How to Make Your Own Cleaning Products

April 8th, 2008 BY Teal Beattie | 27 Comments

Cleaning will definitely never make my list of favorite pastimes. But to me the worst part about cleaning is the cleaning product companies that constantly bombard us with ads of the latest chemical filled products. The worst are the ones that try to sugar coat the chemicals by adding one natural ingredient or pine smell. Their packages may be eye catchingly bright, but underneath the usually long list of chemicals and additives are the not so eye catching warnings. The plain truth is commercial cleaning products are packed with chemicals that are bad for our bodies and horrible for the oceans. Using only lemon, baking soda and vinegar, you can clean almost anything in your home while saving money, your health, and the environment!


Lemons are acidic, using lemons adds antibacterial and antiseptic properties and is also a natural bleaching agent, use it for:
-dissolving soap scum and hard water deposits
-clean & shine brass and copper with lemon juice. A lemon cut in half and dipped in salt is good for cleaning spots off copper fixtures
-put a whole lemon peel through the garbage disposal to freshen the drain and kitchen
-pour lemon juice on white linens & clothes and allow them to dry in the sun to bleach away stains


Vinegar is a natural disinfectant and deodorizer and is a great all purpose cleaner, on anything but marble. The strong smell will disappear when it dries. Use it by:
-mix 1 part water to 1 part vinegar for an all purpose cleaner that you can use on the stove, appliances, & counter tops, stone and brick surfaces
-add ½ cup of vinegar to the rinse cycle instead of fabric softener
-pour vinegar around the inside rim of the toilet bowl and scrub to get rid of rings
-mop the flour in the bathroom with a vinegar diluted with water
-add a couple teaspoons to a spray bottle filled with water for window cleaner


Baking soda is abrasive cleanser that is excellent at dissolving dirt, mildew, grease, and even wax. It also acts as a natural deodorizer, use it for:
- paste, baking soda is great for removing dirt and grime
-4 tablespoons baking mixed with 1 quart warm water and shaken makes a great all purpose spray you can use on anything from the bathtub to the fridge
-add 1/2 cup of baking soda to the rinse cycle instead of fabric softeners as well as help remove odors from clothes.
-wet stains on the oven and then shake baking soda over them, scrub with steel wool and watch even old rust stains disappear
-place a box in the refrigerator and freezer to absorb odor
-sprinkle it your carpet before vacuuming to eliminate food and pet odors.
-neutralize food and cat litter odors by sprinkling it at the bottom of the garbage and litter box
-use it to clean and polish metals and plastics

-Lemon juice mixed with vinegar and or baking soda make great cleaning pastes. A lemon cut in half and sprinkled with baking soda makes a great abrasive cleaner you can use to scrub stubborn dishes, surfaces, and stains
-Pour ½ cup baking soda down drain, add ½ cup white vinegar, and cover the drain. Wait 15 minutes and then pour 1 gallon of hot water down the drain to get rid of build up.
-make a super toilet cleaner with ¼ cup baking soda and 1 cup vinegar, pour it into toilet and let sit for 5 min. before scrubbing with a brush
-1 1/2 Tablespoons of Baking Soda with 2 Tablespoons of Borax mixed together can replace automatic dishwasher detergent.
-1 cup olive oil blended with ½ cup lemon juice makes a furniture polish for your hardwood furniture.

  1. 1

    [...] a fabulous article on this site that explains how to avoid commercial cleaning products by using lemons, vinegar, and baking soda [...]

  2. NB

    I love this article it is the best it is so nice not to use chemicals

  3. 3

    [...] of water to make your own glass cleaner. Learn how baking soda, lemon and soap can also be used to create eco-friendly cleaning products. Please Share and Enjoy: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and [...]

    • Responses to Make Your Own Cleaning Supplies (Glass Cleaner)
      brandon valdes says:
      April 14

      how can i make a cleaning product

  4. Kit Haines

    Because of my ”zoo” ( 2 dogs 2 cats and a bird) I clean my own carpet with a steam cleaner- which I purchased saving a lot of money in the long run.
    I use 1 cup of vinegar each time I fill the reservior. Cleans the carpet better than ANYTHING I’ve tried.
    It doen’t leave a residue of sticky soap. Also surprisingly it doesn’t leave a vinegar smell behind. It just a nice clean fresh smell.
    My advise TRY IT!!

