It’s easy to make homemade cleaners. Here are 5 Easy Homemade Cleaners Recipes, most of which only use 3-5 ingredients you already have in your kitchen!
I wanted to share a few Homemade Cleaners from our Dining on A Dime cookbook. Most people don’t realizes how easy it is to make homemade cleaners and most only use 3-5 ingredients you already have in your kitchen!!
Of course, one of the simplest cleaners for most purposes is to just put some rubbing alcohol on a rag and wipe everything down. It doesn’t streak, it disinfects and it’s one quick ingredient! To be honest this is the one cleaner I use for my quick bathroom clean up every day.
Homemade Clorox Wipes
1 cup water
1/4 cup rubbing alcohol
2 Tbsp. Dawn dish soap (only use Dawn)
2 Tbsp. ammonia (optional)
24 rags – cut into squares. (I cut them to about 4×6 inches but whatever size you have available or whichever size you need will work. I also use old washrags that have seen better days)
Mix the ingredients and pour over the rags.* Then, when you need to clean your bathroom, use them as you would the disposable Clorox wipes.
The best thing about these homemade wipes is that you can just throw them in the washing machine and use them again! Really! It’s that simple!
*After you make this recipe, you will need to adjust how much of the mixture you pour over your rags. I didn’t have that many rags and they were pretty wet, so I just used less of the cleaner.
Fruit And Vegetable Wash
You really don’t need a special cleaner for your fruits and vegetables. Just wash them with a weak solution of dish detergent and a scrub brush works just fine. If you still insist on using a special wash. This is a good recipe that is the same as the “natural” stuff in the store.
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 Tbsp. baking soda
1 cup water
Put ingredients in a spray bottle. Be careful because it will foam up. Spray on vegetables, let sit 5 minutes then rinse with a scrub brush.
Homemade Fabric Softener
3 cups hot water
1 1/2 cups vinegar
1 cup hair conditioner
Pour the conditioner into the hot water. Stir (don’t shake) and then add the vinegar. Pour into a gallon container. Use the same amount of the fabric softener as you would use of the store bought kind or moisten a rag and throw in the dryer. You can put it in your Downy balls too.
- I found that the water has to be very hot to dissolve the conditioner. If it doesn’t dissolve just whisk it or warm up the water hotter in the microwave.
- If you do need to buy conditioner, something like Suave Lavender from the Dollar Tree works just fine.
- This homemade fabric softener recipe makes a half gallon and if you want to make less, you can easily half the recipe.
- Yes it does work in HE washers.
- For sensitive skin, you will just have to use plain vinegar. My son has horrible eczema and I can’t use anything with scents on his clothes, so vinegar it is!
All Purpose Cleaner Recipe
1 gallon water
1 cup ammonia (or 1/2 cup Dawn dishsoap)
1/2 cup vinegar
Combine all ingredients. Put in a spray bottle to clean showers, toilets, sinks and counters. Great for most cleaning needs. Use all-purpose cleaner to clean your floors. Just spray on and wipe off as you would counter-tops.
This is not a disinfectant. To make it a disinfectant too I add about 1/4 cup rubbing alcohol to the bottle.
This homemade dishwasher detergent recipe is one of those super simple recipes that people don’t think to make but can save you a lot! The best part is it takes less than 2 minutes to make!
Homemade Dishwasher Detergent
1 cup baking soda or washing soda
1 cup Borax
1-2 drops of scented oil (optional)
Mix ingredients. Use the homemade dishwasher detergent like you would use regular detergent.
Another option for cleaning your dishwasher: Pour in a package of unsweetened lemonade Kool Aid or a cup of vinegar into your dishwasher.
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How do you clean the OUTSIDE of pots and pans that have a lot of grunge on them?
