Resolution #2: Use Natural, Homemade Cleaners

There are many harsh, toxic cleaners that can be simply replaced with baking soda or vinegar. I don’t think I need to elaborate on the headache inducing fumes or hazardous residue that would no longer be there by switching to these natural alternatives. They’re healthier for you, your pets, your family, the environment and your wallet, but best of all they’re also effective. I’ve compiled a list of natural, homemade cleaners you can use to save money, reduce waste, protect your health, save the planet, and stick it to the man!

Best Friends Forever

Kitchen & Bathroom

General Cleaner

  1. 4 TBS baking soda, 1 QT water in a spray bottle. Excellent at deodorizing.
  2. 1/2 C white vinegar, 1 QT water in a spray bottle. Spray, wait 30 seconds, and then wipe. Works great as a degreaser.


  1. 1 part 3% hydrogen peroxide, 2 parts water in a spray bottle.

Oven Cleaner

  1. Create a thick paste out of baking soda and water. Apply to oven. Wipe away when dry, being sure to remove all powder.

Dishwasher Detergent

  1. 1 part borax, 1 part washing soda. If any filmy residue remains, increase the amount of washing soda.
  2. 2 parts borax, 2 parts washing soda, 1 part kosher salt, 1 part citric acid. This formula, from diynatural, adds salt for its pH and abrasiveness and citric acid to help with any cloudy residue.

Rinse Aid

  1. Fill with vinegar. Easy as that.

Limescale Remover

  1. Soak offending target in vinegar overnight. Did this to my faucets and shower head when I moved in, they were absolutely foul but are now little angels.

Tile, Bath, & Sink Cleaner

  1. Use formula #2 for the General Cleaner, but rinse off with hot water. This will remove soap scum.

Toilet Cleaner

  1. 2 C vinegar, a few drops essential oil. Pour in bowl and swish around with scrubber.

Clogged Drains

  1. 1/2 C baking soda, 1/2 C salt, 1/8 C cream of tartar. Mix ingredients together, pour down drown, then follow with boiling water.
  2. 1/2 C baking soda, 1 C vinegar. Mix with boiling water then pour down drain and plug for a few minutes. Flush with hot tap water.
  3. 1/2 C salt. Pour in drain, followed by boiling water. Flush with hot tap water.


Glass Cleaner

  1. 1/2 C white vinegar, 1 QT water in a spray bottle. Instead of paper towels, use newspaper or microfiber cloths. Doesn’t waste trees or leave dust.
  2. Club soda in a spray bottle.

Deodorizing Spray

  1. 2 tbs baking soda, 2 C hot water in a spray bottle. If mixed correctly there should be no residue, but any can be wiped away.

Carpet Deodorizer

  1. Lightly sprinkle baking soda on carpet. Wait at least 30 minutes before vacuuming.

Leather Polish

  1. Boil 1 1/4 C linseed oil, let cool. Add 1 1/4 C vinegar. Rub in in small amounts and buff.

Wood Polish

  1. Mix a cup or so of linseed or olive oil with a couple drops of lemon essential oil. Use a cloth to rub, sparingly, into wood furniture. 
  2. For deeper cleaning, mix 3 parts olive oil with 1 part vinegar.

Wood Floor Cleaner

  1. After sweeping or vacuuming, mop using a mixture of 3 C white vinegar, 3 C water, 1 TBS castile soap, and a couple drops of essential oil of choice.

Linoleum & Vinyl Cleaner

  1. 1 C vinegar, 2 gallons warm water. Mop. If there are any stains, rub club soda in to remove.


Laundry Detergent

  1. 1 part borax, 1 part washing soda. Use 2 tbs per load. If you live in a hard water area, add more washing soda. 
  2. Jab’s Homemade Laundry Detergent, another formula from diynatural, is very similar but adds a grated bar soap. Try using a castile soap instead.

Detergent Alternative- Soap Nuts

  1. Soap nuts are the fruit pulp of trees that grow in warm areas around the world. The pulp contains saponin, a natural surfectant. To use, you add a handful of soapnut husks to the washer in a fabric bag. You can even reuse the husks a couple times. Well known brands are Maggie’s and NaturOli. LaundryTree is Texas based.

Fabric Softener

  1. Vinegar. Don’t worry, you can’t smell it after it’s dry.

For a fresh scent, try adding a few drops of essential oil to these mixes. Lemon essential oil actually works as a disinfectant, so you can get that fresh scent and double cleaning duty.

I personally don’t make everything myself, I still buy dishwasher and laundry detergent just for the convenience. Of course, I buy the “free and clear” kind, but nothing is as free or clear of toxins as making your own.

For more cleaning “recipes” check out Green Cleaning for Dummies, Planet Home, and Green Clean.

I hope I’ve convinced you to switch over to the green side. Or, at least to make your own window cleaner, if anything!

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One Response to Resolution #2: Use Natural, Homemade Cleaners

  1. Rachel Leonard says:

    I sell Soap Nuts locally for a reduced price…….. They go beyond laundry, I even use mine in the dishwasher with a lil vinegar and lemon juice to reduce cloudiness!

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