DIY: Homemade Cleaning Products Part 1

About six months ago I started researching homemade cleaning products to see if they would be feasible for our household. After reading a lot of different blogs, recipes, and websites, I started making my own cleaning solutions. I’ve been using them for a couple months now and I am really happy with the results. I thought I’d share a few of my “recipes” with you. Keep in mind that you may have to tweak the recipes a bit based on your cleaning needs*. I live in a very dry climate, so mold and mildew are not really an issue here, but they might be in your area.

When thinking of making my own cleaning products, I had two primary requirements: 1) the homemade version had to work just as well as the commercial product, and 2) the homemade version couldn’t cost more. I also wanted to use “natural” components as much as possible, instead of the synthetic ingredients in most commercial products. After a little experimentation, I’ve found the options that work best for me. I’ll share a few here, and the rest in Part 2 soon!

Homemade Toilet Cleaner

3/4 cup Borax
Juice of 1 small lemon

Sprinkle the borax into the bowl. Add the lemon juice and swish around quickly with a toilet brush. Let sit for at least 30 minutes. Do a quick scrub with the toilet brush and then flush!

Notes: I get Borax from Alice.com, but you can also find it on Amazon.com or at Target. I love that this method leaves the bathroom smelling like lemon and not chemicals and synthetic fragrance. Also, I think it actually cleans better than the Lysol gel I was previously using, since the toilet stays fresh and clean longer.

Homemade All-Purpose Cleaning Spray

2 cups water
1 teaspoon Borax
1/4 cup distilled white vinegar
15 drops lavender essential oil
15 drops lemon essential oil

Boil the water, then add the borax and stir until it is completely dissolved. Add in the vinegar and let the mixture cool to room temperature. Pour into a spray bottle, and then add the essential oil.

Notes: I use this on my kitchen and bathroom counters and sinks. I love that when I clean with this the only lingering smell is lavender and lemon, not vinegar. If you prefer a different scent, you can use 30 drops of any essential oil blend you prefer. You can get ready-made essential oil blends online or at natural grocery stores like Whole Foods.

Homemade Dishwasher Detergent

1-1/2 cups Borax
1-1/2 cups Washing Soda
1/2 Cup Lemishine

Mix all the ingredients thoroughly. Store in an airtight container, in a cool and dry location. Use 2 Tablespoons per dishwasher load.

Notes: Storing an airtight container is very important, as the mixture will clump and harden if exposed. Washing Soda is NOT the same as baking soda, and can be found at Walmart or Alice.com. Lemishine is a brand name for Citric (Stearic) Acid. Walmart and Alice.com carry Lemishine, or you can source citric acid through chemistry or soap-making suppliers. I have been very pleased with how this recipe works, and it is a LOT cheaper than the Cascade packs I was using. I’ve also found that adding distilled white vinegar to the rinse aid compartment helps everything dry without spots.

So that’s Part 1 of homemade cleaning solutions! I’ll part Part 2 soon, with recipes for a bathtub scrub, laundry detergent, and more! I’d love to hear about your experiences with homemade cleaning products, or any other DIY projects. Feel free to comment below or link up to any DIY posts you have.  Thanks!

*These recipes are based on several different variations I’ve seen on the internet. Sources include Pinterest, Moms by Heart, Easy Aromatherapy Recipes, and various Google searches.

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