DIY cleaning product recipes.

Cheap, easy, natural DIY cleaners. {Clean. The LuSa Organics Blog}

Cleaning your house shouldn't expose your family to a host of chemicals.

After all, your goal is clean – not toxic. But since companies are not required to list the ingredients of house cleaning products (not in the US anyway), it's hard to know exactly what you are inviting into your home.

So why not make your own?

It's easier than you might think. And ridiculously cheap.

Here's how we keep things clean around here. 

Most of the ingredients are in your kitchen or laundry room already. Now you just need to learn some new tricks to use them!

Cheap, easy, natural DIY cleaners. {Clean. The LuSa Organics Blog}

DIY Laundry Soap


  • Natural bar soap
  • Borax
  • Baking Soda
  • Washing Soda

I shared this recipe with you two years ago and you went gaga for it! Because, who knew it was so darn easy to make laundry soap?!

Every few weeks the kids and I grate a couple of bars of our soap, mix in baking soda, washing soda, and borax, and we're set for the month! It's ridiculously easy. And yeah, cheap. Even if you do use the most amazing soap on Earth, like I do.

Oh, yeah.

And you can even make your own washing soda if you can't find any at your local stores.

My laundry soap recipe is here.

DIY Laundry Pretreater


  • Light-colored bar of soap (no dark or bright colored bars or soaps with exfoliants) 

For machine washable clothing only.

Moisten stained area on fabric. Rub with bar soap to coat stained area. Wash as usual with the warmest water for your fabric.

Check stain before drying, and repeat if needed.

Cheap, easy, natural DIY cleaners. {Clean. The LuSa Organics Blog}

DIY Citrus All Purpose Cleaner


  • White vinegar
  • Fresh citrus peels from 1-3 oranges, tangerines, lemons, etc.

This one is even easier than the laundry soap!

Fill a mason jar with citrus peels and add enough vinegar to cover. (Weigh down the peels with a smaller jar if they are floating out of the liquid.) In one to two weeks, pour off the vinegar into a clean jar and compost the peels.

Transfer to a spray bottle if you have one, and use to clean floors, tubs, tile, showers, counters, and more.

I use this all. the. time.


The Best Window Cleaner is No Window Cleaner


  • Water
  • Microfiber cloth

I've tried ever DIY window cleaner recipe I could find. Dozens, I tell you. Dozens.

And I didn't love a one.

Nor do I love the store-bought natural incarnations of the horrid blue stuff my mom uses. (Man that blue stuff works. But it is loaded with ammonia, fragrance oils, and dyes. Nothing I want to breathe nor rub over every glassy surface in my house.)

So after giving up on washing windows forever more, I hit the jackpot at our local hardware store. It is the humble microfiber cloth. Oh. My. Goodness.

For the first time in my live I'm loving washing windows. Though the kids are a bit crazy over this cloth too, and usually beat me to it.

And now I wash windows with… water. And my cloth. And I squeal with delight. For real. Ditch the blue spray and buy a microfiber cloth. It's all you need.

(One disclaimer for you tactile people: it feels really freaky in your hand. Sort of like it's snagging on every microscopic skin cell you've ever had. I got over it. If you can't, just wear gloves.)

Cheap, easy, natural DIY cleaners. {Clean. The LuSa Organics Blog}

Homemade Disinfectant


  • White vinegar

Really! That's all you need. Can you believe it? Yup. The acidity of vinegar it is one of the best disinfectants around.

Here's how: Just wipe down contaminated area with undiluted vinegar and allow to dry. Make you wonder why you had that other stuff around, doesn't it?

And by avoiding antibacterial agents, you won't be contributing to the development of antibacterial-resistant super bugs. And that's good for everyone.

Feel free to substitute All Purpose Citrus Cleanser for white vinegar.

No more nasty bleach!

DIY Floor Cleaner


  • Vinegar or Citrus All Purpose Cleaner (above)
  • Water
  • Essential Oils (optional)
  • Squirt of unscented dish soap (optional)

When I clean my floors I have a pretty basic routine. I fill a bucket with warm water, add a carefully measured glug of vinegar (glug!) and a few drops of my favorite essential oil blend – Cranky Pants. It's all I need! If the floor is horrifying (okay, mine often is) add a wee squirt of natural dish soap, too.

Smells great and it works even better. What more do you need?

Use your favorite essential oil blend or try a few drops of sweet orange eo.

Cheap, easy, natural DIY cleaners. {Clean. The LuSa Organics Blog}

 DIY Sink & Tub Scrub


  • Baking Soda
  • Vinegar
  • Liquid unscented dish soap (optional)

Sprinkle your sink or tub with baking soda. A couple of TB is enough for the sink, maybe 1/4 cup for the tub. Moisten with a splash of vinegar or spray it from your handy spritz bottle, all around the surface you are cleaning. The baking soda and vinegar will react and fizz up. Fun! Now scrub the fizzing/fizzled paste around the tub and rinse. Clean!

If your surface is stupid nasty dirty you can add a squirt of dish soap to your rag before you begin.

