9 of the best DIY cleaning recipes

Making your own natural cleaning products may sound like just another chore to add to your lengthy list of Things To Do but it could be your secret to a cheaper cleaning regime AND a chemical-free home.

Homemade cleaning products are actually easier to make than you think, they all contain a couple of core ingredients and will have your home smelling fresh and zesty, rather than chemical and stale. 

Here, we explain how to make your own cleaning products and what you should include in your natural cleaning tool kit.

Have a look at the ingredients list on some of your home cleaners, if you can’t recognise or pronounce some of that list, the chances are they are harmful chemicals and you should think twice about using them.

Benefits of DIY cleaning products

Health: It’s estimated that household cleaners contain a whopping 80,000 chemicals paired
Budget: One of the many perks of making your own cleaning products is the money you’ll save - natural products which can be sourced in supermarkets are often cheaper than the chemical ones.
Environment: All of the cleaning products you use are washed down our drains and into our oceans, switch to eco-friendly products to help keep our seas chemical free.
 

8 handy ingredients, that you probably already have in your pantry:

  1. Bicarb (sodium bicarbonate or baking soda) - natural disinfectant
  2. White Vinegar - acidity helps cut through grease, it’s also a deodorizer and a great all-purpose cleaner.
  3. Lemon juice - is a mild bleach, disinfectant and all-purpose cleaner.
  4. Borax - is great for cleaning, disinfecting and used as pest control.
  5. Essential oils - great for adding scents to your cleaning products but they will also help you get a better clean.
  6. Olive oil - is great for cleaning and shining silver and chrome.
  7. Salt - is a great abrasive component and stain remover.
  8. Eucalyptus oil - is another great all-rounder, it is a natural antibacterial and deodoriser.

Effectiveness of Natural Cleaners

Do natural cleaners actually work? That's the question most of us ask as we are so used to associating the chemical-clean smell with success!

Here are the positives and negatives of natural cleaners.
 

Pros of natural cleaners

  • Extremely cheap and cost effective
  • Readily available you can find most of the ingredients in your pantry or at your local supermarket
  • No harmful toxins
  • No chemical pollutants going down our drains into the sea
  • Great for people with sensitive skin and allergies
  • Not harmful to children and pets (depending on the essential oils)

Cons:

  • Making your own requires time and effort, something not all of us have
  • You often need to leave natural cleaners for longer than chemical cleaners to be effective
  • Sometimes a bit of trial and error is needed before you get the right ratio in the recipe.

1. Homemade all-purpose cleaning & disinfectant spray

One of the simplest and most effective cleaning sprays to make is this citrus concoction.

This surface cleaner is perfect for just everything!

Where to use:

  • Clean benches and surfaces,
  • Fridge
  • Mirrors and windows

What you'll need:

  • Citrus peels - I like to use lemon but others prefer oranges. For this recipe I used three lemons.
  • 200ml white vinegar
  • 200ml water
  • Glass spray bottle

What to do:

  1. Initially place the citrus and vinegar into a jar. Screw the lid on firmly and leave for 2-4 weeks.
  2. When you're ready to do the final step, strain the vinegar into a spray bottle and top up with an equal amount of water.
  3. Spray it onto just about any surface and wipe away. This will last forever so keep on cleaning!

2. Homemade Oven Cleaner

Cleaning the oven is one of those tasks that is often easier said than done. Shannon Lush from Lush House swears by this natural oven cleaning recipe. Otherwise here are a couple of other natural oven cleaning recipes.

What you’ll need:

  • Bicarb soda
  • White Vinegar
  • Old stockings
  • 2 x sponges

What to do:

  1. Open the oven door and sprinkle a layer of bicarb over the surface. Spray with pure white vinegar until it fizzes.
  2. Using the pantyhose scour until the grime shifts (you may need to do this a couple of times).
  3. To clean the inside of the oven use two sponges. Lightly wet one of the sponges and cover with bicarb and dip the other in vinegar.
  4. Apply the bicarb sponge first then place the vinegar sponge over the top and press through. Wipe the sides base and top of the oven until clean.

