Four Homemade Cleaners
Four easy to make homemade cleaners using safe ingredients.
Four Homemade CleanersJump to Recipe
One of Betsy’s goals for the year was to ditch some of our standard cleaners that we use around the house and make them! Honestly, I was a bit skeptical about this project mainly because I wasn’t sure that homemade cleaners would really get the job done.
And my lovely wife is a bit of a neat freak so there’s no way she would use something that didn’t perform well.
So a couple of weekends ago she went out and bought a few staple ingredients and some empty spray bottles and we spent a few minutes mixing up four different homemade cleaners that have since replaced 90% of the cleaners we use around the house.
For the last few weeks we’ve been using them now and I’ve been so impressed by how well they are working, I thought I’d share them all with you in case any of you are interested in ditching the chemicals.
The Cost of Cleaning. The thing about homemade cleaners is that the initial start-up costs might seem a bit high. A tiny bottle of lavender oil (.5 ounces), for example, will run you $7-$8. But the thing to remember is that for each batch of cleaning solution, you’ll be using literally just a few drops of oil.
I would guess we spent around $30 on our homemade cleaning supplies for these four solutions, but now we have enough supplies to last us years. By the time we run out of lavender oil, for example, our cost per bottle for these cleaners will be reduces to cents.
Really Clean Cleaning. After using these solutions for a few weeks, what I’m most impressed with is their cleaning power. They really work. Not only do they work, but I get the strange impression that they are even cleaner than the standard products.
When you clean a counter with the all-purpose cleaner it’s squeaky clean and the whole room smells awesome, not chemical at all. I hate to say this, but having these easily accessible actually makes me like cleaning. DON’T TELL MY WIFE.
My ultimate decision to post on these solutions was just because they worked surprisingly well.
The Basics. Betsy and I did some research on books for home cleaning solutions and I would recommend these two to anyone who wants to learn more:
– Green Clean including vinegar, citrus fruits and baking soda (I guess unavailable for now on Amazon)
– Homemade: How to Make 100’s of Everyday Products
As far as ingredients go, a good number of ingredients you will probably have on hand already at home. Things like vinegar, baking soda, citrus, etc. Those are easy.
The tricky stuff are these items:
Most of the recipes involve castile soap and a few drops of essential oils. These are the pricey items and the ones that you won’t need to buy very often even if you make a ton of these solutions.
For the recipes I’m giving in this post, you’ll need the below items. You can find all of these at your local supermarket or health food store or you can grab them from Amazon. I’ve included links to the amazon pages.
– Castile Soap – An all-natural soap that’s surprisingly strong. A few drops go a long way. We like the lavender scent, but they have others available.
– Lavender Oil – A natural anti-bacterial oil that smells wonderful.
– Tea Tree Oil – A natural oil that cleanses and disinfects.
– Washing Soda – Sodium Carbonate which is just a strong base that works great as a laundry detergent. It has a million uses around the house.
Mixing the Solutions. If you’re going to do this, definitely buy new, clean plastic bottles. Don’t use old bottles as the trace chemicals in them might react badly.
Also, I’d recommend getting some labels because while they are all different, these solutions all look a bit similar.
Let’s start with an easy one.
Lavender Anti-Bacterial Spray
– 1 Cup water
– 20 drops lavender essential oil
Easy right?! It’s smells great and lavender is very high in linalool which is naturally antibacterial.
The next recipe is the one that we use the most which is the all-purpose cleaner. It’s our daily cleaner now on everything from counters to floors.
One note about this one is that it will bubble A LOT (think high school science volcano) so make sure you leave plenty of room in your bottle for an eruption and mix it over the sink just in case.
All-Purpose Cleaner (Watch out for a reaction! It will bubble a lot.)
– 3 Tablespoons vinegar
– 1/2 Teaspoon washing soda
– 1/2 Teaspoon castile soap
– 2 Cups hot water
I think you can see how little of each ingredient is used for a batch.
The next formula is the one we use on the stove or any place that accumulates a lot of oil or grease.
Grease Cutter (Note that if you have a good eye, I messed up the label on this one for my bottles.)
– 2 Cups water
– 1/4 Cup castile soap
– 10 drops lavender oil
And finally the strongest of the solutions that we made which is for really scrubbing hard to clean areas like bathroom sinks and mildewed tubs.
Bath, Sink, Tile Cleaner (Again, watch out for some bubbling.)
NOTE: Ideally, mix this one in a SQUIRT bottle, not a SPRAY bottle. It’s pretty thick and almost a paste.
– 2/3 Cup baking soda
– 1/2 Cup castile soap
– 2 Tablespoons vinegar
– 1/2 Cup water
– A few drops of Tea Tree oil
Like I said, we’ve been testing these out for the last few weeks now and I really love all of them. My favorite is the all-purpose cleaner and the antibacterial spray which just leaves everything really clean and smells fantastic without being overpowering.
If you’re looking to cut out some chemicals from your cleaning products and save some money (in the long term), you should try these out!
Anybody make their own cleaning supplies? If you have a good tip or recipe, leave a comment!
393 Responses to “Four Homemade Cleaners” Leave a comment
I totally love this idea and I have been wanting to try this forever…so glad you and Betsy did all the work!! I was a little worried about investing the money in natural cleaners that didn't do the job. Thank You!!! I am thinking of making this up as gifts for myself and a couple friends :-)
We have not bought soap in 13 years, we make our own olive oil soap and it is just amazing. It is a Castille base which you can then fragrance anyway you like with essential oils or ad amazing things like carrot juice, polenta etc. We also grate it and mix with hot water to make liquid soap. You can add a tablespoon of vodka to the lavender / water mix for a lovely room and linen spray.
Yes, as I understand from soap-making, castile soap is soap made with olive oil, correct?
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Yes, that is the olive oli soap made in the style similar to that originating in the Castile region of Spain. Really amazing stuff and I am not sure why, but it is a excellent stain remover, yet gentle on your skin – maybe because it is so pure?
How do you make your soap Tania?
I love all of your tips, but I am allergic to lavender, any suggestions on what to substitute for lavender?
Citrus works well, lemon or grapefruit
This is such a great post! Thanks for sharing.
I haven't washed floors in about a year…once my economist husband found out you could use vinegar, the joy of saving money has moved him to take over all floor-washing duties. I'm definitely going to share this post with him, and maybe I'LL never have to clean again! Great post!
How do you use vinegar to clear floors?
vinegar and water mix
Awesome. I am totally going to make these.
I have been using vinegar water as my de-greaser for a while now and vinegar and baking soda as my oven cleaner. Just sprinkle baking soda on the area to clean and spray or pour the vinegar right over it and leave for an hour.
Love natural cleaning! I will be looking up of Jasmine is as good as Lavender though 'cause I really can't stand the scent of Lavender anymore… I once had an over scented candle that has just ruined me forever!
I have also been wanting to try out making my own laundry soap forever, just haven't gotten around to it. Maybe you have kicked me in the right direction.
BTW, I just wanted to say that I love that I can edit my comments, especially because I seem to keep goofing up the links I want to post, and this way I can fix them if I need to. :)
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Thanks :) Glad you like it.
Where did you find castille soap and washing soda?
I have usually seen the washing soda with the laundry soaps next to the borax at places like target.
You should be able to find both near the detergents and stuff at places like target or just your supermarket. Sometimes you might have to go to a natural foods place for castile soap.
I've seen the castile soap at Trader Joe's, if you have one in your area
I know they sell the castile soap at Target…but I had to get the washing soda online at Amazon. A friend of mine who shops at natural food stores couldn't find the washing soda anywhere.
u can find washing soda @ Krogers, Harris teeter and Walmart also. it helps if u actually know whatt the box looks like before u go in because u can miss it seriously….
it's usually in the same isle as detergents either laundry or dish, but not right beside them so it's easily overlooked.
Walmart carries the washing soda in the laundry area
I found washing soda at Publix if you have one near you.
You can also make your own Washing Soda by baking some Baking Soda at 250-300 degrees for one hour.
Can anyone attest to the avalability of these ingredients in Canada? I have a hell of a time finding Borax anywhere here. (I live in the great old province of Quebec!)
I like the post Nick, and I am anxious to give it a try. especially the front loading machine laundry tip. I wonder, would that be considered HE?
Wherever you live, just buy a box of "20 Mule Team Borax" which you will find in any supermarket in the laundry detergent section. It is sold as a laundry additive, and my box is half French so is obviously meant for the CDN market. If you can't find it, something called "Borateem", same section, will also work.
It is a great ant killer mixed half and half with sugar if you are looking for another use.
Great website Nick!
Hi Jason. I'm in Canada too. I buy Borax at my Independant Grocer (in the laundry aisle) or at No Frills (again – the laundry aisle). Same goes for Washing Soda as it's also a laundry item. My local Health food store carries A couple of Dr. Bonner's liquid soaps and also carries essential oils like the lavendar oil
Read the recipe this morning and went out to my local grocer and found the products. I was at the Super Store but know they have the same at Sobeys. I live part time in Sherbrooke, QC and will let you know how I make out there.
Nick Thank you for the great recipes they work great. I have made other natural cleansers and did not find they worked as well. Let us know if you locate a recipe for an oven cleaner. I tried vinegar and baking soda but found it just made a bigger mess.
As far as spray bottles….What I did as I finished off the store boughten ones that were previously in my home I cleaned them out and saved them. Never cost me a penny more and they work great. I just made new labels for them.
PS My brother came to visit this afternoon and could not believe how nice my house smells when you don’t use a bunch of chemicals.
Which one do you use for pots & pans done in the sink? I don't use many cleaners any more since I discovered microfiber cloths from Amazon (I've had my first batch for 18 months and they're still going strong) and they're on sale right now if you want to share a bunch with friends. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000XECJES/ref=o…
But that leaves me primarily with hand dishwashing pots & pans and dishwasher. Ideas?
I've been won over by a vinegar mix that I use for scrubbing floors–you have no idea how great it is to have a product that cleans off dried on spaghetti sauce (and whatever else falls off the table under my 4 year old) without spending several minutes scrubbing. I blogged about it here http://countrygirlcouture.wordpress.com/2010/06/2… and you can get the link for the exact recipe from there. I just mixed it up in a heavy duty squirt bottle and use it as needed. It works better when it's hot, but for small messes in between heavy scrubs it works fine at room temp too. :-) Now I'm off to see about getting some supplies to try your cleaners, are there other oils (besides lavender) that will work? We aren't completely opposed to lavender, but prefer something else if possible. Thanks for the "recipes"! :-)
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There's a whole bunch of essential oils that you can add to these things, but we haven't experimented too much with any of them other than lavender and tea tree oil which I think are the most popular ones.
