DIY Cleaning Products For Pennies

We know that cleaning isn’t always fun but making your own cleaners and saving money in the process definitely helps! I have put together 5 great cleaners that cost literally pennies to make and seconds to prepare. They are safe, effective and environmentally friendly…. what more could you ask for?

All Purpose Cleaner

This all purpose cleaner is great for almost any surface in the house including the kitchen, bathroom, hallways and most furniture. It doesn’t get much easier than taking an empty spray bottle, filling it with water, adding a few drops of dish liquid and giving it a good shake. Test out a small area and if any residue is left behind simply deduce the amount of dish liquid being used.

You know how much I love vinegar, so of course there is a second version that puts this super ingredient to good use. Just add these ingredients to a spray bottle and shake away.

  • 1 cup Water
  • 1/4 cup White Vinegar
  • 2 to 3 drops Dish Soap

The Pennies

Total cost with vinegar – $0.21

Without vinegar – $0.04, yes I said four cents!

Window Cleaner

If you have grimy or streaky windows which never seem to get clean you will love this. Add a tablespoon of cornstarch to a spray bottle filled with equal parts water and vinegar.  Clean grimy windows with a microfibre cloth and there you have it, no streaks! The cornstarch is so fine, yet abrasive enough to remove any build up and leaves glass streak free and shimmering.

  • 1 cup vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch

The Pennies

Total cost for sparkling windows $0.41!!


Disinfectants are great for getting rid of nasty bacteria but can often come with an equally unappealing price tag. Just remember that disinfectants don’t clean (i.e. remove the dirt) so use this spray as a part of a two-step cleaning process, like using that all purpose cleaner you just whipped up as the first step!

  • 1 part water
  • 1 part rubbing alcohol

Mix in together in a spray bottle. Spray only where required – points of contact, cutting boards, bathrooms, etc.

The Pennies

$0.52 per 500 ml

DIY Dishwasher Cleaner

Have your dishes stopped coming out of the dishwasher sparkly fresh? Do you smell something funky every time you open that door? Then it’s time for a clean and we don’t mean spending $8.97 for a 3 pack of cleaning tablets. Simply leave the dishwasher empty and add a pack of single serve lemon drink mix (or two scoops from the canister) to the bottom of the machine and run through a hot cycle. The magical powers of the citric acid in the drink mix works wonders on the inside and leaves it smelling and looking nice and clean!

The Pennies

A canister of lemonade drink crystals is $2.50 for 538 grams and you’d need about 30 grams PER CYCLE to clean!  That’s $0.14 PER cycle to get a sparkling clean dishwasher.

Electronics Cleaner

If you really want to save money, you have to make this recipe.  Rather than buying fancy screen and electronic cleaners, heck even glasses cleaners, make your own!  Use distilled water and at least 70% rubbing alcohol.  Distilled water has no minerals that could leave residue behind and you can usually get it at a big box store or drug store.  The recipe is simple!

  • one part rubbing alcohol
  • to one part distilled water

Mix ingredients in a small spray bottle then spray onto a microfibre cloth and wipe your electronics clean!

The Pennies

$0.18 for a small spray bottle worth

At the end of the day after making all five of these products you will have spent under $1.50!! We always like to know if you have any great cleaners that you make for pennies so comment away!

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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.



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