One of my favorite feelings is the one I get after having given our home a thorough cleaning. Those few hours with everything in it’s proper place, most things dust free, rooms smelling fresh and yummy. Maybe a window thrown open and all the bed linens tucked in. It’s invigorating! Like a big bear hug…from our house.
Of course, I love the messing up part, too, the long bouts spent in the kitchen cooking and finger painting and fort building and beautiful chaos that is part and parcel of raising a young family. But you know, I have always been one who loves to tidy and freshen up a room. I remember getting off the bus from school and looking forward to re-organizing my closet and dresser drawers, spending time making vacuum patterns in the carpet, and picking flowers from the field behind our house to throw in little vases I collected and stored in our old hutch in the basement. Talk about nerd. As far back as I can remember, I have always loved my things just so and the space in which I live thoughtfully put together. I have always enjoyed the process of undoing, just as much, if not more than the cleaning up and restoring bit. This has, without a doubt, remained a big part of who I am even today as a mother of three. I now take a more green approach when it comes to cleaning our home because natural is better for everyone.
A few years back I started paying more attention to what was in those bottles that helped our surfaces and floors sparkle. I was not thrilled. In lieu of that, we made the switch to all earth-freindly cleaning products in our home. Ultimately, it came down to wanting to rid the place we eat and bathe and play and rest of toxic non-senstivce materials and harsh chemicals, while being able to help out the environment and save money along the way. Have you ever looked on the back of your cleaning bottles at the ingredients? It’s no good. I also realized that we were spending far too much money on trendy cleaning supplies at the store and it really wasn’t necessary. What we were ultimately paying for was a pretty label and something that smelled nice. I am a sucker for soothing and uplifting scents, slap a lavender sprig on it and I’m throwing it in the cart…but when we transitioned to using essential oils for wellness, it became clear that making our own cleaning products could be just as effective as the ones I was buying every month, sans the yucky chemicals and toxic ingredients that I could not identify.
Now that we’ve got a simple cleaning pantry stocked, it takes all but a few minutes to whip up a new spray or solution and I’m on my way. These recipes are ones I’ve used for a long time, most of them having been tweaked here and there to suit our home and how we like it once cleaned. I hope you can find them useful!
You’ll Need These Stock Up on These Tools for Your Basic Cleaning Pantry:
- Essential oils – You can learn all about those right here.
- Distilled water – You’ll want this so it does not leave behind residue.
- Baking soda
- Vegetable Glycerin
- Borax – Make sure to use gloves when handling. And some say this is not natural, it’s up to you if you want to use it or not. For now, I am okay with it.
- Washing soda – Again, make sure to use gloves when handling.
- Distilled white vinegar
- Citric acid
- Coarse salt
- Liquid castile soap – We love Dr. Bronner’s Pure- Castile in Lavender & Baby Mild.
- Rubbing alcohol – I am also on the fence with this one, too.
- Olive oil – Really just about any oil would do, but make sure it is a more nourishing one. Avocado or walnut oil would fair nicely.
- Bottles and jars – I purchase all of our amber bottles in bulk here. Otherwise, mason jars or old apothecary vessels work well, too.
- Wood scrub brushes – Any old brush with good bristles will do the job. I get mine from a variety general stores.
- Microfibre cloth – This works so well for cleaning windows and mirrors.
- Miscellaneous tools – I recommend hitting up your local thrift store rather than buying anything new since you’ll be pretty much ruining whatever you use to make these sprays and solutions. You’ll need an old sauce pan, a funnel, mixing utensils, measuring cups and some sort of fine strainer, cheesecloth will do just fine. Oh, and gloves. You may want those for the washing soda.
All-Purpose Spray –
- 1/2 cup of distilled white vinegar + 20 drops essential oils + 1 cup distilled water.
- The essential oils I like using for this spray are: tea tree, lavender, thieves, purification, lemon, citrus fresh, eucalyptus, rosemary, grapefruit, bergamot, peppermint, clove & orange. You can get quite crafty with this and combine any of these essential oils to make your own scent depending on your mood or the season. We currently have a blend of 5 drops of thieves + 5 drops of rosemary + 5 drops of bergamot.
