Cleaning Supplies You Can Make at Home
Homemade cleaners can keep your home germ-free without breaking your budget.
Your household cleaners have likely been your best friends throughout the recent crisis, helping you to disinfect your home and clean up the countless messes that naturally result from having your kids home 24/7. After a few weeks, however, you might find yourself low on cleaning supplies with no way to stock up; grocery stores are constantly sold out and even Amazon can’t get a shipment to you. With your little ones quickly transforming your home into a disaster zone, you need effective cleaners—quickly. Thankfully, you can use ingredients you already own to make inexpensive but effective household cleaners right at home! Here are a few recipes you can use to make cleaners that will help you keep your entire home germ- and stain-free!
A few tips to help you get the most out of your homemade cleaners.
Always be mindful of the surface you’re cleaning. If you’re cleaning natural stone countertops like granite or marble, don’t use solutions that contain baking soda or vinegar because their acidity can pit or damage the stone. Additionally, when you make a homemade cleaner, never reuse empty bottles from commercial cleaners; even if you rinse out an old bottle, the chemicals lingering inside it might react in dangerous ways with your new cleaning solution. It’s safer to order brand new spray bottles, which you can then reuse for other homemade cleaners in the future.
All-Purpose Cleaning Solution
- One part white vinegar
- One part water
- A few drops of essential oils (optional)
This cleaner works wonders for disinfecting and removing grease from a wide range of surfaces, including stovetops, stainless steel appliances, floors, and even glass or mirrors. It’s easy and inexpensive to make—just funnel the ingredients into your spray bottle and shake the solution. If the smell of vinegar bothers you, add a few drops of essential oil—lemon, tea tree, or lavender oil are great additions because they have antibacterial and antifungal properties. If you add oils, shake the bottle before each use.
Stainless Steel Cleaner
- Baking soda
If you want to give your stainless steel appliances more of a shine than you’re getting with your all-purpose cleaner, try mixing baking soda and water together to form a paste. Rub it onto the appliance with a damp cloth, following the direction of the metal’s grain as you do, then rinse the appliance carefully to remove all of the baking soda before rubbing it dry.
- ½ cup baking soda
- ½ cup vinegar
If your sink is smelly or clogged, this is a quick, easy way to get everything smelling fresh and flowing well again. Pour the baking soda down the sink, followed by the vinegar; the mixture will hiss and bubble, but that’s normal. Let it sit for between 15 minutes and an hour, during which time you can scrub out your sink with an old toothbrush and a little extra baking soda and vinegar. When the time is almost up, pour a pot of boiling water down the sink to rinse it out.
Stone Countertop Cleaner
- Mild dish soap
To gently but thoroughly sanitize your natural stone countertops, all you need is mild dish soap and warm water. Use a sponge to wipe the countertop down with soapy water, rinse it thoroughly, and hand dry the stone. Although it’s simple, the soap will kill germs and remove grease just as easily as it does from your dishes.
Stone Countertop Disinfectant
- ½ cup cheap vodka or rubbing alcohol
- 1½ cups warm water
- ½ teaspoon dish soap
- 10—20 drops essential oil (optional)
When you need more punch behind your cleaner to remove germs resulting from preparing raw meat or looking after sick kids, this cleaner is a great option that’s tough on grease and safe for natural stone countertops. It’s simple and inexpensive to make—just pour everything in and shake it up—and just as easy to use. Remember to shake it before each use, spray, and wipe your counters down like you would with any other cleaner.
- ¼ cup baking soda
- 1½ cups water
- 10 drops essential oil
Baking soda is a great deodorizer, so this spray is a great way to pull bad odors from your couch and replace them with good ones. Plus, you can experiment with different oils to find a scent you love. Shake the mixture thoroughly before each use and test each new batch on the back of your furniture first to ensure it won’t leave a mark.
Carpet Stain Remover
- Baking soda
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup vinegar
Spread a layer of baking soda over the stain in your carpet and spray it with a mixture of vinegar and water, then let it sit. If it’s an old stain, let it sit for a few hours. Next, scrub it with a nylon brush and let it dry overnight. When it’s completely dry, there will be a chalky residue of baking soda on the carpet. Vacuum it up to reveal your handiwork!
Brass or Chrome Cleaner
- Lemon juice
- Salt or baking soda
If you have brass or chrome hardware or decorations in your house that have seen better days, restoring their shine is actually simple. To clean brass, squeeze lemon juice onto a clean sponge, add a layer of salt, and rub the sponge over the surface. Rinse it with water and hand dry. To clean chrome, use the same process with baking soda instead of salt.
Using these tips, you’ll be able to keep your home looking and smelling fresh; you might even discover a few inexpensive tricks you can keep using long after stores have restocked their cleaning supply shelves! Just remember that while you’re protecting your family’s health—and your sanity—by keeping your home squeaky clean and germ-free, you should keep your teeth and gums squeaky clean as well! After all, a clean, healthy mouth is just as important for a healthy immune system as a clean home is.