I am the only one in my family who detests lavendar, so googled other oils w/ similar properties and clove appealed to me – lemon or grapefruit also. Am going to try this soon!
Eucalyptus Oil and Lemongrass both contain antibacterial properties. As well as oregano, thyme and cinnamon oils. I love the smell of eucalyptus.
You could add some orange oil also. Orange and the eucalyptus is nice together
I've been making something similiar to your all-purpose cleaner for a while now, but I have a problem with the castile soap and the vinegar solidifying. Do you have the same problem? Maybe I'll try your recipe instead!
I've made my own laundry soap for a year and it works great!
Homemade Liquid Laundry Soap- Front or top load machine- best value
4 Cups – hot tap water
1 Fels-Naptha soap bar
1 Cup – Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda*
½ Cup Borax
– Grate bar of soap and add to saucepan with water. Stir continually over medium-low heat until soap dissolves and is melted.
-Fill a 5 gallon bucket half full of hot tap water. Add melted soap, washing soda and Borax. Stir well until all powder is dissolved. Fill bucket to top with more hot water. Stir, cover and let sit overnight to thicken.
-Stir and fill a used, clean, laundry soap dispenser half full with soap and then fill rest of way with water. Shake before each use. (will gel)
-Optional: You can add 10-15 drops of essential oil per 2 gallons. Add once soap has cooled. Ideas: lavender, rosemary, tea tree oil.
-Yield: Liquid soap recipe makes 10 gallons.
-Top Load Machine- 5/8 Cup per load (Approx. 180 loads)
-Front Load Machines- ¼ Cup per load (Approx. 640 loads)
*Arm & Hammer "Super Washing Soda" – in some stores or may be purchased online here (at Meijer.com). Baking Soda will not work, nor will Arm & Hammer Detergent – It must be sodium carbonate!!
Powdered Laundry Detergent – Top load machine
1 Fels-Naptha soap bar
1 Cup – Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda*
½ Cup Borax
-Grate soap or break into pieces and process in a food processor until powdered. Mix all ingredients. For light load, use 1 Tablespoon. For heavy or heavily soiled load, use 2 Tablespoons. Yields: 3 Cups detergent. (Approx. 40 loads)
*Arm & Hammer "Super Washing Soda" – in some stores or may be purchased online here (at Meijer.com). Baking Soda will not work, nor will Arm & Hammer Detergent – It must be sodium carbonate!!
TIPS FOR LAUNDRY SOAP: We use Fels-Naptha bar soap in the homemade soap recipes, but you can use Ivory, Sunlight, Kirk's Hardwater Castile or Zote bars. Don't use heavily perfumed soaps. We buy Fels-Naptha by the case from our local grocer or online. Washing Soda and Borax can often be found on the laundry or cleaning aisle. Recipe cost approx. $2 per batch.
Thanks for the tips Karie!
I have an allergy to Arm & Hammer detergent… do you think I would react the same way to the Washing Soda?
or are there any other brands of washing soda available?
Thanks for these recipes! I've been making my own soaps for about a year and LOVE them. So nice to pass up the cleaning supply aisle in the grocery store.
Wonderful! Thanks, I have been using vinegar and hot water to clean my hardwood floors for years. My husband is a floor guy, and he says this is the best thing to clean them, most commercial cleaners have petroleum bi-products that don't mix well with the urethane used for re-coating floors. Also, we use fels-naptha and water for a natural bug-repellant on our organically grown produce! Thanks for the post.
please tell me the proportions for using on hardwood floors, can you just spray the vinegar on the floor and then mop with hot water??
Hey JOanne, I doubt Lisa is around to answer your question. I found this page though that might help: http://www.vinegartips.com/scripts/pageViewSec.as…
Nick, I've totally been wanting to ditch my cleaning products for something better — we did work with the Breast Cancer Fund last year, and I learned that basically ALL of my cleaning products are potentially giving us cancer. I love this & I'm sharing with everyone. :)
Minor problem – – when you mix vinegar and baking soda OR vinegar and washing soda, the two chemicals react (which is why you see the bubbles) and break down into sodium acetate. Otherwise known as salt
I suspect that maybe something else is going on even if salt is produced because I can vouch that these clean better than salt water.
Castille soap is a good cleaner, and so are vinegar, baking soda, and washing soda. But it doesn't make sense to me to combine them ahead of time. This is a link to a blog written by Kay, who is way smarter about this stuff than I am. Good luck with your project :)
Awesome. THanks Sherri! Learn something new everyday!
I agree. I have been cleaning with vinegar and water and when there are stuck on or hard to clean things I sprinkle some baking soda around and spray it with the vinegar water and the chemical reaction is what helps clean the area. I would advise leaving that our and combining the baking soda and cleaner on the surface you want to clean.
I love baking soda! I love to make myself a homemade natural facial wash. Its cheap and super effective. I just wrote about it here on my blog. http://blog.skinmdnatural.com/2011/01/skin-care-t…
wow! great site!
We make most of our own cleaners as well. Our basic cleaner is just vinegar & water (works great on mirrors) with essential oils added from time to time. Making our own laundry detergent now costs us only fractions of a cent (I actually did the math!!) per ounce!!
We've been making our own toilet bowl cleaner which works great too. I couldn't find the exact recipe but it contains borax, water, & lemon juice – we keep it in an old Dr. Bronner's bottle (mid-size?), shake well to blend before use, squirt in, scrub, & let sit for a couple of hours. Lemon juice is a nice substitute for vinegar.
I love this post! Thank you so much Nick! I have both of those books on hold for me at the library to pick up tomorrow. Also, Dr. Bronner's is THE BEST SOAP EVER!!! Seriously, the best! We use the mint kind b/c it's all nice and tingly. We use it as soap/shampoo, toothpaste, dish soap, laundry detergent, soak liquid for stained clothes and it does wonders for taking bath crayon off the shower walls!
Also, I didn't know that Kroger was in CO! I thought it was a midwest thing! Very cool!
It's actually a City Market, but they sell Kroger stuff… think it might be the same parent company.
Kroger owns City Market/King Soopers (in CO/WY), Ralph's, Smith's, Dillon's, Fred Meyer, Food 4 Less, Fry's, Baker's, Jay C Food Stores, and Gerbe's
So you will find Kroger products in all of those branches.
I've been making my own soap since November, and I love it. You can buy essential oils (lavender, tea tree, etc.) from a GNC store — the bottle are 1 oz., and are not as expensive as at other stores, and you can have them delivered to your home, if you prefer. An ounce of oil goes a LONG way. I like the idea of making my own cleansers, and I think I'll try this! Thanks.
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Good information there! I was in the home cleaning business for over a decade and very rarely used commercial cleaners. IF I felt I had to, I always diluted them with water as much as possible. Their use is unnecessary, expensive, and bad for humans, pets and the planet. One can easily replace these toxic cleaning products and disinfectants with a common-sense approach by investing some thought into an efficient system, some money into excellent and long-lasting tools, some time into making a few non-toxic products, and throwing in some good old-fashioned elbow grease and a bit of sweat.
For floors, 99% of the time all you need is a cup or so of regular white vinegar in your bucket of hot mop water – it works great on all floor surfaces. If you feel you need a bit more disinfecting power, use H2O2 – I was actually surprised no-one on the blog mentioned hydrogen peroxide, as it works very well straight from the bottle and is safe on your kitchen surfaces and food, too.
In fact, for killing bacteria BETTER than bleach, using both vinegar and H2O2 is the way to go – according to published research by Susan Sumner (food scientist at Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University) these two products used together are more effective than chlorine bleach or any commercially available kitchen cleaners and will kill virtually all Shigella, Salmonella, or E.coli bacteria on heavily contaminated surfaces (even wooden cutting boards!) as well as food.
But do NOT mix the two liquids together in one container; this will create something called "peracetic acid", which can be harmful and has different properties than either vinegar or hydrogen peroxide on their own. What you do is get a couple of new spray bottles and put full-strength (5%) plain white vinegar in one and full strength 3% hydrogen peroxide (agua oxigenada, available at farmacia Rey for under 2 bucks for 480ml) in the other. Spray these on the surface or produce item to be cleaned (doesn't matter in which order), let sit for a few seconds and wipe or rinse off. That's it!
Do not store peroxide in a clear bottle as it will lose it’s effectiveness. That’s why it is sold in a dark brown bottle.
As far as essential oils, there are many that have desirable properties for cleaning but some smell better than others:
basil (ocimum basilicum) – antiviral, antibacterial;
bay laural bay leaf (laurus nobilis) – antimicrobial, antibacterial, antifungal;
bergamot (citrus bergamia) – antibacterial;
black pepper (piper nigrum) – antifungal;
blue cypress (callitris intratropica) – antiviral;
cajeput (melaleuca leucadendra) from the tea tree family – antibacterial;
carrot seed (duacus carota) – antiseptic;
cassia (cinnamomum cassia) – antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral;
cedarwood (cedrus atlantica) – antibacterial;
celery seed (apium graveolens) – antibacterial;
cinnamon bark (cinnamomum verum) – antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral;
cistus (cistus ladanife aka labdanum) – antiviral, antibacterial;
citronella (cymbopogon nardus) – antibacterial, antifungal;
clove (syzygium aromaticum) – antimicrobial, antifungal, antiviral;
cumin (cuminum cyminum) – antiseptic;
dill (anethum graveolens) – antibacterial;
douglas fir (pseudotsuga menziessi) – antifungal;
elemi (canarium luzonicum) – antimicrobial, antiseptic;
eucalyptus (eucalyptus ericifolia) – antifungal, antibacterial;
eucalyptus citirodora (eucalyptus citirodora) – antiviral, antifungal, antibacterial;
eucalyptus dives (eucalyptus dives) – antibacterial;
eucalyptus globulus (eucalyptus globulus) – antimicrobial, antiviral, antifungal, antibacterial;
eucalyptus polybrachtea (eucalyptus polybrachtea) – antimicrobial, antiviral;
eucalyptus radiata (eucalyptus radiata) – antibacterial, antiviral;
fennel (foenicum vulare) – antiseptic;
galbanum (ferula gummosa) – antiseptic;
geranium (pelargonium graveolens) – antibacterial, antifungal;
grapefruit (citrus paradisi) – disinfectant, dissolves fat;
helichrysum (helichrysum italicum) -antiviral;
hyssop (hyssopus officinalis) – antibacterial, antiviral;
jasmine absolute (jasminum officinale) – antibacterial;
juniper (juniperus osteosperma) – antiseptic;
juniper (juniperus scopulorum) – antiseptic;
lavandin (lavandula x hybrida) – antibacterial, antifungal;
lavender (lavandula augustifolia) – antiseptic, antifungal,
lemon (citrus limon) – antiseptic;
lemongrass (cymbopogon flexuosus) – antifungal;
lime (citrus aurantifolia) – antiviral, antibacterial;
mandarin (citrus reticulata) antifungal;
marjoram (origanum vulgare) – antiseptic;
melissa (melissa officinalis) antiviral;
mountain savory 9 satureja montana) – antibacterial,antifungal, antiviral;
mugwort (artemisia vulgaris) – antifungal, antibacterial;
myrrh (commiphora myrrha) – antimicrobial, antibacterial;
niaouli (melaleuca quinquenervia) – antiviral, antibacterial;
nutmeg (myristica fragrans) – antiseptic;
oregano 9 origanum compactum) – antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal;
palmarosa (cymbopogon martinii) – antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal;
peppermint (mentha piperita) – antifungal, antibacterial;
pine (pinus sylvestris) – antiseptic);
ravensara (ravensara aromatica) – antiviral, antibacterial;
red thyme (thymus vulgaris) – antiviral, antimicrobial, antibacterial;
rosalina (melaleuca ericifolia) – antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral;
rosemary (rosmarinus officinalis) – antibacterial, antifungal;
rosewood (aniba rosaeodora) – antibacterial;
sage (salvia officinalis) – antiviral, antifungal;
sandalwood (santalum album) – antiviral;
spearmint (mentha spica) – antiseptic;
spikenard (nardostachis jatamansi) – antibacterial, antifungal;
spruce (picea mariana) – antiseptic;
tea tree (melaleuca alternifolia) – antibacterial, antiviral, antiseptic;
thyme (thymus vulgaris) – antimicrobial, antifungal, antiviral;
vetiver (vetiveria zizanioides) – antiseptic;
western red cedar (aka canadian red cedar, thuja plicata) – antibacterial, antifungal.
