Make Your Own Money-Saving Cleaning Products

Make your own money-saving cleaning products - it's easier than you think! |

Making my own cleaning products is something that’s always been on my to-do list…right next to “meditate daily,” “learn Italian” and “not hang up on telemarketers.”

In my vision of my most awesome self, these are the kinds of things I do.

In my rush to ring in spring I was thinking maybe I could make a wager with Mother Nature:  “I green up my cleaning act – you green up my lawn.”

I honestly thought it’d be easy.  I’d google, find a recipe that looked quick, cheap, easy and effective, whip it up and BOOM – my lawn would be green.

Non ha funzionato esattamente in quel modo.

(That’s Italian for “It didn’t exactly work that way.”)


What I really wanted to make are homemade, reusable disinfectant wipes, and what I discovered after two weeks of internet research is that there are an insanely frustrating number of ideas and opinions about how to do this.  Mix this, not that.  Add this, not that.  One recipe contradicts the next one.  This one cleans, that one cancels out cleaning power, and this one will blow up your house.

In the end, I decided to piece together what I liked from a variety of recipes.  Success!  They work great, smell great, and my cleaner, greener (except for my yard which is covered in snow) house is still standing.

Homemade, reusable disinfectant wipes.  Less than 50 cents for 10 wipes - and they won't fill up a landfill! |

Less than 50 cents for 10 reusable wipes!

Homemade Disinfectant Wipes
1/2 c. water
1/2 c. vinegar
6 drops of lemon essential oil
6 drops of tea tree essential oil
Old t-shirts, cut up into wipe-sized rags
Container (I used a quart sized canning jar)

Stuff t-shirt rags in jar.  Mix water, vinegar and essential oils together.  Pour over rags in the jar.  Screw on lid and shake to moisten.  Pull those bad boys out and use them up as needed.  When you’re done, just wash them up and save them to re-use.  No more canisters of disposable wipes needed!

Vinegar is an all-natural cleaning and disinfecting powerhouse.  It wipes out mold and soap scum, and inhibits the growth of mold, mildew, E. coli and salmonella – all for pennies!  Essential oils are a little pricier, but those teeny tiny bottles will last you forever.  And they’re not just there to cut the scent of the vinegar, either – they actually have some cleaning and disinfecting properties as well!  Lemon and tea tree oils are great for killing germs, although I did read a few posts about tea tree oil being toxic to cats (which we don’t have) so please do your own research to decide which essential oils are a fit for your family’s cleaning needs.  (Thyme essential oil would have been my second choice, fyi.  Lavender and peppermint also sounded like excellent options.)

Here are 3 of the 1,739 web pages I found the most useful when figuring out how to make my disinfectant wipes in case you want to start a 2 week research project of your own:
Live Renewed: How to Make Homemade Disinfectant
Live Renewed: Homemade Disinfecting Wipes
One Good Thing by Jillee: Make Your Own Reusable Peppermint Kitchen Wipes

My initial mission was to figure out how to make my own disinfectant wipes, but after doing the math and discovering how inexpensive they were, I decided to scout out other fantastic money-saving, Earth-saving, DIY cleaning product recipes to try!

Make your own money-saving cleaning products - it's easier than you think! |

My arsenal of all-natural, money-saving cleaning supplies.

Here are a few more super simple, money-saving cleaning products I made to tackle this year’s spring cleaning:

Make your own money-saving cleaning products. This all-purpose spray is safe and excellent for disinfecting kids' toys! |

This all-purpose spray is safe and excellent for disinfecting kids’ toys!

All Purpose Citrus Cleaning Spray
Citrus peels
Spray bottle

Add citrus peels to jar.  Cover peels with vinegar, filling it to the top.  Let it sit for 2 weeks to infuse.  After 2 weeks, strain the peels out leaving just the vinegar.  Dilute vinegar with equal parts water, add to spray bottle, and get your clean on!

The citrus vinegar concentrate can be stored in a tightly covered jar for up to a year, so put those orange, lemon, and lime peels to good use and keep on adding them.

I’ve seen this recipe splashed all over the internet, but here’s the first place I saw it: DIY Citrus Vinegar Cleaner.

Make your own money-saving cleaning products - it's easier than you think! |

Homemade Soft Scrub Bathroom Cleaner
2/3 cup baking soda
2 Tablespoons liquid castile soap

This homemade soft scrub has such a fantastic, fluffy texture – I love it! Plant-based castile soap gently loosens grime and dirt from surfaces, and baking soda cleans, deodorizes, and scours – perfect for sinks, showers, tubs and ceramic tile!