- I make this spray just about every other week since it’s the one we use for everything. I have tried so many combinations and ratios, but this here is my current favorite. Combine and store in a glass amber spray bottle. Make sure to shake well before using.
Dishwasher Powder –
- 1 cup borax + 1 cup washing soda + 1/4 cup citric acid + 1/4 cup salt + 10 drops essential oil of your choice. The citrus oils work well and smell so fresh.
- You could absolutely leave out the borax if that’s not your thing and add distilled white vinegar to the rinse compartment, it’s the borax that makes those glasses shine.
- Mix together in a large jar and scoop out as needed. I use less than a tablespoon of this per load. More is not better!
In-a-Pinch Liquid Dish Soap –
- 40 drops of your preferred essential oil + 32 ounces of liquid castile soap mixed together.
- I say 32 ounces because that is the standard size for Dr. Bronner’s that you can find all over the place. My favorite essential oil to use in the kitchen is lemon or orange because it is a natural de-greaser, but also lavender because it’s my favorite smell. What I’ll do is add the citrus oil to the lavender castile soap to make a really nice smelling and grease cutting solution. Sometimes during the colder months I’ll swap out the citrus oil for pine or spruce.
- Keep in mind that this solution is very concentrated and works best when used with hot water. I like to put a couple drops on my scrub brush and rinse whatever I am cleaning with hot water before scrubbing away. If you’re looking for a big, bubbly soapy mixture, this is not the one. It does work well though and is very earth friendly, not to mention super gentle if you have sensitive skin.
- This recipe is not for use in your dishwasher, but rather for when you’ve got a sink full of pots and pans that need a quick scrubbin’.
Squeaky Clean Leave Your Glasses Sparking Dish Soap –
- 1 1/4 cup distilled boiling water + 2/3 cup liquid castile soap + 1 1/2 teaspoon washing soda + 1 teaspoon vegetable glycerin + 20 drops essential oil of your choice.
- Dissolve the washing soda in the boiling distilled water. Add the castile soap, then the vegetable glycerin and stir well. Next add your essential oils, I like lavender, lemon, orange, tea tree and peppermint for this recipe. Funnel into a squeeze bottle or glass water jar or recycled wine glass and use as needed.
- Again, this recipe is not for use in your dishwasher, but rather for when you’ve got a sink full of pots and pans that need a really good scrubbin’.
Wood Floor Cleaner –
- If using a rope mop, fill your bucket with the following in this order: 1 teaspoon Sal Suds or Castile soap + 10 drops anti-bacterial essential oil + 1 gallon warm water.
- If using a microfiber mop, fill your spray bottle with the following in this order: 2-3 drops Sal Suds or Castile Soap + 5 drops anti-bacterial essential oil + 2 cups warm water
- If using a steam mop, put five drops of anti-bacterial essential oil on the pad of the mop, fill tank with water, and mop away.
Wood Furniture Conditioner –
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil + 1 cup of distilled water + 10 drops of pine essential oil + 10 drops of lemon essential oil.
- Combine and store in a glass amber spray bottle. Make sure to shake well before using.
- I will spray this on our wood furniture and rub off with a dry cloth. It nourishes and restores the wood.
Glass Spray –
- 1/4 cup rubbing alcohol (some may prefer to leave this out but I’m okay with it) + 2-3 drops castile soap + 1/4 cup of distilled white vinegar + 10 drops of a citrus oil + 2 cups of distilled water.
- Combine and store in a glass amber spray bottle. Make sure to shake well before using & clean with a microfibre cloth.
- I have head about using newspaper to dry your windows and also mentioning of cornstarch in homemade glass spray, have you heard of this?
Tub Scrub –
- Mix 1/4 cup liquid castile soap + 10 drops of thieves or tea tree oil + 1 cup of baking soda.
- Combine and store in mason jar. Make sure to shake well before using. I spoon it out on a scrub brush I have dedicated for our tub and scrub away when it needs it. I love knowing that when our babies bathe they are not sitting in a tub full of chemicals but rather something that has been cleaned with natural and gentle ingredients.