(Excerpted from the book Essential Oils Desk Reference compiled by Essential Science Publishing.)
Of course these plants have other (i.e. medicinal) properties as well, but for the purposes of cleaning these are the properties we want. Hope this list helps your readers find one that they enjoy smelling around your house :-)
Some are easier to find than others; if there are specific ones that are wanted, any on this list can be purchased from a Young Living Essential Oils rep in your area; but be prepared… the oils this company produces are not inexpensive – but they are the very best in quality.
Hope it helps make your life safer and simpler :-)
Does the general cleaner smell like vinegar? I've been trying to use vinegar and water lately, but my husband hates the smell of vinegar? I love these ideas though, I definitely want to try the toilet cleaner.
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I haven't noticed that it does. You could probably add a drop of oil to it if you were worried about it. It's a pretty small amount of vinegar.
I put a few drops of artificial vanilla flavoring and some ginger peel (that I would have otherwise discarded) into the spray bottle with the vinegar. Both together seem to almost completely mitigate the smell of vinegar, and there's no sticky residue from the vanilla.
Home made cleaners are great — economical yes ~ but watch out. A couple of years ago I started mixing my own laundry detergent however it tended to congeal into globs I tried and tried toeradicate this w/o much success from batch to batch — well it got so bad that my clothes washer became clogged and in the end had to toss the machine.
So my point is there a lots of good DIY recipes out there be careful and learn from my experience — sometimes it's just a bad recipe – just like cooking :)
Hi Kevin, What did you use in your laundry detergent? I just made some a month ago and I’m wondering if I used the same ingredients. Thanks!
What great ideas can't wait to try.
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This looks to be the same post that a different website posted. TheSimpleDollar.com. I only know because I read both. Are Nick and Trent one and the same, or did I miss a reference from one or the other's websites as to who the post belongs to? :)
Hmm, I believe I take that back, I'm looking through the other website and I'm guessing it actually was yours I was at at the time. My bad :)
Love your website, you got me into making risotto!
Ha. I actually read TSD also, but I didn't get this from him. I got the recipes from the book I referenced in the post. Maybe Trent has the same book??
I asked a pharmacy student about the problem that Sherri points out and he said that in the ratio that they are usually combined they would not completely cancel each other, you would still end up with a PH other than that of water. But it was also my understanding that it's more effective to mix those two on-site. Otherwise, why not just use one or the other and not waste the effectiveness?
I bought all the ingredients, but where did you get the spray bottles? I've looked at Home Depot, Lowes, Target and Bed, Bath & Beyond. I either find really small ones, or really large ones…and I figure if I'm going to have a few of them I should get them in a medium size.
Can't wait to try them out!! :o)
We found them at Target, but maybe search around on Amazon?
I would recommend looking for glass bottles as essential oils can eat away at plastic. What I have done is empty out a glass water bottle and then buy a plastic spray bottle from the dollar store to use the nozzle. I had to try a few different glass bottles before I found one that fit the nozzle, but now I know what kind to buy every time I need a new bottle.
yes. glass is best and should be dark glass. some beer and sauce/marinade bottles fit the sprayers.
If you've seen the January/February Whole Foods ad, they have a coupon for $1 off Organic Castile soap. I'm going to pick up some next time I'm there and start making it myself.
This is great! I've posted about it here – http://wp.me/pkcUM-Ev
Great idea – I love the labeled bottles, I think I'll use something like these so they're RED and easy to distinguish. http://www.missionrs.com/1603W.html
Have you been able to tell if the cleaners weaken over time? Like if you made larger batches at a time for convenience?
Great recipes! I'm always looking for ways to save money or maybe make a little extra too. I think I'll find these ingredients and test a few of these out. Thanks!
I've been making my own laundry soap for a year. 12 total for a box of borax and a box of washing soda. I use Ivory bar soap (I'm in Canada and I don't think we have Fels Naptha here). For 12 bucks, I'll have laundry soap for YEARS as it only takes a half cup of one and a 1/4 cup of the other to make 10 gallons of detergent.
Also, I now use vinegar instead of fabric softener – again, pennies a load and there's no chemical coating on my clothing now and they're softer than ever. The vinegar also cleans the tubes of the washing machine. :)
Hi! Really want to try this! When do you put the vinegar in? Does it cause bubbling because of the soda?
We just added it in at the end. It does bubble because of the reaction so be ready for it!
What could you use instead of vinegar or lemon juice? I have natural stone counters in kitchen and bathrooms and the acid in the vinegar or lemon juice is not supposed to be good for the stone.
Hmm… I'm not sure on that one Jennifer. You really need an acid to cut the dirt and stuff. I've never heard that about stone counters. The acid is pretty dilluted. I can't imagine that it would hurt them, but I don't want to be responsible for messing up your counters. ;)
I use rubbing alcohol, a touch of dish soap and water in a spray bottle as my general cleaner for my granite, bathroom counters and windows. Oh and a few drops of essential oil.
Could you describe castile soap? I cant translate that to swedish, but I think it`s possible to get here under a differrent name,
This is the stuff I use! http://www.drbronner.com/
And I haven't purchased Windex since I wrote this for the Washington Post: http://wrotethiswrotethat.blogspot.com/2009/06/sq…
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Ok, it looks like your bath & tile cleaner is separating like mine? You said it would be thick, so I have it in a squirt bottle, but it separates into three layers. I shake it up and it is still liquid. Help! I want it to work and don't want to waste the materials put into it.
I just went and looked at ours now and they do separate. If you shake it up and use it right away though it shouldn't matter. It's doesnt really need to be a consistent texture to work effectively. We've been using it for months and months now.
I made the bath, sink and tile cleaner but I think I may have done something wrong. I thought I followed the recipe exactly though. Right now it is about 3/4 in. of watery liquid and the rest of my container is all bubbly and fizzy. It isn't thick at all. Could I have mixed it wrong or in the wrong order? I thought maybe if I let it settle for a while it would eventually turn to just liquid but it's been sitting a few hours and still looks the same. Please help!
This goes to show that maintaining a spotless household or kitchen does not have to take much of your time or money because you can make your green cleaning products on your own. For homes or restaurants that use cooking oil most of the time, collected oil or grease can be difficult to properly dispose or clean. There are grease collection Texas service providers for example to assist you in disposing them as they can be re-purposed or recycled for other useful purposes. This only proves that we can have a clean living space at the same time help out with the conservation of our natural resources.
I use many of these products as well (with slightly differant formulas) and too was surprised at how much nicer they were than even the store bought green cleaners! I will say with any formula with castile soap – if you add that absolutly last and don't shake the bottle you get A LOT less bubble problems. :-) Thanks for sharing!
Great ideas on making your own cleaners! I thought your recipes to be so helpful that I shared them on my blog as well! Thanks and keep posting!
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Thanks for the ideas! I just posted this on http://www.funcheaporfree.com. Check it out here: http://www.funcheaporfree.com/2011/10/youre-welco…
My recent post "You're Welcome" Wednesday: 4 homemade cleaners that really work!
I will have to try these. The recipe we use to make our all purpose cleaner is 84oz of water, 42oz of vinegar, 2 tsp of biodegradable soap (we use Dawn), and 2 tsp of essential oil – this will make 1 gallon. We make it in a large container and pour it as needed into a spray bottle for easier use. For our floors we use 50% water & 50% apple cider vinegar. We love the results of both cleaners.
Is the water/apple cider solution ok to use on hard wood floors? I like the sound of it.
My family uses warm water/apple cider vinegar on our hard wood floors and have never had a problem. We fill up a 5 gallon bucket, fill it with warm water, and pour some vinegar into it and then get to mopping! Great as a floor cleaner.
we also use water and vinegar on our hardwood floors and really like the results. to be extra safe with the water and hardwood, i have a couple of my kids follow behind me and dry. this also makes for a great finish with no water spots or streaks.
Dawn isn’t really a good, natural soap. Plus, they don’t have environmentally friendly practices. I use Dr Bronners. It’s amazing!
Awesome post, thank you! Where did you find your bottles? I’ve looked but can’t seem to find any!
And also the labels. Obviously, you wouldn’t want the regular shove in the printer type because as soon as they get wet, eww nasty.
spray the labels with polyurethane and let dry. I do this for my husband’s homemade beer
or use a paint pen found at any craft supply store and write directly on the bottles
I found my spray bottles at Dollar Tree and got a bunch to make all of the cleaners. Can;t wait to try them all. Making them as I use up my store bought stuff.
You can put a piece of clear packing tape over the labels and keep them completely waterproof that way. There are also waterproof labels you can buy at online label stores. I just use the tape; it’s cost effective and easy. :)
I think my wife just picked them up at Target honestly. The printer paper is from a label maker but it’s just a normal sticker really. If you were worried about it getting wet you could put some plastic tape over it. Good luck!
Thoughts on lavender and tea tree oil as endocrine disrupters? I have since stopped using them, and switched to grapefruit seed extract, lemon oil and oregano oil. Just food for thought.
