Your Five BEST Home-Made Household Cleaners

December 08, 2016

Grandma used vinegar to get her windows sparkling clean. Your mother balked at such "old-fashioned" measures and bought a chemical cleaner instead.

Now it's your turn to run a household. Isn't it interesting that with today's focus on getting back to basics and operating a more natural, eco-friendly home, Grandma's advice is coming back - and showing itself to have been effective and smart all along?

Listen to Grandma...with these updated recipes/twists. Here are five GREAT cleaners you can make yourself...naturally.

1. Easy Streakless Glass Cleaner

This one is the tried-and-true! But you can make it more effective with a simple solution. Into a spray bottle, mix the following:

2 c. water

1/3 c. white vinegar

1/8 c. 70% rubbing alcohol

2 drops orange essential oil

The alcohol makes this quick-drying to reduce streaks, and the orange oil leaves a fresh smell. Lovely!

2. All-Purpose Baking Soda Cleanser Solution

The baking soda in this cleanser adds a very mildly abrasive element and is great on grease.

The ingredients are:

1 qt. warm water

4 T. baking soda

Dissolve the baking soda into the water, stirring constantly for 1-4 minutes. Even when fully dissolved, the very mild abrasive action will help clean tough messes without damaging your surfaces. For extra scrub, use a semi-abrasive scrub pad. After cleaning the surface with this solution, wipe off with a clean rag.

3. Lemon and Bronner's De-Greaser

Lemon is the gold standard for bleaching out stains, but it also has great grease-busting powers. Pour the following into a spray bottle:

2 c. water

3 T. fresh-squeezed juice from a lemon

1/2 tsp. Bronner's (or other brand) castile soap

Shake well to combine. Use on greasy kitchen or bathroom surfaces.

4.  Mold & Mildew Remover

Mold can be hazardous to your health, but so can many cleansers designed to eradicate it. Get rid of the issue the natural way by combining these ingredients:

1.5 c. water

1/3 c. baking soda

1 tsp. tea tree oil

Mix well. Apply to mold or mildew area. Allow to sit for 5 minutes. Wipe off. Wash the rag immediately, or use disposable paper.

5. Hardwood Floor Cleaner

Break out the lemons again - it's time to clean the floor! This time, though, there will be much less lemon in the dilution. That's because lemon is great for cleaning, but it's acidic, and you want to be as gentle as possible on even treated/finished wood.

Dilute the following:

1 gal. warm water

1 T. fresh-squeezed lemon

While water is still warm (heat helps cut through dirt), mop the floor clean. There is no need to wipe this cleaner off. A fresh lemon smell will be left behind.