Recipe: Real Simple – 66 All-Natural Cleaning Solutions

Make your own money-saving cleaning products - it's easier than you think! |

Carpet Stain Remover
1/4 c. Borax
1/4 c. Vinegar
1/4 c. Salt

Mix up and rub paste into carpet stain. Let it soak in for a few hours and then vacuum it up. Borax is a powder form super-cleaner (found in the laundry detergent aisle) that cleans, deodorizes, and disinfects.

Recipe: Non-toxic Home Cleaning

Can you believe how inexpensive it is to make your own cleaning supplies?!  My up front investment was less than $40 ($10 of that was the 2 spray bottles I purchased) and I have a ton of product leftover.  I may never have to buy cleaning supplies again!

As you can see, I’ve greened my clean.  Time for you to pay up, Mother Nature!

Do you make your own cleaning products?  I’ve become incredibly curious about this topic!  What are your favorite DIY cleaning recipes and how do you use them?


  1. 1
    Ashley B says:

    I use Mrs. Meyers all purpose cleaner for almost everything.

    I use it on my floors – just adding some to a bucket of hot water or in my Rubbermaid reusable floor mop (

    I also mix it in a spray bottle and use on everything – counters, tables, appliances, etc.

    I’m going to try the “soft scrub” out! Great post!

  2. 6
    sparham says:

    Love this! Do you use the citrus vinegar spray for glass? or something else? Thank you!

  3. 8

    I’ve been using homemade cleaners for a while now. Saves so much $! I recently started using homemade laundry soap and it is amazing. (1c washing soda, 1c Borax, 1 bar Dr Bronners soap, grated… you only need 1TBSP per load) I always bought the “sensitive” “fragrance free” stuff, but my skin still felt dry/itchy. After switching to homemade about a month ago I have seen (felt) such a difference in my skin.

  4. 12


  5. 14

    Making laundry detergent is super easy and I also make homemade dishwashing detergent as well!! I’m going to try the disinfecting wipes for sure!! If you’re interested in my recipes just let me know! I’d love to share!

  6. 17

    Love this post! Im always amazed at what a doer you are! I think of doing things like making my own wipes, but you actually do it! How do you prioritize like that?! When I have time to myself I feel guilty or get massive overwhelm and nothing gets done. Do you have any cleaning tips for high chairs/meal time kid clean up? Cc in va

    • 18

      Oh girl, I’ve been meaning to make these wipes for well over a year so please don’t be impressed, lol! I’ll admit that I rarely feel guilty about time to myself (I cherish it) but I ABSOLUTELY get overwhelmed with the to-dos. I just try to pluck away at a little each day, and sometimes I get a hair up my ass and just attack a project like I attack a burrito. I think the disinfectant wipes would be great to keep on hand for quick clean-up after mealtime. I swear I use mine all the time. They’re so handy!

  7. 19
    Carla B. says:

    There you go again, providing us with awesome and exciting ideas! :-) Love this post! I’ve flirted with the idea of making our own cleaning supplies to save money and environment, but mostly to continue cutting out unnecessary chemicals from our household. We use mostly all natural cleaning products now, but I’m definitely interested in the carpet cleaner you made. What stains/spills have you used it succesfully on? Our carpet gets a workout, with 2 kiddos (OK so one’s only 3 1/2 months old, but still!) and a dog. Thanks so much, Dusty! :-)

    • 20

      Thanks Carla! We’ve been using all-natural cleaners, too, but I was ready to take it even further to reducing waste – and save money! I’ve used the carpet cleaner on a generally grimy area (no single stain in particular) and it worked great. Sadly, our vacuum has since broken so I’ve yet to put it to the test throughout our entire house. I’ll keep you posted once I do!

  8. 21
    Nicole B. says:

    How cool – can’t wait to try these out! Thanks for doing the research as to which ones work! :)

    Nicole B.

  9. 23

    I can’t wait to try some of these!

  10. 26

    I have to chime in about the Stainless Steel cleaner… or any other cleaner made with vinegar AND baking soda…

    When you mix baking soda (a base) with vinegar (an acid), yes, you get fancy foaming action, but what you’re left with is carbonic acid (which quickly breaks down in to water and carbon dioxide – the bubbles) and sodium acetate. The warm water you are adding is just speeding up the process.

    Both baking soda and vinegar are useful cleaning tools on their own as an abrasive and a disinfectant, but when you mix them together, they are basically rendered useless.

    In the proportions that you have listed, you may end up with excess acetic acid (depending on the percentage that you started with in your vinegar), and that may be what is helping to remove marks from the stainless steel.

    Just two cents from a chemistry teacher. :)

    • 27

      Thank you so much, Lauren! I really appreciate you sharing that with me. I have so many notes of things that shouldn’t be mixed or that cancelled each other out, but apparently I missed this one. Back to the drawing board for my DIY stainless steel cleaner!

  11. 28

    These are great! Thanks for sharing!

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