12 Homemade Cleaning Products That Really Work

Expert tips for easy, safe ways to spruce up your home

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Cheap & Easy Solutions

Cleaning supplies

Credit: Getty Images

(This article appeared previously on Grandparents.com.)

These homemade cleansers cost pennies to make, get your house gleaming and best of all, they're made from natural ingredients and don't contain any potentially toxic chemicals. So make them, use them and feel good about your clean and healthy home. And all you need to make them are these basic household items:

  1. baking soda
  2. borax
  3. cornstarch
  4. hand sanitizer
  5. mouthwash
  6. olive oil
  7. peppermint essential oil
  8. pine(or other antiseptic) essential oil
  9. rubbing alcohol
  10. table salt
  11. water
  12. white vinegar

Hardwood Floors

table on wood floor

Credit: Pexels

Create your own hardwood floor cleaning solution by mixing: 1 gallon of water with 1 cup of vinegar and 10 drops of peppermint essential oil.

To remove scuff marks, mix: a 50/50 ratio of vinegar and water with 15 drops of an antiseptic essential oil (lavender, eucalyptus, tea tree or pine) in a spray bottle. Sprinkle the scuffs with baking soda and then spray the mixture over it. Let it fizz for a few seconds then scrub until the mark is gone. Dry floor with a soft towel.

To make a DIY floor polish, mix: equal parts olive oil and white vinegar.


Contemporary kitchen

Credit: Ryan McVay

Table salt is your best weapon when cleaning wooden kitchen areas, like countertops and butcher blocks. Cover grease splatters with salt, wait an hour and brush away the salt.

To erase permanent-marker stains from finished wood floors or solid-surface counter tops, simply pour rubbing alcohol onto a cotton ball and gently polish.

For overall kitchen cleaning, mix: 1 cup white vinegar with 1 cup water.

Clean drains by pouring straight vinegar down the drain. Let sit for 30 minutes and then flush with cold water.


man cleaning mirror

Credit: Getty Images

Looking for an alternative streak-free mirror-cleaning solution? In a spray bottle mix: 1 cup rubbing (isopropyl) alcohol, 1 cup water and 1 tablespoon white vinegar.

Or wipe mirrors with a soft, lint-free (microfiber) cloth saturated with rubbing alcohol, gel hand sanitizer or antiseptic mouthwash.


Cooking on stove

Credit: Pexels

One of the best ways to clean stovetops is with baking soda. Pour directly onto a damp sponge and scrub to remove food residue from stove tops and refrigerator.

To clean burners, soak them in: 1 gallon warm water plus 1/2 cup baking soda for 30 minutes. Rinse and dry.

Table salt also works wonders for cleaning your stove tops. If there’s a spill in a still-warm oven, pour salt on the spill to soak it up. When the oven cools off, wipe the spot with a damp sponge.


Water running from a shower head

Credit: Thinkstock

Vinegar works wonders in bathrooms! To clean toilet bowls: mix 1 cup of vinegar with 1/4 cup baking soda, pour into the basin and scrub with a brush.

For moldy tiles, spray vinegar on the affected areas. Let stand for about 15 minutes, then rinse and let dry thoroughly.

To tackle mineral deposits on shower heads, pour vinegar into a plastic bag (grocery bags work best), and knot the handles over the neck of the shower head, securing with rubber bands. Let soak overnight and rinse with water in the morning.


Credit: Pexels

Even carpet stains don't require harsh chemicals to lift them. Simply mix equal parts white vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Spray directly on stain, let sit for several minutes and clean with a scrub brush or sponge soaked in warm, soapy water.

To get out fresh grease spots, sprinkle cornstarch onto spot and wait 15 to 30 minutes before vacuuming.

For a heavy-duty carpet cleaning method, mix: 1/4 cup each salt, borax and vinegar. Mix into a paste and rub into carpet. Leave for a few hours and then vacuum up.


By Cindy Augustine
Cindy Augustine is a writer and editor based in New York City that writes for Grandparents.com. You can follow her on Twitter @cindyaugustine and check her website out here.@cindyaugustine

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