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5 All-Natural Homemade Cleaning Recipes to Keep Your Home Safe and Sparkling

Written by Carol J Alexander

Published on April 5, 2023


5 All-Natural Homemade Cleaning Recipes to Keep Your Home Safe and Sparkling

Leave chemicals and plastics behind by making your own all-natural cleaning products for the kitchen, bathroom, and beyond.

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According to poison control centers in the U.S., cleaning products are the second-leading cause of pediatric poison exposure each year. If you want to eliminate toxic chemicals from your home, there's no better place to start than cleaning products.

You can make natural cleaners with ingredients already in your pantry – and many of those ingredients also go in your food. Here, we share five natural cleaning recipes that are easy to make, safe for your family, and keep everything sparkling clean and fresh.

Hire a professional for your seasonal deep cleaning

Ingredients used in natural cleaning recipes

You already have most of these ingredients in your kitchen, laundry, or medicine cabinet. Others are easy to order on Amazon.

  • Distilled white vinegar – White vinegar cuts grease and soap scum, kills mold and mildew, and softens water to eliminate hard water deposits. However, vinegar is mildly acidic and unsuitable for natural stone countertops.
  • Baking soda – A natural deodorizer, baking soda is gently abrasive and doesn't scratch.
  • Olive oil – Oil is perfect for lifting dirt, removing sticky substances, and polishing furniture.
  • Lemon juice – Lemon juice is a strong acid that fights odors and bacteria. It's a natural stain remover and leaves everything with a fresh scent.
  • Castile soap – This vegetable-based natural liquid soap cuts grime without harsh detergents and is available unscented or scented. If you can't find castile soap, use natural dish soap.
  • Hydrogen peroxide – Typically used to clean wounds, peroxide dissolves blood and grass stains like magic. Use it in place of bleach.
  • Rubbing alcohol or vodka – Both of these types of alcohol disinfect and shine. They also evaporate quickly, which makes them the perfect addition to glass cleaner.
  • Borax – Typically used in the laundry and irritating to the eyes, borax is mildly abrasive and suitable for grease, oil, and dirt.
  • Essential oils – Some essential oils have disinfecting and bacteria-fighting properties. Some cut grease and grime, and others just smell nice. The essential oils most used in cleaning products are lavender, rosemary, eucalyptus, tea tree, lemon, and peppermint. However, you can use any favorite essential oil to give your products a pleasing scent.

Pro tip

Only use glass containers for any cleaner containing essential oils, as they will break down plastics.

Five natural cleaning recipes you can make yourself

Now that you've gathered the ingredients, you can create your own homemade cleaners. So grab a few glass spray bottles and a container with a shaker top (the lid from a parmesan cheese container will fit a Mason jar) and get started.

Feel free to download and print this cheat sheet. Then, tack it inside your cabinet door to keep the recipes handy.

Citrus vinegar

Why use plain 'ole vinegar when you can use citrus vinegar? Infused with the oils of lemon, orange, lime, or grapefruit peels, citrus vinegar works even better at fighting bacteria and cleaning the grimiest messes. 

What you'll need:

  • Wide-mouth quart Mason jar
  • 1-1 ½ cup white vinegar
  • Citrus peels
  • 1 rosemary sprig (optional)


To make citrus vinegar, fill the jar about two-thirds of the way with white vinegar. Then, add peels to the jar each time you eat a piece of citrus fruit. Adding a sprig of rosemary will increase the antimicrobial properties of the cleaner.

Keep the jar on a sunny windowsill and shake it well each time you add peels. When the peels lose their color, after about four weeks, remove the peels and bottle the vinegar. Then, save the peels to add to your homemade soft scrub. 

Use citrus vinegar straight for sanitizing bathrooms, countertops, door knobs, TV remotes, and more. Or, use it in place of plain vinegar in the following recipes.

Pro tip

Never use vinegar or citrus cleaners on natural stone like granite or marble, aluminum, cast iron, or waxed wood. Its high acid content can damage these surfaces.

All-purpose cleaner

Seriously, citrus vinegar is the best homemade all-purpose cleaner out there. But you'll want something without the acidity for natural stone surfaces like granite countertops. For that, use the following recipe.

What you'll need:

  • 16-ounce glass spray bottle
  • ¾ cup distilled water
  • ¼ cup alcohol
  • 1 tablespoon castile soap
  • 5-10 drops of essential oil–non-citrus 


Mix all the ingredients in the spray bottle, shaking well.

Pro tip

Before applying DIY cleaners to any surface, always test it in an inconspicuous area to ensure it doesn't damage the material.

Window cleaner

No one likes dirty windows. And clean windows with streaks may even be worse. So to wipe away the grime and leave a streak-free surface, try the following homemade window cleaner.

What you'll need:

  • 16-ounce glass spray bottle
  • ½ cup distilled water
  • ½ cup white vinegar or citrus vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon alcohol
  • ¼ teaspoon cornstarch


Mix all the ingredients in the spray bottle, shaking well. To use, spray the window and wipe it with a microfiber cloth. Then, polish it with crumpled newspaper.

Pro tip

Clean windows on the shady side of the house. Direct sunlight causes the cleaner to dry too quickly, causing streaks.

If you have windows you can't reach, it's safer to hire a professional window cleaner than risk a fall teetering on a ladder.

Find a window cleaner in your area

Floor cleaner

Nothing cleans floors better than vinegar and water. But before you go mixing ingredients, check with the manufacturer of your floor covering. 

What you'll need:

  • 1-gallon warm water
  • ½ cup white vinegar or citrus vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon alcohol
  • 1 tablespoon castile soap 


Pour hot water into your mop bucket, then add the following ingredients. Use a mop to apply to the floor. If you use a spray mop with a bottle dispenser, you can use the same scaled-down recipe.

Pro tip

Label your bottles so you don't accidentally use your floor cleaner on your windows. Also, print the recipe on the label. Then, if a child accidentally ingests it, you'll know at a glance what it contains.

Soft scrub cleanser

Sometimes, you need a cleanser for tough stains. This homemade soft scrub will remove the toughest cooked-on messes without scratching. Use it for scouring your glass stove top, bathroom shower, and more.

What you'll need:

  • Wide-mouth pint Mason jar
  • Citrus peels from making citrus vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • ½ tablespoon castile soap
  • Water


Use a blender or food processor to grind the citrus peels to a pulp. Mix 1 part peel with 3 parts baking soda and the soap. Add water, if needed, to achieve the desired consistency. 

To make a soft scrub safe for use on natural stone, leave out the citrus peels. Instead, mix ¼ cup baking soda with the soap and water.

Pro tip

Always use new, clean containers. Reusing bottles that once held store-bought cleaning solutions could taint your homemade ones.

Ready to sparkle?

No need to wait for spring cleaning to try homemade household cleaners. You can whip up a few of these in a matter of minutes, follow the cleaning tips sprinkled throughout, and put the sparkle in your home today.

Find out how much it costs for professional house cleaners in your area

Written by

Carol J Alexander Content Specialist and Subject Matter Expert

Carol J Alexander is a home remodeling industry expert for Fixr.com. For more than 15 years as a journalist and content marketer, her in-depth research, interviewing skills, and technical insight have ensured she provides the most accurate and current information on a given topic. Before joining the Fixr team, her personal clients included leaders in the building materials market like Behr Paint Company, CertainTeed, and Chicago Faucet, and national publications like This Old House and Real Homes.