9 Homemade Cleaners That Actually Work, According to Cleaning Experts

Some of the items in your pantry (like baking soda and vinegar) work as effective cleaners and, even better, cost next to nothing. So the next time you’re staring down a big mess but you’re out of your favorite product, don’t run to the store — try one mixing up one of these DIY standbys instead.

Important Safety Tip: Never combine ammonia-based cleaners with chlorine bleach or products containing bleach, such as powdered dishwasher detergent. The fumes they’ll create are extremely dangerous. Before doing any mixing, read the product labels first. Always label any bottles of DIY cleaners with all the ingredients inside. In case a child or animal gets into it, it’s important to know what the mixture contains.

1. Scented All-Purpose Cleaner

What you’ll need:

  • One part white vinegar
  • One part water
  • Lemon rind
  • Rosemary sprigs

Combine the above ingredients together, pour into a spray bottle, shake, and then let infuse for a week before using. Once done, you can use the solution to remove hard water stains, clean trash cans, wipe away wall smudges, and much more. Plus, the fruit’s acid adds extra cleaning properties — perfect for stubborn stains. 


2. Kitchen Cleaner and Deodorizer

What you’ll need:

  • 4 tablespoons baking soda
  • 1 quart warm water

To clean kitchen counters, appliances, and the inside of your refrigerator, all you need is baking soda. “It makes a great deodorizer and can be used to shine stainless steel sinks and appliances,” says Carolyn Forte, director of the Good Housekeeping InstituteCleaning Lab. Just pour the above solution on a clean sponge and wipe.


3. Glass Cleaner

GETTY IMAGESRONSTIK Advertisement – Continue Reading Below

What you’ll need:

  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup white or cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup rubbing alcohol 70% concentration
  • 1 to 2 drops of orange essential oil for smell (optional)

The next time you need to wash your windows and mirrors, combine these ingredients and pour them in a spray bottle. Hint: Don’t clean windows on a hot, sunny day, because the solution will dry too quickly and leave lots of streaks. For mirrors, spray the solution on a paper towel or soft cloth first before wiping.


4. Brass Cleaner

    2-Ingredient Polishing Tricks by Good Housekeeping US   Play Video  

What you’ll need:

  • White vinegar or lemon juice
  • Table salt

To clean non-lacquered cabinet pulls, bathroom appointments, and more, dampen a sponge with vinegar or lemon juice, then sprinkle on salt. Lightly rub over surface. Rinse thoroughly with water, then immediately dry with a clean soft cloth.


5. Heavy-Duty Scrub

What you’ll need:

  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 cup borax powder

Rust stains on porcelain or enamel sinks and tubs are no match for this cleaner. Dip the lemon into the borax and scrub the surface, then rinse. (This is not safe for marble or granite.) Tip: You can find borax, a laundry booster, in the detergent aisle or order it on Amazon.


6. Grease Cleaner

GETTY IMAGESABLOKHIN Advertisement – Continue Reading Below

What you’ll need:

  • 1/2 cup sudsy ammonia

Sudsy ammonia contains detergent that helps remove tough grime. Mix 1/2 cup with enough water to fill a one-gallon container. Then clean your oven racks, stove hoods, and grills by dipping a sponge into the solution and wiping over the surface before rinsing with clear water. You can also soak oven racks and grill grates in the mixture directly, with a little extra ammonia if they’re particularly dirty.


7. Water Ring Remover

What you’ll need:

  • One part white non-gel toothpaste
  • One part baking soda

Places you’ve accidentally left a water ring (but not on unfinished wood, lacquer, or antiques), dampen a cloth with water, add the toothpaste mixture and rub with the grain to buff over the spot. Then take a dry cloth and wipe off. Use another soft cloth for a final shine. Polish as you normally would.


8. Last-Resort Clothing Stain Remover

GETTY IMAGESTOMAZL

What you’ll need:

  • 1 gallon hot water
  • 1 cup powdered dishwasher detergent
  • 1 cup regular liquid chlorine bleach, not ultra or concentrate

Treat badly stained but washable white clothing by mixing the above ingredients into a stainless steel, plastic, or enamel bowl (not aluminum). Soak garment for 15-20 minutes. If stain is still there, let it soak a bit longer, then wash the item as usual.


9. Marble Cleaner

What you’ll need:

  • 2 drops mild dishwashing liquid
  • 2 cups warm water

Mix dishwashing detergent and water the next time you want to clean natural stone countertops. Sponge over marble and rinse completely to remove any soap residue. Buff with a soft cloth; do not let the marble air-dry. Caution: Never use vinegar, lemon, or any other acidic cleaner on marble or granite surfaces; it will eat into the stone.

Leave Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *