10 Simple DIY Cleaners For Your Home [Cheaper Than Bought]

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I’m sharing my list of the best DIY options for simple inexpensive cleaners in the home. The recipes here are perfect for when you’re short on funds, can’t get hold of commercial products or just want a DIY solution.

best DIY home cleaning products, non toxic cleaners

You can replace expensive products with everyday household ingredients. Here’s my list of ingredients that make up the best DIY home cleaning products.

  1. Vinegar
  2. Lemon
  3. Bicarbonate soda (baking soda)
  4. Eucalyptus oil
  5. Coconut oil
  6. Beeswax
  7. Hydrogen peroxide
  8. Clove oil
  9. Salt
  10. Sunshine

A note upfront — Lemon, salt, vinegar and others can be drying to the skin. So when cleaning, take the usual necessary precautions, like wearing gloves and washing hands afterwards.

Simple home cleaning products

I rarely buy commercial cleaning products. 

I use cleaning solutions from ordinary household products including some from my pantry.

#1. Vinegar is an all-purpose natural cleaner

Vinegar comes from natural fermentation. It acts as a cleaner and sanitiser.

Dilute it with water and use it in a spray bottle for surfaces.

Tip: Use only white vinegar on white surfaces. Cider or malt vinegar can discolour white items including tiles or laminated goods.

#2. Lemon is a natural disinfectant

Lemons are great for cleaning stainless steel sinks and making them sparkle. I also use lemon to clean and remove stains from my kitchen laminated bench rather than bleach.

Lemon is also a good deodoriser.

Add a cup of lemon juice to your dishwasher and run the rinse cycle to clean and freshen your appliance. You can put the juice in a coffee cup or any vessel that’s safe on the bottom rack of the dishwasher.

Lemon oil is an insect deterrent and it’s great for keeping cobwebs away also.

#3. Baking soda is a deodoriser, cleaner, de-greaser and desiccant

Baking soda or bicarbonate is an all-rounder. It’s great for absorbing odours in the refrigerator or bathroom and so is not only a cleaner but a deodorizer and desiccant.

Baking soda as a deodoriser

How to deodorize your fridge: Place about half a cup (up to a full cup) of bicarb in a container and leave it in the refrigerator to absorb odours.

How to deodorize your garbage bins: Sprinkle some bicarb to line the bottom of your garbage bin.

No more smelly shoes: Put bicarb in the toes of old socks, secure the end and place them in shoes, runners and boots to deodorize them.

Cat litter: Reduce the odours coming off a kitty litter by sprinkling bicarb over it and mixing it in. This will absorb the moisture and help with the smell.

non toxic cleaners, best diy home cleaning products
Bicarbonate soda is an all-rounder that you can use as a paste

Baking soda as a cleaning paste

Mix it into a paste with water for a homemade cleaning solution in the kitchen and bathroom. 

For limescale, I make up a paste of bicarb soda with 3% hydrogen peroxide and apply it to taps (faucets) and this will remove stubborn water stains.

For hard-to-remove grime on pots and pans, a paste of bicarb and water with a bit of elbow grease works amazingly. Put a layer of bicarb over the burnt-on food with a little water and leave for a few hours or overnight. Then scrape off with a spatula (best to use a non-metal one to avoid scratching your pan).

Rust: Mix bicarb and vinegar into a paste and apply with a pot scourer. It should remove light surface rust.

Desiccant and de-greaser

Use bicarb to draw up oil by layering it over fresh grease and oil spills. Leave for a time and then wipe or scrape up the lot and dispose of it.

Use bicarb in musty areas of cupboards or rooms to draw up moisture and remove the musty odour. An alternative is to use school chalk tied together with an attractive piece of ribbon or cloth.

Carpet spills

I also use it for absorbing spills on the carpet. I use an old towel first to soak up most of the moisture. Then I sprinkle a good coating of baking soda (bicarb) over the spill and let it dry. It soaks up the stains. When dry, just vacuum.

This method works also on animal and human urine when those accidents happen.

To revitalise carpets, mix 1 part bicarb, 3 parts vinegar and 5 parts water in a spray bottle. You can add some essential oil for the aroma. Lightly spray the carpet with the mixture and then sweep it using a clean old T-shirt over a broom.

#4. Coconut oil as a cleaner

Great for cleaning showers including the glass and tiles. To remove grime on your shower screens try rubbing it off with some coconut oil on a damp cloth.

You can use coconut oil for cleaning away residue left from labels or stick-ons. You can try it on chewing gum as well.

Coconut oil can be used as a furniture polish. Use it to revitalise your cutting boards also.

You can try using it to remove rust on utensils by letting them soak in the coconut oil for a couple of hours and then scrubbing them to remove the rust.

One of the best tips I was given on using coconut oil is to use it on kitchen splashbacks. Just add it with some water and then wipe the splashback to clean away the grease. These are places where grease often accumulates and a solution like this should keep that glass looking shiny without too much trouble.

#5. Beeswax is a natural timber polish

Beeswax makes a natural timber polish and sealer. The recipe I use is 1 part beeswax to 4 parts virgin olive oil.

You can make a beeswax cleaning cloth for polished timber by getting a clean piece of cloth for cleaning and adding a drop each of lavender and lemon oil and a teaspoon of beeswax into a microwavable dish. Melt the beeswax in the microwave on short 10-sec bursts and then you have a beeswax cloth ready for use. When not in use, store the beeswax cloth in a ziplock plastic bag for next time. This tip is from Shannon Lush in her book Speed Cleaning.