Toilet Bowl Cleaner –
- Add 1/2 cup of baking soda + 1/4 cup of distilled white vinegar + 10 drops of tea tree oil to the toilet bowl and let sit for a few minutes. I’ll add this to all three toilets then go back and scrub each one. Does a fine job!
- You’ll want to make this as need because baking soda and vinegar get a little happy when mixed together.
Fresh Linen Spray –
- 20 drops of essential oil + 1/8 teaspoon of salt + 2 ounces of distilled water. My favorite right now it a combination of lavender + bergamot + chamomile + balsam fir. It’s delicious. I just do equal parts of each oil and spray on our furniture when cleaning.
- Combine and store in a glass amber spray bottle. Make sure to shake well before using.
A Few Helpful Tips:
- Do not store citrus oils in plastic of any kind! Amber glass is best for these solutions that contain these oils.
- Vinegar and castile soap do not work well together. In fact, it will leave you with a clumpy mess, so try to remember not to mix them when cleaning, unless you’re making the toilet fizzy cleaner.
- Try to buy in bulk if you can. Keeping an all-natural pantry is a little bit of money up front, but this will save you heaps in the long run. Trust me on this. We now make solutions and sprays for a fraction of the cost and can do it at home in our kitchen.
Happy natural cleaning, dear ones!
*This is not a sponsored post. xx
Kristan - Thank you for these! I’ve slowly been getting into oils ever since starting to follow you, and I love all natural cleaners. The store bought ones are expensive so thank you for these recipes!
Parla - Thank you so very much for this post!!!
I love having all of your cleaning recipes in one spot instead of jumping all over the place trying to find different ones for different things. TIME SAVER. Thank you!!!
Also, your space here is just lovely. Thank you for the beauty you bring to this world!
Annie-Pier - Thank you for this post. I see in the helpful tips to not mix vinegar and Castile soap together. Do you still put it together in the all-purpose spray?
admin - Hey there! I changed the recipe, I have done it with and without the castile soap and although the teaspoon doesn’t affect the mixture a ton, I think without make for less residue behind. You can always add a drop or two to help and that shouldn’t make big clumps. Thanks for your question so I could clear this up, dear! xx Amanda
Jenna - It made my heart happy reading your memories of coming home from school excited to organize and clean my room. I was the exact same kind of nerd, and still very much love all things organizing/cleaning. I love your style and your blog. Thanks for sharing these tips.
april - I have just started making cleaners -although I have been using and living by oils for a few years.
I need some guidance on the All Purpose Cleaner- it calls for Castile Soap and Vinegar – but I see later on in the post you say they don’t mix well together….
Before I go mix at home- I wanted to check on this one!
Your blog is beautiful and so uplifting. Thank you for your inspirations.
admin - April, I went ahead and omitted the castile but a little amount shouldn’t affect it much. I am going to go ahead and say leave it out. Thanks, dear! xx Amanda
Kate - Thank you so much for sharing these recipes! Very helpful for an essential oil newbie.
admin - Kate – Glad you found it helpful fellow oil friend! x Amanda
Katie - Wanted to say, I’m enjoying the new space a great deal. All the pretty cleaning supplies & tips make my eyes and heart happy!😻 would you mind telling me what oz size you use in the amber spray bottle? Thank you for the daily inspriration😘
admin - Katie – I believe it is a 16 oz … happy cleaning! x Amanda
Madalyn - Hello Amanda,
I love reading your blog. It is so simple and practical, very calming.
I wondered if you’d comment on which steam mop you use or recommend for your wood floors? You say you use one for when you need a “good clean” and I need a good clean solution for mine.
admin - Madalyn – We have a Shark steam mop from Costco, just the basic one and it works SO well. I honestly only use it a few times a month but when we do these floors shine! I think you can find them at Target, too. xx Amanda
Madalyn - Wonderful! I will see if our Costco sells them! Thanks so much!! 🙂
kimberly - what is washing soda?? I’ve never heard of it before!!!
admin - Kimberly – Washing soda is sodium carbonate…which is what removes the stains! x Amanda
Kizzy - I too have been thinking recently what I am putting on my surfaces. I have tried making my on in the past and need to start again. Thanks for sharing your recipes.