Check out the NIH website on Tea tree oil :http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/113.html The endocrine disruption was found in young boys after repeated topical application of lavender and tea tree oil containing products (http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa064725). I find it interesting that a fraternal twin in the study given the same potions did not have any symptoms suggesting that there may be a range of responses to the oils within the population. Also, this response has only been documented in pre-pubescent boys.
Since these homemade cleaning solutions are not intended for use on the body, and given the very small quantities of oils used they are very unlikely to cause a problem. I would avoid inhaling them though, since ingestion of essential oils is not good for you.
Sorry to kee coming back to this but you peaked my interest (hi! I’m a scientist!).
Further research on pubmed: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18255254
would indicate that the bioavailable compounds in tea tree oil, those which can be absorbed through the skin, are not estrogenic. Extrapolating from cell culture studies to actual events in vivo is extremely difficult, believe me, I study breast cancer in this way and struggle every time I do an experiment in a dish to see what possible bearing it has on the disease.
I just wanted you to know I just made up my first
batch of all purpose spray. I used the peppermint oil
and peppermint Castile soap. I’m amazed how clean it gets
everything. I’m loven it. Which one would you recommend
to use on the floors?
Put a marble in the bottom to make mixing easier :)
I read on Dr. Bronner’s Grandaughter’s Blog that combining vinegar and castille soap is not good. The solution leaves behind a film. It’s better to clean with a soap solution, then rinse with vinegar. Has anyone had experience with this???
I have read the same thing… several people ran across the same problem. said when they mixed the ingredients -in any combination they ended up with oil blobs throughout their spray bottle. a big mess.
Hmm.. I can’t say we’ve had that problem. Could be that it’s a very small amount in the recipe.
Hello. I’ve been reading about this .. this is the best explanation .. and it’s from Dr. Bronner’s granddaughter, not that she’s a soap expert – just a mom.
BTW – love the site. Love the Random button !!
Oh awesome. Thanks for the link Keri and glad you like the site!
That’s because you need an emulsifier to get the oil and water to blend together, otherwise they stay separated. It would be dangerous to not use an emulsifier if you were using a water/essential oil blend as a body spray for example, as you would get blobs of essential oil on your skin in greater amounts than are safe. Polysorbate 20 is a safe emulsifier for such use that you can get at any soap supplies company. Just shaking the bottle to incorporate the essential oil and water isn’t good enough. Using it as a room spray could cause damage to fabric and some flooring. Essential oils are very volatile and should be used with care.
Vinegar is an acid & castile soap a base; they essentially cancel each other out. It is not harmful to mix them, but you are defeating the purpose by mixing them.
I have made my own laundry soap and other cleaners but have had the HARDEST time finding essential oils to sent them with. Where has anyone found them at?
You can find them at health food stores normally like Whole Foods or also Amazon has a huge selection online. Just search on amazon for whichever oil you want.
Like here’s Tea Tree Oil for example. They are pricy, but you don’t use very much. They last for a really long time.
Tea tree oil can be found at Wal-Mart in the pharmacy section near the vitamins. The Wal-Mart I was at had the vitamins/minerals/etc in alphabetical order so the Tea Tree oil was easy to find. The bottle cost $8, but will last a long time because it is a 2 oz bottle. I had to buy Dr Bronner’s castile soap and lavender oil online. I bought mine at http://www.puritan.com. I just received it today, and the lavender oil was buy one get one free.
Store bought essential oils can’t be quite pricey. Places like Hobby Lobby and Michaels sells them for about $6 for 1/4 of an oz. However buying them from a soap maker’s website is soooo much cheaper. I made homemade lye soap and buy all my essential oils from http://www.brambleberry.com They have an amazing selection and its about $5 for 2 oz. And that goes a LONG way with recipes that only require a tsp.
walmart! In the aisle that has the potpourri it’s cheap, and works!!!!
Essential oils can be found in health food or vitamin shops mostly.
I was able to find Dr. Bronner’s products at their website http://www.drbronner.com and the essential oils can be found at aura cacia’s website http://www.auracacia.com
The best place for pure very high quaility essential oils is http://www.mountainroseherbs.com . Please be careful in buying the cheap ones. They are most of the time not made of high quality things and will stains and a film behind. Found out the hard way. :( I love the fair prices and high standards at mountain rose herbs.
You can also find them at craft stores in the soap and candle making aisles. They are still pure essential oils, but usually a bit cheaper than the health food stores.
In our own way we can be able to make cleaning solutions that are really environmental friendly for we do not need to buy anymore strong chemicals that are being sold in the market. With these tips we can be able to apply in our place and can be able to see its end result that would surely be a great surprise for everyone.
I tried both the lavender water and the tub & tile cleaner. They both worked really well. I used Dr. Bronner’s castile soap in the tub & tile cleaner and a few drops of tea tree oil. If you are trying the tub & tile cleaner and having a hard time getting it all off so that there is no residue, I would suggest filling a mop bucket a 1/4 full of warm water and then dipping in a hand towel (or a medium sized piece of an old towel), whiping a small section, dunking it in the bucket, ringing out and repeating. You may need to dump and refill the water once or twice. I find the towel whipes the cleaner off way better than a scrubby or J-cloth. Thanks for the great ideas for cleaners.
A dear friend (RIP) gave me this window wash recipe years ago.
2 Tablespoons Prell Shampoo
2 cups Rubbing Alchohal
Put in 1 gallon container & fill with distilled water. Pour into spray bottles.
Use newspaper to clean.
Mixing the vinegar (acid) with baking soda or washing powder (bases) lessens the efficiency of both ingredients. The foaming reaction is the interaction of the acid and base, leaving a solution that is weaker than the ingredients. You are in essence watering down effective cleaners into something less.
If these ingredients are to be used together, they should be mixed at the time of use as when cleaning/unclogging drains. You can also sprinkle baking soda on your counter and then spray it with vinegar before wiping it off.
Our household also makes our own laundry detergent powder. We got the recipe from the same book it looks like you used (Homemade: How to make…). It’s just borax, soap flakes, washing powder, and baking soda. We wash in cold water and have no complaints so far!
Thank you for sharing these! I’ve been using them all for several months and just realized I needed to come back and leave feedback. They all clean wonderfully–I especially love the tub and tile cleaner. It’s just awesome! Thanks!
Thanks so much. Found this on Pinterist. Made my first batches today & love them. Was amazed at how well they clean. I did not have any film, but did re wipe everything w/ the antibacterial spray. I chose to use an orange oil for that. My youngest son breaks out w/ hives w/ lavender products. read that citrus should be as effective.
Thanks again. My & my kids’ skin thank thank you as well.
I found this wonderful site on Pinterest. However, I’ve bought different 2 different bottles to try and find one that will work for the bathroom cleaner. Any suggestions? I know it says squirt bottle but I can’t find that at Target or Kroger.
Try looking in the area where they have water bottles. A lot f them have squirt tops on them. Also in convenience stores in the coolers are all kinds of bottled water, again they too have lots of them with squirt type lids.
squirt bottles are often found in the health and beauty aids section with the travel size stuff.
Glad you like the site Jessica! Thanks for swinging by. As a few others have said, check out health and beauty sections of stores. I’m almost positive that my wife found these at target.
Jessica, most dollar stores have squirt bottles in the kitchen section. If you don’t mind red or yellow, you can pick them up cheap there.
Thank you so much I am going to try these this weekend. Jessica R. Maybe a recycled dish soap bottle would work?
My hubby and I make our own laundry soap, and I would love to try this. We have saved so much already with our own soap, I’m sure this would be even more!!!!
I have made all of these cleaners and they work fantastically…..as for mixing the Castille and vinegar, I have no blobs or globs and everything is coming out shiny and clean. The detergent is great also….no complaints so far. I have a daycare in my home and if I can expose the little ones here to a few less chemicals I am all for it!
Thank you so much for sharing these! I made all four, and I love them! I recently dismantled the refrigerator in a house I just started renting because it always smelled funny, and found a horror – very old, caked on, mystery items. I sprayed my all purpose cleaner on, let it sit, scrubbed, and it came off pretty easily. The fridge smelled wonderful after the massive cleaning. :)
I have found that the de-greaser is great for my Foreman Grill. I spray it on, and the grease and bits slide right off. I don’t have to scrub and worry about damaging the non-stick surface.
I also make all my own cleaners and it’s such a wonderful feeling to know that you’re contributing to a healthier lifestyle for your family, as well as helping the environment! Only problem I see with a few of these cleaners is the use of baking soda with vinegar. An acid (vinegar) and an alkali (baking soda) mixed together negates the effectiveness of both substances. Mixing them creates carbonic acid, which is unstable and immediately falls apart into carbon dioxide and water. That’s why, if you scrub your sink/tub/what-have-you with baking soda or a baking soda paste, it dissolves perfectly by rinsing with vinegar.
Where can u buy the Castile Soap at? Any retail stores? Where abouts in store is it at?
Paula, I think I’ve seen it at target. The brand I like is Dr. Bronners. It’s usually with all the other cleaning supplies. You can also use the store locator on their website to find where it’s sold in your area.
I’ve seen Dr Bronners at Target in cosmetics as well
Fred Meyers here in Idaho carries liquid Castile Soap, Dr. Bronners. It’s in the natural foods section. They also carry Essential Oils.
Thank you so much for these recipies! I am going to try them tonight, i use a libman freedom mop and i cant wait to put the all purpose cleaner in it!
I buy Castille soap at Trader Joe’s, I find it is cheaper there. However, they only seem to sell one fragrance at a time, (ex: lavendar or peppermint) but not at the same time.
Thanks for these recipes. FYI: My “Cleaning Bible” is called “Salt, Lemons, Vinegar, and Baking Soda” by Shea Zukowski. I find it is full of extremely useful tips.
Is is ok to use these cleaning recipes on granite countertops?
I think so! They are pretty mild and all-natural. There’s no harsh corrosives or anything, but I can’t say that it’s 100% okay because I’ve never personally tried it.
I have my own cleaning business and only use home made, eco-friendly, cruelty free products. You shouldn’t use anything with vinegar on marble, granite or natural stone as it will seep in the pores and pit the surface. I am going to try these recipes!
Is there any other oil that can be subbed for the lavender oil? Not really a fan of that scent. I know, weird huh? It only smells like hot weeds to me.
I think we used lavender oil because it’s supposed to have natural anti-bacterial properties.
Maybe check out this page for some other options? http://www.naturesgift.com/antibacterial.htm
I would go with lemon or eucalyptus.
How long is the shelf life on these? Do you make them everyday? Or use them for weeks at time?!
I am excited to try these! Thanks for posting!
We use them until they run out! I think my wife makes a new batch once every few months.
Can Eucalyptus be used instead of the lavander? Will it work the same? thank you.I am planning on trying this tomorrow and i am not exactly fond of the lavendar smell.