If your sink handles have horrible gunk around them, soak a clean rag in vinegar, encircle the nasty fixture, and let it sit. By the time you clean the rest of the bathroom it should be easily wiped away.

Look how much less gross your house is. And it cost you like eight cents! Cha-ching!

 DIY Toilet Bowl Cleaner


  • Baking Soda
  • Vinegar
  • Liquid unscented dish soap (optional)

Toss 1/4 Cup of baking soda into your toilet. Scrub around with your brush, then add a healthy glug of vinegar. (1/2 Cup or more). Scrub with your brush. It will fizz. Let it sit until your other cleaning is done, then flush.


In truth, these recipes do not mean my house is always spotless. Quite the opposite. But when we clean, we mean business. And no toxins are left behind when we're done.

So there you have it! Cleaning, cheap and green. What's not to love? (Okay, maybe toilet cleaning…)


Edited in 2015 to add: For whatever reason I get dozens of spam comments on this post ever week. It's a pain. So I'm closing comments to save myself time deleting bunk comments. Sorry for those of you who have something authentic to say! Feel free to email me. 

26 thoughts on “DIY cleaning product recipes.

  1. Amanda says:

    Could you use apple cider vinegar? I make my own with a a mother, and all, would it work as well?

  2. Lizzie says:

    I am definitely going to try a couple of these once I run out of the cleaners I currently have. I buy the all-natural stuff, but this is even better, and probably cheaper (and more fun!). 🙂

  3. Karen C says:

    Thanks for sharing! I use most of the same things for my cleansers, but I want to try the citrus all purpose cleaner. Sounds awesome.

  4. Joy @ Joyfully Green says:

    Great recipes, and it’s so true that white vinegar is a miracle-worker. I use it to soak the kids’ thermoses (with the pesky straws) at the end of the school week. A natural disinfectant. A friend told me that cider vinegar is just as good, with a more pleasant smell. I’m going to look into that!

  5. Jillian says:

    Thanks for the recipes! Do you think a microfiber cloth diaper insert would work in place of the microfiber cloth? I have lots of spares that I wouldn’t mind using as cleaning rags.

  6. ZingDay says:

    Have I told you lately how much I love your blog? I learn only beneficial, functional and great things here. Love it and you too btw!!

  7. Rachel Wolf says:

    Well that was a sweet note to wake up to this morning! Thanks so much.

    Hi Rachel Wolf,
    ZingDay has left you a comment:

    Have I told you lately how much I love your blog? I learn only beneficial, functional and great things here. Love it and you too btw!!

    Status: Published


  8. Sarah says:

    Wow, that IS an awesome idea– I just tried it, and it works! What a great use for those extra diaper inserts. Thanks so much for this very comprehensive post, Rachel. My kids and I cleaned the floor with your hot water/vinegar/essential oil/soap solution and it was so nice not to worry about them dipping their cloths in the bucket. Also, the floor smells great. I have mostly “natural” cleaning supplies, but they’re pricey and now I don’t feel like I need to buy more when they run out– this post really gave me the confidence to switch over to DIY cleaning.

  9. susan says:

    I’m excited to try the Citrus cleaner!

    I’ve often wondered (really, I’m not joking) as I’ve pondered my homemade cleaners, if the Wolf family somehow makes their own natural [hand] dishwashing soap out of something LuSa. So… do you buy or make yours?

  10. Rachel Wolf says:

    Oh, Susan how I have tried! I have a friend who makes her own our of our scrap soaps, grating it and mixing with water and then maybe a bit of borax? But when I tried a few formulas I found that it left a pronounced residue on my dishes. Not pretty. So while our soap is tops for skin, not so much for dishes.

  11. Rachel Wolf says:

    Pat animal care… what do you have in mind? For bathing we simply use our LuSa soap. Beyond that, well, there isnt much we do thats out of the ordinary. As for the book… I dont know. SO much going on right now that Im having a hard time carving out much time… But Im still working on it!

  12. Janet Reid says:

    I love the citrus all purpose cleaner recipe. So lovely to have a nice fresh smell after cleaning rather than the smell of harsh chemicals.

  13. Jackie says:

    What? You mean to tell me you can use SOAP as a stain treatment? How strange! Obviously I’m just kidding here. Isn’t it amazing that most of society believes (no, has be brainwashed to believe) that they have to buy pricey, toxic chemicals in order to truly clean something? I’m a huge fan of baking soda and vinegar for cleaning, and I’ve been making my own laundry soap (same ingreds as yours) for 2 years now. I love it. Hey, have you tried vinegar as a substitute for fabric softener yet? I’ve been doing that for a couple of years too. Love it.

  14. Teresa The Cleaner says:

    I’m a huge fan of DIY cleaning products so many thanks for the ‘recipes’. Regarding the all purpose cleaner, I already use something similar but I’m not a fan of citrus fragrances so I use a teaspoon of vanilla essence which gives a lovely warm fragrance that doesn’t smell like a cleaning product – if you know what I mean.

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