Zachary Thor - I am saving this article for the eventual day when I finally deplete my stockpile of ‘trendy-sort-of-affordable’ cleaning products. Oh, what a day that will be.
Jenn - I would love to know where I can get some scrub brushes like those?
admin - Jenn – I get mine from all over…Brookfarm General Store has some great ones! So does World Market 🙂 x Amanda
Lisa - Thank you so much for sharing these recipes. I have been using vinegar and water as an All Purpose spray for years but never even considered adding essential oils, can’t wait to try this and the other recipes! Do you mind sharing what you use for your laundry washing? I’ve been experimenting with a few home made laundry powders (usually a mixture of borax, washing soda and soap) but they all seem to leave an oily residue on things especially bed sheets. Would love to know what you have found to be effective!
admin - Lisa – I am working on a laundry post for spring so stay tuned for that. I have a homemade recipe my mom made that works well but I still want something to help get the whites whiter…I also love the Laundress company, have you heard of them? They have great products that smell really nice. x Amanda
Ali - Love the new format, your perspective, and your recommendations for the home (books, cleaning, the whole 9 yards!). Thanks for the calming inspiration.
stefanie bush - these cleaning recipes are SO.GOOD. I use almost the same ones and I have figured my blends out over yearzz of trial and error. are you open to me sharing a link to your post over at my wellness page on facebook?
admin - Stefanie – Go for it, dear! And thank you for your kind words 🙂 x Amanda
Kimberly - Good morning!
Do you use the thieves household cleaner at all or prefer making your own? I love it for the kitchen!
Love all the recipes! Now I just need to invest in some amber/glass spray bottles! Thank you for sharing 🙂
admin - Kimberly – I do both! I make my own using Thieves Essential Oil and have the Household cleaner which I absolutely LOVE and really recommend if you’re wanting a great solution that’s already made. x Amanda
Gray Skies & Scattered Rice - […] hand soap mixed with a few drops of an essential oil of choice and sweet almond oil. I also tried this recipe to scrub my bathtub, and I’m pleased with how well it cleaned without leaving my son itchy at […]
Katrina - Love everything about this post and spent the day on the hunt in our small Canadian prairie town for the supplies; I’m armed and ready to go! You are inspiring me in so many ways these days, and for that I thank you!
admin - Katrina – I hope you were able to find all these cleaning goodies! Good luck, dear! x Amanda
Michelle - Thank you so much for sharing this! It has truly inspired me and I look forward to making these changes in my own household 🙂
Alana - Thanks so much for this post – really helpful! I am just beginning to dive into homemade cleaning supplies. Do you have a laundry soap/detergent recipe?
admin - Alana – Right now I have some homemade soap my mom made me and I am a really big fan of the Laundress…have you heard of them? I am going to experiment with some all natural detergents this spring and will let y’all know what works best! xx Amanda
Alana - I haven’t heard of that! I decided to try to make my own laundry soap with baking soda, castile soap, borax etc. I’ve found a few recipes online…we’ll see how it goes. I’ll be eager to hear what you come up with this Spring.
Brittany - Can you tell me what label maker you use?
Carmie - What type of container do you use to store the tub scrub in? Spray bottle or soap pump? I wasn’t sure what the consistency of it is like.
Conall Smith - Great article about to make 10 natural homemade cleaning solution. Keep Sharing!!
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Your website has some nice articles, which interested me to explore it
I love to write about residential moving, storage, cleaning,
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I think a guest contribution will interest your readers
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Katie - Where do you find that bar of soap?
Samantha - I am loving this post! I have just recently gotten into essential oils because we have a new baby and I’m very interested in making every aspect of our lives a bit cleaner 🙂 is there some kind of beginners reference guide you can recommend? I’m curious about which oils mix well together when making cleaning preparations, room or linen sprays, roll on scents, etc. I love following your Instagram!
