DIY Guide: How to Make Your Own Cleaning Solutions

December 19, 2018

By Lori Melton

Buying name brand cleaning supplies can really run up your grocery bill. You can save some money on many common, all-purpose cleaners by mixing up your own chemical-free solutions with items you already have on hand, at home.

Important Safety Note: NEVER mix ammonia-based cleansers with chlorine bleach or products containing bleach (like dishwasher detergent powder) as this combination can create toxic, potentially fatal fumes. Always read the labels first before mixing any products together – and if you’re in doubt, ask a pharmacist or poison control before mixing.


All-Purpose Cleaner

Cleaning kitchen surfaces like countertops, the inside and outside of the fridge, the outside of the dishwasher and other appliances can be handled with a simple homemade all-purpose cleaner. You only need two ingredients: 4 tablespoons of baking soda and 1 quart of warm water.

Directions: Mix the solution together, pour it onto a clean sponge or cloth and start wiping! The baking soda will not only shine surfaces (like stainless steel appliances), but it will also act as a fantastic deodorizer.


Glass Cleaner

Everyone loves a Windex, streak-free shine, right? This homemade version works well to clean windows, mirrors and other common glass surfaces around your home. Here are the ingredients suggested by Genius Kitchen:

  • ½ cup of ammonia
  • 2 cups rubbing alcohol
  • 1 tsp. Joy dishwashing soap
  • 1 gallon of water

Directions: Mix all the ingredients together and add just enough water to reach the one-gallon mark.

Handy tips: Divide the solution into separate spray bottles and leave one in each of your bathrooms. When cleaning a heavily-soiled area (like an exterior window), use hot water in the mix to tackle the dirt more powerfully.


Kitchen Degreaser

Cooking bacon and other greasy foods can leave a grungy mess on multiple kitchen surfaces. Cut the grease and leave a fresh smell with a homemade degreasing solution. An easy recipe from kitchen calls for the following ingredients:

  • 1 cup distilled white vinegar
  • Natural liquid soap
  • 1 Tbsp. baking soda
  • Warm water
  • Optional essential oil (like orange or citrus) for a fresh scent
  • One clean and empty 32 oz. spray bottle

Directions: Mix the vinegar, a couple drops of the liquid soap and the baking soda together in the spray bottle and fill it to the bottom of the neck with warm water. Add a few drops of essential oil as desired to cut the strong vinegar smell. Shake all the ingredients well, then spray on surface, wipe with a clean sponge and rinse surface with a clean, wet (and warm) cloth.


All-Purpose Bathroom Cleaner

Is there a homemade cleaner recipe out there that is strong enough to tackle your entire bathroom? Kristin Marr from Live Simply shares her recipe for a potential bathroom dirt and scum-buster.


  • 2 cups warm water (distilled for long-term use, tap water for short-term)
  • 1 Tbsp. baking soda
  • 2 Tbsps. castile soap (like Dr. Bronners)
  • 30 drops tea tree essential oil
  • 20 drops sweet orange essential oil
  • 16 oz. clean and empty glass spray bottle

Directions: Pour the warm water into the spray bottle, add baking soda and shake to combine. Add the castile soap and essential oils, then shake mixture again to combine. This spray can be used to clean the tub, toilet, sink, tile and even the floor. Spray the surfaces and let the solution sit before wiping with a clean damp cloth. Rinse the cloth as needed.


Floor Cleaner/Mopping Solution

Many people dread mopping, but the payoff is always a sparkling clean floor. The Spruce posted a recipe for three different blends of effective floor cleaner/mopping solutions, adding a note to cut the recipe in half for small floor spaces. Mix ingredients together to clean floors for each one:

  • 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar and 1 gallon of warm water
  • 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar, 1 gallon of warm water, and 2 tablespoons of mild dish soap
  • 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar, 1 gallon of warm water, several drops of scented oils (peppermint is a personal favorite) or lemon juice