5 DIY Homemade Cleaners!


You likely have all these items in your house as it stands; so this should be relatively simple to put together.

Remember, it is wise to use these as a compliment to products you buy in-store. Store bought products and homemade products both serve a purpose. I use about 50% store bought and 50% homemade cleaners in my house.  If you want to print off these recipes and keep them handy, check out our free printable, here!

The 4 key ingredients you’ll require are:

  • Vinegar – mild disinfectant, grease cutter, de-scaler, glass cleaner
  • Dish soap – neutral pH – gentle and safe on essentially every surface and a mild soap that can lifts off dirt and grime
  • Rubbing alcohol – at least 65% USP in order for it to qualify as a disinfectant, can be mixed with water
  • Hydrogen peroxide – naturally occurring bleach, used in Oxy powders. Uses oxygen to break bonds between dirt and bacteria and the surface they are on. A great disinfectant, stain remover and natural whitener.

Baking soda – abrasion, deodorizing, great for replacing a scouring powder. It’s not actually used in any of the recipes but can be used to boost cleaning power by sprinkling on a sprayed surface.

If you wish to, select an essential oil that you like (and perhaps has some extra beneficial properties) and add 10 drops to the bottle.

Here are the recipes:

Glass Cleaner

1 part water, 1 part vinegar.   Use to clean windows and mirrors with a glass cleaning cloth or newsprint.  The smell dissipates quickly.


1 part water, 1 part rubbing alcohol.  Use to spray and leave after you’ve cleaned a surface, only use where required i.e. points of contact, cutting boards, bathrooms etc. Note that a disinfectant does not necessarily clean (i.e. lift dirt off) so this is the second part of a two-step cleaning process (first part is the actual cleaning with a cleaner).

All-Purpose Cleaner

1 tablespoon of dish soap per bottle of water. Great to use for cleaning kitchen, bathroom surfaces, hallways, most furniture. If you are finding residue, reduce the amount of dish liquid being used (they vary in recipes).

Tub and tile Cleaner / Degreaser

1 part vinegar, 1 part dish liquid. Use for soap scum on tiles and glass, greasy kitchens etc. Spray, let it sit for 5 minutes and start to clean.

Stain Remover

2 parts hydrogen peroxide, 1 part dish liquid.  Amazing, simply spray on a stain, rub it in, rinse it out. It can also be used as a pre-treatment for stains. Test in an inconspicuous area first as the hydrogen peroxide may discolor.

Some general tips

  • Label bottles using easel tape and a permanent marker (easel tape is much easier to remove than a sticker label and is more water-resistant). Label the ingredients, date and name of product.
  • Use clean bottles and triggers only – don’t use a bottle from another product until the trigger and bottle have been thoroughly rinsed and do not spray out or smell like the old product.
  • Use different shapes, colours and sizes of bottles if possible to further ensure you are using the correct product.
  • Make enough for 1-2 months of use and that’s it. These don’t have the same stabilizers that store-bought products do. Less additives means lower shelf-life.
  • Never mix a recipe that you make up yourself without checking to see if it is safe to do, some items you cannot mix together!

Remember, a cleaner does not disinfect and a disinfectant does not clean – clean first, disinfect second (many store-bought products can do both).

Do you have any great cleaning product recipes that you want to share? We would LOVE to hear them!

Remember to check out our free printable, here!


  1. I’m hoping someone answers this: how long do the disinfectant and all purpose cleaners last before they must be thrown out? I’m wondering because they use tap water; is there risk of bacteria developing?

    Until now I’m just using single-use mixtures. Hoping to find out if I can keep them for longer.

  2. Simple.
    Has a long shelf-life.
    What more can a frugal-lifestyle gal want?! So: thank you for saving my money for me, dear Melissa. (and it truly was a high time for me to thank you, since I’ve been watching your videos for a long time; so long it became rude not to praise you) 🙂

    Just so you know: I doubt I’d ever decide to move out of my parents home (next month) and move into a home of my own – unless you’ve taught me how to stay on my toes with cleanliness. 🙂


  3. For most of my disanfecting /Cleaning needs I use 1:1 Ratio of Distilled/Demineralised water and white vinegar for extra anti-bacterial boost I use a 10- 15 drops teatree oil and few drops peppermint.

    I use it almost on on everything bar wood or wood vannier.
    I use a microfiber towel to clean then use a plush Micro fiber cloth to buff and dry

    And if I need the boost I use Bicarb/backing Soda for extra shine and cleaning power ie Stove bathroom etc and I use very small amound of castile soap (2 small drops) if the marks are being stuborn.

    NOTE* if you have cats becareful of using Tea Tree E.O and Eucalyptus E.O as it can effect you cats heal.

    So I use it when my cats are out in their run or maybe 1 time per month or use it in very minute amounts.