» How to Make an Elegant, Glass Spray Bottle & A Natural Cleaning Solution - […] Adapted from Homesong […]
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Amberly Tanzosh - Hi there! I am so happy that I have finally visited your blog after following you for some time on instagram! I have seriously been missing out!!! One question: I see your floor cleaner recipe, but do you have one for conditioning, or waxing the wooden floors?
Laura Farrah - Thanks Amanda for sharing!
The Tub Scrub recipe is awesome! I’ve used it in our bath and it was sparkling clean. Ended up cleaning my whole shower with it and again it worked wonders! So nice too that they smell so good, unlike harsh chemical cleaners. Plan to make a jar of it now for my mum to try x
Laura - Thank you for sharing! I love the tub scrub recipe, it worked wonderfully and I’m pleased that my baby daughter can bathe in a natural (& lovely smelling!) chemical free clean tub. Looking forward to trying the others now 🙂
Imajine - Hi! I love the idea of this natural pantry. I made your dishwashing powder. It became as hard as cement in my mason jar. I think it was the addition of essential oils. It also does not get my dishes clean. I am so bummed to have to buy dishwashing tabs again. Any suggestions? Also, is vinegar safe on wood? My husband seemed to think that was going to harm our hardwood floors and cabinets. Thanks for all your suggestions! Love the all purpose cleaner!
Danette Bartelmay - Thank you so much for all of these beautiful cleaning tips!
I have been a lover of Dr. Bronner’s soaps all the 32 years of my marriage. The Lavender and Peppermint are staples in my home.
I just made some of your lovely skin serum and will let you know how it turned out. I’m sure I will LOVE it! I use Organic Coconut Oil all over my skin. I live walking distance from a natural health store that I worked at once upon a time and they still give me a generous discount so when I need anything they order what they don’t have in stock for me. I am so excited to try my new face serum… it’s cooling at present.
I love your blog and your beautiful family.
Wishing you all many blessings and good health,
admin - Danette, thank you so much for your thoughtful words, my dear! I hope you love the serum, it is my favorite beauty product to date! x Amanda
Demi - Love, love, love your blog! Makes my heart happy. I was wondering, how many bottles and jars (and sizes) do you recommend for all of this? Blessings.
Katie Sjogren - Hi Amanda,
I was wondering…are there any resources i.e books you recommend for someone just starting out with switching to natural products? im very interested in going through our cleaning supplies and throwing out what is harmful but kind of don’t know where to start….are you 100% natural in your cleaning?
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Marena - Thank you for sharing your recipes of cleaning supplies with us! I was wondering do you find that there is a residue of oil left on your countertops when you use the all-purpose spray?
Phillipa - I can’t tell you how helpful these cleaning posts are especially as I’m transitioning to all natural cleaning. Really you should have a book! I’d buy it in a second! Until then would you mind sharing some of your resources of where you get cleaning recipes from? Many thanks
Bethany - Do you have any tips for a gentle laundry soap using these ingredients? Thanks!
Elizabeth - Do you have any recommendations for a natural stain remover? My 3-year-old likes to get dirty, and I’d like to get his clothes a bit cleaner without using a chemical-laden store-bought formula! Thanks!
Colin McArthur - Hi Elizabeth
I know that Lemon Essential Oil is great for brightening clothes. You could always add a few drops of that to an unscented natural laundry soap. Lemon is also great if your kiddos like to get their dirty hands all over your walls. Just helped a good friend of mine with that as her little guy decided to use the wall as a coloring book
Allison - I’m just now getting into this whole natural cleaner world. Do you have any thoughts on shelf life? I guess mainly for a natural cleaner containing lemon juice.
Alice Chillman - Hey Amanda
I love, love, love your blog! I had a quick question. What do you use in terms of cloths? Do you use old rags or e-cloths?
Erin Probst - I made the dishwasher detergent according to your recipe and it seems to be leaving a residue all over my dishes. What am I doing wrong? Do I need to add more citric acid maybe? I tried putting vinegar in the jet dry compartment and that didn’t seem to do anything to help. Any tips?
