You can make these simple, green cleaning solutions yourself.

By Stephanie Sisco
Updated February 12, 2021
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Homemade, natural cleaning solution recipes
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The next time you have a sink to scrub or a window to wipe, no need to run to the store: just raid your cupboards and mix up a homemade cleaning solution. Everyday products like club soda (the bubbles help break down stains by loosening grime), vinegar (the acidity inhibits the growth of bacteria and prevents mold and mildew from forming), and even vodka (a proven germ eliminator) make for fast, cheap, and effective homemade cleaners. They're natural, too.

These DIY cleaners include everything from a homemade all-purpose cleaner to a natural glass cleaner and a solution for grimy hardwood floors. We have the ingredients you need—chances are, you already have most of them—plus the steps for mixing up the cleaning solutions and using them.

Homemade or natural cleaning solutions use simple chemicals and ingredients to remove grime, deodorize, and, in some cases, even disinfect surfaces. They're great for making surfaces look sparkling-clean. Still, if you're trying to disinfect or sanitize a surface, you may be better off turning to a store-bought disinfectant (preferably one approved by the FDA to kill bacteria and viruses) to ensure you've removed any harmful entities. For every day cleaning, though, these homemade solutions might be just what you need.

What's the shelf life of homemade cleaners? Most natural, DIY cleaning solutions can last up to a month. But some ingredients (like hydrogen peroxide) lose their potency more quickly. Your best bet is to mix up enough for only a onetime use.

Ready to start mixing and cleaning? Take a look at our cleaning recipes below, organized in one convenient chart, or read on for a full breakdown of each recipe.

Homemade cleaners chart: How to make 10 homemade, natural cleaners or cleaning solutions (recipes and instructions)
Credit: realsimple.com

10 Homemade, Natural Cleaning Solution Recipes

1
Homemade All-Purpose Cleaner With Essential Oils

This homemade cleaning solution is all-purpose for most surfaces, except for glass.

What you’ll need:

  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup rubbing alcohol
  • 5 to 10 drops peppermint, lemon, or orange essential oil
  • 1 squirt natural dish soap
  • 16-ounce spray bottle

How-to:

  1. Pour all the ingredients into the spray bottle. Shake well.
  2. To use, spray onto the surface and wipe with a microfiber cloth.

Recipe by Melissa Maker

2
Homemade All-Purpose Lemon Degreaser

This cleaning solution works on all surfaces except for wood. 

What you’ll need:

  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 24-ounce spray bottle

How-to:

  1. Pour all the ingredients into the spray bottle. Shake well.
  2. To use, spritz onto a surface and wipe with a microfiber cloth.

Recipe by Linda Cobb

3
Homemade Vinegar and Vodka Disinfectant

This is an all-purpose cleaner, safe to use on all surfaces.

What you’ll need:

  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup unflavored vodka
  • 10 drops lemon essential oil
  • 10 drops lavender essential oil
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 24-ounce spray bottle

How-to:

  1. Pour all the ingredients into the spray bottle. Shake well.
  2. To use, spray surface and let sit for 10 minutes to disinfect. Wipe clean with a microfiber cloth.

Recipe by Becky Rapinchuk

4
Homemade Glass Cleaner

With five simple ingredients, you can make a natural glass cleaner for all your smudge- and streak-destroying needs.

What you’ll need:

  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons rubbing alcohol
  • 5 drops peppermint essential oil
  • 24-ounce spray bottle

How-to:

  1. Pour all the ingredients into the spray bottle. Give it a little shake to combine.
  2. To use, spray onto a microfiber cloth and apply to the surface.

Recipe by Becky Rapinchuk

5
Homemade Chrome Cleaner

You do not want to wipe down your chrome surfaces with just any cleaning solution. This homemade one (and a little buffing) will leave your chrome surfaces shining.

What you’ll need:

  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap
  • 3 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 24-ounce spray bottle

How-to:

  1. Pour the ingredients into a 24-ounce spray bottle. Shake well to combine.
  2. To use, spray onto chrome surface. Let sit for 10 minutes. Wipe with damp cloth and buff with a dry cloth.

6
Heavy-Duty Kitchen Cleaning Solution

For big kitchen messes, you need a strong cleaning tool—but, thanks to this natural cleaning solution, you don’t have to resort to too-strong cleaning agents.

What you’ll need:

  • 1/4 cup natural dish soap
  • 1/4 cup baking soda
  • 5 drops clove essential oil
  • About 3 drops of water
  • Mixing bowl

How-to:

  1. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl.
  2. To use, apply the solution to the surface using the gritty side of a double-sided kitchen sponge; scrub. Wipe up with a wet cloth.

Recipe by Melissa Maker

7
Homemade Sink Cleaning Solution

If your sink is in need of a good scrub, try this powerful, all-natural blend.

What you’ll need:

  • 2 cups baking soda
  • 10 drops clove essential oil
  • 10 drops lemon essential oil
  • 1 squirt Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap
  • A few drops of water
  • Butter knife
  • Airtight container

How-to:

  1. Mix the baking soda with the essential oils using a butter knife. Store in an airtight container.
  2. To use, sprinkle the mixture over the sink surface, then add a squirt of soap and a few drops of water. Scrub with a nylon-bristle brush. Rinse thoroughly.

Recipe by Becky Rapinchuk

8
Homemade Shower Cleaner

For a natural cleaner for your shower, look no further than this simple blend.

What you’ll need:

  • 1/4 cup baking soda
  • 1 cup water
  • Microwave-safe bowl
  • 24-ounce spray bottle

How-to:

  1. Mix the ingredients in a microwave-safe bowl and heat for 30 to 60 seconds. Pour into spray bottle.
  2. To use, spritz onto shower surfaces and let sit for 3 to 5 minutes. Wipe clean with a microfiber cloth.

Recipe by Debra Johnson

9
Homemade Mold and Mildew Cleaner

This natural mixture will get rid of mild mold and mildew problems without the use of harsh chemicals.

What you’ll need:

  • 2 cups water
  • 2 teaspoons tea-tree oil
  • 1/4 cup baking soda
  • 24-ounce spray bottle

How-to:

  1. Pour the water and tea-tree oil into the spray bottle. Shake well.
  2. To use, heavily spray moldy areas with the solution. Let sit for 24 hours.
  3. Once 24 hours have passed, pour 1/4 cup baking soda into a small bowl and gradually spritz it with the solution until a gluelike paste forms.
  4. Apply the paste to the moldy surface using a clean toothbrush and scrub. Rinse.

Recipe by Linda Cobb

10
Homemade Hardwood Cleaner

This homemade, natural cleaning solution for hardwood floors is just the trick to get those boards gleaming again.

What you’ll need:

  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 1 gallon warm water
  • 2 to 3 drops lemon essential oil
  • 2-gallon bucket

How-to:

  1. Mix all the ingredients in a 2-gallon bucket.
  2. To use, dip a mop head into the bucket and wring it out well, so that it is barely damp. Apply to floors and repeat.

Recipe by Becky Rapinchuk