Sure Christina. I think Eucalyptus has similar anti-bacterial properties. Give it a shot!
Thank you! Also, what are some things you use the antibacterial spray for? I have a 18 months old and a newborn and we are trying to get all the chemical stuff out of our house! :)
I am, by no means, an expert, but I would be careful about using eucalyptus on any surfaces you plan on eating off of. While it is an anti-bacterial, it’s poisonous if ingested. I wouldn’t imagine that there’s enough in the cleansers to actually poison someone, but it’s better safe than sorry. We had a scare last year with our chihuahua who was poisoned by traces of eucalyptus left behind in the bathtub we were bathing her in. She’s fine, but we definitely got a fright.
Essential oils are dangerous to pets who assimilate them differently than humans do. Essential oils are deadly to cats!!
I’ve tried the grease cutter and the anti-bacterial cleaner … love them both! I was especially impressed with how well the grease cutter worked. I cleaned the under-side of my range hood (where the fan is) of my kitchen stove and it took off the grease amazingly. One question, though ….. I found the cleaner had quite a strong smell. Is this normal?
Thanks for these recipes!
You know, I have a strange compunction for reading these types of articles. I never actually ever get round to making any of the great items described – I guess it’s just the thought that I could if I wanted to – It would be fun, and healthy and cheaper. But this site could make me. Great post.
Hi! Were did you find the squirt bottles?
My wife found them at target I think!
My mom is extremely allergic to household chemicals AND neat-freak doesn’t even come close to how she is about cleaning. So, I made a gift basket of MYO (Make Your Own) cleaning products for Christmas. She loves them! Her house smells nice and everything is “cleaner then when she used that other shtuff that makes her sick”. Coming from my mom…you couldn’t get a bigger compliment.
There was a study done that tested 14 essence oils (http://jac.oxfordjournals.org/content/47/5/565.full#cited-by) and their anti-bacterial affect on some pretty nasty bacteria including E.Coli. I was pretty impressed by the findings (and luckily I have a medical background so I was able to get the gist of the article).
So if you want to change up the scent you can also use cinnamon, thyme, coriander, perilla and a few others. Just make sure to follow any safety recommendations as some essence oils should not be ingested even if the herb in it’s natural state can.
Thank you for the recipes! Love them. I found the industrial size spray bottles at Doller Tree, they are so much better than the small, junky ones you find in the HBA isle of Target or Walmart. How do you keep your chrome clean with the bathroom cleaner? It looks terrible….
How do you know what my chrome looks like?! Just kidding. :)
Honestly, when someone involves a lot of scrubbing, we use barkeeper’s friend on it.
Super funny! Haha. Just guessing your chrome looked nice. ;). I figured it out, just rinsed it off, was being lazy I guess since I’ve never “rinsed” before, hate the gritty cleaners like comet. You are right, this stuff IS thick, clogged my industrial cleaner bottle right away. I switched to a squeeze bottle like a red or yellow ketchup or mustard refillable bottle. Works awesome!!!!!!!
I make my own basic cleaner, but was under the impression that you needed much more vinegar… I started with a 1 cup Vinegar, 2 cups water, 1/4 hydrogen peroxide, and a few squirts of dish soap mixture. This mixture cleans everything but glass, it really makes a mess on glass… I feel better using this around the grand kids as there is nothing toxic in it and it really cleans. Can’t wait to try your mixtures, maybe my husband won’t wrinkle his nose when he walks in after a long day of my cleaning… he really hates the smell of vinegar… I clean my drains with baking soda and vinegar, Kind of like a science experiment… love it!
Do you have a recipe for the dishwasher?
Nope… we’ve tried a few different ones, but I haven’t found one that I love yet…
Here is the recipe I like best for dishwasher soap
1 cup borax
1 cup washing soda
1/2 cup citric acid
1/2 cup kosher salt
*double the citric acid for hard water
*can be easily doubled
*it won’t clump if you reuse the silica packages you’ve been saving
*use white vinegar in the rinse agent dispenser cup
I love this article, and will be trying some of these recipes, soon. I have used the liquid castile soap for a long time (confession: sometimes I use castile soap in my ancient cast iron pans, rather than detergent – I feel a need to get the flavor of garlic and onions out of the pan sometimes when I am making something which doesn’t call for them, but the castile soap is very gentle, and I rinse it thoroughly, and re-oil the pan).
Baking soda, all by itself is a very useful cleaner – you can use it as a scouring powder, or with soap, to scrub sinks and tubs.
Vinegar is similarly useful – perfect for soaking a vase with water deposits, or a coffee carafe.
I tried several homemade dishwasher detergent recipes a year ago, and after three or so, (very similar to the recipe above), finally gave up – even with the vinegar in the rinse agent dispenser, they all left a dreadful film on my dishes. My husband thought all of our glasses were suddenly wearing out! I wish they worked better, but we had terrible luck with them.
I imagine the success with the home made dishwasher detergent may depend on your local water supply.
Love these, I too use many homemade cleaners. But remember that vinegar is acidic and baking soda is alkaline and so when mixed, they basically turn neutral and lose the ability to clean/disinfect effectively. Also, hydrogen peroxide will lose effectiveness unless stored tightly in a dark bottle–as one person remarked using hydrogen peroxide in their mixture.
Good luck and love those bottles.
If you find a dishwasher detergent that works for you, please post it! ;)
Does the all purpose cleaner kill all food borne germs on the kitchen counter? I just made it and love how it cleans, but not sure if it is killing everything.
I have been making my own cleaners and laundry soap for years now and will never go back. I will try some of these recipes.
I have heard about this before, but I jsut thought it would be too much effort. thanks for explaining it simply, I will definately give it a go. Much Better for the environment too.
I have a dog and a cat and was wondering if these recepies are safe for animals? I read a post above that said essential oils are toxic to cats.
yes, EOs are toxic to cats, even deadly, because cats do not metabolize them the same way.
Thank you for all this info! just ordered everything i need to make all of these plus to make a hardwood floor cleaner! so excited!
what is your recipe for a hardwood floor cleaner? I always look online and find such contradictory information on what/what not to use. And with four small kids, I really need something to get it clean!!
What we use to really clean our laminate hard wood floor is a steam mop. It only uses water, but it’s heated to the point of evaporation which also sanitizes anything that the mop sets on for at least 8 seconds.
We have four small children (5 and under) so I totally understand the need for clean floors! We have a Eureka steam mop (got it on amazon as a gold box special) and not only does it clean well, it’s super quiet so I can mop during nap time and not disturb anybody. It leaves our floors looking gorgeous, too!
Here you will find my recipe for homemade washing powder… It is definitely saving me a lot of maney and the base ingredients are similar to yours.
I have also learned from my mother to use vinegar instead of fabric softeners. It works really well!
I have a question about your essential oils. Where did u buy yours? I have some that look exactly like the ones in your pic but went back to the store “I thought” I got mine from
And they don’t carry that brand-I really like that brand myself. Do u know if drug stores carry them? Maybe I’m mistaken and I got mine at a drug store? I can’t remember?
We buy ours at a place called vitamin cottage here in Colorado. I’m not sure if normal drug stores will carry them but most health food stores will.
I bought my tea tree oil from a place called Vitamin World, and the lavender (Vitamin World didn’t carry lavender) I got from GNC (which is a big enough chain that it should be in most towns!). GNC also carried tea tree oil, but I’d already purchased it from the first store I went to and didn’t want to fuss with returning it.
I get that brand of oil from Smith’s Marketplace.
i know that my local Whole Foods sells this same brand of oils!
I am almost completely sure I saw these same oils in the organic section at Kroger here in GA.
I use doTERRA essential oils. They are the best I have found and I know that they are safe to use around my grandchildren and the great grands too. check out my web site for more information. http://www.thejoyofoils.com or mydotera.com/1603
Can u add lemon juice to any of these recipes?
I’d probably try lemon or orange essential oil instead.
Can u add alcohol or vodka tO the anti-bacterial spray?
I made these over the weekend and LOVE them!!!! I seriously love them. They are FAR superior to any store-bought cleaning product out there, and they’re all natural ingredients. I’m big into not using chemicals in my home and have just been using straight vinegar on most things for a while now, but it doesn’t quite do the job sometimes. These cleaners are perfect! I ended up having to spend about $45 to start because I needed the spray bottles, but like you said the cost will be reduced to pennies per bottle whenever you finally run out of the ingredients! A note about the spray bottles: the cheapy Walmart ones are CRAP, trust me. Invest in some heavy duty ones from Target. Yes, at $5 a piece they are a bit pricey, but they are MUCH better quality.
Possibly you could find heavy-duty bottles at Home Depot or similar hardware stores. I’ve had trouble with cheap bottles too. Nothing worse than having it break after three squirts!
Hello and thank you for the information you have shared with us.
I have entered a link below to a Homemade Laundry Soap Recipe, I you and others will enjoy.
In the long run, as you stated, in the long run you are saving money and getting a better product you made yourself.
I have 2 questions – do you need to rinse after using these cleaners? Do the solutions ever go bad after a period of time? Thanks.
I have the same questions! Did you get any information on it? I am excited to try this out!
I’ve been making laundry detergent for a couple years now, to reduce the strain on the household budget. A bar of Fels Naptha, grated, dissolved in about 6 cups of water on the stovetop; while that’s heating, fill a large lidded bucket (we use a recycled cat-litter bucket) with 3 gallons of hot water, and dissolve into it a cup of borax, 2 cups washing soda, and a cup of baking soda. When the soap mixture is dissolved, pour it into the bucket and mix it. Let it sit for 24 hours. It turns into a gel, which you really want to stir well to break up. While I’m thrilled with this homemade solvent, there are a few things that I’ve learned along the way which are helpful to remember: It doesn’t create suds, so don’t be distressed when you aren’t seeing them (this makes it really good for HE and front-loaders, by the way); you really need to break the gel up because it doesn’t dissolve well in cold water (though it does okay in warm water and great in hot); you can use any bar soap you have on hand (though you probably should use 1.5 or 2), and you can add essential oils to make it smell however you want.
It isn’t homemade, but for fabric softener, I mix 2 oz. of my store brand with about 18 oz of water in a spray bottle. When I put the laundry into the dryer, I spray 10 times right onto the wet laundry. So I don’t buy dryer sheets at all, and I use just a fraction of the softener. I purchase a bottle once or twice a year, instead of once a month. (I also use a ball or two of tinfoil, wadded up, to deter static electricity in the dryer.)
I am trying to find castile soap so I can try your solutions–I’m particularly interested in the all-purpose cleaner and the grease cutter. My husband rolled his eyes at first over the laundry detergent, but he can’t deny how much money we save doing it, and his clothes are as clean as ever, and he’s not having allergic reactions to it (which was a serious problem with several national brands). I think he’ll be pleased with another cost-saver.
