How to Make Your Own House Cleaners

Written by Jonathan Dick

Making your own cleaning products can save you money and help you be more self-sufficient.

With natural cleaners like baking soda, vinegar, citrus and borax, you can make a variety of concoctions that will help you keep your house natural and clean. Feel free to comment below to tell us what natural remedies you’ve used for cleaning.

Powdered Laundry Soap
• 1 Bar Soap (preferably Olive-Oil-based)
• 2 cups Borax
• 3 cups Baking Soda

1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Evenly spread 2 cups Baking Soda onto a shallow pan and allow the soda to bake for about a half an hour. Watch the baking soda to make sure that it is baking evenly. You should notice that while it starts out as powdery, crystallized and clumps together easily, that it begins to to become grainy, dull, opaque and form into separate grains.
Make your own natural cleaners3. Once the Baking Soda has finished, allow to cool.
4. While cooling, begin to grate the bar of soap.
5. Once cooled, combine grated soap, 2 cups Borax, 1 cup Baking Soda and 2 cups of the cooked Baking Soda into a container and cover.
6. Use about ¼ cup of the mixture per washing load of wash.

All-Purpose Cleaner
• 1 tbsp White Vinegar
• 1 tbsp Lemon Juice
• 1 tbsp Olive-based (Castile) Soap
• 1 tbsp Borax

Simply add all the contents together into a spray bottle and use as a cleaner. You can use this to clean up spills or messes in the kitchen, bathroom or bedroom.

Bathtub Cleaner
• 1 cup Baking Soda
• ¼ cup Salt
• 10 drops Citrus Oil
• 5 drops Tea Tree Oil

Have a tough buildup in your bathroom? Combine all the ingredients and store in an airtight tub. You can use this scrub to help you with all

Carpet Deodorizer
• 1 cup Borax
• 1 cup Baking Soda

We had a spill next to our fridge that this would have worked perfectly with. Combine the ingredients and store in an airtight tub.

Oven Cleaner
• 1 Small box of Baking Soda
• 1 cup liquid Olive-based (Castile) Soap

Mix ingredients in a bowl until smooth. You can then apply the mixture to a cloth and apply to the oven. Just wipe it clean and you’re done!

Tile Mildew Scrub
Simply spray lemon juice or vinegar onto tiled surfaces, like a shower wall, and allow it to sit for a few minutes. After it’s sat, scrub it with a stiff brush.

Window Cleaner
• 2 tablespoons White Vinegar
• 1 gallon water
• Newspaper

Cleaning windows is simple when you have the right ingredients. Combine 2 tablespoons of White Vinegar into a gallon of water. You can then transfer the mixture to spray bottles to wash your windows. You can also use the newspapers to wipe the windows down without streaks. While paper towels might leave streaks, newspaper won’t!

Carpet Cleaner
For big messes, it’s helpful to dump a few cups of cornmeal onto a carpet spill. Wait 5-15 minutes. Simply vacuum up the cornmeal when you’re done, it should absorb the spill pretty quickly.

Drain Declogger
• ½ cup Baking Soda
• ½ cup Vinegar
• Boiling Water

Use a simple chemical reaction to help you unclog your sinks. Pour a ½ cup of Baking Soda down the drain and then a ½ cup Vinegar. Immediately seal off the drain and allow the fizzing to clean out the pipes. After a half hour, pour boiling water down the drain to wash away everything.

Your Cleaners
Comment below to tell us what you’ve used to clean your home. What mixtures or concoctions have you used. Share the knowledge!

Updated December 31, 2012

23 Comments

  1. JB wrote:

    On the “All purpose cleaner”, are the 4 ingredients correct? Those 4 things don’t seem to be enought to fill up the spray bottle that is mentioned. Thanks!

    January 2nd, 2013 at 10:06 pm
  2. The Ready Store wrote:

    @JB While 4 tbsp won’t probably fill a spray bottle, you can add more just keeping equal ratios of all the contents.

    January 3rd, 2013 at 9:53 am
  3. AR wrote:

    Please add that people should use eye protection when mixing all of these recipes. My girlfriend got homeade soap in her eye and suffered chemical burns, had to go to ER, then to an eye doctor-Wear eye protection.

