Save $$ With These 7 DIY Cleaners!

If you are a regular visitor to our site then I know a few things about you. One, you love saving money and two, you love making your own stuff. So, I’m going to tell you how to replace 7 store-bought products with your own DIY cleaners for pennies on the dollar!

Room Refresher Spray

Whether you have a smelly pet, a gassy partner or you cooked something that is just lingering, there’s always a use for a room refreshing spray. There are lots of products out there for all types of surfaces and in all types of scents. So, you could buy it in store or you can easily make your own. You will need:

Put it in a clean spray bottle, give it a good old shake and then just use your nose. Spray accordingly. Definitely don’t be shy.

Soap Scum Remover

Soap scum is that sticky kind of tacky grayish brownish build-up that you get on your shower walls and in your tub. It basically comes from dead skin cells, body oils, any soap remnants that are left behind and hard water deposits. It all just mixes up together and forms this not so nice scum that you then need to deal with. Typically, the way that it’s dealt with is a tub and tile cleaner or a general bathroom cleaner. In store, you can get it either as a spray, a cream cleanser or even a powdered cleanser. Now, if you like the store-bought stuff, great, but if you want to make your own, here’s a simple recipe:

In a little bowl add the ingredients together and stir it up with a sponge. Then get your sponge a little bit wet and just apply it to the soap scummy surface with the soft side of the sponge. Then using the scrubby side to work it around using the S pattern. Give it a really good rinse.

DIY Glass Cleaner

Everyone knows what the blue stuff in the spray bottle is and whether you buy it in store or you make your own and put blue food coloring in it, it’s going to clean your glass essentially the same way. The difference is one uses ammonia, one doesn’t. So, you decide and get what’s best for you. To make your own you’ll need:

  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 cup of vinegar

You can dial it up or dial it down given the size of your spray bottle, but mix equal parts together. Then give it a good shake, add that blue food coloring if it makes you feel better and then get to cleaning.

Toilet Bowl Cleaner

A toilet bowl cleaner is something that obviously you can buy in a store. It’s effective but if you want to save money, make your own and use something that’s a little bit more health and environmentally conscious. I like to put mine in a little squeeze condiment bottle, as it makes the application much easier. Just fill it with the following recipe:

  • 1 cup of water
  • 1/2 cup of baking soda
  • 1/2 cup of dish soap
  • 1/4 cup of hydrogen peroxide

Give it a good shake. You can throw some essential oils in too if you like. And then, apply it to the toilet as you would with any old toilet bowl cleaner, give it a good scrub. You know the deal, flushy flushy, drip dry. Life is good.

Mold and Mildew Cleaner

Where there is moisture in dark damp areas there is inevitably going to be mold and mildew. And that’s when a mold and mildew cleaner comes in handy. Now, they are typically quite effective but also quite strong. If you want to make your own product instead of buying one in the store, here’s that recipe:

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

Mix this all together and apply to the area that has the mold or mildew. Give it a good scrub, then rinse your sponge. Give it a nice wipe and of course, you want to polish it up with a good old microfiber cloth.

Foaming Hand Soap

If I ever need to use the bathroom, whether it’s at someone’s house or in a public restroom situation, I always judge that place and frankly those people on the quality of their hand soap. I am quite particular when it comes to what I like to wash my hands with and I love foaming hand soap. However, it’s expensive and you need to have the right pump in order to get that foam. Rather than going out and continuing to buy foaming hand soap all the time, we have really nice glass pumps at home and just make our own foaming hand soap. If you want to do the same, here’s the recipe that we use:

This is so great because you can be really creative here and make it smell any way you like. Add everything to the pump and give it a good shake. There is your foaming hand soap.

Dry Mop Sweeper

For anyone who dubs themselves cleaning royalty, a dry mop would likely be your scepter. But you probably have to go and purchase replacement cloths for these all the time. So instead of going out and buying those replacements, why don’t you use a good quality microfiber cloth instead? Any flat head mop that has the mechanism where you can lock a cloth into it, rather than using the disposable one, you can just use a reusable cloth. And the cool thing about this is that you can use it wet to mop up. Just take a spray bottle along with you and spray and mop as you go. Or you can use it dry just to do some quick dusting, pick up pet hair or anything else that’s on the floor. You can even use this to clean your walls, your ceilings, or any nooks and crannies around your house that needs cleaning. It’s an easy switch and one that’s good for both your wallet and the environment.

You know I love making my own cleaning products and I hope some of these will become a staple in your cleaning kit, too!

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Melissa Maker is an entrepreneur, cleaning expert, founder of Toronto’s most popular boutique cleaning service, and star of the Clean My Space channel on YouTube (but she still hates to clean!). Every week, Melissa delivers new videos dishing expert advice on cleaning products, tools, DIY substitutes, and practical, timesaving solutions to everyday problems. Melissa has appeared on the Today Show, and has been featured in InStyle, Real Simple, and Better Homes and Gardens.


  1. Since everyone is at home during the COVID pandemic I am having the most difficult time finding BORAX and Baking soda in the store. I know that folks are baking more and prob cleaning too but i can’t find it anywhere! Is this the case in Canada too?

  2. Hi Melissa,

    Which do you think will pickup off the floor the most debris? Microfiber cloth or Swiffer cloth.
    I know that advocate microfiber cloths for cleaning. But which picks up the most off the floor?
    Please advise. Best wishes for a wonderful week.

  3. Saw you on the Social on January 1. You had something for odour suppresion – coffee grounds, baking soda and activated charcoal. I was on the Social’s webpage, but no where does it say how many parts of coffee grounds, baking soda and activated charcoal you use to to create this?

  4. When we put dish-soap in a spray bottle with water, is there a concern with germies/bacteria growing in there with out a preservative? Have your book, love it, and grateful for your work!

