When you’re shopping for home cleaning solutions, the variety of available options can be overwhelming — even more so when you start reading the ingredients on the label. For example, does “natural” mean the product is nontoxic? What are the ingredients that make up “fragrance”? And what the heck is “sulfuric acid”?
As it turns out, “natural” does not mean a product is nontoxic; the term can be used as a form of greenwashing. Because the formulation of a product’s fragrance is considered a “trade secret,” the scent of that cleaning product could include hundreds of undisclosed chemicals. And while sulfuric acid is a useful ingredient in household cleaners, it is a known human carcinogen, among other things.
If you’d like to skip the store-bought products so you can have control over the ingredients you’re using to clean your home, we have you covered.
6 DIY Cleaning Solution Recipes
- Dishwashing liquid
- 1/2 cup baking soda
Mix enough dishwashing liquid into the baking soda to make a paste.
Use: Perfect for tubs, tiles, and toilets.
- 1/4 teaspoons dishwashing liquid
- 3 tablespoons white distilled vinegar
- 2 cups water
- Lemon twist or a few drops of lemon essential oil
Use: Shake, spray, and dry.
- 1/2 teaspoon washing soda
- 1/2 teaspoon Castile liquid soap
- 2 cups hot water
- 1/2 teaspoon olive or jojoba oil
- 1/4 cup white vinegar or lemon juice
Use: Dab solution with a cloth and wipe wood surfaces.
- 1 teaspoon tea tree or clove essential oil
- 2 cups water
Use: Spray and wipe or spray and let dry.
*Editor’s note: Please refer to CDC guidance on disinfecting your home against COVID-19.
Wood Floor Cleaner
- 1/4 cup olive or jojoba oil
- 1/3 cup white vinegar
- 12 drops lemon essential oil
- 5 cups hot water
Use: Dip mop or cloth rag in the mixture. Spread a thin layer on wood floor.
Originally published on June 29, 2016, this article was updated in January 2022.