  4. Hi Melissa, I just recently found your website and love your suggestions for homemade cleaners and tips. Just last night I used your all purpose cleaner with a mess I made. You suggested that if you have residue, to decrease the amount of dish liquid. I just had a notion of something to try and it seemed to work well for me. Last night when I first used it I did end up with residue and after using the cleaner, I used a little bit of vinegar and water to get rid of it. This morning I just tried as an experiment to add a little bit of vinegar to your recipe for all purpose cleaner, and voila – no residue!! That works for me – to clean and use vinegar to cut any residue at the same time. One step instead of two! Thanks for all your great ideas. I’m excited to keep learning ways to clean more effectively.

  5. 1) I LOVE YOUR VIDEOS!!!! My love for your videos completely equals how much I hate cleaning, so it’s a great balance!!! And honestly, I think that it may have saved a lot of negativity in my marriage because these videos have inspired me to keep things clean.
    2) I saw a video where you said that getting different bottles is difficult, then I heard what you said in this video about the shelf-life of these products. An answer would be to get a 6-12 oz spray bottle in the beauty department at Walmart (or wherever you shop). I had three different 6 oz bottles around the house to use for training my dog, but since she’s outgrown that, I have now turned them into my cleaner bottles. This way they are cute, small enough to store together, and they don’t allow you to keep the cleaner too long.
    3) BAKING SODA — I never ever thought to clean with it before. It’s so amazing on cleaning the scuff marks from pans in my sink and so many other places around the kitchen, that I found a cute shaker at the local charity store and filled it with BS. I keep it right at hand because the bottle is so adorable it doesn’t need to be put away.


  6. Hi Melissa thanks for these very useful tips. My question is if I am to start an SME in the production of any of the above what will I need? I am particularly interested in hand sanitizer now and probably other cleaning products in the future. I need your help.

  7. Hi Melissa – Will the tub & tile cleaner / degreaser clean the grease from my range hood exhaust filters? it’s a newer model from IKEA where the aluminum filters pop out to be cleaned. What’s the best way to clean these? They can be placed in the dishwasher but I’m worried about the grease clogging my drain. Thanks in advance.

  8. Ive learned to clean and disinfect more effectively because of you, and I never enjoyed cleaning. Because you post things about homemade cleaning ingredients, and have shown how to effectively clean (for those who hate to clean) and even those who get side tracked while cleaning, it has almost become a hobby. I am NOT a clean freak at all, I am incredibly disorganized and a mess in every room of the house (some of it due to ADHD) LOL, I cant seem to stay on top of things very well, with working full time and going to college part time. Im always looking for new and easy ways from you to make my life a little easier in the “cleaning department” that I am just not very good at. In the mean time, I am a preschool teacher (this field does not pay well) even with education and credentials to back it up, I am looking into starting a cleaning business of my own. I feel better when I DO clean, and somewhat learning to enjoy it. I watch all your videos, and have now become one of your biggest fans. I use all the ingredients that you have shown in all your videos including a few store bought. Thank you for sharing these tips, and I look forward to seeing more videos in the future. You are so wonderful at what you do. Thanks for all the great cleaning lessons.

  9. Hi Melissa,

    Thank you for these easy to make recipes! On your video, the all purpose cleaner takes 2 TBSP of dishwashing liquid per bottle of water, yet the written instructions say 1 TBSP. Which would you recommend?

    Joy H.

  10. Hi Melissa. Just found your fantastic blog and I want to start using some of your homemade cleaning products, but was wondering what strength hydrogen peroxide you use? Thanks, Gill

  11. I had these annoying little spot stains on my carpeted staircase. A couple shots of the stain remover, wait a minute or so, gently rub then pat dry. Gone! Thank you Melissa!

  12. Thank you! I am pregnant and could not stand the fumes and fake perfume smell anymore of over the counter cleaners. These actually work a little better and no mask involved!

  13. @Rosie, I used ammonia all the time, on my linoleum floors (even when they said not good for them, I never saw that ammonia damaged them!) – the ammonia is a wonderful degreaser and doesn’t leave a toxic film as does bleach and other cleaners. It also makes a great jewelry cleaner, soak jewelry in the ammonia for a half hour and then brush off the yucky stuff with a soft tooth brush! All the ammonia evaporates, all you have left is a clean floor or counter top or sparkling necklace. Back in the day – before everything was “anti-bacterial” we used to disinfect everything with good old soap and elbow grease and hot water. The soap, friction and hot water make a great combination to get rid of bacteria. I often question the validity and effectiveness of so-called antibacterial products, I wonder if they may be promoting germs (the germs are strengthening themselves against such products). In the early sixties we had Ivory soap, wash cloths and hot water – never had anything more than a cold or tonsillitis now and then.

  14. hi Melissa I made homemade cleaners from your reciepe but mellisa when I put vinegar in the laundry will my laundry smell like vinegar

    • No your laundry will not smell like vinegar, In fact Vinegar a natural fabric softer and is much better for your washing machine then the store bought fabric softer because it will clean out the pipes and you will not get any clogging from it. Your washer will last much longer.