I don’t. : ) I hid them away. Not really I do try to clean them some what. I was raised that a pan should sparkle after each use and spent hours scrubbing. Then I got very sick and found out that if I kept them semi clean on the outside no one really cared. For me I have always used good old fashion SOS pads to scrub the living daylights out of my pans. I made sure I always bought dark pans so I could do this. Pans are to be used and they will get messed up and black sometimes but don’t worry about it too much. If you have stainless steel pans they do have special cleaners that kind of work or you could try wetting them down with ammonia and placing them in a plastic bag. Ammonia does smell so you will want to set them outside over night.
This is not for you Sally but just a side note on this subject and I don’t want to offend anyone but I hate pot racks that hang out in the open. First of all you have to kill yourself to keep them nice looking enough to hang them out in the open. If you don’t clean them nice and hang them out in the open it makes your kitchen look dirty and tacky. Plus they collect that greasy gummy dirt film that is hard to clean and gross.That is even more work. Even if you have a small kitchen and need to use vertical space find something else to have out besides your pans.
My mother’s well used pots, pans and cookie sheets were darkened and quite beyond their new appearance. I loved to bake as a teenager and everything always turned out nicely. Needless to say, I was prideful about it. But God knows how to knock us down when necessary. I soon learned as a young bride that my newer bakeware couldn’t hold a light to my mother’s. Cookies stuck, scorched or spread on my new cookie sheets. Many tears and a call home and I learned that my baking pans needed to be broken in a bit. It was a good lesson that my mother’s blackened pans were seasoned with the hard work of love and devotion ——-and that appearances are deceiving. Jill and Tawra, thank you for all your hard work on this site!
So well put and so true Joanie. I remember making those calls home myself and many years later getting those same calls from my daughter and daughter in law. Another generation again and now I am getting calls from my granddaughters. Those worn pans are truly treasures. My mom has her favorite cookie sheet she got the first year she was married almost 65 years ago. It is very well broke in and I remember making many cookies on it. What is so different about it is it was a metal music stand some one was throwing out. It wasn’t until after I got married that I realized all cookie sheets didn’t have a small hole in the center of them and a 2 in. side across one side of it.
Jill, I had to laugh at your pot rack statement. We had a garage sale this past weekend and I sold my Calphalon pot rack. (We’re moving 400 miles north and it was time to let it go)A man came by and excitedly purchased the rack. I asked him if he’s a chef and he replied he was using the rack for drying his medicinal’s and happily left with rack in hand. My husband and I never laughed so hard. My mom purchased that rack for me years ago and never in a million years would think it would be used for “medicinal’s”…
That is too funny Patti. Will have to tell Tawra this one.
KathyJo S Manes
I personally use oven off And stainless steel And from time to time a very sharp knife as a chisel and hammer scraping across the backside. If I don’t have Oven Off I will use Dawn with full strength vinegar plus Baking Soda IMMEDIATELY a shot of Rubbing alcohol 90% and no lower then 70% gose in immediately. I use the rubbing alcohol when I add the vinegar to baking soda mixture it stops the overflow of the soap subsides. I use alcohol anytime I am mixing any cleaners together that will foam-up. It will very quickly stop it and take the soap suds back down And not stop the cleaning action; because the alcohol helps cut through grease and grime.
Although I work as a professional cleaner, having access to numerous cleaning detergents, I dig your all purpose cleaner recipe. It works great on different surfaces. Only if it was disinfecting as well. Anyway, great cleaning recipes.
So glad you like it. Thank you. You can make it disinfecting. At the bottom of the recipe it says you can make it disinfecting by adding 1/4 cup rubbing alcohol. It is a good cleaner without the alcohol for cleaning grimy kitchen cabinets, floors etc. as you probably already know.
I do not go to the trouble of making the ‘clorox’ wipes. I just make a bottle of cleaner with vinegar, Dawn dish soap, and alcohol. (with some water) I keep this under the sink in the bath rooms, and kitchen. Using a microfiber cloth makes cleaning a breeze. I keep the bathroom cloths a different color than kitchen cloths. This saves me time. I clean and swish our bathrooms everyday. I clean the kitchen well every night after supper to ‘close’ my kitchen.