Target carries Castille soap. I think Walmart does too. Look around in the shower gel aisles. In Target, it’s in the aisle with the more natural products, such as Burts Bees.
In the all purpose cleaner is the lanvander used just for scent or is it for the antibacterial purpose? I was just curious if you could use a citrus in place of it. :) Thank so much
A little of both. I wouldn’t substitute it if you can find it.
There are other essential oils that are antibacterials, which is especially handy if you can’t stand lavender. You can look on shopping sites like Wholesale Supplies Plus for other antibacterial EOs (they have great, helpful descriptions of them, to help people that don’t have other resources for knowing what to get).
That’s what I’m trying to figure out. I don’t like the smell of lavender, so I’m trying to decide which oil to sub with: Thieves (a combo oil from Young Living), lemon, or clove.
Quick question, you have washing soda pictured, but say baking soda in the recipes. I was wondering which is correct….thanks!!
Hey Jennifer, two different recipes. One uses baking soda and one uses washing soda. Good luck!
The Grease Cutter says washing soda on the label, but you did not include it in the recipe.
So does it contain washing soda, and if yes, then how much?
Oh oops… that’s a printing error. The recipes are right. The bottles are wrong. Nice catch!
I made the tile and bathroom cleaner and it turned rock hard. Do you make it and use it right away or do you make a big batch. I made a big batch and went to clean my bathroom in the morning and it was hard. I broke it up with mor water but it was really hard to rinse the shower with big clumps.
Hmmm… I can’t say that has ever happened to us. Ours keeps for at least a month at a time… I guess add in a bit more water though to try and avoid that!
Walmart also carries tea tree oil, and its much cheaper.
Can’t wait to try these. My son is very sensitive to chemicals. The only problem is (and I know I am in a minority) I absolutely hate the smell of lavender due to a traumatic experience. Is there another essential oil with similar properties that could be substituted?
Try grapefruit seed oil. It also has antibacterial properties to it :)
You can also soak a few citrus rinds (orange/lemon) in vinegar for a couple of weeks, and it will then smell like the citrus, not the vinegar, but keeps the antibacterial properties of the vinegar. Discard the rinds and put vinegar in spray bottle. Can use on most surfaces except natural stone (like marble or granite).
I love this idea. I’m going to try it with peppermint or spearmint oil added, which supposedly repel ants. Cleaner and ant repellent in one (hopefully!).
Thanks for these! Will the cleaners work as well without the lavender oil? I think the scent might bother my asthma.
Also, what is your opinion of peroxide? I use it in my laundry to freshen.
I’m so with you with all of this. In fact, I gave up commercial cleaners a while ago now and liked the effects so much I moved on to making my own soap.
Thanks for spreading the word :)
Oh and meant to say – making a vinegar and baking soda paste is really quite effective for getting mold off bathroom tiles. Yuck!
I know it states that I would not have to use lavender castile soap, but has anyone tried a different fragrance (I really like the smell of eucalyptus). I didn’t know how this would smell mixed with the lavender oil.
I make my window/glass cleaner using : 1/4 cup vinegar, 1 teaspoon dishsoap, and 2 cups water. It really cleans the windows and is streak free!!!!!
I was under the impression that after bubbling that baking soda and vinegar cancel each other out. Meaning that they are useless in the recipe together. I was wondering if this is so. I learned this when researching recipes for laundry detergent. A couple of chemist had chimed in with that notation.
Can sweet orange oil be substituted for the lavender oil? Does it have antibacterial properties?
Not sure on that Sue. I’ve never tried it with sweet orange oil. I’m sure it would smell great but i’m not sure about antibacterial properties…
I’ve been wanting to cross over to homemade cleaners and was so thrilled when I came across your site on Pinterest! I made my first batch today and can’t wait to try them out this weekend. Slowly doing away with chemicals in my household! There were comments on where to find the essential oils – I know that MarketofChoice carries them especially the Aura Cacia brand. Thanks for sharing :)
hey there! I am just trying to find a solution to get rust off of the inside of a bathroom sink? Any thoughts? I have tried the solutions that you listed above but nothing is working. I really want to avoid chemicals. Thanks!
I don’t know if this will work on your sink, but I just found a pin for getting rust stains off knives. Wouldn’t hurt to try. It’s only lemon juice!
Thank you so much for the advise and guidance. This page will be used….
Thyme Essential Oil added to DIY cleaners is the ABSOLUTE best essential oil to keep bugs of any kind out of the home- In the South, it is ‘essential’
I love this! Quick question, I noticed a lot of your recipes combine vinegar (acid) and the Castile soap (base). Won’t these cancel each other out?
Heya Jessica. Yea… I get that and a lot of people have commented on it. I just used the recipes from the book and they worked for me so I shared them.
Ha! Jinx :)
Wanted to try this and then came across this stating vinegar and castile should not be mixed:http://lisa.drbronner.com/?p=292
Hey Kari, yea… a lot of people have mentioned that. I just shared the recipes out of a popular cleaning book because they worked for me.
Love these! Thank you for sharing them. Just a quick question…the ones with vinegar, would they have a strong vinegar smell?
Nope! Not noticeable at all.
Can I substitute Tea Tree Oil for the Lavender and use the citrus Castile soap? Or maybe the orange and vinegar solution? I don’t like the scent of Lavender and it’s a hormone disrupter for boys so I try to avoid it because of my 5 year old son…. Any suggestions?
You could definitely use tea tree oil… not sure about anything else Faye.
the articles I read about lavender and boys also mentions the same about tea tree oil. FYI. What I read said that the effects are when you apply the oils to the skin for long periods of time. However, if you want to be cautious, then tea tree oil is in the same category as lavender. Eucalyptus, Lemon & Peppermint also have antibacterial properties and may be a better substitute.
Great recipe’s … where did you get your nice bottles? I cannot find any that are decent quality. Thanks.
THey are just from Target Jodi. I’m not sure if they sell them anymore though… i haven’t seen them in a few months.
If you think this sort of thing works well for cleaning your house, you should research washing and rinsing your hair with natural products included here in your posts. There are a lot of nice blog sites out there that offer inspiration and direction. Awesome….. you should check it out. (Here’s a site that inspired me: http://simplemom.net/how-to-clean-your-hair-without-shampoo/ )
Is the “all purpose cleaner” safe to use on Marble and bamboo flooring?
I used the All Purpose Cleaner the other day on my truck. It cleaned the nastiness (oil/grease/tar/dirt) off of my wheels! It also got the gunk out of the cup holders. I had a glaze that was dried on to the top of my stove that scraping wouldn’t even get. I sparyed the cleaner on it, and it wiped right off! Great stuff!
Is the washing soda really safe to use? It seems to be have health effects?
Washing soda is caustic. Wear gloves when handling just as you should with anything you wouldn’t eat or that might irritate your skin. I’d take this over the carcinogens in commercial chemical formulas any day!
I’ve been using homemade cleaners and laundry soap for about a yr. mine are made with viniger. love these ideas.
I noticed that the all purpose cleaner doesn’t have any essential oils in it. I’m wondering if you could add tea tree oil or something similar to give it scent?
Awesome! I think I’ll mix the bubbling ones in large mixing bowls and then pour into the bottles so as not to have to worry about them bubbling over! Thanks for these recipes! I use a lot of vinegar in my household cleaning but to be honest I’m very NOT fond of the smell!
I don’t know if anyone has mentioned this, but in the basic cleaner you mix castille soap and vinegar together. Since one is a base and the other is an acid, they shouldn’t be mixed, they cancel each other out.
So would you just leave one out? Or replace? With what? Thanx :)
Just use the vinegar.
YES! I recently discovered this myself when my soap curdled and started to smell awful. Dr. Bronner has a blog post on their website about this (http://lisa.drbronner.com/?p=292). There are a lot of internet recipes that call for mixing vinegar and castile soap, and it really isn’t a good idea.
If you want to use vinegar in the mixture, you could use Sal’s Suds instead of the castille soap. (I like Sal’s Suds a lot – I mostly use it in laundry.)
yes! this happened to mine as well today, had used the all purpose for cleaning my vinyl table cloth. I began to notice cheesy chunks of soap in my bottle and it wasn’t working as well. So now i will just ex the vinegar and keep the other ingredients, should work just fine! thanks.
Maybe they cancel each other out by pH, but even that isn’t likely. It is not true that they shouldn’t mix. He evens warns that it bubbles.
It is true take it from the Bronner’s:
Oh I love this! And I love that these are natural cleaners with essential oils! Since becoming a mom, I’ve revamped our entire world to be chemical free except for anti-bacterial… I wouldn’t have known to use lavender oil! Thanks!
I was going to mention that castile soap and vinegar shouldn’t be mixed together, too.
Thanks. I am going to have to try these for sure.
Where did you find those bottles? can I order them online? I love those bottles!!!!
Hey Laura, I think my wife got them at target a year or so ago… not sure if you can still get them there…
Try the dollar tree. They usually have a lot of them.
very nice tips;I am going to do all the four items.Thank you very much for the nice
useful,money-saving tips.GOD bless you.Kindly tell me what isCastile Soap?
Hey Wilfred, it’s just a natural kind of soap. this is my favorite brand:
Dr. bronner’s castile soap
What do you suggest for hard water stains on my glass shower doors.
I’m far from an expert but I’ve heard that a paste of vinegar and baking soda does the trick on hard water stains. Rub it on and let it sit for 10 minutes. THen wash it off. Good luck!
I have been using these cleaners for the past month and I am impressed! My favorites are the all-purpose and grease cutter. The grease cutter easily wipes off baked on messes and the all-purpose cleaner leaves not sticky residues. The bath cleaner did ok for me, leaving behind some ring around the tub, but I’m gonna give it a few more weeks before I make up my mind. So glad you shared these!
I have been making the lavender antibacterial spray and the tub, sink, and tile cleaner for about a year now, and I LOVE both! I am actually making a batch of the cleaner right now. Thank you for this post :)
The best homemade tub and sink cleaner I’ve found is by far baking soda and peroxide. It works wonders in the tub. I use about a half cup of baking soda and mix enough peroxide to make a runny paste. You can keep it in a Tupperware container if you don’t use all of it. Works better than store bought scouring powders. Also worked my glass stove top, shines like new!!
Thank you for sharing these cleaner recipes. I have been trying to ‘green up’ my life and my house. I look forward to trying some of these recipes out.
I make and sell my own essential oils-based cleaning products. I love this post! As an aromatherapist, I would suggest adding between 10-15 drops of essential oil per ounce of liquid. So, if you had 8 oz of water, add 80-120 drops of essential oil for cleaning purposes. The best way to clean! Enjoy!
