How can I make my own cleaning supplies?

Real Mom Problem

“I would like to make my own cleaning products, but I have no idea what to use. I've heard you can use vinegar, but I have no clue about the ratio to water!”

by wandep wandep

Quick Tips

  • 1. Lemon juice, white vinegar, and hydrogen peroxide are great disinfectants that you may already have on hand
  • 2. Use natural alternatives whenever you can, like baking soda instead of a name-brand abrasive scrub, to limit your family's exposure to chemicals and save you money
  • 3. Use clean, empty spray bottles and containers to mix up your own "products" and then label them with the product name, purpose, and even ingredients
  • 4. Get creative with adding essential oils like lavender and tea tree oil to your homemade products for a great natural scent as well as germ-killing power

Real Mom Solutions

Mixing up your own cleaning supplies is easy, and inexpensive -- and exposes your family to fewer toxins. Try these tips for making "products" that really work!

Becky Becky

Our Expert Mom Says...

All you really need to clean your house is an all-purpose cleaner, a disinfecting cleaner, and a scrub. Then it's all about experimenting with what works for you. The simplest ingredients to start with are ones you might already have in your kitchen and bathroom: water, white vinegar, lemon juice, essential oils, baking soda, and hydrogen peroxide. You can do some online research on quantities and where to use them, but my personal favorite easy-to-make "recipes" are:

All-Purpose Cleaner (use in a spray bottle): One cup of water, one cup white vinegar, one to two tablespoons of fresh lemon juice, and a drop or two of essential oil (clove, lemon, or orange are my favorite cleaning scents).

Disinfecting Cleaner: You can screw a sprayer top onto a hydrogen peroxide (3%) bottle (hydrogen peroxide is light sensitive, so keep it in the container it came in) and spray any surfaces that need disinfecting. Be careful because hydrogen peroxide can bleach towels and other surfaces. I use this cleaner for cutting boards, the kitchen sink, and the shower as needed.

Scrub: Baking soda is a great abrasive cleaner. You can use it straight with water and a scrub brush, or add a little dish soap to get some real cleaning power. Put some baking soda in a mason jar with 10 to 12 drops of your favorite essential oils and store it under your sink for a quick sink scrub or for tough-to-clean pots and pans.

Becky, aka Clean Mama, is a cleaning expert, list maker, wife, and busy mom to three little ones. She blogs at Clean Mama where she talks about all things clean and organized and she has a successful Etsy shop, Clean Mama Printables, where she helps others make lists, organize, and clean. She's been featured in HGTV magazine, as well as on, and Becky strives to make homekeeping fun AND easily implemented into everyday life.

The Moms of CafeMom Say...

  • LouLou2005304

    For a carpet deodorizer, I use baking soda with a few drops of essential oils in them. I just sprinkle it on the carpets and vacuum it up afterwards. I like that I can make a scent I love instead of having to settle for something flowery.

  • leafymom

    I use vinegar, baking soda, salt, and lemons for many things. The lemon will even bleach the countertops if something like strawberry or pomegranate gets on it!

  • philsmom196

    I use olive oil and lemon juice to polish the wood furniture.

  • notjstanothrmom

    We use a vinegar and water solution in a spray bottle. Sometimes I get fancy and add a little lemon juice and someday I'd like to play around with another fragrance. We use baking soda and vinegar to clean things like the inside of the toilet bowl, rust rings from shaving cream containers, and any staining on counters or sinks. Straight up-vinegar works great for windows as well.

  • AmberMae111

    Dawn and peroxide with a little water mixed in is the most incredible stain remover! It works on carpets and clothes!

  • Bmat

    I use baking soda as a scouring powder.

  • brandi185

    I use vinegar instead of fabric softener and I add baking soda to a load of clothes in the washer instead of bleach or oxygen bleach.