I have a high efficiency washer and remember reading somewhere that using vinegar in these machines can mess up the electronic parts of the washer.I used to use vinegar in the rinse when I had the regular top loader,but haven,t used it in my HE washer because of what i read about it messing up the electronic controls/sensors.I have had my HE pair since 2007.
I don’t think it’s the electronics, but the rubber gasket. Repeated exposure to vinegar can make the rubber brittle, so they don’t recommend using it, although you’d have to do A LOT of laundry over lots of years before it becomes an issue. I used to use vinegar in my diaper load anyway because it was the only way I could de-funkafy them.
I used to have a front-loader in the old house, but when we moved we back to a top-loader because that’s what’s here. Much better for diapers, and frankly my clothes get cleaner.
You know I miss my top loader too. I really think I like them better. I did have one very different front loader that was made in Sweden years ago before front loaders became the thing here and I loved that thing. It was the best washer I had ever had and haven’t been as happy with the newer front loaders.
Great homemade cleaners.
Would you have one for dish detergent for hand washing?
Have a Joyful Day :~D
I’m not sure exactly what you are asking for Charlie. A dish detergent that you can turn into a hand washing soap? I am confused because you can use it for hand washing without doing anything to it.
Jill: Sorry it sounded so complicated.
I just need a dish soap that I can use when hand washing dishes.
Hopefully something easy on the hands.
No problem Charlie. I like using Ivory dish soap. I really seems to cut the grease and clean the dishes as well as Dawn and many others I have tried but seems to be the easiest on the hands. If you are having a real problem you might try rubbing on olive oil or even some heavier cream before washing the dishes because this seems to help protect them.
I agree about the Ivory dish detergent, Jill. I am allergic to so many things( rashes etc) , but so far with Ivory, no problems. But… have you noticed, the Ivory doesn’t suds as much as it used too?
That is too funny you mentioned this this morning Betsy. I just got finished washing my dishes and refilling my pump bottle with more Ivory and was trying to remember if I had ever mentioned that I like Ivory. Sat down to do comments and here was yours on the Ivory. I hadn’t noticed it but now that you mentioned it I think that might be true. For those of you that may be wondering I do use Dawn too and the Ivory. I find the Ivory cuts the grease as well as Dawn and is gentler on my hands. I hand wash all my dishes and don’t like using rubber gloves so Ivory really helps.
Can you use something besides Dawn dish washer detergent. Like Ajax or Joy. I have problems with Dawn for some reason on my skin, so I have those on hand but not Dawn.
Lots of cleaner recipes (not just here, but other places too) specify Dawn, but I never have that in the house and it’s frankly hard to find here. I usually just use Sunlight for most of those types of recipes and it works well.
Incidently, rubbing a bit of Sunlight dish detergent right on a grease spot before tossing in the washer will get that right out!
You know CJ I think most of these recipes can use any dish detergent as long as it is a good degreaser when it is used on dishes.
We love homemade formulas at our house too. I will have to try the dishwasher detergent. I already have the ingredients on hand. Thanks for sharing these recipes. Wishing much success with your book!
I need a toilet cleaner that is septic friendly – I loved just bleach until this house….anyone have any ideas??
thank you so much!
Kelly really the most common cleaners like Dow Scrubbing bubbles, Lysol, Clorox are all safe for septic tanks. You don’t need to worry about using clorox in a septic tank because what most people don’t understand is that it breaks down into salt and water when you use it. My folks, brother and Tawra have all had septic tanks for years and they never used anything different or special and have had no problems at all. My uncle was a plumber too and so he told what to use and not to use.
If you are concerned about the outside of a pot and are reluctant to use SOS pads, make a paste of baking soda and water and scrub the outside of the pot with it , using a plastic scrubbie pad for extra effort. This will work on pots and glass baking dishes. Bread pans, if used often, should not be scrubbed but only put away after the bread has been tapped out, and the pan cooled down. You may have to grease bread pans a few times when you first start using them, but they eventually season much like a cast iron pan. The black inside and out are desirable. Try not to use your bread pans for anything other than bread.