Hint: As with all cleaning the more often you clean the easier the cleaning will be.

3. Homemade Window & Glass Cleaner

Whilst the cleaning and disinfectant spray above will also work on glass and windows for an even glossier finish add ¼ cup of rubbing alcohol (70% concentration) to the bottle for a streak-free finish.

Hint: on warm days hang up your cleaning gloves as the solution will dry too quickly and leave lots of marks.

4. Homemade Floor Cleaner

Making your own natural floor cleaner isn’t rocket science. In fact you can use pretty much the exact same recipe as the all-purpose cleaner (above). For tough stains sprinkle a couple of teaspoons of bicarb onto the stain and spray with vinegar. For wooden floor boards try the following.

What you’ll need:

  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons of vegetable oil
  • 2 cups of water

What to do:

  1. Throw all of your ingredients into a bucket and a couple of drops of your favourite essential oil if you’re after a bit of a scent and mop away!
  2. Make sure you don’t add too much oil otherwise this could be a slipping hazard!

5. Homemade Toilet Cleaner

Make these bombs in advance, you can pop them in and give the toilet an amazing clean in a matter of minutes - perfect for when unannounced guests arrive!

What you’ll need:

  • 200g Bicarb soda
  • 60g Citric acid
  • 8 drops of Lemon essential oil

What to do:

  1. Combine soda and acid in a bowl before adding a couple of drops of oil and one tsp of water at a time until the ingredients just stick together.
  2. Roll into balls or press into an ice cube tray.
  3. Store in an airtight container.

6. Homemade Grout Cleaner

Yes it is possible to clean grout without the elbow grease.


What you’ll need:

  • Old toothbrush
  • ½ cup bicarb soda
  • ¼ cup white vinegar

What to do:

  1. Combine bicarb and vinegar to create a paste.
  2. Using a toothbrush apply paste to the grout. Leave to sit for five to ten minutes then wash off.
  3. Repeat once or twice for particularly stubborn grout.

7. Homemade Leather Cleaner

Help your leather shine with this simple DIY recipe from Shannon Lush from Lush House.

What you’ll need:

  • 1 teaspoon beeswax
  • 1 teaspoon lavender essential oil
  • 1 teaspoon lemon essential oil
  • Old cloth or rag

What to do:

  1. Place the cloth on a plate and top with the remainder of the ingredients.
  2. Using a microwave oven melt on a low heat.
  3. Rub on stubborn stains and leather furniture to condition and seal the piece from further grime.

8. Homemade Carpet Cleaner

Carpets just never seem to stay clean, but they will if you use this natural carpet cleaner.

What you’ll need:

  • White vinegar
  • Water
  • Salt
  • Eucalyptus oil

What to do:

  1. Dilute vinegar and water 1:2 in a spray bottle.
  2. Add in eucalyptus oil and salt and shake. Spray stained area or whole carpet and rugs and leave to sit overnight.
  3. In the morning vaccum everything up,  ta-dah!

9. Homemade Mould Remover

Mould is the elephant in the room that no one wants to talk about. Some are harmless and some not so much. Marissa Malvaso from Healthy Life Naturopath shared this DIY recipe with us.

What you’ll need:

  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 teaspoon of bicarb
  • 4 Tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon of tea tree essential oils

What to do:

  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a spray bottle and give a good shake.
  2. Spray directly onto the mould and leave for a minute or two before wiping off.

10. Homemade Chrome Cleaner

Cleaning chrome is everyone’s least favourite task when it actual fact you can clean it in less time than your whining.

What you’ll need:

  • 2 Tablespoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar

What to do:

  1. Use salt and vinegar a paste and rub all over chrome.
  2. Allow to sit and then wipe off to reveal chrome that is so shiny it looks almost new again!

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