Do homemade cleaning products work? Ehhh… some do. Some don’t. Some seem like they work but end up causing problems. Let me tell you which is which and save you the trouble of finding out for yourself.
My journey… okay, it was more like a DIVE… into using homemade cleaning products was prompted by an extremely tight budget.
Typically, our experiments have left us more satisfied. However, sometimes the cleaning product recipes I made myself were not as effective as their expensive, store-bought cousins.
So, which homemade cleaners work? Which recipes should be trashed?
Homemade Cleaning Product Ingredients
The great thing about homemade cleaning products is that you can create a ton of different cleaners from a small list of ingredients.
When I went through my homemade cleaning recipes, this was my basic list of what I needed:
- Washing Soda
- Baking Soda
- Citric Acid or Lemi-Shine
- Dawn, original blue
- Zote Soap or Fels Naptha Soap
- Kosher Salt
- Distilled Vinegar
- Hydrogen Peroxide
- Rubbing Alcohol
- Essential Oils: Purification, Thieves, Lemon
From this list, you can clean just about anything… just don’t mix it all together unless you are in the mood for fireworks. Seriously… these are still chemicals and some chemicals do not like one another. Be careful.
Recipes for Homemade Cleaning Products
Homemade Bleach Cleaning Spray
- 1/4 cup bleach
- 1 teaspoon powdered detergent (laundry or dishwasher)
- Warm water to fill
Combine ingredients and shake well. Spray surfaces and allow to sit for up to ten minutes. Wipe clean.
Homemade Air & Surface Sanitizing Freshener
- 4 cups water
- 6-8 drops Purification Essential Oil
Add the Purification Essential Oil to the water in a spray bottle. Shake well and spray on fabrics, carpet, or other surfaces to freshen the air and sanitize.
Homemade Glass Cleaner
- 1/2 cup Ammonia
- 4 cups Water
- 6-8 drops Lavender Essential Oil (optional – for fragrance only)
Place ammonia and water in a spray bottle. Add lavender essential oil if desired. Shake well and spray. Wipe using a lint-free paper towel or old newspaper.
The homemade cleaners that didn’t work for us
Some of these might stir up controversy but remember… this is my opinion. If you had a different experience, PLEASE leave a comment and tell us about it. My way is not the only way and I am eager to admit that fact.
Bathroom Shower Cleaner
- 1 cup White Vinegar
- 1 cup Dawn (Blue) Dish Soap
Heat the vinegar slightly in the microwave and then mix with Dawn in a spray bottle. Spray liberally on tub and shower surfaces. Wipe clean.
Why it didn’t work for us…
- It stinks to high-heaven. The smell is powerful and choking.
- Maybe our tub is just super dirty but even scrubbing with a stiff bristle brush did not work as easily as Scrubbing Bubbles.
Homemade Scrubbing Bubbles
- 1/4 cup Baking Soda
- 1/4 cup White Vinegar
- 4-6 drops essential oil (optional – for fragrance only)
Mix together and use immediately.
Why it didn’t work for us…
- Chemistry. You mix baking soda with vinegar and you are going to get bubbles. Lots of them. So mixing this in a spray bottle or anywhere else just made a mess.
- Even trying to sprinkle the baking soda in the bathtub and then spraying with vinegar did not work as well as the REAL Scrubbing Bubbles.
Homemade Antibacterial Cleaning Spray
- 1 cup Distilled Vinegar
- 6-8 drops Thieves Essential Oil
- 1 cup Water
Combine ingredients in a spray bottle and shake well. Spray on surfaces and allow to sit for ten minutes. Wipe dry.
Why it didn’t work for us…
- I did not test to see if this mixture was killing germs, okay? And maybe it was a fluke but… our family had a hard time getting well and staying well when I used this cleaning spray. I know that Thieves is a great disinfectant. I think the problem is when you dilute it with anything else.
- Residue from stuck-on food was harder to remove from our table.
Are homemade cleaners worth it?
Cut it straight… do you really save money making homemade products for cleaning and personal care?
I do not know.
Yes, I said that. I am willing to admit that I do not know everything. But, I am always open to learning.
Anyway… here are some thoughts that I take into consideration when trying to figure out if mixing up homemade products is really worth it:
- Are the ingredients readily available? No? Then I will skip it.
- Is it something that often comes available for free (using deals and coupons)? Yes? Then I will skip it.
- Is it easy to put together? No? Yeah, if I ever have extra time… (Pardon me while I laugh!)
- Is it healthier for the environment? Yes? Then I will consider it.
- Is it healthier for my family? Yes? Sign me up!
The biggest qualifiers for me are the time and health issues. We do want to be chemical free as so many chemicals have been linked to a cornucopia of ailments but if I can buy pure products at a great value and save time… well, that is the way I am going to go.
Other Homemade Cleaners
Be sure to check out these other great homemade cleaner recipes:
- Homemade Powdered Laundry Detergent
- Homemade Dishwashing Powder
- Homemade Liquid Laundry Detergent
- Homemade Fabric Softener
- Homemade Stain Removers
Do you use homemade cleaning products?
What about you? Are you into homemade or would rather buy store-bought cleaners and personal products?