Tip: You can also use beeswax to make reusable food covers to replace single-use and toxic plastic wrap. I wrote an article on how I make these as well as other ways of making beeswax wraps.

#6. Salt is a germ and mould inhibitor

salt one of many natural cleaning products
Salt is a natural germ inhibitor

Salt is another natural germ inhibitor. It’s abrasive and so helps remove built-up grime. It also inhibits mould.

Salt is good for cleaning wooden cutting boards in the kitchen. Then seal your board with a light oiling, such as grapeseed oil.

You can use table salt, coarse cooking salt or swimming pool salt for cleaning. The non-iodised table salt will save you extra cents.

#7. Sunshine is a natural sanitiser

Ultraviolet rays from the sun kill bacteria and other germs. This is the reason why the air-drying of clothes outside in the sunshine has added benefits along with airing rugs and other home soft furnishings outdoors in the sunlight.

#8. Olive oil for buffing

You can use olive oil for buffing and protecting stainless steel and brass surfaces. Add some to a soft cloth and use on stainless steel appliances, and cookware (avoid the base to prevent blackening it when you cook next).

Other natural cleaning products

The following are natural ingredients but I’ve excluded them from the non toxic cleaners set above as these natural cleaning products can be toxic if ingested in sufficient quantities. Always read the label of products including that of essential oils. Just because something is natural doesn’t mean it is non toxic.

#9. Eucalyptus oil is a natural disinfectant

Eucalyptus is considered an all-natural disinfectant. It is a product distilled from certain species of Eucalyptus trees that grow in Australia.

It works wonders in removing ink marks or sticky residue from labels. I use it for cleaning around door handles and light switches also. It is a natural antimicrobial.

#10. Clove oil is a natural mould inhibitor

Clove oil is a product you can buy at the pharmacy. It’s not only useful for soothing toothache but it also helps deter silverfish and mould. The oil is a product of dried flower buds of the clove tree.

A spray of a few drops of clove oil in water is all you need to use as a deterrent to mould.  Clove oil spray is also useful for killing mould, but you’ll need to wait for the mould to fall away with this all-natural cleaner. I quite like its spicy earthy smell as well. You can get more tips like this one from Shannon Lush, who has a ton of cleaning tips including homemade cleaner recipes.

Homemade cleaners room by room

Using ingredients from your pantry helps when you’re short on funds or can’t get those commercial products.

Here are some DIY cleaning hacks room by room, that are simple to follow. 

Bathroom DIY cleaning mixtures

This recipe makes cleaning easy and shower screens sparkle: Mix equal parts white vinegar and gentle dishwashing detergent.

One of many DIY cleaning hacks in Shannon Lush, author of Spotless A-Z, is to use pantyhose as a cleaning cloth and I find it is one of the best.

For limescale, I make up a paste of bicarb soda with 3% hydrogen peroxide and apply it to taps (faucets) and this will remove stubborn water stains.

Floors DIY cleaning solutions

You can use a mixture of half water and half vinegar in a microfiber spray mop, similar to this one at Amazon – See details

It’s a convenient and simple way of doing your floors. If you want to use a normal microfiber mop, just add the vinegar mixture to a spray bottle and spray the floor in sections before you mop.

Laundry DIY green ideas

To keep towels soft, just add vinegar to the final rinse. So not only is it an all natural cleaner, but vinegar is also a softener.

Not only is it a green option, but also a much cheaper version than using commercial fabric softeners. It is also a safer option for you and the environment.

It is also a safer option for you and the environment.

Windows DIY for sparkling clean

Use a dash of denatured alcohol (methylated spirits) diluted in half a bucket of warm water. You may use it direct but it will evaporate if the weather is hot. Apply to glass windows with (you guessed it) old pantyhose or similar cleaning material. Wipe away the residue with an old towel for streak-free results. I find this works exceptionally, especially after all the window cleaners I’ve tried, that just don’t work. About 90% of methylated spirits is ethanol.

A word of caution about methylated spirits: It contains additives to deter people from drinking it. These are mostly 10% methanol, which is highly toxic, but there are also others, like isopropyl alcohol, acetone, methyl ethyl ketone or other substances. So this is not entirely non-toxic, however, it is a great economical cleaning product and considered a green homemade cleaning solution.

No doubt, you wouldn’t consciously expose yourself to harmful chemicals. But, that’s what you do when you use everyday cleaning products. The good news is that there are other options.

If you want more ideas like this, you should check out Shannon Lush and Jennifer Fleming for their cost-saving and also safer and healthier options.

Why choose simple, natural cleaning products? Well, they’re budget-friendly and nature friendly.

Harsh chemicals to avoid

Decades of research show that avoiding products with ‘nasty’ chemicals will not only benefit us but will also save us dollars.

eco living, eco lifestyle, eco friendly products, nasty chemicals, sustainable living, everyday products

There are a number of chemicals that are added to everyday products including cleaning products. The David Suzuki Foundation names the twelve to watch as triclosan, parabens, formaldehyde-releasing preservatives, parfum, BHA and BHT, dibutyl phthalate, coal tar dyes, PEG compounds, petrolatum, sodium laureth sulphate, siloxanes, and DEA-related ingredients. 

David Suzuki Foundation cites a swathe of supporting studies and regulations (see their reference list ).

More ideas for simplifying Life