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DIY Natural Cleaning Products: Save Money and the Planet

March 3, 2024

DIY Natural Cleaning Products: Save Money and the Planet

Why Make Your Own Cleaners

Making your own natural cleaning products is a great way to save money and avoid exposing yourself and your family to harmful chemicals. Here’s why you should consider ditching conventional cleaners in favor of do-it-yourself options:

Cost Savings

Store-bought cleaners can be expensive, especially when you need a variety of products for different cleaning tasks. DIY cleaners are much cheaper because they are made with common household ingredients like vinegar, baking soda, lemon and essential oils. I save at least $5-10 each month by making my own.

Healthier Ingredients

Many conventional cleaners contain chemicals like ammonia, bleach, formaldehyde and artificial fragrances which can irritate lungs and skin. Natural cleaning ingredients like vinegar, hydrogen peroxide and plant-based soaps are non-toxic, biodegradable and much safer overall. My family has fewer allergy issues since we switched.

Reduced Waste

Standard cleaners come in disposable plastic bottles and spray bottles which end up in landfills. The ingredients also go down the drain and pollute waterways. With DIY cleaners, I reuse glass jars and bottles and the natural ingredients break down safely. Our trash output has decreased significantly.

Customizable Formulas

Homemade cleaners allow me to tweak recipes to my own preferences and cleaning needs. I can control the scent, make it thicker for tough jobs, or dilute it for everyday use. It’s also easy to make cleaners suited for different surfaces like granite, hardwood floors and stainless steel.

Equipment Needed

Luckily, you don’t need much specialty equipment to whip up effective natural cleaners at home. Here are the basic supplies I use for nearly all my recipes:

  • Reusable spray bottles
  • Glass jars or containers
  • Funnels
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Mixing bowls
  • Cheesecloth (for straining)
  • Masking tape and permanent marker (for labeling)

Optional items that come in handy for certain recipes include:

  • Plastic squirt bottles
  • Fine-mist sprayer
  • Foaming soap dispenser
  • Immersion blender (for emulsifying)

Ingredients to Stock Up On

With a variety of natural cleaning staples on hand, you can mix and match ingredients to make cleaners for every room and surface. Here are the all-star ingredients I always keep stocked:


  • White distilled vinegar (for cleaning and deodorizing)
  • Apple cider vinegar (as a fabric softener)

Baking Soda

  • Acts as a gentle abrasive and neutralizes odors

Essential Oils

  • Tea tree, eucalyptus, peppermint (for natural disinfecting)
  • Lemon, orange, lavender (for fresh scents)

Castile Soap

  • Plant-based liquid soap that acts as a surfactant

Hydrogen Peroxide

  • Disinfects and whitens without bleach


  • Cuts through grease, bleaches stains

Coarse Salt

  • Scours tough messes

Washing Soda

  • Removes stubborn grease and grime

All-Purpose Cleaner

This vinegar- and castile soap-based formula works great for nearly any hard surface. Simply mix up a batch and keep it on hand for everyday cleaning.


  • 1⁄2 cup white vinegar
  • 1⁄4 cup Castile soap
  • 20-30 drops essential oil (lemon or lavender)
  • 2 cups warm water


  1. Add all ingredients to a glass spray bottle.
  2. Shake vigorously to combine.
  3. Spray directly on surface and wipe clean with a cloth.

Shake before each use to emulsify. Makes about 2 1⁄2 cups.

DIY Disinfecting Wipes

Disinfecting wipes help kill germs quickly but contain nasty chemicals and generate plastic waste. These reusable, non-toxic wipes work just as well!


  • 1 cup water
  • 1⁄4 cup Castile soap
  • 1⁄4 cup hydrogen peroxide
  • 10 drops tea tree oil
  • 1⁄2 roll paper towels or rags


  1. Mix water, soap, peroxide and tea tree oil in a glass jar.
  2. Place paper towels or rags in jar, press down to soak up liquid.
  3. When ready to use, remove wipes as needed and wipe down surfaces.
  4. Store soaked wipes in an airtight container.

Makes about 30 wipes. Soak again as needed when wipes start to dry out.

Foaming Hand Soap

Give the germs the boot without nasty antibacterial chemicals. This hand soap smells fresh and feels gentle on skin.


  • 1/3 cup Castile soap
  • 2 tsp glycerin
  • 10 drops lemon essential oil
  • 8 drops tea tree essential oil
  • 1 cup water


  1. Mix ingredients together in a foaming soap dispenser.
  2. Shake gently before each use.
  3. Dispense a nickel-sized amount into palms and rub together to wash.

Makes about 40 ounces of soap. Shake well before refilling dispenser.

Lemon-Peppermint Scrubbing Spray

This all-purpose cleaner cuts through kitchen grease, soap scum and burnt-on grime with ease. The gritty texture scrubs as you spray!


  • 1⁄2 cup baking soda
  • 10 drops lemon essential oil
  • 10 drops peppermint essential oil
  • 1⁄2 cup warm water


  1. Mix baking soda and essential oils in a glass jar.
  2. Add warm water and stir until incorporated into a thin paste.
  3. Transfer to a spray bottle and shake vigorously before each use.
  4. Spritz directly on surface, let sit 1-2 minutes, then scrub and rinse.

Shake well before using. Makes about 1 cup.

Switching to natural cleaners is one of the easiest ways to remove toxins from your home while saving money. I hope these recipes help you discover the joy of DIY cleaners! Let me know if you have any favorite formulas of your own.

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