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DIY Ideas: Upcycle Cleaning Products You Already Have

March 3, 2024
DIY Ideas: Upcycle Cleaning Products You Already Have


As consumers become more environmentally conscious, upcycling has become a popular trend. Upcycling refers to reusing discarded materials or objects to create something new of better quality or environmental value. When it comes to cleaning products, there are many ways to upcycle what you already have at home into effective and non-toxic solutions. In this article, I will share some of my favorite DIY ideas for upcycling common household items into cleaning products.


Vinegar is one of the most versatile ingredients that can be upcycled into powerful cleaners. The acidic nature of vinegar makes it effective at cutting through grease, removing stains, disinfecting surfaces, and much more.

All-Purpose Cleaner

To make an all-purpose cleaner, combine equal parts water and white vinegar in a spray bottle. This solution can be used to clean countertops, floors, windows, mirrors, and other surfaces. Vinegar is a natural disinfectant and will help sanitize as it cleans.

Stain Remover

For tough stains on clothes, furniture, or carpets, try creating a stain remover spray. Mix 1 part vinegar with 1 part water and add several drops of essential oil for fragrance. Spray it directly on stains before laundering clothes or use it to pretreat stains on upholstery. The vinegar will help break down the compounds causing the stain.

Fruit and Vegetable Wash

To remove pesticides, wax, and dirt from fresh produce, create a fruit and vegetable wash by combining 1 cup vinegar with 3 cups water. Soak produce for 5-10 minutes and then rinse. This solution will help extend the life of your fruits and veggies.

Baking Soda

Baking soda is a versatile base that can be used to scrub away stains, freshen up smelly spots, and remove buildup on surfaces when upcycled into home cleaners.

Scrubbing Powder

To make an abrasive scrub for tough stains, combine 1 part baking soda with 1 part water to form a paste. Apply to surfaces with a sponge or brush and scrub. This can be used to clean grout, oven grates, pots and pans, and more. The gritty texture of the baking soda will help remove burned on gunk.

Fridge Deodorizer

Eliminate funky smells from your fridge by filling a small container with baking soda and placing it on a shelf. The baking soda will absorb odors over time, leaving your fridge refreshed. Replace the baking soda every month.

Drain Cleaner

For slow draining sinks or bathtubs, pour 1/2 cup of baking soda down the drain followed by 1/2 cup vinegar. The chemical reaction will help break up hair, soap scum, and other gunk lining the pipes. Let it fizz for 15 minutes and then rinse with hot water.

Lemon Juice

The natural acidity of lemon juice makes it great for dissolving mineral deposits, whitening, and removing grease. Harness these properties by upcycling lemons into cleaning solutions.

Hard Water Stain Remover

To remove hard water stains and mineral buildup from faucets, shower heads, and other fixtures, rub lemon juice directly onto the stains. Let it soak for a few minutes before scrubbing and rinsing. The citric acid in the lemon helps dissolve calcium and lime deposits.

Whitening Cleaner

Brighten up tile grout or whitening stained bathtubs and sinks by mixing equal parts lemon juice and baking soda into a thin paste. Apply to the surface and let sit for 5 minutes before scrubbing and rinsing. The lemon will help lift stains while the baking soda scrubs.

Cutting Board Conditioner

Keep wood cutting boards in good condition by giving them a lemon oil treatment. Combine 1/4 cup lemon juice with 1/4 cup olive or vegetable oil and gently rub it into the wood. Let it soak in for a few minutes and then wipe away any excess. This will moisturize and sanitize the board.

Essential Oils

Essential oils not only provide natural fragrance, but many have antimicrobial and cleaning properties when upcycled into DIY cleaners. Here are some of my favorite ways to use them:

Disinfecting Spray

To make a natural disinfectant spray, fill a bottle with 1 cup water and add 20 drops tea tree oil, 10 drops eucalyptus oil, and 10 drops lemon oil. Shake well before each use. The tea tree oil adds antibacterial properties while the others provide a fresh, clean scent.

Scent Booster

Add your favorite essential oils like lavender, orange, or mint to unscented cleaning products like vinegar solutions, soap nuts, or castile soaps to provide natural fragrance without synthetic perfumes. Start with 5-10 drops per cup of cleaner.

Air Freshener

Eliminate unwanted odors naturally by combining 15 drops lemon oil, 10 drops peppermint oil, and 5 drops pine oil with 1/4 cup water in a spray bottle. Mist it in the air to freshen up rooms whenever you want a boost.


With a little creativity, you can upcycle items like vinegar, baking soda, lemon juice, and essential oils into powerful cleaners that get the job done using ingredients you already have at home. Upcycling not only saves money, but also reduces waste being sent to landfills. I hope these DIY cleaner ideas inspire you to look at cleaning products in a whole new way!

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