    January 3rd, 2013 at 10:01 am
  4. Jen wrote:

    For the laundry detergent recipe the soap should be “grated” not “graded”

    January 3rd, 2013 at 10:32 am
  5. Jen wrote:

    Should the “all purpose cleaner” recipe be added to water in the spray bottle? Would follow the same logic as the window cleaner, where the cleaning agents are diluted with water.

    January 3rd, 2013 at 10:35 am
  6. Jacee wrote:

    I can’t imagine why baking soda would need to be baked to make laundry soap. It works fine without baking it – and even better when combined with the right ingredients.

    January 3rd, 2013 at 10:59 am
  7. The Ready Store wrote:

    @Jacee Baking Soda has a chemical composition of NaHCO3. By cooking the Baking Soda, it changes the chemical composition to Na2CO3. Essentially, by cooking the Baking Soda you are making Washing Soda. The heat produces washing soda, water steam and carbon dioxide.

    January 3rd, 2013 at 11:14 am
  8. Debbi Thomas wrote:

    I am extremely sensitive to some chemicals – neurotoxicity. I have used only baking soda, vinegar, and steam to clean for years. This is what I use for my laundry, no soap. My clothes come out clean and soft. I have not been able to use dish soap since they made ‘SunLight”. I can’t walk down the cleaning product aisle at the grocery store. “Green” or “Biodegradable” usually means it’s worse. Organic usually doesn’t mean anything except more expensive. Also heating things frequently puts more in the air so be careful of it. Even using something in hot water puts more in the air. I am permanently disabled from this. Using these solutions is definately much better than the dozens of things most folks have under their sinks. Thank you for providing this information and for using these. + Corn should be food!!! see Neurotoxicity / community page on Facebook for discussion.

    January 3rd, 2013 at 12:14 pm
  9. Clutch wrote:

    For those of us with stainless steel appliances in the kitchen and elsewhere, polishing with olive oil and a soft cloth yields fantastic results. I sell appliances for a living so I deal with this every day, both at work and at home. Nothing better.

    January 3rd, 2013 at 2:45 pm
  10. Rachel wrote:

    Another good cleaner that I use for sinks, showers/tubs, toilets. It’s nonabrasive.
    1 cup borax
    1 cup baking soda
    1/2 cup kosher or sea salt
    20 drops lavender or juniper essential oil (depending on your taste)
    1/2 teaspoon liquor (vodka, brandy, etc…again, your taste)
    Shake together in a glass jar. I usually triple the recipe to make it last a few weeks.

    January 3rd, 2013 at 8:15 pm
  11. Katie wrote:

    Dr Bronners Magic Soap. Pure castle soap and all you need to do is dilute with water. Cleans anything washable, including laundry and kids. :)

    Drbronner.com

    Lisa.drbronner.com (A Bronner mom’s blog)

    January 3rd, 2013 at 8:34 pm
  12. Woody wrote:

    @ReadyStore – In promoting your carpet deodorizer you said “We had a spill next to our fridge that this would have worked perfectly with.” I’d like to suggest you move the fridge out of the living room… ;-)

    @Clutch – wouldn’t the use of oil make it easier to get fingerprint smudges on the SS appliances?

    January 5th, 2013 at 9:15 am
  13. Woody wrote:

    I use 50/50 bleach and water to sterilize my cutting boards (bamboo). We’re in So. Calif, where our humidity hovers in the 30′s to low 40′s, so every other month or so I go over them with plain ol’ mineral oil. It keeps the wood from drying/shrinking/cracking.

    January 5th, 2013 at 9:26 am
  14. Nancy wrote:

    I make a ‘fridge/ freezer deodorizer by cutting a lemon in half, cut part of the way through so that it opens outward. Place in a small bowl, fill with sea salt.
    The lemon stops bacteria borne ordors and the salt absords all freezer/’fridge odors. I have those last for at least a year, but 6 months is the recommended time limit.

    January 9th, 2013 at 4:03 pm
  15. Kelly wrote:

    Please be careful using Borax. It is strong stuff – can kill flees, ants and other bugs. I did some research on it and found a lot of information saying it can cause skin irritation, and can be very dangerous if inhaled (especially by infants – though I would hope that no one would have it around infants to begin with). So use at your own risk.

    January 12th, 2013 at 12:55 pm
  16. Nancy wrote:

    I made the laundry soap with some doubts it would work well. I was thrilled with the ease it took to make, and how great it worked. My clothes are soft and fresh smelling – I didn’t even use a fabric softner. I won’t be buying commercial soap again! I did use Fels Naphata for the bar soap – I’m very very pleased with the result. And with only a 1/4 cup per load instead of 1 or 1 1/2 cups I’ll be saving money.

