How to make your own household cleaners

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Unless you love cleaning, chances are you won’t always have a suitable cleaner prepared for every dirty situation. So what do you do? Well, you can make your own! There are a seemingly endless number of DIY cleaning recipes out there, so to help you out, we have found some of the best homemade cleaning products for all messy occasions.

Keep in mind these recipes do not have to be strictly followed. Although we recommend using the same or similar ingredients, most of the time it’s fine if you just eyeball the measurements.

All-purpose cleaner

Basic cleaner

Vinegar is able to cut grease, mildew and stains, making it a great cleaner. This recipe is as basic as it comes – diluted vinegar. Consider adding some scented extract to cover up the vinegar smell.

  • 2 cups white vinegar
  • 3 cups water

Tough cleaner

Baking soda and borax are quite abrasive, making them a tough cleaning agent. This cleaner works well for almost anything, though it is a little harsh, so be careful using it on delicate items.

  • 2 tablespoons baking soda or 2 tablespoons Borax
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 4 cups warm water

Bathroom cleaner

This recipe cuts bathroom grease and adds a fruity scent to your bathroom while cutting soap grime and scum. To boost the strength of your bathroom cleaner, add a couple teaspoons of borax.

  • 3 cups white vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • Citrus rinds
  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon

Carpet stain remover

Carpet and rug stains are notorious for being stubborn – especially if they set in. If you find yourself with no carpet cleaner on hand, try this recipe. Once it’s made, simply let it soak in the carpet and scrub.

·         2 tablespoons dishwashing liquid

·         3 tablespoons white vinegar

·         1/4 cup water

Timber floor cleaner

Floor cleaners can be made using almost anything, vinegar, dish detergent, borax – you name it. Here is one of the most popular recipes, but feel free to throw in some eucalyptus or lavender oil to make it smell nicer. When it’s done, simply use it to mop the floor.

  • 1 litre water (warm water gives better results)
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon castile soap or 1/2 teaspoon dishwashing liquid

Glass cleaner

Standard glass cleaner

This recipe is similar to the basic multipurpose cleaner we gave earlier, except this one has a secret weapon… corn starch. It’s a mild abrasive that is harmless to glass, giving you crystal clear windows every time.

  • 2 cups water (distilled or filtered is best so it doesn’t leave residue)
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch

Tough glass cleaner

If you’ve neglected your windows for some time, then you probably need to bring out the big guns. If you have sensitive skin, it’s best to wear some gloves if you’re using this recipe to avoid irritation.

  • 1 cup rubbing alcohol
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon clear, ammonia (no sudsing)

Furniture cleaner

This recipe is great for polished furniture. The lemon helps kill any bacteria while the olive oil cleans and polishes your furniture good as new.

  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice

Kitchen cleaners

Sweet scented cleaner

This is a great cleaner for cooktops and kitchen benches. It’s powerful yet not too harsh.

  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup borax
  • 4 cups water

Heavy-duty pot and pan cleaner

Chances are you have a stained pot or pan that you have completely given up on restoring to how it looked when you bought it. Try this recipe by either adding it to a spray bottle or applying it directly to the problem area.

  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon borax
  • 1 and half cups vinegar

Dishwashing detergents

We have all run out of dishwashing detergent at some put, making this recipe extremely useful. The only downside is that it can’t really be done unless you have some spare soap or shampoo.

  • 1/2 cup liquid castile soap or shampoo
  • 1/8 cup water
  • 4 drops scented oil (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar

Make your own recipe

The above recipes have been created by a number of people through experimentation with different households chemicals. Although we have given you some great recipes to get you started, most of us will have different DIY cleaning preferences, so feel free to mix and match ingredients. To help you design your own cleaner, here is a list of common cleaning agents and associated uses.

Baking soda – Its abrasive properties make it ideal for cleaning, scrubbing and scouring.

Lemon – A powerful scented food acid which kills bacteria. A great addition to surface sprays.

Borax – Borax is like baking soda, only harsher. It’s an oxidising agent and it’s abrasive, making it great for tough surfaces and carpets. It’s also found in most laundry detergents.

Soap – Soap adds sent, lotion and helps to remove dirt. It’s gentle on skin, making it great for a range of things – particularly as a dish detergent.

White vinegar – Vinegar is pretty much a diluted acid, allowing it to cut through grime, dirt and scum. It’s not powerful enough on its own to damage your property, but it does have an unpleasant smell.

Rubbing alcohol – Mostly used as a disinfectant, great for surface and window cleaning.

Corn starch – A soft abrasive, ideal for cleaning windows and polishing furniture.

Scented oil – Usually not necessary, but feel free to add some scent if you’re feeling fancy.

If you’d prefer to buy your household cleaning products, see which brands have been rated highest by Australian consumers.

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