What are Some Homemade Cleaning Products?

Hillary Flynn
Hillary Flynn

Cheaper and less toxic than many of the products on the department store shelves, homemade cleaning products have become a popular alternative to the increasingly specialized and higher-priced versions purchased by consumers everywhere. Manufacturers continue to increase their product lines, offering a different item for every cleaning task in the home. Many have resisted the pull to complicate the cleaning process and choose to use a few basic ingredients to handle every cleaning need. Only a few key homemade cleaning products are required to have on hand for an effective cleaning job.

Ammonia can be used to make a window cleaner.
Ammonia can be used to make a window cleaner.

Vinegar is a multi-purpose cleaning agent that is both non-toxic and gentle enough to use on delicate surfaces such as a hardwood floor. It’s cheap and can be used to clean kitchens, kill bugs, wash clothes, and an unlimited number of other cleaning purposes. As an acetic acid, vinegar has the ability to chemically break down dirt and grime, without any risk to the person using it or to pets who may come into contact with cleaning products. Entirely edible, vinegar is even touted as a health product, and consumers never have to worry about harmful effects when using it as a cleaning aid.

Baking soda can be used to clean many things around the home.
Baking soda can be used to clean many things around the home.

There are several ways to use vinegar as a cleaner. You may mix it in a spray bottle with a 50/50 solution of water and vinegar. Then it can be sprayed on surfaces and wiped off with a clean cloth. Windows will shine after a vinegar wash, and spots in the carpet are quickly eradicated. To clean silver, pewter, copper or brass, mix one cup (236.59 ml) of vinegar with one teaspoon (4.93 ml) salt and one fourth cup (59.15 ml) of flour. Make a paste, cover the metal, and then let it sit for at least 15 minutes. Rinse with water and wipe clean. Spray toilets with straight vinegar to remove the toughest corrosives, and use a mix of water and vinegar to clean sinks, bathtubs, and shower stalls.

A bottle of rubbing alcohol, which can be mixed with water and ammonia to clean glass.
A bottle of rubbing alcohol, which can be mixed with water and ammonia to clean glass.

Baking soda is another star in the homemade cleaning products category. It can be used as a deodorizer by placing an open box in the refrigerator, or as an abrasive cleaner when mixed with a bit of water and used as a paste in sinks and bathtubs. Drains will run faster by removing debris with baking soda. Dump a half cup (118.29 ml) of baking soda in the drain, and then add a very small amount of hot water. Leave for a few hours or overnight and rinse thoroughly with hot water.

Some homemade cleaning products can be used on hardwood floors.
Some homemade cleaning products can be used on hardwood floors.

Ammonia is also popular with those who favor homemade cleaning products. For those who desire something a bit stronger than vinegar, ammonia is sure to do the trick. Mix one cup (236.59 ml) ammonia, one cup (236.59 ml) rubbing alcohol, and one cup (236.59 ml) water for a glass cleaner. Everything else can be cleaned with a solution of one tablespoon (14.79 ml) clear, non-sudsing ammonia, one tablespoon (14.79 ml) clear laundry detergent, and two cups (473.18 ml) of water. Homemade cleaning products are just as effective and much less costly than their counterparts on the shelves of the local store. Just about any cleaning project can be accomplished with these products most will find in their pantry.

There are many homemade concoctions that can be used to safely clean furniture.
There are many homemade concoctions that can be used to safely clean furniture.
Baking soda can be used as a deodorizer in the refrigerator.
Baking soda can be used as a deodorizer in the refrigerator.
Hillary Flynn
Hillary Flynn

Joining the wiseGEEK team has helped to satisfy Hillary’s insatiable curiosity for knowledge. She also manages an electronic publishing business that allows her to develop her skills in technical writing, graphic design, and business development. Hillary has a passion for satirical writing and enjoys traveling, especially to places of historical importance.

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Discussion Comments

anon993518

Your copper cleaner using vinegar, salt and flour is fabulous!

Heavanet

Vinegar is the most versatile natural cleaning product. I like it because it is non-toxic, and leaves a fresh smell without harsh fragrances or chemicals.

Talentryto

I love using baking soda as a natural cleaning product. It is great for scrubbing sinks, and works as a laundry cleaning booster. It also absorbs all types of odors.

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