    • I am wondering the same thing! Please make a video for castile soap. I wonder if that can be used instead of the “dishwashing” soap that you use in some of your DIY cleaners..?

    • I use castille soap where she notes to use “dishwashing” soap as I feel it’s better for the DIY cleaning products. Dr. Bronner’s for example really is a multipurpose castille soap and is concentrated so you only need a bit.

  15. Hi! Thanks for sharing your knowledge, your videos are so motivating and inspirational. Which concentration should the hydrogen peroxide be? Is 3% enough? Thank you for answering and have a nice day 🙂

  16. Melissa, I live in a rural area where the kids are always tracking in dirt into the home. I have the family remove their shoes at the front door but I still can’t seem to get a hold of the amount of dirt and debris that gets into the house by the front door. Even as the shoes sit at front door I can see the blades on grass and debris at bottom of shoes. Plus we have two dogs that also use the front door as their exit/entry point for potty time. Unfortunately I don’t have a mud room but would like some ideas on reducing debris and dirt that finds it’s way into the house via the front door. Is there a better mat, a system for shoes at the front door, or any ideas on maintaining this high traffic area? Thanks Melissa.

  17. In a video you mentioned a recipe for a daily shower cleaner available on your website. I cannot see to find it. Could you please share it! Would love to make a DIY daily shower cleaner that is safe to use and not too strong smelling like the store bought ones.

    • Was looking for a recipe for a daily shower spray too, found it in the How to Clean a Shower post. See excerpt from that below. Think I’ll also add some essential oil (lavendar or tea tree for their anti-bacterial/mold/mildew properties as well as to mask the vinegar smell which I’ve heard Melissa suggest in videos for other homemade cleaners)


      “You can also create your own shower spray by mixing 50/50 vinegar and water and keeping a spray bottle of that in your shower. When you leave the shower, mist it with that mixture. That won’t allow the soap scum to cling to the walls.”

  18. Hello Melissa. I just started watching your videos and they are incredible! I’m am a complete dunce when it comes to cleaning. I have 2 questions for you. You say your products are a 50/50 blend of homemade and store bought. What are the products that you do purchase? Also, when you dust and polish, what product do you use for that? Is it just a dry microfiber cloth to dust?
    Thank you!

  19. another tip for labeling your homemade cleaners if you can’t find different colored bottles is to add a drop of food coloring to each mixture. For my glass cleaner, I use blue food coloring, for multipurpose I use red, for disinfectant I use green, etc.

  20. Dear Melissa Thanks for all the cleaning tips they are absolutely wonderful and all natural no need to worry about them harming my kitties.
    I make my own tofu and learned of a laundry tip Japanese housewives used back in the day. Rather than discarding the soy whey water from the tofu press I save it and add it to my wash when laundering whites . It helps remove the most stubborn stains. I had some chef coats that I was going to discard because the cuffs were stained. I added the whey water and voila they are back and ready for action.
    Again the tips and videos give a fresh approach to cleaning. After all cleaning is one of the greatest cheap highs there is.
    Happy Spring to All

  21. a good all surface cleaner to try is 5oz vinegar 3oz rubbing alcohol and roughly 22 oz water leaves no streaks and is a great cleaner i use this on everything

  22. […] The technique is simple and can be applied to all points of contact.  Begin with a good quality cloth (I prefer microfiber), because you don’t want it to leave any residue behind.   Then, take a disinfectant and spray the point of contact.  Let the product sit, wet on the surface, for 5-10 minutes.  Then, wipe away with the cloth ensuring no water marks are left behind (you want to take everything with you).   This may not always be possible depending on the surface (i.e. light switch, keyboard).  So if that is the case, your best line of defence is to spray your cloth with disinfectant and thoroughly clean the area.   If you wish to make your own homemade disinfectant, check out this post which teaches you my favouri… […]

  23. tea tree oil is anti fungal, anti bacterial and anti viral I love using it in my homemade products, it awesome bit of a strong smell but I happen to like it

  24. HI Melissa, I love your videos! I just moved into my own place and want to start making my own cleaners to save money and I like how you have multiple cleaners for different uses. I was just wondering where you get the spray bottles you use in the video? They are cute and look like they hold a decent amount of cleaning product. Thank you!

  25. For your tub/tile cleaner tip here is another little tip for that. I pour some into one of those nifty sponges with the handle and use it on my shower doors when I first get in the shower. When I am ready to get out I rinse the door and after living in my house for 12 years, my shower doors look better than the day I moved in!

  26. I use diluted ammonia to clean and disinfect at the same time. The ammonia breaks down even dried food on counters and pots if it sits a short time. Then wipe down and respray and wipe. Isn’t ammonia a germ killer?

    Years ago I heard to clean an oven, leaving a small bowl of ammonia in a cold oven overnight also breaks down food and makes it easier to wipe off.

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