Homemade Household Cleaners


This week marked the start of spring!  Even through the various snow flurries, we know warmer days are coming.   With it brings longer days and spring breezes!  It is a season of refreshment and renewal.

As the warm spring sun streams into my kitchen windows I am delighted at the arrival of spring but I am also keenly aware of the dirt, grime and fingerprints on the windows…leftover reminders of winter.

Spring cleaning is an age-old tradition.  It’s a time to shake out the rugs, sweep out the dirt and to wipe away the dust which settled during the dark days of winter.  Most of us get the urge to throw open the windows, bring in the sunshine and fresh air this time of year.

In preparation for spring cleaning, I played around with finding the best all-natural and frugal cleaners this winter.  I tested them for a couple of months and now am excited to share the ones which passed the test!

Natural Household cleanersAs I mentioned, my windows are looking pretty grimy.  A good wash inside and out is a necessary chore this spring.  In the past, I have invested in a commercial glass cleaner.  But this year, I discovered a homemade glass cleaner that works as well, if not better, than the commercial cleaner and only costs me pennies!  Plus, it is made of mostly water so it is healthy for my family and the environment. I really love this cleaner for my windows and mirrors.  I also love to lightly soak a paper towel with it and clean our iphones and tablets with it.  It works like a dream!

The other two cleaners which have found a permanent place in my cleaning closet are two all-purpose cleaners.  One I use daily in the kitchen…on the counters, cabinets and table.  The other I use for heavy duty greasy areas…like the stovetop after cooking bacon.  I also swear by this cleaner for porcelain sinks and all the faucets.   Just spray on your faucets, wipe and they will look shiny and new again!  It’s amazing! Again, both of these cleaners you can make at home for just pennies and they are mostly water instead of some of the toxic cleaners on the market today!

Homemade, Natural, Frugal household cleanersThe ingredients for these cleaners are easily found at drug stores or grocery stores.  I actually got most of my ingredients at the local Dollar Store.  In addition, I found the spray bottles which are great quality at the Dollar Store.  So, with a couple of bucks you can arm your cleaning closet with frugal, environmentally and family safe cleaners that actually work!

I do add a few drops of essential oils to the All Purpose Cleaner for a nice scent.  I added Tangerine for a nice citrusy smell but you could use lavender, lemon, eucalyptus or any other scent you prefer.  This is completely an optional step!

Here are the recipes for the cleaners:

All-Purpose Cleaner (use daily in kitchen and/or bath)

In your spray bottle add the following:  (my spray bottle holds approx 28 oz)

  • 5 oz. Rubbing alcohol
  • 3 oz. White vinegar
  • 1 tsp. Laundry Degerent
  • 1 tsp. White Ammonia
  • A couple of drops of essential oil (this is optional..only for scent)

Fill the rest of the bottle up with water.

Heavy Duty and Faucet Cleaner

Add the following to a 27 oz spray bottle:

  • 12 oz White Vinegar
  • 9 oz Dawn Dish Soap*
  • 1 tsp Laundry Detergent

Fill the rest of the bottle with water.

*Dawn is the toughest dish soap I have found so I recommend using it.  Usually the 9 oz bottles are about 99cents at Walgreens and there are always 25 cent off coupons monthly in the paper so you should be able to snag a bottle for around 74 cents.

Glass Cleaner

Add the following to a 27 oz spray bottle:

  • 1 oz White Ammonia
  • 4 oz Rubbing Alcohol
  • 1 drop of Laundry Detergent
  • A few drops of blue food coloring (optional)

Fill the rest of the bottle with water.

Lemon Vinegar as a household cleanerAdding the blue food coloring just helps distinguish the cleaner from the other cleaners.  It doesn’t discolor anything nor does it help the cleaner.  It is simply for color.  I like to add it so then my kids know which bottle to grab when they are cleaning the mirrors in their bathroom.

Another all-purpose cleaner I am still testing right now is made of orange or lemon peels soaked in vinegar.  I started with orange peels and now am testing the lemon peels.  Taking the peels of citrus fruit and soaking them in a jar with vinegar for 2 weeks creates a fresh smelling all-purpose cleaner.  Again, I added about 10 oz of the vinegar to a spray bottle and then filled the rest with water.  This seems to work well on my counters and the smell is so refreshing and invigorating!  Plus, I love the ability to recycle the citrus peels for something very useful!

So, I think these awesome recipes will get you started on your spring cleaning!  Your house will shine and smell so fresh and clean after using these!  But your wallet won’t feel the pain of forking out $2.50 or more for commercial cleaners!  And your family and the earth can breathe easy without unnecessary chemicals floating around after your frenzy of spring cleaning!


 Erin’s got tons of tips for saving money, couponing, sticking to a budget, and living sustainably in her blog archive.


Erin Eisenman-Turner is proud to be a native Missoulian. Along with her husband and three sons, they raise chickens, pigs, rabbits, and vegetables at Turner Family Farms in the Orchard Homes area. When the farm chores are done, the coupons clipped, and the blog written, you can find Erin exploring Montana, collecting antiques, and trying to maintain a well-run, happy, and organized home for her family.

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