DIY Cleaning Supplies

Is your cleaning cabinet full of old spray bottles with white gunk caked-on, splayed scrub brushes, worn out sponges, and something with a label so worn off that you're not quite sure what it is? If that's the case, you probably need some new supplies and what better time to get them than for spring cleaning?

But, wait! Before you go out and buy new supplies with lots of chemicals and pungent smells, check out our list of DIY cleaning supplies. They're chemical-free, all natural, cheap, and will leave your house sparkling clean!

The Basic Ingredients

Vinegar — Pretty much every DIY cleaning recipe will have vinegar in it. It's a perfect, natural cleaner that gets rid of tough dirt without any chemicals. Use distilled white vinegar in all recipes. Concerned about the smell? Check out this recipe on how to get the cleaning power without the smell. After de-smelling the vinegar, use it like normal in all your DIY cleaning products.

Baking soda — Tackles grease and grime, and has virus-killing abilities that also deodorize.

Washing soda — With a similar chemical compound, washing soda is often used in place of baking soda. It has the same grease-fighting, virus-killing, cleaning, and deodorize power with a little extra punch behind it.

Castile soap — Made from 100 percent plant oils, so no chemicals here!

Lemon juice — Like vinegar, the acidity of lemon juice makes it perfect for cleaning.

Hydrogen peroxide — A perfect and natural bleaching agent and disinfectant.

Essential oil — Most commonly used in aromatherapy, but perfect for adding good smells to your natural cleaners.

Borax — A great non-toxic cleaning alternative that really cuts through grease and grime. However, due to its power, it can cause eye or skin irritation. We suggest you test out borax to make your skin can tolerate it. A good substitute is Fels-Naptha, which is called for in one of the following recipes.

All-Purpose Cleaner

  • ½ cup vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon borax
  • 1 tablespoon hydrogen peroxide
  • 2 cups hot water
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Essential oil (optional)

Dissolve the borax in the water, mix in the remaining ingredients and transfer to a spray bottle. Add essential oil to your liking.

Glass Cleaner

  • 1 cup vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • Essential oil (optional)

Mix all ingredients together and transfer to a spray bottle. Add essential oil or lemon slices to your liking.

Disinfectant Spray

  • ½ cup vinegar
  • ½ vodka or rubbing alcohol
  • 1-½ cup water
  • Essential oil (optional)

Combine all ingredients in a spray bottle then add essential oil to your liking. Looking for some DIY disinfectant wipes? Check out this tutorial! You can use the spray recipe above, or the one listed with the tutorial.

Air Freshener

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • Essential oil (optional)

Mix ingredients together adding as much essential oil as you like!

Hard Water Stain Remover Scrub

Perfect for deep cleaning sinks and showers!

  • 1 cup Epson salt
  • ½ cup baking soda
  • ¼ cup dish soap

Mix ingredients together and then gently scrub in a circular motion with a soft cloth. Let sit for a couple of minutes and then rinse with warm water. Works best on dry surfaces.

Toilet Bowl Cleaner

  • ½ cup baking soda
  • ¼ cup castile soap
  • ¼ cup hydrogen peroxide
  • 1 cup hot water
  • ¼ cup vinegar
  • Essential oil (optional)

First mix the baking soda and castile soap together in a bowl, then add the essential oil to your liking. Next, slowly mix in the hydrogen peroxide and hot water, stirring to make sure everything is well mixed. Lastly, (and slowly!) add the vinegar and stir until the foaming stops. We suggest storing your toilet bowl cleaner in a squeeze bottle for easy use.

Dish Soap

  • 2-½ cups boiling water
  • 1 tablespoon borax
  • 1 tablespoon washing soda
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar
  • ½ castile soap
  • Essential oil (optional)

Mix all ingredients, minus the water, together in a bowl. Slowly whisk in the boiling water until all ingredients are incorporated. Let cool (and thicken) before pouring into a pump bottle.

Dishwasher Tabs

  • 2 cups washing soda
  • 2 cups borax
  • ½ cup Epsom salt
  • ½ cup vinegar
  • Essential oil (optional)

Mix all ingredients together with a spoon. (Don't worry about a little fizzing when you add the vinegar.) Transfer the mixture into ice trays or a silicone mold and tightly pack down. Put them in a dry, sunny spot for at least 24 hours. After they're dry, pop them out and store them in a container with a tight-fitting lid. Use one tab for each wash and put a cup of vinegar in the center of the top rack. The vinegar is necessary for fighting off hard water spots.

Liquid Laundry Detergent—Even works for HE washers!

  • ¼ cup washing soda
  • ¼ cup castile soap
  • ¼ cup borax or (grated) Fels-Naptha
  • 4 cups hot water
  • Essential oil (optional)

Mix all ingredients together in a sauce pan and heat until the borax dissolves (or the Fels-Naptha melts). Add essential oil to your liking. After letting the detergent cool for a bit, transfer into a gallon-sized container and fill the rest of the way with warm water. Let sit overnight to thicken.

Clothing Stain Remover

  • Vinegar
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Water

Straight vinegar can be used for most stains, including food, sweat, and set-in stains. Just spray the stain thoroughly right before washing. Or use hydrogen peroxide and water in a 1:1 ratio to soak out stains, including grass and food.

Bleach Alternative

  • 1 cup hydrogen peroxide
  • ½ cup vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • ½ cup water
  • Essential oil (optional)

Mix ingredients together in a dark spray bottle, adding essential oil to your liking. Light breaks down the cleaning power, so keep your homemade bleach in a dark spray bottle. Spray on stains and let sit for 10 minutes before washing. This bleach can discolor colored clothing, and lasts about one month.

For other great cleaning tips and tricks, check out our Spring Cleaning Guide!