How to Make Homemade Cleaning Products


No matter where you live and how cautious you are, basic household cleaning is a necessary weekly chore. Almost any supermarket or grocery store has at least one aisle full of cleaning products, ranging from convenient all-purpose cleaners to specially formulated cookware cleaners. While generally effective, store bought products can be costly and may contain hazardous ingredients. Whether you want to live a more frugal and natural lifestyle or unexpectedly ran out of cleaning supplies, it's possible to make cleaning products with basic household items.

Things You'll Need

  • Salt
  • Vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Water
  • Borax
  • Cornmeal
  • Club soda
  • Cream of tartar

Surface Cleaners

  • Mix together equal parts salt and vinegar for an all-purpose abrasive cleaner. Apply the solution to any hard surface and scrub with a sponge. Do not use vinegar on marble, however, as it may cause permanent damage.

  • Dissolve 4 tbsp. baking soda in 1 qt. warm for an all-purpose cleaner. This works well on kitchen and bathroom surfaces because it also acts as a natural deodorizer. Since baking soda is not an acid, it's safe to use on marble.

  • Mix ½ cup borax in 1 gallon of hot water for a disinfectant and deodorizing cleaner. This works well as a bathroom cleaner, especially to mop the floor or scrub in and around the tub.

Floor Cleaners

  • Mix one part borax to two parts cornmeal and sprinkle it lightly over the carpet for deodorizing purposes. Leave the mixture on the carpet for one hour, then vacuum it up.

  • Mix a solution of 1 part vegetable oil to 1 part vinegar for a wood cleaner. Pour a small amount on any dull spots and rub it in thoroughly with a clean cloth.

  • Mix a solution of 1 cup vinegar to 1 gallon warm water to clean brick or stone floors.

  • Pour undiluted club soda on linoleum or tile floors. Mop the floor with the club soda to give it a shine.

Drain Cleaners

  • Mix ½ cup salt and ½ cup baking soda. Pour the mixture down the drain, followed by a slow, steady stream of 6 cups boiling water. Allow the mixture to soak overnight, then flush the drain with water.

  • Pour ½ cup baking soda down a drain, followed by ½ cup vinegar. Cover the drain and allow the mixture to fizz and bubble for at least 15 minutes. Pour a pot of boiling water down the drain to wash away the debris. Do not use this method if a commercial drain cleaning product has recently been used.

  • Pour a pot full of hot water down the drain on a weekly basis to prevent future clogs.

Metal Cleaners

  • Mix a thin paste with cream of tartar and warm water to make an aluminum cleaner. Rub the paste into the aluminum with a clean cloth. Rinse the paste away with clean water and pat the aluminum dry.

  • Mix a thin paste of lemon juice and baking soda for a brass and bronze cleaner.

  • Polish chrome with plant baby oil or vinegar to give it a shine, or scrub the chrome with the shiny side of aluminum foil.

  • Mix 1 tbsp. salt and 1 cup white vinegar in a small pot of water. Use the liquid to clean copper.

  • Scrub stainless steel with undiluted white vinegar to return it to its original shine.

Tips & Warnings

  • Always rinse away residual cleaning product with fresh water. Pat surfaces dry after rinsing to prevent water spots or rust.

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