The average American spent $183.79 on cleaning and laundry supplies in 2018, up from $139.99 in 2007. Of course, if you have a large family, a large home, kids, or pets or need unique products due to allergies or other sensitivities, you’re going to spend more money than the average. You can search for coupons and sales to save money on cleaning products, but if you really want to save money (and let’s be real, who doesn’t?) and want control over exactly what chemicals you are using in your home and exposing your family to, it’s worthwhile to try making your own supplies.
Many DIY cleaning products cost pennies per gallon to make, and they’re often made up of things you probably already have on hand, like baking soda, lemons, and vinegar. The only thing you might not have on hand is borax, which is a laundry additive sold in grocery stores. If you enjoy essential oils, you can also customize many of these recipes to feature your favorite scents. And there’s one more thing you should buy: spray bottles, which can usually be found at the dollar store.
This cleaner works equally well on windows and mirrors! Grab a clean spray bottle and add in a cup of water, a tablespoon of white vinegar, and a cup of rubbing alcohol. Shake thoroughly to mix.
Multi-Purpose Kitchen Cleaner
Mix one cup of water and one cup of white vinegar in a clean spray bottle. Shake well to mix. If you prefer scented kitchen cleaners, add a few drops of your favorite essential oil or a few sprigs of rosemary.
Citrus All-Purpose Cleaner
If you love the scent of citrus, you’ll love this simple recipe. Although it’s easy to make, it does require a bit of planning.
- Put clean, chopped citrus peels in a glass jar.
- Cover the peels with white vinegar and screw the lid tightly onto the jar.
- Let the peels sit in the vinegar for about a month, shaking the jar occasionally.
- After a month has passed, strain out the peels, leaving the vinegar.
- Pour the vinegar into a clean spray bottle and enjoy your new all-purpose countertop, appliance, stove, floor, and glass cleaner.
DIY Tub and Tile Cleaner
Looking for a highly effective, cheap, and green bathroom cleaner? Look no further. This recipe produces a very concentrated cleaner, so you might prefer making it in a glass jar instead of a spray bottle.
- Mix 3/4 cup baking soda, a quarter-cup of lemon juice, three tablespoons of salt, three tablespoons of liquid dish soap, and half a cup of vinegar in a bowl.
- If you prefer scented cleaners, add in a few drops of your favorite essential oil.
- Mix thoroughly, and then pour the mixture into a jar or bottle.
When you use the cleaner, either pour a small amount onto a sponge or pour it directly onto the surface you are cleaning. Scrub, then rinse with water.
Toilet Bowl Cleaner
It is possible to find a toilet bowl cleaner that’s cheap, effective, and not filled with abrasive chemicals: You just have to make it yourself. This recipe is cheap and easy. Pour about a tablespoon of baking soda into the toilet bowl. Use your toilet brush to push the soda around the bowl and attack any stains. Now, pour in two cups of regular white vinegar. The chemicals will react and start to foam. Let it sit for about 15 minutes, go over the bowl again with your brush, and then flush and enjoy your clean toilet.
Homemade Drain Cleaner
The only thing worse than a slow bath or shower drain is one that’s completely clogged. Commercial drain cleaners aren’t cheap and are made up of harsh chemicals, but you can opt for a natural, homemade cleaner instead. If this recipe doesn’t work, you might need to call in a plumber.
- Put a large pot of water on the stove to boil.
- In a glass jar, mix about a half-cup of baking soda with a quarter-cup of table salt. Pour this mixture down the drain.
- Pour one cup of white vinegar down the drain. You should see bubbling from the chemical reaction of the baking soda and vinegar.
- Let the mixture work for about 15 minutes.
- Pour the boiling water down the drain.
The two ingredients in this simple recipe will have your non-lacquered brass shining like new!
- Squeeze lemon juice onto a clean sponge.
- Sprinkle it with salt.
- Rub the sponge over the brass.
- Rinse with water.
- Dry with a soft, clean cloth.
Are your carpets a little smelly? This easy carpet cleaning recipe will have them fresh and clean in no time. Grate a few teaspoons of citrus zest into a bowl. Add in a cup of borax and two cups of baking soda. Mix well and store in a glass jar. When needed, sprinkle it onto your carpets. Let the deodorizer sit on the carpet for at least five minutes, and then vacuum thoroughly.
Hardwood Floor Cleaner
Hardwood floors are beautiful but can be confusing to maintain. Are your floors only a little dirty, are they in need of a polish, or are you dealing with scuff marks? There are simple DIY cleaners for each issue.
- Simple Cleaning: Mix equal parts hot water with white vinegar in your mop bucket. Mop the floors. The vinegar scent will dissipate as the floor dries.
- Polishing: If your floors are looking a little dull, mix one gallon of hot water with half a cup of lemon juice and three-quarters of a cup of olive oil. Wring your mop out well before beginning to mop. When your floors dry, they will be shiny and clean!
- Scuffs: Mix an equal amount of vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Add in 15 drops of tea tree or pine essential oil. Scatter baking soda over the marks, and then spray the vinegar/water/essential oil mixture over the baking soda. The combination should fizz! Let it work for a few minutes before scrubbing with a soft sponge. After scrubbing, use a soft towel to dry the floor thoroughly.
Homemade Laundry Detergent
Laundry detergent can be expensive, but this recipe gives you 5 gallons of detergent for less than $5! From the laundry supply area, grab borax, washing soda (which is different from baking soda), and Castile soap. You’ll also need a clean 5-gallon bucket.
- Grate the soap into a pot. Add four cups of hot water and stir over medium heat until the soap melts.
- Pour 2 1/2 gallons of hot water into the bucket.
- Add the melted soap mixture and stir it into the hot water.
- Stir in a cup each of borax and washing soda.
- If you want your detergent scented, add in a few drops of essential oils.
- Add enough warm water to fill the rest of the bucket.
- Stir again.
- Put a lid on the bucket and let it sit for at least 24 hours. When you open the bucket, the detergent should be about the consistency of egg drop soup!