This is true Mary Jane. I do this with several of my pans. I learned years ago from a neighbor who owned a restaurant that there are certain types of things that you bake in pans that you don’t need to wash the pans after each use and this is true of many baking pans. If there is no sticky gook on them you don’t need to wash. Before you get too grossed out remember things are being baked at high enough temps to kill any and everything on them.
I really love your dishwasher detergent recipe since it is really expensive in my country, however it is impossible for me to find borax what else could I use?
Thanks in advance
You know you really can’t substitute anything for Borax that I know of because it is a very unique thing and nothing that I know of has the same properties or is like this. You might try ordering on line if you can. Sorry I couldn’t be more help but that is a tough one.
Borax is sodium tetraborate decahydrate. You can get it at a swimming pool chemical supplier.
Yes and you can get it at any grocery store too.
I found borax in Walmart
Does your book have a body Soap Recipe in It
Some of the things we have in the book (and I am only mentioning a few) are bath salts, bath bombs, oatmeal scrub, bath oils, creams,lip glosses, lip balms, after shave,etc If you want a recipe for body soap check out our website for a recipe for that https://www.livingonadime.com/homemade-soap-lye-soap-recipes/ https://www.livingonadime.com/olive-oil-soap-recipe/ and here are a bunch of videos Tawra does on how to make it How to Make Soap Videos
Mary Louise Carpenter
I just moved into a new apartment and the place is not that clean. I need to clean the dishwasher first so that I can use it. What can I use? I only have vinegar and baking soda right now for cleaning things until I can get to the store to buy cleaning supplies.
You can take some hot soapy water first and if you need too use a toothbrush to get in the gaskets and all areas.If your dishwasher has a sanitizing cycle I would run it through that a couple of times. That will kill most any thing. If you don’t have a stainless steel inside and no sanitizing cycle then pour a small amount of bleach in the soap dispenser and run it through to get rid of the germs and things. Vinegar is good for cutting through scum build up but it doesn’t kill all of the germs and things very well.
This is fantastic! Thanks!
Thank you for the information on the wipes. Like you haven’t been able to get any in the stores.
Question… does it matter if the dawn dish detergent is scented?
It isn’t the scent itself that is the problem but for some reason the original Dawn seems to work better and some can leave a slightly oily film like.
Hi,I made the wipes,omit the ammonia, add half lemon juice,. THANKS, I will never buy wipes again.Its better, safer and its good for the earth.!THANKS.
Thank you Georgia Hadjicosta
the commercial wipes are advertised as about 99 % effective against germs.
do the homemade do the same?
If they wipes have alcohol or bleach in them they are as effective. Any thing that has soap in it does great too. You have heard of “using some good old elbow grease” to clean something well there is something to that because the rubbing action does help get rid of germs.
I always prefer to use homemade cleaners..it’s safe and save the money..Thank you
Yes my mom would always says just need some elbow grease…we knew what she meant…these homeade cleaners are aweome…saves money…really does an excellent job cleaning…no harsh scents…I’d give it two thumbs up thats for sure…thanks for the recipes.
Do you have a recipe for liquid dish soap, please? I don’t have a dishwasher so do it all by hand in the sink.
Thanks, in advance!
Best wishes, Muriel
No we don’t Muriel. In order to make that you need to do like regular soap making things.
I appreciate all your recipes .I have wanted to start making my own cleaners for a while now. What I would like to caution about is if you haven’t used a lot of ammonia before it can really be bad for your lungs. I was using it and I ended up in the hospital. You need to open a window for ventilation when using ammonia. Wearing an n 95 mask can help. Thank you
One thing always read the instructions on use for any cleaning products and if you follow those you usually will be ok.