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DIY Natural Homemade Cleaners | How to Make Environmentally Friendly Cleaners

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You've heard about the horrors of indoor air pollution caused by regular toxic cleaners and you'd like a natural DIY homemade cleaner recipe, right? Just a quick refresher on just how toxic cleaning products are below.

Cleaning products can increase indoor air pollution, producing volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and particulate matter (PM). Source

Exposure to household cleaners is a common cause of unintentional poisoning, especially in the vulnerable population of pediatrics. Source

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) notes that indoor air can be 2 to 5 times more polluted than outdoor air. Cleaning products contribute to indoor air pollution, releasing volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that can affect respiratory health.

The disposal of cleaning products can contribute to water pollution. Phosphates, for example, found in some detergents, can lead to nutrient pollution in water bodies, causing environmental issues like algal blooms.

The other benefits to natural homemade cleaners adhere to the 3 Cs; cost-effective, promote cleanliness, and embody conscious living.

Homemade cleaners are not only easy to make, but they also contribute to a cleaner and greener living space.

DIY Natural homemade cleaners

Let's explore the benefits of clean and green homemade natural cleaning solutions, share some simple DIY recipes, and discuss essential tips for a healthier home environment.

The Advantages of Homemade Cleaners

Making your own cleaners at home comes with several benefits:

  • Reduced Environmental Impact: Commercial cleaning products often contain harsh chemicals that can harm the environment. Homemade cleaners utilize natural ingredients, reducing the overall ecological footprint.
  • Healthier Living Spaces: Homemade cleaners are less likely to cause harm or irritation compared to store-bought chemicals. Controlling the ingredients allows you to tailor the cleaners to your preferences and needs.
  • Cost-Effective: Most ingredients for homemade cleaners are readily available and cost-effective, making it an economical choice for eco-conscious individuals.

DIY All-Purpose Cleaner Recipe

One of the simplest and most effective homemade cleaners is an all-purpose cleaner. Here's a quick recipe:

Recipe 1 (Gentle)

  • 1⁄2 cup vinegar
  • 1⁄4 cup baking soda
  • 1⁄2 gallon hot water


  • Mix ingredients in a spray bottle.
  • For very light jobs, you can also just use baking soda with water or 1⁄2 cup vinegar with 1 quart water.

Recipe 2 (Regular)

  • 2 Tbsp borax
  • 1/4 cup vinegar
  • 2 cups hot water


  • Mix borax and vinegar with water in a spray bottle.
  • Combine and stir thoroughly to remove any lumps.

Recipe 3 (Robust)

  • 3 Tbsp white vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp washing soda
  • 1/2 tsp castile soap
  • 2 cups hot water


  • Mix ingredients in a spray bottle.
  • Apply and wipe clean. This is an extra-strength recipe and works well as a disinfectant.

Simple Green DIY Cleaner Recipes

Window/Mirror Cleaner

Recipe 1 (Gentle)

    3 Tbsp vinegar
    • 1 quart water


    • Mix ingredients in a spray bottle.
    • For a stronger solution, mix half and half vinegar and water.

    Recipe 2 (Regular)

    • 1/4 cup vinegar
    • 1 Tbsp corn starch
    • 1 quart warm water


    • Mix ingredients in a spray bottle.

    Recipe 3 (Robust)

    • 3 Tbsp vinegar
    • 2 cups water
    • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp liquid detergent


    • Mix ingredients in a spray bottle, shake up. Good for especially dirty windows. Tip: Newspapers leave a streak-free shine!

    Toilet Bowl Cleaners

    Recipe 1 (Gentle)

    • 1/4 cup baking soda
    • 1 cup vinegar


    • Mix ingredients and pour into the basin, allowing it to sit for 3 - 30 minutes.
    • Scrub with a brush and rinse.

    Recipe 2 (Regular)

    • 1/2 cup borax
    • 1 gallon hot water


    • Mix the solution and scrub the basin. Borax helps get rid of stains better than baking soda.

    Recipe 3 (Robust)

    • 1 cup borax
    • 1/2 cup vinegar


    • Sprinkle borax around the basin and spray with vinegar. Leave overnight. Then scrub with a brush. This cleaner is extra strength.

    Mildew Cleaner

    Recipe 1

    • 3 cups hot water
    • 1/2 cup vinegar
    • 1/4 cup castile soap
    • 1 tsp borax
    • 1 tsp tea tree oil
    • 1/2 tsp essential oil (optional)


    • Mix ingredients in a spray bottle and shake gently.
    • Spray and wipe.

    Recipe 2

    • 1/2 cup vinegar
    • 1/2 cup borax


    • Mix with water and spray.

    For Tough Stains:

    • 1/4 cup of bleach per 1 quart water. Spray, let sit for 15 minutes before rinsing.

    For Mold:

    • Use a stiff brush with castile soap and baking soda and scrub. Wear a mask and gloves, as mold spores can be inhaled.

    Floor Cleaners

    Wood Floors

    1 cup vinegar per pail of water

    • OR
    • 2 Tbsp olive/vegetable oil
    • 2 Tbsp vinegar
    • 1/4 cup lemon juice


    • Mix together, spray, and mop.

    Linoleum/No Wax Floors

    • 1/4 cup washing soda
    • 1 Tbsp castile soap
    • 1/4 cup to 1 cup vinegar
    • 2 gallons hot water


    • Mix washing soda with water before the rest of the ingredients. For extra polish, add 6 tablespoons cornstarch per cup of water.