  5. Another money saving option for foaming hand soap is to buy regular hand soap and dilute it with water in your foaming dispensers. I use between 1/3 soap with 2/3 water and 1/4 soap with 3/4 water. I don’t measure precisely because I have figured out how to use the design on my dispenser as fill lines to get the proportions right. This will work with any hand soap except the kind with moisturizers in it that give it a shimmering look.

  6. i have marks (?? origin) on my dining room table. i have used several products to try to remove them. any suggestions? they just might be from wet glasses from the kiddos.

  7. Hi Melissa. Love your videos and website! Can rubbing alcohol be used instead of cheap vodka in the DIY room freshener? Thanks you.

  8. Your recipe for towel bowel cleaner is a natural “skunk smell remover”. It neutralizes the enzymes in skunk spray. What does this mean to us who don’t play with skunks? It’s also great at removing pet accident smells and stains. I have personally used it to remove cat urine smell from a couch AND rotten food smell from the carpet of my car when frozen meat item leaked juice on the way home. Yuck I know. Life happens to us all. It’s also a great fabric stain remover. I’ve used it to get stains out of carpet, my couch, and my dining room seat cushions (life with kids is messy).

  9. I prefer the DIY toilet bowl cleaner that you mention in a (later?) video. I believe in the same order quantities were:
    Followed by tree tea oil.

  10. I tried the toilet bowl cleaner and it worked well. However, I had a lot of excess recipe so I stored it in a airtight container and kept it under the sink. After a week, I come into our house and saw that the container “exploded” (the cap was removed from the plastic body) and the whole recipe spilled all over my cabinet. 🙁 What did I do wrong? 🙁

    • Joyce. If you will check past Info from Melissa. She has told that some of her cleaners can not be kept. The toilet bowl cleaner was one of them that she says make what you need and dispose of left over ckeaner.

  11. What do you use for cleaning the floor? I have hardwood. An active household requires the floors to be “mopped” often.


    • I have always used vinegar and water. One part vinegar, ten parts water. Use it in a big spray bottle. Mop with a microfiber mop.

  12. Hi Melissa, Chad;
    Long time viewer first time leaving comment, saw your videos about 2yrs ago “fell in love with you”,
    Sorry Chad she belong to the world now. Congrats on the new edition to the family and the new home, love the DIY’s knew some of them and tried several with a little skepticism… Love them and they do work. I am a procrastinator by nature, I cannot blame you or Chad for me not cleaning(love the video) but I watch “Chad clean with me” and I don’t clean lol. Love the microfiber cloths bought several set and gave them as gifts(word of mouth is everything). Was not part of the first million (congratulations), want to be part of the second million. I will keep watching your videos(procrastinating), You have made my cleaning chores much easier and I have accomplished a lot… Section by section. Missed the 40% off sale. Can you list more of your favorites essential oils combinations for humifiers, thanks for the videos ♥️U.


    • Hi Carlos, thank you for your support! We are so happy to hear you enjoy our videos and love our cloths! For humidifiers we love eucalyptus, lavender and peppermint but try out a few and find the ones that you love.

  13. Hi Melissa, I just love your channel and use your recipes to make my own cleaning products and my house is literally much cleaner and safer for us too with these natural products. Your recipes actually work better than any store bought stuff! They work so well that extended family members come to me repeatedly to replenish their supply (no matter how many times I tell them how to make the stuff they prefer me to do it and I am happy to).
    I recently purchased the Makers cleaning cloths and I have to say, they are SO superior to any cloths I have found in stores. Terrific product and I now have relegated all other cloths to my husband’s workshop for rags as yours are all I need. I bought two sets when they were on sale. Amazing!

  14. I have been using the surface cleaner which is soap and water with 5-10 drops of essential oil. It works like a charm and saves me so much money. What do you use if you want something a bit stronger? I foster kittens and some of the messes they make needs something to kill germs and bacteria but safe enough to use around them.

  15. Thx for your great cleaners. Do you have one for laundry cleaner. I use vinegar and dawn for spots. Really works well. The amount is 50/50. Heat the vinegar to mix with the soap. Shake and ready to go. I use this mix for many other things in the house. Thx again.

  16. Dear Melissa,

    I’ve been loving your videos; they have helped me a lot. Let me tell you that I am a fan from Colombia, in South America (most people do not know where it is 🙂 ) and I am a beginer, so I have some questions that I hope you can answer.

    To begin with, my mom has always used bleach as a cleaner for almost everything, bathromm, kitchen, etc. However, I don’t feel that confortable since you mention it is not that healthy. The problem is that I bought a galon (exagerating) of bleach, and know I don’t know what to do with it. I bought it beacause my mom once in a month or twice a week washes the dishes with a little bit of bleach dissolved with water (10% bleach and 70 water and 20 of dish soap). So, what would you do if you were in my position because I don’t want to waste my money, but I want a healthier product to clean and disinfect my dishes (note: In Colombia we don’t have normally dishwashers, so you see my consern).

    On the other hand, I don’t know how to remove the burn yellow stains from the pans. Let me explain, so when you buy a pan is bright new and is so beautiful, but when it ages (hahaahahaha) a yellow mark starts to appear in the bottom right in between the metal. In Colombia you clean it normally with a “degreaser” (sorry find the vocab very difficult) but I just doin’t know how to make them new again. So, any advice?

    Finally, thanks so much for your information. It has changed my life.

    Sincerly from Colombia,

    María fernanda Vargas Soler

    • Hi Maria, thank your for your message! As for the bleach, there is not really anything we would recommend using it for, as we believe there are better ways to disinfect and get whites white. As for your pans, check out this article. Hope that helps 🙂


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