homemade cleaners

7 Cleaners You Can Make It Yourself

The key element you need just might be hiding in your pantry.

These mix-it-yourself cleaners use environmentally friendly ingredients — like baking soda and vinegar — and are quite inexpensive. If you’ve run out of your favorite cleaning solution, don’t run to the store; try one of these standbys instead.

1. GLASS CLEANER
Great for: Windows and mirrors

Ingredients
• 2 cups water
• 1/2 cup white or cider vinegar
• 1/4 cup rubbing alcohol (70% concentration)
• 1 to 2 drops of orange essential oil, which gives the solution a lovely smell (optional)

young woman washing windows

How to use: Combine ingredients and store in a spray bottle. Spray on a paper towel or soft cloth first, then on the glass. Hint: Don’t clean windows on a hot, sunny day because the solution will dry too quickly and leave lots of streaks.


2. HEAVY-DUTY SCRUB

Great for: Rust stains on porcelain or enamel sinks and tubs

Ingredients
• Half a lemon
• 1/2 cup borax (a laundry booster; find it in the detergent aisle)

How to use: Dip the lemon into the borax and scrub surface; rinse. (Not safe for marble or granite.)


3. GREASE CLEANER

Great for: Oven hoods, grills

Ingredients
• 1/2 cup sudsy ammonia mixed with enough water to fill a one-gallon container. (Sudsy ammonia, which has detergent in it, helps remove tough grime)

Young woman cleaning oven in the kitchen.

How to use: Dip sponge or mop in solution and wipe over cover, then rinse zone with clear water.

4. ALL-PURPOSE CLEANER AND DEODORIZER
Great for: Kitchen counters, appliances, and inside the refrigerator

Ingredients
• 4 tablespoons baking soda
• 1 quart warm water

How to use: Pour solution on a clean sponge and wipe.

5. LAST-RESORT CLOTHING STAIN REMOVER
Great for: Badly stained washable or bleachable garments

Ingredients
• 1 gallon hot water
• 1 cup powdered dishwasher detergent
• 1 cup regular liquid chlorine bleach (not ultra or concentrate)

CLOTHING STAIN REMOVER

How to use: Mix and pour ingredients into a stainless steel, plastic, or enamel bowl (not aluminum). Soak garment for 15 to 20 minutes. If stain is still there, let it soak a bit longer, then wash garment as usual.

6. WHITE RING REMOVER
Great for: Anywhere you’ve accidentally left a water ring (but not on unfinished wood, lacquer, or antiques).

Ingredients
• One part white non-gel toothpaste to one part baking soda

How to use: Dampen a cloth with water, add toothpaste mixture, and rub with the grain to buff over the ring. Then take a dry cloth and wipe off. Use another soft cloth for a final shine. Polish as you normally would.


7. DISHWASHER STAIN REMOVER

Ingredients
• 1/4 cup powdered lemon or orange drink

DISHWASHER STAIN REMOVER

How to use: To remove rust from the inside walls, pour the powder (which contains citric acid or citric acid crystals) into the detergent cup and then run a regular cycle. Repeat as necessary.