Erin - Amanda- I made the dishwasher powder per your recipe but it seems to be leaving a film/residue on all my dishes, especially glass and plastic. Should I add more citric acid and try to mix it up better? Any thoughts.
Thanks for the wonderful ideas! I made the glass, wood floor, and all purpose cleaners yesterday and love them!
Naomi Davies - Thank you so much for this wonderful advice! I have just started reading you blog and have been interested in natural homemade cleaners for a while, I just wasn’t sure where to start…but now I am!
I am wondering, if you don’t mind sharing, how you treat stains? Commercially available stain removers terrify me, but I am at a loss for reliable and gentle techniques!
Kristie - Wanted to stop by to say I used the shower/bath scrub and it worked great! Definitely looking forward to trying out more recipes 🙂 Thank you so much for sharing these and testing them all out for us 😉
Also, anyone have an eco-friendly glove rec’s for using to clean bathroom? Thanks!
شركة نقل اثاث بالدمام - Thank you for these
Making a rental your home // Six simple tips – the fair finch - […] so much more pleasant. Especially with a good playlist on in the background. I love these simple cleaning solutions from Home Song […]
Bedtime Rituals + Sleepy Essential Oil Recipes » Homesong - […] doing on dreary days such as this, is taking stock of my homemade items and making more if need be. Do I need to whip up a batch of bath tub scrub or any other homemade natural cleaning solutions? Laundry cleaner? Wood butter? Deodorant? Or owie balm? When you stock your pantry with quality […]
Marilyne Kvasnokey - Extremely helpful article. Thanks for sharing!
Great article, and thanks for taking the time to publish it; really opened my eyes for some new perspectives that I hadn’t thought of before.
Ashley - Do you make your own hand soap?
Madelyn W - For your fresh linen spray-you mention you spray on your furniture…What kind of furniture? Your couch, chairs that have fabric or is this for a wooden tables etc.? Since it’s a linen spray could I spray it on clothing or bedding as well? Thanks!
Karla - Dear Amanda, I love your blog, you are so inspiring. I bought all the ingredients but for the salt, can I use the traditional dishwasher salt?
Eco-Conscious Cleaning and Home Care » Homesong - […] 10 Natural Cleaning Recipes […]
Jill Gooch - I made your dishwasher detergent and it seems to be leaving a residue all over my dishes. What am I doing wrong? I tried putting vinegar in the jet dry compartment and that didn’t seem to help. Any tips?
Jill Gooch - I made your recipe for the dishwasher detergent and it is leaving a residue on my dishes. I tried the vinegar in the jet dry compartment and it doesn’t really do anything. Any tips?
Kristina - Hi Amanda, thank you so much for these awesome recipes! Quick question (probably a silly one) but for your toilet cleaner do you combine it all in the toilet bowl or in a container then swish it around the bowl?
Katherine - Hi there! You might not be checking this post anymore, but I found it from a friend and wanted to ask — I made the glass cleaner, but it ended up making my glass mirrors foggy and I had to go back with a store bought glass cleaner to clean it up. Any thoughts on what might have gone wrong? Thanks so much 🙂
Sherry Gray@Vacuum Repair Wayne County Ohio - I have used these home cleaning solutions for my home and they best clean their home. But for carpet and rugs vaccum cleaner are the best as no other solution will work.
Deb - If I use the all-purpose spray on our wooden dining table, is that safe? My crazy 2 year old sometimes licks our table if she spills her food/drink before we can stop her! Would vinegar or castille soap be best for the table?
Homemade Natural Cleaners - Pretty Little Fawn - […] Turns out, she’s a bit of an expert when it comes to natural homemade cleaning products, and her recipes became my guide. I made a tub cleaning paste that smells of peppermint, an almond based floor […]
Inbal - hi Amanda,
I love your website and guidance – thank you for all that you do.
I had one question — do you have a preferred cleaning solution to clean marble countertops?
thanks so much — and have a peaceful weekend.
admin - Hello! I use a mild washing soap + water solution. Nothing harsh! xx Amanda
admin - Hello! I use a mild washing soap + water solution. Nothing harsh! xx Amanda