    Laminate Floors

    • 1/2 cup white vinegar
    • 1 gallon warm water


    • Mix ingredients. Don't overwet floors. Instead, apply with a spray bottle. Mop. Consider using a microfiber mop.

    Drain Cleaners

    Recipe 1

    • Pour 1/4 cup baking soda followed by 1/2 cup vinegar. Cover and let sit for 15 minutes. Follow with 2 quarts boiling water.

    Recipe 2

    • Pour 1/2 cup borax in the drain followed by 2 cups boiling water.

    Recipe 3

    • Use a plumber's "snake" with boiling water.

    Wood Cleaners

    Wood Cleaner

    • 2 Tbsp olive oil
    • 2 Tbsp white vinegar
    • 1/4 cup lemon juice


    • Mix ingredients and rub into wood using a soft cloth. Rub in the direction of the grain.

    Furniture Polish

    • 1 lemon
    • 1 tsp olive oil
    • 1 tsp water


    • Extract the juice from the lemon and mix with the oil and water.
    • Apply a thin coat on wood and let sit for 5 minutes. Use a soft cloth to buff.


    • Rub toothpaste to remove watermarks.
    • Mix 2 tsp lemon oil and 1 pint mineral oil in a spray bottle. Let stand for several hours then polish.
    • Melt 1 tbsp carnauba wax with 2 pints mineral oil.

    Kitchen Cleaners

    Garbage Disposal

    • Grind ice with either used lemon, lime, or orange rind in the disposal. Ice also sharpens the blades of the disposal.

    Refrigerator Cleaner

    • 2 Tbsp baking soda
    • 1 quart warm water


    • Dissolve baking soda in water. Wipe down.
    • You can also make a paste using less water to scrub more stubborn spots. A small, open box of baking soda will keep your refrigerator smelling fresh.

    Cutting Board

    • To sanitize cutting boards, spray with vinegar, then spray with 3% hydrogen peroxide (but don't mix together in one bottle). Let sit for 10 minutes.

    Metal Polishes

    Chrome/Stainless Steel

    • 2 Tbsp baking soda
    • 1 quart water


    • Dissolve the baking soda in water, wipe on, and rinse.


    • Rub lightly with fine, non-iodized table salt wetted with vinegar or lemon juice.


    • With a soft rag, apply with equal parts of salt, cornstarch, and a little vinegar or lemon juice. Rinse with warm water and mild dish soap.


    • 1 quart warm water
    • 1 tsp baking soda
    • 1 tsp salt


    • Line a bowl with aluminum foil. Place silver in the bowl and cover with boiling water.
    • Add remaining ingredients and soak until tarnish comes off.

    Make Your Own DIY Bio Enzyme Natural Multipurpose Cleaner - Turn Waste into Cleaning Products and More!

    Know Your Ingredients

    Understanding the ingredients is key to successful homemade cleaners:


    • Baking Soda (Mild): A mild alkali scouring powder that can be used for almost all household cleaning purposes. It absorbs odors and removes stains from various surfaces.
    • Borax (Moderate): Similar in use to baking soda but stronger. Good for sanitizing, freshening laundry, and deodorizing.
    • Washing Soda (Strong): The strongest alternative to baking soda and borax. Can be used with washing detergents but should be handled with gloves as it may irritate the skin.
    • Castile Soap: A mild high-quality soap made from vegetable oils. Can be used for all general-purpose cleaning.
    • Vinegar: Good for killing germs and deodorizing. Can remove some stains from carpets and is suitable for cleaning various surfaces.
    • Lemon Juice: Can deodorize, lighten stains, and cut grease. It can also kill bacteria and remove tarnish from various metals.
    • Hydrogen Peroxide: A mild alternative to bleach. Used for stain removal, killing germs, mold, or mild whitening.
    • Tea Tree and Lavender Essential Oils: Natural disinfectants. Others include cedarwood, lemon, and spearmint.
    • Essential Oils: Deodorize and provide natural fragrance. Do your research in advance as some oils can be sensitizers or have warnings for certain conditions.
    • Soap Nuts: Dried fruit of the Chinese Soapberry, used as natural surfactants. Commonly used for laundry.

    Embrace a healthier home and planet with Gaia Guy's natural, homemade cleaners and eco-friendly tools. Improve your cleaning routine with plastic-free brushes, loofah sponges, and wood toilet brushes, aligning every aspect with your commitment to a greener lifestyle.

    A big shoutout to the main source for this article the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture

    Crafted from simple and cost-effective ingredients, homemade cleaners reduce your environmental impact, offering control over the cleaning products you use. Gaia Guy encourages you to join the movement for healthier living spaces, eliminating harmful chemicals found in commercial products.

    Discover the joy of creating your all-purpose cleaner with vinegar, baking soda, and hot water. Explore various homemade recipes for window/mirror, toilet bowl, and floor cleaners tailored to different needs.

    Gaia Guy invites you to embrace sustainability in every aspect of your cleaning routine, from conscious cleaning products to plastic-free and reusable brushes and straw cleaners. Make the shift towards a cleaner, greener future.

    GaiaGuy.com operates as an e-commerce platform, and it's important to note that we may receive a commission when you shop through our site. These commissions play a small role in supporting our ongoing operations and our commitment to advancing sustainability and eco-conscious living. We also have many eco-friendly products on GaiaGuy.com that you may like to buy to help support sustainable solutions too!

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