The Best Homemade Cleaners

Cleaning supplies can be costly and often contain chemicals that can harm pets and children. Try these tips to clean your house with eco-friendly, homemade cleaning products to keep your home clean and smelling fresh.

1. Keep drains clean and fresh with citrus peels

Over time, garbage disposals can begin to smell due to a buildup of sludge caused by rotting food remains that cling to the blades. You can get rid of these smells easily and keep your drain fresh and clean.

Put fresh orange, lemon, or lime skins down your drain every few days to keep smells away. If you don’t have a garbage disposal, you can still shred citrus peels and soak them in water, then pour the water down the drain.

2. Clear clogged drains with baking soda and vinegar

Kitchen and bathroom drains get clogged from time to time, and you don’t always have drain clearing liquid on hand. And, let’s face it, calling a plumber is expensive.

Before you make that phone call, try to clear the drain with baking soda and vinegar. Sprinkle the dry baking soda into the drain and slowly pour vinegar on top. The mixture will fizz and foam and should unclog the drain.

If there is water standing in the sink or tub, try to pour the baking soda directly on top of the drain, then add vinegar. As the foaming occurs and water starts to drain, repeat the process until the drain is clear.

3. Create eco-friendly toilet bowl cleaner with a few products

You can make your own toilet bowl cleaner that works well and does not contain lye, acid, or other dangerous chemicals.

Simply mix 1 cup of baking soda with 15 drops of tea tree essential oil and 15 drops of lemon essential oil. Place your homemade cleaner in the bowl, let it sit for about 30 minutes, then scrub the bowl with the brush.

4. Clean counters and glass shower doors with shaving cream

Use low-cost shaving foam to clean soap scum from your glass shower doors. Simply squirt the shaving cream onto the door and use your hands or a sponge to rub in circles. This is a great activity for kids to help with. This method also works to remove coffee rings from countertops.

5. Use vinegar and water to clean windows

Instead of spending money on window cleaners that contain harmful chemicals, make your own from water and white vinegar.

Simple put one gallon of water in a bucket and add a half cup of white vinegar in a bucket. Stir the mix and then use a sponge or soft cloth to apply it to the windows. Use a squeegee to wipe the windows clean.

6. Use cheap, non-clumping kitty litter to soak up spills

Garage spills like oil, brake fluid, and coolant can stain floors and harm pets. Use cheap, non-clumping kitty litter to soak up these liquids and make clean up easy.

Just sprinkle the kitty litter in a thick layer over the fluid. Allow it to sit for a couple hours, then sweep up the mess. This is a safer and easier option than using a floor cleaner.

7. Freshen carpets with baking soda

Carpets can collect dust and dirt, leading to musty smells and soiled traffic paths. Use baking soda to help keep your carpets fresh smelling and clean looking.

Pop open a fresh box of baking soda and sprinkle it liberally over the carpet. Allow it to sit for 30 minutes, then vacuum the carpet as you normally would.

8. Clean blinds with kitchen tongs and a cotton rag

Cleaning the slats on thin blinds can be a chore. Make the job easy with your kitchen tongs and a clean cotton cloth.

Cut the cloth into smaller pieces and wrap the end of the tongs with the fabric. Secure it with small rubber bands. Use the tongs to wipe the top and bottom of each slat. This makes blind cleaning quick and easy.

9. Use dryer sheets to dust furniture and ceiling fans

Wrap dryer sheets around a paint roller and hold them in place with rubber bands. Use the roller to wipe the dusty blades of ceiling fans.

Dryer sheets also work great for dusting furniture without using polish. Simply wipe the surface of desks, shelves, and tables with an unused dryer sheet to remove dust.

10. Freshen trash cans with baking soda and essential oils

Remove smells from trash cans by sprinkling a mixture of baking soda and essential oil in the bottom of the can before placing the plastic liner bag in place.

Just mix 1 cup of baking soda with 10 drops of your favorite essential oil. (I like lemon). Store the mix in a plastic zipper bag and sprinkle a little in the can each time you change the bag.

Teresa T

Teresa T

For as long as she can remember, Teresa has loved two things: writing and interior decorating. Now, she gets to share her passion with the world, and help others create beautiful homes and gardens that reflect their own unique style. Outside of work, she's often thinking up new design ideas, sewing or gardening. She has a B.A. in art.

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