DIY Cleaning Recipes your budget and the environment will love

 In Around the Home

Fancy saving the environment AND your pennies? These DIY cleaning recipes are inexpensive and contain easily pronounceable ingredients: always a winner!

Multipurpose Cleaner

  • ½ cup white vinegar
  • ¼ cup bicarb soda (or 2tsp Borax)
  • 2L water.

Mix all ingredients thoroughly, and put in a spray bottle to use on surfaces with a clean, damp cloth.

Floor Cleaner and Polish

  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 4L warm water
  • (for tough jobs, add ¼ cup Borax)
  • (for vinyl & linoleum, add a few drops of baby oil)

Mix ingredients well, then use a mop to wash floors with it. Use a bucket of clean warm water to mop over a second time.


  • 2tsp Borax
  • 4tbsp white vinegar
  • 3 cups hot water
  • (for stronger cleaning power, add ¼ tsp liquid Castille soap)

Mix ingredients together and use a clean cloth to wipe over surfaces.

Carpet Cleaner

  • 3tsp dishwashing detergent
  • ¼ cup cloudy ammonia
  • ¼ cup white vinegar
  • 500ml water

Mix together and use a clean cloth to apply to dirty carpet in gentle circular motions. Blot dry with a clean towel. Repeat if neccesary. Always do a spot test in a discreet corner to check it is suitable for your carpet.

Surface Cream Cleanser

  • ¾ cup bicarb soda
  • 2/3 cup dishwashing detergent
  • 10 drops pure essential oils (lavender, lemon or orange)

Gently mix ingredients together (so they don’t foam up), and use a clean cloth to wipe over surfaces. Rinse cloth in warm water and go over surfaces again to remove any residue.

Surface Wipes

  • ½ cup white vinegar
  • ¾ cup water
  • 10-12 drops Thieves oil (a commercially available mixture of antibacterial and antiseptic oils)
  • 5-7 drops lemon essential oil
  • Airtight container
  • Old, clean rags or cloths OR 1 roll of thick paper towels

Combine all liquid ingredients in a bowl. If using rags or cloths, submerge them in liquid until they are saturated. If using paper towel (to make disposable wipes), use a sharp bread knife to cut the roll in half cross-ways, then remove the cardboard core. Submerge the roll in the liquid until it is saturated.  Store your wipes in the airtight container in a cool, dark spot.

Glass and Mirror Cleaner

  • 1/3 cup white vinegar
  • 1/3 cup bicarb soda
  • 1tsp cornflour
  • 4 cups water

Combine ingredients and store in a spray bottle for use on glass and mirrors. Spray onto glass/mirrors,  wipe it all over the surface with a clean cloth. Allow to sit for a minute, then wipe off in a circular motion with a separate, dry clean cloth.

Shower and Tile Cleaner

Mix equal parts white vinegar and warm water for a regular cleaning solution to be used with a clean cloth.

For a more intense clean of shower scum buildup, mix equal parts bicarb soda and water to make a paste. Use a clean cloth or sponge to apply in a circular motion to affected areas, then rinse well with hot water.

Here are some links to checklists you may find useful when launching in to a thorough top-to-bottom clean of your house:

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