DIY House Cleaners – Part One

Hibernation season is officially over! Now that spring has arrived, it’s time to sort through all of the clutter, dust and dirt that has been piling up in our homes throughout the winter months. However, instead of using those expensive, chemical-laden housecleaners this year, try making your own DIY cleaners. Not only are they economical and sustainable, but they’re also healthier for you and the environment.

DIY Cleaners are actually really simple to make. The common ingredients for most recipes can be found in your grocery store’s laundry or natural food’s section. Or, if you can’t find them at your local grocery store, buy them online.

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These are the ingredients for the DIY recipes that I use most in my home:

• Baking Soda
• White Distilled Vinegar
• Borax
• Washing Soda
• Salt
• Lemon Juice
• Castile Soap
• Fels Naptha Soap
• Tea Tree Oil
• Essential Oils

I find most of my DIY cleaning recipes online (search: DIY cleaners), or in one of my favorite books, Make Your Place: Affordable, Sustainable Nesting Skills by Raleigh Briggs. The more you search through all of the available DIY recipes, the more you’ll notice that certain types of cleaners are made of similar ingredients and ratios. Once you become more familiar with how the above ingredients function, you can tweak the ratios a bit to suit your own purposes.

These are a couple of my favorite recipes to use around the house, and they’re really easy to make because the only tools you’ll need are empty squirt bottles and a small funnel:

Kitchen Surface Cleaner

• 1 Part white distilled vinegar

• 1 Part warm water

• 2-3 drops Tea Tree Oil

Funnel the ingredients into a clean, empty squirt bottle and gently swirl the liquid around to mix. Vinegar and tea tree oil are mild disinfectants, so this solution works great a kitchen surface cleaner. Avoid surfaces with finished wood, however, because the vinegar ratio is high enough that it can strip wood stain.

All-Purpose House Cleaner

• 2 tbsp. borax

• 1/4 cup lemon juice

• 2 cups very hot water

Funnel the ingredients into a squirt bottle and gently shake or stir until the borax has dissolved. This solution can be used to clean anything other than glass or windows. I use it to clean walls, surfaces, window sills, etc. Just spray and wipe with a rag.

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DIY cleaners make a great gift for your friends and family who are interested in going green this spring. Convince them to take the next step by putting together a Spring Cleaning gift basket this year, including some of your favorite DIY cleaners.

For my spray bottles, I chose My Own Label’s new waterproof labels and tags in the style French Market.

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Lindsay (114 Posts)

Lindsay is a writer/blogger from Oregon who loves crafting, cooking, gardening, and simple living. You can find her writing about all of this and more on her blog A Wooden Nest.


  1. Theoretically, lemon juice is supposed to be too acidic to grow bacteria. The solution in the bottle that you see in the images above is the same solution I’m using today (so it’s about 8 months old), and there have been no signs of bacteria growth as of yet.

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