  5. Kelly

    I really need your help guys I am trying to make my own all purpose cleanier but I can’t use vinger?? Can anyone give me a heads up???

    • Responses to Kelly
      Cheryl T. says:
      November 15

      Substitute vinegar with Vodka. It’s a great disinfectant

    • 8
      Rosalie says:
      February 26

      Hi Kelly. I have used the Shaklee Company organic cleaners for 38 years and can definitely state you cannot find a better organic cleaner. Yes, I now share them with others. These products have corn and coconut oils as their surfactants and are a leader in the Green movement. Check it out.

    • 9
      May 4

      Hi Kelly. I haven’t heard back from you yet. Did you find another company that can help you? At least you can go to our website and check out what we have.

  6. jessica conaghty

    it works i toke it to my science fair and it was a hit to the ppl there r surprised of how clean stuff was thank you for that

  7. inah

    i cannot do anything here

  8. ada

    i want to learn how to make hair gell

    • Responses to ada
      Pete says:
      January 8

      I have been unable to find a non-scented hair gel… so I tried Aloe Vera Gel. The kind in the tube (99.9% aloe vera) seems a bit drier, better. than the bottle. Works great.

  9. Sarah

    Forgive this for perhaps being silly questions but I must be sure:
    Do I have to make these cleaners ’fresh’ for eac time I clean or can they be stored for next time? If they may be stored, for how long?

  10. Maria

    Does anyone know how to make an earth friendly Stainless Steel Cleaner/Polish and a good Furninture Polish?

    • Responses to Maria
      Elora says:
      May 4

      Hi Maria, I’m just a beginner here but I read that lemon oil is great to polish furniture, for stainless I just use wine vinegar with water… great for the tea pot :-)

  11. Rosalie Ingle

    This is all well and good, but WHY go to all this trouble when there IS a company that makes non-chemical, biodegradeable cleaners – and has since 1960. Corn and Cocoanut surfactents are used and it is safe enough to be used in the space shuttles.

  12. Santosh Kumar

    i want to start my own business of cleaning product, detergent soap, and powder, so plz suggest ,me the process for that

  13. mamta

    how to make toilet cleaner with hcl

  14. Barb

    We bought a laminet floor and the company’s recomidation for cleaning it Mix 1/4 cup white vinegar into a 30 oz. spray bottle with water. spray floor , use a microfiber mop and dry quickly. How Vinegar is a natural dissinfectint. Go Green.

  15. Personal Care Items

    I think that this maybe a really helpful posting for those who have the inclination and also energy to make their own cleaning products. An informative posting no doubt!

  16. eco7

    just recently discovered this blog and i have to tell you its very informational and very helpful ,specially your green tips , I’m a green cleaner myself and have used these methods and it WORKS!

  17. washroom solutions

    It’s really great having a toilet cleaner using the things that are only at your kitchen. You don’t need to buy such expensive materials and toxic things that are so harmful for your family. Your blog is so helpful for those mothers who don’t have such enough time and money in buying cleaning materials.

  18. house cleaning Knoxville TN

    While some may be able to make their own cleaning products, others have no time nor the interest. As such, they seek help from professionals ( handle their cleaning needs.

  19. Candace Richmond

    Lemons and vinegar are great odor killers. Regardless of the smell of vinegar, it quickly goes away. The other smells are often gone as well. Once you get familiar with vinegar, the smell is actually pleasant. If that is a problem, add some lemon juice in, and you’ll like the results.

  20. David Levy

    Making your own "green & natural" cleaning products is nice for once or twice. You should be able to purchase these products at the store ot on the internet. Green Life Products has Cleaner and Degreaser products for the house, work place and industry. Go to and check the large selection.

    • Responses to David Levy
      January 22

      THis is my point: BUY Green Life Products and you are assured to have a high quality product and 100% green and natural product.

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