8 Homemade Cleaning Products Everyone Needs

Are you concerned about the level of chemicals in your cleaning products, but worried the alternatives won’t bring the same spotless shine to your bathroom? You’re not alone. Many people still reach for the bleach, along with the heavy duty bathroom sprays, even though they hate the idea that their products are packed full of nasties.

Then there’s the whole issue of animal testing (many conventional cleaners are still tested on animals), not to mention wasteful packaging with no-refills available.

Well, listen up, if you’re ready to give up your chemical-laden cleaners, we’ve researched a whole bag full of ethical alternatives. These environmentally safe and animal-friendly cleaning solutions will give you peace of mind when you are cleaning. You’ll be amazed and delighted at your ethically clean and spotless bathroom. Read on for some great tips and ideas for conscious cleaning in your bathroom, and have yours looking like a brand new fit out from the Bathroom Discount Centre.

The DIY all-purpose cleaner

homemade-cleaning-products-2This is our absolute favourite and it can be used all over the home, not just in the bathroom (except on some limited surfaces – see ‘Tips’ below). Use an old spray cleaner bottle and make sure it’s been thoroughly washed out. Pour ¼ to ½ cup of distilled white vinegar into the spray bottle. Add 2 tablespoons of baking soda. Put in a few drops of your favourite essential oil. Then fill with water and give the bottle a good shake. Allow it to settle before use, then clean with a conscience.

DIY Glass and Mirror cleaner

homemade-cleaning-products-1Mix equal parts of distilled white vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Spray onto mirrors, windows or glass shelving. Wipe with a clean cloth for sparkling results.

Tip: many advocate using newspaper to wipe down glass surfaces and mirrors once you’ve sprayed on your DIY ethical cleaner. We think a cloth is better. Newspaper is susceptible to tearing and it can even leave print stains.

DIY Toilet cleaner

Sprinkle baking soda into the bowl of the toilet. Drizzle with distilled white vinegar and scrub with a toilet brush. This combination cleans and deodorizes. You can make a paste with baking soda and white vinegar to clean the outside of the toilet too. Apply with a non-scratch scourer in circular movements and wipe clean with a damp cloth. Adding a few drops of tea tree oil to your DIY toilet cleaner will leave your toilet smelling clean and fresh. DON’T mix your DIY toilet cleaner with conventional cleaners as it will create TOXIC FUMES.

DIY Drain cleaner

For clogged drains pour a heaped tablespoon of baking soda down the plughole. Add half a cup of vinegar and put the plug in for just 20 seconds or so. Rinse with hot water.

DIY Air Freshener

For an easy non-toxic air freshener, place 2 tablespoons of baking soda into a small glass jar. Add 5-10 drops of your favourite essential oil and pierce holes in the lid of the jar. Pop the jar in your bathroom and/or toilet.

Elbow Grease

Don’t forget elbow grease! Put some effort into your cleaning and you won’t need all of those extra products.

Supermarket alternatives

If you really don’t fancy making your own cleaning products, there are a whole raft of ethical cleaning products available in the supermarkets. Ecover and Method are the most commonly available ethical cleaning products, but as demand is increasing, other ethical brands are becoming more widely available.

Ethical cleaning products in the supermarket may cost a bit more than the conventional ones, but you’ll be safe from chemical harm and you’ll have an ethically cool and clean bathroom.

Liquid Castile soap

Definitely a must in your new ethical cleaning armoury is liquid Castile soap. It’s made from pure, natural, chemical-free ingredients. It’s one of the best natural and biodegradable soaps on the market. You can use safely to make face washes and soaps, to make shampoos, to wash laundry and it’s completely safe for bathing children too. Add a squirt of Castile soap to any of your homemade cleaning products.


While it may seem like the perfect solution to use your new DIY cleaning liquids for everything, there are some surfaces that can be damaged by their use, even though they don’t contain harmful chemicals. Vinegar shouldn’t be used on hardwood floors, waxed floors or unsealed grout.

If you are using essential oils in your homemade cleaning products, store the cleaner in glass, rather than plastic, bottles. Essential oils can break down plastic over time.

Essential oils are a great secret weapon for homemade cleaners. Many plant-based oils have antibacterial properties and even antifungal properties too. Tea tree oil has antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties. Lavender, lemon, wild orange, peppermint and eucalyptus are some of the other great essential oils good for adding to cleaning products too.

Why make the switch to homemade ethical cleaning?

If you have kids you are probably becoming more paranoid about leaving cleaning products in their reach. The light bulb has been switched on. You are probably thinking ‘what kind of nasties am I cleaning my bath with?’ Even if you haven’t got kids, you have most probably experienced dry skin after spending the day cleaning with regular products. Either way, you are wising up to the toxic load in conventional cleaning products.

The good news is homemade cleaners are easy peasy to make, and they’ll save you a whole load of money too. What’s more, you can have a clear conscience when it comes to animal welfare and your environmental footstep. Go ahead, make the switch. You won’t regret it. In fact you’ll feel positively great about it.

Melissa Thompson
Melissa Thompson writes about a wide range of topics, revealing interesting things we didn't know before. She is a freelance USA Today producer, and a Technorati contributor.