read that sealed granite may withstand extremely diluted vinegar, but full-strength vinegar may damage the stone. Marble, however, will eventually disintegrate and may stain due to vinegar’s acidity.

2. DIY Stovetop Cleaner

In our house, the arrangement is my husband does most of the cooking, while I do most of the cleaning. Since I don’t like cooking, and he doesn’t like cleaning, it works for us. That means he won’t necessarily clean up after himself, and I don’t get to the messes until they’re either dried or cooked on.

If I don’t give the kitchen a decent cleaning once a day or so, our gas range gets pretty disgusting. In early July, I stumbled upon the idea of using a baking soda/water paste to get rid of baked-on food.

I tried it, and it worked wonderfully.

For this one, you’ll need the following:

  • ½ cup baking soda
  • Water
  • Bowl
  • Sponge/scrubby pad
  • Spoon

Here’s how you make it.

  • Put baking soda in bowl.
  • Gradually mix the water into the baking soda using the spoon.
  • Continue adding water until a thick paste forms.

Before applying the paste, remove loose dirt from the stovetop. If the mess is severe, dab the paste on and let it sit for several minutes before scrubbing with a sponge or scrubby. It will take a little effort, but it will come up with surprising ease.

If the mess is relatively minor, like the one pictured in this hub, you can just dab your sponge in the paste and start scrubbing. There were still some spots left over from when I’d cleaned up the worst of the baked-on food, but they came up when I cleaned this time. All that’s left now are scratches from when someone used steel wool on the finish.

Once you’re finished, the used paste is easily wiped away, and you can remove any residue with a wet sponge or towel. Of course, cleaning the messes up as they happen is the best policy, but this method works very well, too.

According to the information I’ve found online, this should also work on glass top stoves, but you’ll need to wipe the remaining film of baking soda away in order to get the old shine back.

Essential Oils for Cleaning

Here's a table of essential oils and their cleaning properties. Be aware that most undiluted essential oils may cause skin irritation and could stain certain surfaces, like real wood and some stone counter tops.

Essential OilWhat It Does

Tea tree

Disinfects, repels insects




Disinfects, repels insects


Disinfects, repels insects, breaks down glue and tape residue

3. Homemade Bathroom Cleaner

I still had a little paste left over when I finished cleaning our stove, so I just added a little more baking soda and mixed it all with enough dishwashing detergent to make a paste. However, if you’re making a fresh new batch, you’ll need the following:

  • Baking soda
  • Dishwashing detergent (I used Dawn, but I’m sure other brands work as well.)
  • Bowl
  • Spoon or something to mix the paste up with
  • Sponge
  • Essential oil/lemon juice for extra germ-killing action/fragrance (optional)

You mix and use this cleaner in the same way as the stovetop cleaner, but substitute dishwashing detergent for water. The resulting paste will look a bit fluffier than the stovetop cleaner. I didn’t add lemon juice, but if you decide to try it, the past may be a little thinner.

A half-cup of baking soda mixed with the dishwashing soap was enough to clean our bathroom sink and to give our bathtub a decent good scrub down.

The detergent breaks soap and organic matter down, while the baking soda is abrasive enough to break up small adhesions without damaging porcelain surfaces. Again, you don’t need to scrub hard to get the surfaces clean. Once you’re finished with the paste, rinse the surface well.

The sink was easy enough to rinse, but our bathtub was a bit trickier. Instead of going over the areas repeatedly with a sponge, I used the spray bottle with water we keep on hand to rinse the cleaning solution away.

I’ve also used a mixture of lemon juice and salt, which worked just as well. There are recipes out there that include a bit of lemon juice in the paste, and I’m sure they work nicely.

4. Homemade Shower Spray

Since showers collect what comes off of our bodies when we clean ourselves, one of the best ways to keep them relatively clean is to use a spray on them every time you bathe. You can buy commercial preparations in the store, but I’ve found this one works just as well and is far less expensive.

You’ll need the following:

  • Reusable spray bottle
  • Vinegar
  • Water
  • Dishwashing detergent
  • Lemon juice/essential oils (optional)

Here is how you make it:

  1. Fill bottle half full with water.
  2. Fill bottle the rest of the way with vinegar.
  3. Add one tablespoon of dishwashing detergent.
  4. (Optional) Add tablespoon of lemon juice or teaspoon of essential oil.
  5. Shake well to mix.

Remember, if you use essential oils in this one, keep it in a dark place when not in use. Since the bathroom only has shelf storage, I didn’t add essential oils, and since I didn’t have lemon juice on hand, I didn’t add that either. As a result, the spray has a strong vinegar smell, though it clears quickly. I will be adding lemon juice the next time we have some.

After you shower, spray the tub and shower liberally. The detergent will break the soap down before it can settle much, and it’ll make bathroom cleaning a bit easier.

This time around, I used peppermint for my carpet freshener. It gave our house a very fresh fragrance when I used it.

This time around, I used peppermint for my carpet freshener. It gave our house a very fresh fragrance when I used it.

5. DIY Carpet Freshener

Our current household consists of two humans, three cats, and a rat, so I’ve gotten in the habit of using a carpet deodorizer once or twice a month to keep things fresh smelling.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Baking soda
  • Essential oil
  • A plastic resealable bag

Here is what you need to do.

  1. Pour half a box of baking soda into the bag. If you have more than a couple of rooms to vacuum, use more.
  2. Add ten to fifteen drops of essential oil.
  3. Shake well to mix.
  4. Let it sit in a dark place at least overnight for the baking soda to absorb the scent.

Before you vacuum, sprinkle this preparation over the carpet and let it sit for at least five to ten minutes to allow the soda to absorb some of the smell. One of the nice things about this preparation is that so many essential oils have germicidal properties. When there are fewer bacteria, there’s less odor.

I prefer to reuse the same plastic bag repeatedly for this. You may prefer to use a jar if you don’t like plastic. Just remember to store it in a cool, dark place when not in use to preserve the integrity of the oil.

These are only a few of the many cleaners you can easily and inexpensively make at home, but they’re my favorites so far. If you have any ideas, please share them in the comments below!

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

© 2014 Emilie S Peck