    February 6th, 2013 at 7:48 am
  17. Marlene L. wrote:

    I’ve been using the following recipe for Laundry Detergent for 4 years and couldn’t be more pleased with the results and the savings!

    LIQUID LAUNDRY DETERGENT
    1/3 bar Fels Naptha soap bar
    1/2 cup washing soda (not baking soda!)
    1/2 cup Borax
    -Grate soap & put in a sauce pan. Add 6 cups water and heat it until the soap melts.
    -Add the washing soda & the borax; stir until it is dissolved. Remove from heat.
    -Pour 4 cups hot water into a bucket. Add your soap mixture and stir.
    -Add 1/2 gallon plus 4-5 cups more water and stir.
    -Let the soap sit for about 24 hours and it will gel.
    -Use 1/2 cup per load.
    *Soap will be lumpy, goopy & gel-like; just give it a good stir.(A wire whisk will break up the gel lumps)
    * I then pour it into cleaned & rinsed 1/2 gallon milk jugs.
    *Shake well before each use. I put 4-5 marbles in the bottom to aid in shaking up the soap.
    -Yields: 64 loads.

    I also use White Vinegar for my fabric softener. Just pour the vinegar into the fabric dispenser of your washing machine; it rinses your clothes clean, leaving no detergent or chemical fabric softener residue in your clothes. Really good for those with allergies! Clothes do not smell like vinegar after the wash!
    Some benefits from using white vinegar are: the fabric dispenser on your washing machine won’t get clogged up after years of use, as with store-bought softeners; your front loading washer won’t get that nasty rancid smell that has become a problem because the vinegar rinses everything clean; and again, you’re saving tons of money!
    I use white vinegar in a spray bottle, diluted with a bit of water, to clean my kitchen sinks, counters, and applianaces. Add vinegar as the Rinse agent in your dish washer; your dishes are rinsed sparkling clean leaving no residue on the dishes or the inside of your machine.
    Bathroom sinks,counters,tubs, showers and mirrors come sparkling clean,(even removing stubborn water spots)when using a spray bottle with diluted white vinegar and a clean dry cloth.
    White vinegar costs $2.38-$2.80/gallon at the grocery store. Compare that to the cost of store-bought kitchen cleaners,bathroom cleaners, dishwasher rinse agents, and glass & window cleaners.

    February 21st, 2013 at 10:26 am
  18. fauan wrote:

    Thank you for the recipes and all of the comments!! I tried to research this out on Google but this is so much more informative and helpful than what I was able to find. thanks again!!

    March 5th, 2013 at 6:33 am
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  20. tinman wrote:

    Do you mean “grate” the soap as opposed to “grade” the soap?
    The same with “graded”, you mean “grated”?

    August 12th, 2013 at 10:35 am
  21. Linden wrote:

    First off, you do NOT need Borax in laundry soap, unless you make liquid soap. Borax doesn’t even dissolve well in cold water, why would you every use it in laundry detergent?? Grated soap and washing soda are all you need. Supposedly. Used to use it, but after 6 months my clothes had a smelly buildup of dirt residue that just wasn’t washing out–if they sat in a drawer for more than a week they would smell dirty again! Most of these other recipes seem like they’d work, except the mildew remover. Lemon juice or vinegar might kill mildew, but I can say from experience they won’t remove really old, set-in stains. Sorry, there’s a time and place for bleach.

    January 23rd, 2014 at 11:47 am
  22. Kathy wrote:

    I have begun using peroxide (from Walmart) & used it to clean my mirrors, the tub, sink, etc. I also use it in the dishes. If the bathroom isn’t cleaned the 1st time, take some baking soda & scrub. It never hurts my skin & I have very sensitive skin. I just took an empty bottle, took the squirter off & put it onto the hydrogen peroxide bottle. It doesn’t burn nor irritate my skin. If it does yours, just dilute it into another bottle to where you can use it without irritation.

    June 1st, 2014 at 6:40 pm
  23. Teresa wrote:

    Straight vinegar & HOT water for tubs… gets the grime right out. I usually put about 2 cups into the spray bottle then fill the rest of it with hot tap water. Works great!

    June 11th, 2014 at 6:16 pm

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