I really want to make these but HATE the smell of vinegar. Would adding essential oils to the all purpose cleaner help with the odor or just make it worse? Do all of these cleansers that have vinegar reek? If I take out the vinegar and just use the castile soap will they still be good cleansers?
Try throwing some orange peel in with your mix – it helps the cleaning process, and it smells like citrus. :)
Hey Shannon, I never have noticed a very strong vinegar smell… the oils cancel it out pretty well. Give it a shot!
I use a mix of half vinegar, half water on EVERYTHING. It cleans my windows, everything in my kitchen, my entire bathroom, all my Ikea furniture, and everything smells clean. Vinegar is a naturaly disinfects, and it’s really cheap, too. So far, it’s worked on everything, although sometimes it needs to sit for a minute on grease.
Hey you should totally look up all the uses for coconut oil it is an awesome thing for cleaning and consuming!! It’s anti bacterial if you consume it it’s even so awesome it’s supposed to kill hep c, hiv, herpes etc! Wards of cancer etc. Should definitely check out!!!
I recently heard that straight garlic does wonders to clean things. Have you ever heard of that?
I haven’t heard of that but garlic is amazing so it wouldn’t surprise me!
For the lady that wanted to removed hard water spots, I use a lemon. Just cut my lemon in half and rub until I use the whole lemon up and then wipe off. They will not come off immediately because they have been there a long time. But be persistent, and rub the spots when you have the time or just on your regular cleaning day. They will eventually be gone. Hope this helps.
I’m curious to find out what blog platform you’re utilizing?
I’m experiencing some small security issues with my latest site and I’d like to find something more secure.
Do you have any suggestions?
Hiya, I use and recommend WordPress. Good luck!
I’m allergic to lavender (I know, super sad. Found out after I planted an entire bed of lavender under my bedroom window.) Any suggestions on other natural anti-bacterial essential oils I could use for these recipes?
I think tea tree oil has similar properties… check that out.
I don’t believe the lavender spray would work, essential oil loses it’s potency over time when it’s exposed to light. You’re wasting your money unless you put it into a dark container that allows no light in it. It’s much like the reason hydrogen peroxide is always in a black container. Once again another DIY fail.
I store mine under the sink.
Yes, the cabinet should block a good bit of light out, we store ours there as well. When you take it out to use and/or it getting left out you’ll have a problem with it losing potency. People who aren’t used to working with oils may not know this. My mother makes fabric and room sprays, and she was always every adamant about us putting anything with essential oils into the dark amber bottles she kept. It’s really just a good measure to take to make sure your mixture will not “spoil”. Though for this mixture of lavender essential oil you do not need to worry about it “eating” the plastic (lavender is one of the very few that is safe undiluted) , I do want to inform anyone who may attempt to use a different oil it can very well break down your plastic container. Though easily attainable, essential oils can be dangerous chemicals too.
MY FAVORITE homemade cleaner for the tub is 1/2 original blue Dawn & 1/2 vinegar, spray, let it sit for a bit, come back & its a miracle LoL
I put my Dawn/vinegar mixture in a dishwashing scrubber that has a scratch resistant sponge on it. I got it at Target. Just fill it up and keep it in the shower area, scrub the glass and rinse. This works better than anything I have ever used on shower glass doors. It works to remove soap scum on the tile in my shower stall, too.
I love this and can’t wait to put my cleaning arsenal together! I currently make my own oven cleaner already. Here is the link to that in case you’re interested: http://justsaynotoglitter.blogspot.com/2012/10/best-oven-cleaning-method-ever.html
Thanks for posting this 2 years ago!
My only problem,I love all of these cleaning products. And have bought all of these ingredients. To use, but found out that vi gear should not be used on granite. I have granite in all my bathrooms, kitchen, laundry room. Did find on Pinterest, people have said rubbing alcohol 1/3 cup, war we 1/3 cup. And a few drops of any essential oil,. Would work. I have used this on my Brazilian Cherry hardwoods. My floors are looking fine, If anyone knows different on this. Please let me know., as I am new to this. I would love to use all the cleaners on this site, but until. I find out different. Font want to ruin my Granite counters .
…. What is “war we”? Spell and grammar check on your posts please.
We have made the laundry soap and it is awesome . My husband is a Diesel Mechanic and get very dirty & greasy . I do his cloths by themselves because of the grease but they came cleaner than when they had a service do them . My White clothes are also whitier , we will not go back to regular Washer soaps . we paid about 12.00 for the ingrediants and it makes about 5 gallons . 3/4 cups 20 mule team Borax , 3/4 c Washing Soda , 1/2 c. dish soap 0r save your bars of soap and shave them . If you us bar soap you will boil that till soap is melted down . Put in a 5 Gal bucket Stir well and add 4 gal water put into containers a your ready to wash . With just the 2 of us most the time it last about 5 months .
Vickie how much Landry soap do you use per load? Same as regular soap?
I just started making my own cleaners too! I’ll have to try out your recipes. I have also tried a baking soda and apple cider vinegar rinse on my hair, and I likey. There is no end to what you can make with vinegar, baking soda, washing soda, castile soap, etc. Plus it’s mad cheap. You go gurl (and Nick).
My favorite money saving homemade soap is dish washing detergent. I mix a 1:1ratio of Borax and washing soda. Use 2 tablespoons per load.
Thanks for this. Just wondering how long the cleaners will last before they expire? Or do they not, due to the essential oil content? THANKS!
I would say you probably want to remake them every few months… just a guess based on how often my wife remakes them. ;)
I’ve been wanting to try the all purpose cleaner but I wonder about having to use hot water. Is that just to get the soaps to combine or do I have to make a “fresh” batch every time I want to clean?
Hey Laura, we use the same batch for a few months and then remix them. I think my wife Betsy just uses room temperature water when she mixes them up. Good luck!
I just wanted to say that I made the grease cutter and it never really came together and has separated badly over time. I hardly use it at all now. I guess it was a waste.
Heya! Yea… that one does separate a bit and isn’t my favorite either after a few months of use. YOu have to really shake it before each use. I’m not sure that my wife still uses that one…
It’s the vinegar, which is an acid, reacting with the castile soap, which is a base and curdling (like mixing milk and orange juice). Use basic soaps to clean and vinegar to rinse: a great one-two punch; just don’t mix them together. Check out this blog post from Lisa Bronner (of Dr. Bronner’s) to explain the science behind it a little better: http://lisa.drbronner.com/?p=292
Excellent blog here! Also your site loads up very fast!
What web host are you using? Can I get your affiliate link
to your host? I wish my website loaded up as quickly as yours lol
Sure. I use liquid web and they are great:
All very useful to us newbies, thanks for the info.
Have you tried making your own laundry detergent? DIY laundry detergent is one of my family’s favorite home cleaning products. The recipe we use is listed below if you are interested.
1 Cup of Washing Soda
1 Cup of Borax
1 Bar of Castile Soap, grated
Combine all ingredients and store in an airtight container (non-metal)
Use approximately 1 tablespoon per load of laundry.
Instead of grating the castile soap by hand, cut it into chunks and put it in a microwave safe bowl and heat in microwave for 30 second increments, watching closely. When it starts to “swell” and all the corners are rounded and melty looking, remove from microwave and let cool to room temperature. The texture changes and you can now just crumble it up. OR, throw it in your food processor!
This tips are really great, Thank you for posting it.
I have been making my own foot spray with tea tree oil and mint, witch hazel, purified water and alcohol, and face moisturizer with almond, Vitamin E and tea tree oils for clear skin. I also mix a few drops of tea tree oil with my shampoo and body wash to make them antibacterial too, because I’m a clean freak!! O_o
One question, do you have to shake the antibacterial spray (lavender + water) every time you used it? I have to shake the foot spray every time I use it, since the ingredients seem to separate. Thank you!
I believe that cleaning house with green cleaners it is better, but not talking about floor cleaning, just because it requires close monitoring. For example you can use ecological cleaners like I do- grindu valymo priemones urmu , because it helps not only to clean, but also to protect your floor. It is the problem that home made cleaners will not clean so good as bought ones. Try :)
I tend not to create a comment, however I read a lot of comments on this page Four Homemade Cleaners.
I actually do have a couple of questions for you if it’s allright.
Is it simply me or does it look as if like a few of the remarks come across like
they are left by brain dead people? :-P And, if you are writing at other online sites, I would like to keep up with anything new
you have to post. Could you list of every one of all your public sites like
your Facebook page, twitter feed, or linkedin profile?
Hi Shonda, all of the links to my social media profile pages are at the top of the website on the right of the page. :) Thanks!
I thing there is a lot of value in the ingredients being used in theses recipes. However, I do a lot of cleaning and there is one thing I noticed not used. That is isopropyl alcohol. I use of mixture of Isopropyl and water to wash windows among other things. It has great cleaning ability as well as it disinfects while it cleans. Is the reason it is not used because it is flamable? Just curios.
Hey Kim, not sure about that one. I’ve never personally used it, but if it works for you than go for it!
Hi, my name is Dana and I was wondering about the free labels mentioned in the add. I am excited to use just about every one of the projects. I love natural products. Thing is I have six kids and the offer of having labeling on my bottles was amazing. I even have a good friend that is going to be going this with me. What a wonderful thing we can do for our precious families! And I must admit, cleaning seems so much more exciting and want to do it ^o^ thanks so much and please let me know about the labels. Dana Rouse (xxx)xxx-xxxx just incase it’s easier to call ;-)
Hi Dana, I’m not sure what ad you are talking about. The ads load differently for each visitor… That said, I deleted your phone number from your comment because you probably don’t want it in the public view. Cheers!
I’m in the UK. is your baking soda the same as our Bicarbonate of Soda? have bought my vinegar and essential oils today, and was about to convert to Bronnere for family use too, so this is great. Still be confused on everyone’s differing views on Castille soap with vinegar!
Hey Judy, yep. baking soda and bicarbonate of soda are the same thing. :)
Thanks Nick. Are you still putting the vinegar and Castile soap together ? Seems to be a split opinion on this . I’m so excited about doing this, wanted to do it for so long, and recently plunged into whole ethical shopping mission too, although so much research means not much housework getting done !!
yea… we do it. If it separates or whatever we just shake it up and still use it. Works fine for us but I know it’s not technically advised…
Did u have success with regular tap water?? I was under the impression that it should be distiller so bacteria doesn’t form. Thank you!!!
Thanks for the green cleaning products
Where is the best place to buy the oils
Hey Sandra, you can buy the oils at most health stores.
The all-purpose is done with hot water. Does it work when it gets cold? For how long they last or they have to be done in the moment you are going to use them, a the rest throw it away??
