DIY Cleaners That Work

Do you love the idea of DIY cleaners, but wonder if they actually work? And how much time does it take to actually make the cleaner?

While I like the idea of saving money and using environmentally-friendly cleaners, most of the recipes seem too complicated to me. Why buy ten different ingredients that have loads of chemicals in them just to get one product?

In this blog post, I’m sharing 5 DIY cleaners that work. They are cheaper to make than it is to buy a similar product, do not contain any harsh chemicals, don’t stain anything, and don’t smell bad.

Are homemade cleaning products effective?

I like to think so because as someone who has spent literally hours trying to find a really good, simple, and natural way of cleaning my house, I eventually did one or two batches of homemade detergent and a bottle of my own all-purpose disinfectant cleaner.

I am happy with the results. The detergent works great (it’s much gentler on the clothes than commercial stuff) and smells really good too. And then when you’re done washing your dishes in it, do not rinse them off at all – let them air dry instead which will prevent water spots from forming on them later by using less water. All-Purpose Disinfectant Cleaner is easy to make – just dilute some rubbing alcohol with some lemon juice


Yes, homemade cleaning products are effective. I’ve even found they work better and have fewer harmful chemicals than what you can buy at the store. Here’s a recipe for one of my favorite DIY liquid disinfectants:

1/2 cup rubbing alcohol or water
1 tbsp distilled white vinegar   2 tsp lemon juice   10 drops of peppermint eucalyptus essential oil (optional)

Combine all ingredients in an 8 oz spray bottle and shake thoroughly before use. The cleaner is ready to use when it has completely mixed together and there are no separated lumps of ingredients left on the bottom of the bottle.

What do you need to make your own cleaning products?

I have found that all of the ingredients for these DIY recipes can generally be found in your kitchen or bathroom. All you need is a bowl, spoon, measuring cup, or container to mix the ingredients in.

#1 Microwave Cleaner

Take a regular 8 oz. glass and fill it half full of water, half full of vinegar, and a thin slice of lemon

Set it to 1 or 2 minutes. It will deodorize as well as clean it. The steam loosens the grime, and you can easily wipe it down after that.

#2 Glass Cleaner

This streak-free glass cleaner comes in handy when I clean our glass-topped table.

In a sprayer bottle, mix about 2 tablespoons rubbing alcohol, a squirt of lemon juice, and about the same amount of white vinegar and fill the bottle with warm water.

To get streak-free results, make sure you’re using a lint-free cloth. Some suggest using crumpled newspaper, but I’ve never tried that.

#3 Dryer “Sock balls”

This can replace dryer sheets. These make good ‘dusters’ as well.

Find a sock with a lost mate that’s still in decent condition (I have plenty of these on hand) – and fill with flax seed or dry uncooked rice and a fragrant herb, and sew shut.

I’ve also seen this done with just stuffing the sock with dryer lint, adding a few drops of essential oil of your choice, rolling the sock down so it’s like a ball, and just toss it in. I’ve heard wool works best for this, but honestly, I don’t know as I’ve just tried it with one of my lost favorite fuzzy socks.

Dryer “sock balls” are also great for dusting surfaces, such as the dining room table or your ceiling fan blades!

#4 Furniture Polish

This is an old trick; it’s good for filling in little nicks and scratches as well as making wood grain look new again.

Mix half a teaspoon of pure virgin olive oil with about a quarter cup of lemon juice.

Mixing in a drop or two of tea tree oil doesn’t hurt and will get rid of any bacteria while you’re at it. Just rub the mixture in with a soft rag, and voila!

#5 General All-Purpose Scrub

I have yet to find anything this baking soda and peroxide paste won’t cut through. It’s simple, cheap to make, has no smell that I’ve noticed, and won’t stain anything.

Mix a quarter cup of baking soda with just enough hydrogen peroxide to make it into a paste.

Use as a normal scouring scrub, rub it on, then rinse with water.

This is a great scrub for counters or tiles. But it doesn’t work that well with grease or heavy-duty grime.

In a greasy or sticky situation, use baking soda and vinegar. Mix these together in a bowl until you get an even consistency while leaving it to sit for at least five minutes before using it.


Using a soft cloth, hot water, and old-fashioned “elbow grease” is key to using these homemade cleaners and getting your house sparkling clean.

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