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Make Your Own Inexpensive, Green Cleaning Products

bottle with homeopathy balm and leafIf you’re not careful, you could easily spend most of your paycheck buying basic commercial cleaning products at your local grocery market or big box store. The good news is that, despite advertising campaigns which assert you can’t clean your house without buying a different cleaner for each and every surface, you don’t have to spend a lot of money on chemicals. In fact, for a fraction of the cost, you can create your own homemade cleaning products which not only do a great job for pennies on the dollar, but also protect the environment. You’ll just need a little time and a few supplies and inexpensive products you likely already have on hand.

All Purpose Cleanser—Vinegar

Ordinary, inexpensive household white vinegar not only dissolves dirt, soap scum and hard water deposits from smooth surfaces, but can also be used to safely and gently clean hardwood floors. The best thing about using vinegar to clean is that it doesn’t create harsh chemical fumes. So cleaning with it isn’t hazardous to your health!

What’s more, white vinegar is a natural deodorizer, which absorbs odors instead of masking them. Even the mild vinegar aroma will dissipate as soon as the vinegar evaporates. What’s more, vinegar is free of coloring agents, so it won’t stain the grout on tiled surfaces. And since it cuts detergent residue, white vinegar makes a great perfume-free fabric softener substitute.


  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • That’s all there is to it! After mixing, microwave solution to pump up the cleaning power or pour directly into a spray bottle and use at room temperature.
  • Spray shower walls with warmed vinegar. Allow to soak for 10 to 15 minutes. Then scrub and rinse. The heat will soften stubborn stains and loosen hard water deposits.

Ordinary Undiluted White Vinegar

For heavy-duty cleaning, just use undiluted white vinegar right out of the bottle.

  • Use straight vinegar to scrub the inside of the toilet bowl.
  • First, dump a bucket of water into the toilet to force water out of the bowl.
  • Pour undiluted white vinegar around the inside of the bowl and use a brush to scrub and remove stains and odor.
  • Use a pumice stone to remove hard water rings.
  • This is a great idea from All You:
    • Clean mineral deposits which clog shower heads.
    • Place 1/4 to 1/2 cup vinegar in a plastic food storage bag, and secure the bag to the shower head with a rubber band.
    • Let stand overnight, then rinse and buff the fixture until it shines.

Homemade Dish Soap

Although homemade dish soap is devoid of bubbles, it works just as well as store-bought suds.

  • 24-oz. squirt bottle (or empty dishwashing-liquid bottle)
  • 2/3 cup liquid Castile soap
  • 3 tsp. vegetable glycerin
  • 5 drops tea-tree essential oil
  • 20 drops lemon essential oil
  • 1 1/3 cups water
  • Using a funnel, pour all of the liquid ingredients into squirt bottle. Shake to mix. Place soap beside sink and use on dishes, hands and even countertops.

Ordinary Baking Soda

You can buy a box of baking soda for under a dollar. Its mild abrasive action and natural deodorizing properties make it a powerful replacement for commercial scouring powders.

  • Sprinkle baking soda onto a damp sponge to tackle grimy bathtub rings, scour vanities, or remove food deposits from the kitchen sink.
  • For tough grime, make a paste of baking soda and water, apply to the tub or sink, and allow it to stand for 10 to 20 minutes. Dirt, soap scum and deposits soften and are easy to remove.
  • Slow-running drains? Keep bathroom drains running freely by pouring 1/2 to 3/4 cup baking soda into the drain, and adding just enough hot water to wash away the solution. Let stand overnight, then flush thoroughly with hot water. 

If you’re looking for some help to clean your house; give My Cleaning Lady Referral Agency a call. The housekeepers we refer offer complete home cleaning services including thorough dusting at reasonable prices. My Cleaning Lady Referral Agency proudly serves Arcadia, Chino, Chino Hills, Duarte, Ontario, Pomona, LaVerne, Covina, Rancho Cucamonga, Fontana, Montclair, Claremont, Phillips Ranch, Upland, West Covina, Glendora, San Dimas, and Sierra Madre. Visit or call (909) 593-6690 for information or to arrange a free estimate.