Hi Carolina, we make it with hot water but don’t reheat it and use it for a month or two before re-mixing it. Good luck!
Since it’s made with hot water, should you mix it in a metal bowl first then transfer to a plastic bottle? Would it melt the bottle?
Not unless you use really hot water! It just needs to be hot enough to dissolve all the stuff… not boiling or anything. :)
Where do you get washing soda
Hi Debbie, it’s usually in the cleaning section of most grocery stores. Definitely stores like target or walmart would carry it. Good luck!
Thank you for all the recipes! I’m on a mission to make all of them for my daughter who has a new baby. I’m from SoCal and I went to 6 stores including Target and no one carries the washing soda. Planning to go to Walmart but I checked it out online first and they are out of stock. Any idea why it’s so hard to find? And can I substitute the regular baking soda instead? Thsnks much!!!
I have a question. What’s the difference between washing soda and baking soda. The ingredients are the same. I live in the South Bay in So Cal and you can find washing soda at Walmart and some Targey stores.
Hey Elizabeth, they are the same ingredient wise but the process for making them is different. Here’s a good post on the differences and also how you can make washing soda out of baking soda: http://www.drkarenslee.com/make-your-own-homemade-washing-soda/ Hope that helps!
Thank you so much I will chec it out!!! I have another question, I was melting Washing Soda, Borax and Dawn to make my own laundry detergent. I love it it works great but sometimes it crystallizes what can I do to prevent that???
Washing soda (sodium carbonate) can be made from BIcarbonate sodium, AKA baking soda. You just have to get “rid” of 1 carbonate. Put the baking soda on a shallow pan and bake it for about half hour at 400 F (or 200 C). This is how I make it and it works great!
Hi could you tell me where to get the spray bottles you use.cheers Nola
I think we got them at Target or ordered them online. Any spray bottle will do the trick though. :)
Nola & Nick – I found something very similar on Amazon. I ordered them, but they haven’t come in, so I can’t vouch for their quality. http://www.amazon.com/Casabella-77025-32-Ounce-Spray-Bottle/dp/B000R9VUJ4
What essential oil can you use in place of lavender? I really am not a fan of the smell.
Tea tree oil is a great substitute Regina. Good luck!
You can also use wild orange or lemon. I used wild orange, melaluca, and lemon the other day :) I use doTERRA oils so I dont need too many drops http://www.mydoterra.com/Lisamm77
I have been cleaning this way for 20 years now and I would never go back to buying cleaning products,I also make my own washing powder and toiletries,the one mistake you have made is mixing vinegar and soap,I`ve done some research on the chemical properties of all these products and you use vinegar to remove soap,mixing them neutralizes the soap.
About the problem with using vinegar and soap together: Does it make a difference if the soap is castile rather than detergent? I have had no problem adding 1/2 – 1 teaspoon of castile to my vinegar/water cleaner for my all purpose kitchen cleaner. Seems to give it a little more oomph.
I use 1/4 tsp castile with vinegar/alcohol/water for the floors. (I’m using 24 oz bottles).
Nick, how does the all purpose cleaner do on wood? I’m thinking about our kitchen table and had read that the washing soda can strip the finish. Thanks for the great info!
I would probably just use something more mild on wood. On my table I just use warm water honestly because I’m so worried about ruining the finish!
I have always used just the Castille soap diluted in warm water (same approx. formula strength as your all purpose cleaner) to clean table tops. Use on a damp soft cloth rag to wipe/rub on, rinse with another damp soft rag, & follow immediately with a soft dry cloth to remove any residual moisture. Works just as well as any fancy “made for wood” soap cleaners like Murphy’s Oil Soap, etc.
You can use olive oil and lemon essential oil for your wood.
I added some lavender oil (is this ok?) to the all purpose cleaner to make it an anti-bacterial all purpose cleaner! It smells wonderful and my granite countertops look as good as they do with the expensive granite cleaner I used from Home Depot!
Just don’t use vinegar on granite – not advised.
I attempted to use the tub cleaner and it clogged up my heavy duty spray bottle. I think i will go back to my dawn and vinegar shower cleaning mixture.
That’s why he said to use a SQUIRT bottle not a spray bottle for that one.
This is absolutely fantastic. Sounds goofy to say, but the truth is that you’ve changed my cleaning routine. I’m so thankful you posted this, and that I found it on Pinterest. Thank you, Nick.
I’ve started making my own dishwasher detergent: 1 part baking soda, one part washing soda, one part sea salt. It’s pennies a load (one tablespoon) and works amazing! Also white vinegar in lieu of rinse aid. Love it!
Sounds great! Thanks for the comment and recipe Shereen!
Do you do 1 cup of each and then just a tbsp per wash? Thanks.
Where did you get the Castile soap?
You can get Dr. Bonner’s Castile Soap at Whole Goods or other nice natural markets, but I’ve ordered large amounts of non-Dr. Bonner’s online for much less money and I don’t see a difference :) Try Amazon.
Whole *Foods :)
Just wondering what kind of vinegar we’re talking about here.
white vinegar. The cheap stuff you can buy by the gallon if you like.
Some Walmarts carry it, but Trader Joes probably has the best price. Target usually has it too but it’s expensive there.. If all else fails.. Amazon! Lol
They also carry it at the Costco here. It’s the peppermint one and is the large bottle, it’s only $10!
Oops! That was a reply for where to find Dr. Bronner’s Castile soap.
Target in the cosmetic section. Our Costco carries it too
Do you use this same cleaner after handling raw meat? With the small toddlers, I am concerned that it isn’t going to kill all of the bacteria.
Vinegar is a very good antibacterial. I’m not sure how effective at what dilution rate, though. You could always have a bottle of vinegar solution at a higher ratio for those times that you clean after working with raw meat but if it’s considered antibacterial I would say it is strong enough to kill most bacteria.
My mom has always just wiped her glass cutting board with hot water and a dish rag after cutting raw meats on it. Never had any infections or anything from that. You should never cut raw meat on porous surfaces like wooden cutting boards. The key is the nonporous surface. This is what was always done, and what I was taught, and works fine.
A great way to clean glass and mirrors!..
Newspaper and a bottle of water with about 20-25 drops of lemongrass essential oil. =>
The Lemongrass is very uplift too and has numerous benefits.
I just read you shouldn’t mix Castile soap and vinegar, they cancel one another out.
Can use thieves oil in your mixture for antibacterial cleaner, etc. available from Young Living . It is extremely antibacterial!
I have noticed that the spray bottles get cloged when using baking soda because it doesn’t disolve, any advise?
I use hot water to dissolve. But the bath and tub cleaner needs a squirt bottle. That’s a thick mix!
I feel that I am ready to try the natural cleaners! As a general I am skeptical about everything and this doesn’t make a difference. I have few girlfriends who are using vinegar and soda for cleaning purposes and they say that it works. The last time I was cleaning the bathroom with a toxic product the smell of chemicals drove me crazy! It stayed for days and was very unpleasant. Thanks for the post! The recipes seem great!
I am skeptical also but I have to say I have slowly been going towards greener cleaning and so far I’ve been impressed with the results. Try it you can always tweek the recipes or just don’t use that one – find something you like better.
Can I use any other thing than Castile soap. If I don’t have one.
Thank you. Ive recently gotten into this making my own laundry soap. The savings are awesome on top of the fact is not harmful to us. Now onto finding a final recipe or 2 for body wash and shampoo and skin cream. Have a wonderful day….God Blesss.
Can I use Dr. Bronner’s Sal Suds in place of Castile soap? I read that Castile soap does not work well in hard water. Should I use distilled water for every mix?
Also what about the mixtures mentioned above about vinegar & soap?
Thank you for recipes. I use hydrogen peroxide for around base of toilet. Yuck. white vinegar and good bit of baking soda boils up crusty residue from baked meat residue in minutes no scrubbing necessary
I recently moved to Ecuador and I am looking for homemade cleaners that don’t use baking soda. Baking soda was banned here because it is used in cocaine production, you might be able to buy it with a prescription and for crazy prices.
If know any I would really apreciated. All cleaners sold here are perfumed and full of chemicals.
When castille soap and vinigar (acid and base)are mixed, they neutralize each other. Have you witnessed the white curdling? That’s the vinegar “unsaponifing” the castile soap, taking it back to its original oils.
…..basically when the two neutralize each other it is like cleaning with water. The PH becomes neutral and the cleaner is no longer a cleaner….sorry everyone!
I’ve been using your recipes for all purpose cleaner and tub/sink cleaner for a couple years now. They’re awesome. When I moved out of our old house, I got some chemical cleaner at the store just because I thought I needed a really deep clean… not only did I feel sick when I was using them, they did not clean as well as your tub and tile cleaner. Thanks!!
Washing soda is made by arm & hammer …laundry booster, super washing soda…I use this alot…all stores carry it just have to know the real name to find it in laundry, cleaning area…good luck…hope this helps some of you on your search
what bottles do you recommend? Glass because of the oils or are plastic ok? Thanks.
For some reason, it’s a bit difficult to find but Dr. Bronner makes a castile soap that is unscented. Publix grocery stores in my area carry it. It’s more versatile than any of the scented versions. Even I, the Lavender Lady, like a change from time to time.
I’ve heard it’s best to use glass amber bottles for any essential oil cleaning product.
Do you remember when people were making their own baby wipes. Do you think this would work for the antibacterial spray? Making them like the Clorox wipes?
I read your full blog.It is informative blog.I need this information that you mentioned above.I love to clean my home.I am waiting to get more information from your site.
Thanks for sharing this to all..
this all the cleaners are so much helpful this give nice cleaning and give cleaning I read your full blog.It is informative blog.I need this information that you mentioned above.I love to clean my home.I am waiting to get more information from your site.
Thanks for sharing this to all..
Love the cleaner recipes, but will be remixing them a bit. The castile soap should not be mixed with vinegar, per many cleaning recipe books, plus even Dr. Bonners brand recommends against doing so, the components of each are not compatible . Will be adjusting some of the recipes a bit. Love the four bottle selection of cleaners and the labels.
For cleaning before painting, always use TSP.
Fill a bucket with 1 gallon of hot water, and then add ¼-cup trisodium phosphate. If the walls are especially greasy or dirty, use ½-cup trisodium phosphate. Fill a separate clean bucket with plain hot water.
Dip a sponge into the cleaning solution. Wring it out well so it’s just damp.
Scrub the solution onto the walls, starting at the bottom and working your way up. Let the trisodium phosphate solution sit on the walls for about two minutes, and then scrub again. Work in sections of approximately three square feet while washing the walls to avoid letting the solution dry onto the surface.
Rinse each section after cleaning with a clean sponge and the bucket of plain hot water. Let the walls air dry completely. It typically takes less than an hour for the walls to dry