Before I jump in to do the Spring Clean, it seems proper for me to share my homemade cleaner recipes. In some areas, I still use store-bought cleaners, so I will note those as well.
I share all of my homemade cleaner recipes later in this post. Here is how I use them in the various areas of my house.
CLEANERS I USE BY ROOM/PURPOSE
Bathrooms – In the bathrooms, I use the Clean * Surface Spray on the sink, tub and toilets. I use the Sparkle * Glass Cleaner on the mirrors and windows. To clean out the toilet bowl, I still use a commercial liquid with bleach. When there is a tough, tough mineral stain, I gently rub it with a pumice stone and that does the trick inside the toilet bowl.
Kitchen – In the kitchen, I use the Clean * Surface Spray on the counters, stove top and inside the microwave. I use the Sparkle * Glass Cleaner on the outside of the appliances. We have a granite sink that needs a rough surface to remove scuff marks, so I use Bar Keeper’s Friend in the sink. For spots on the outside of the appliances (usually the refrigerator) that the glass cleaner does not remove, I use a Magic Eraser.
Dusting – For everyday cleaning, I use Swiffer Dusters. I just have not found anything that works as quickly! For deeper cleaning, I use Shine * Furniture Polish. To remove deeper scratches from our honey oak wood, I use a homemade scratch repair liquid.
Windows/Glass – I use my simple Sparkle * Glass Cleaner to clean up smudges (human and canine) from our windows, monitors, TVs and other glass. I use a Norwex window cloth to wipe the cleaner off and for delicate surfaces (like the computer monitor), I usually spray the cloth, rather than the monitor.
Floors – We have mostly hardwood and tile floors, plus one bathroom has vinyl. On all the floors, I use Mop * Floor Cleaner. I love it, but I also really liked using Murphy’s Oil Soap, if you have it/prefer a store-bought option.
Laundry – I pre-treat stains (like ketchup, grass and dirt) with Go Spot Go * Stain Remover. I also LOVE Goo Gone. It removes oily spots like drips of butter or grease when you pretreat the spot with just a little bit. We use Fresh * Laundry Soap for our washing machine soap and white vinegar as our fabric softener (usually just for sheets and towels). We don’t use dryer sheets. Instead, we use dryer balls.
White vinegar I usually buy Heinz or the store brand at my local grocery store.
Essential Oils – I use tea tree, lemon and peppermint. A small bottle lasts a long, long time. I buy mine at a local co-op.
Club soda – I buy this at the grocery store when it is $.99 or less.
Water – the recipes generally call for filtered water, but I don’t have any issues using tap water.
Washing soda – I buy mine in the laundry aisle of my local grocery store.
Borax – I buy mine in the laundry aisle of my local grocery store.
Olive Oil – I buy mine in bulk from Costco for cooking, I use that to make the cleaner.
Bar soap (not pictured) – Lots of people use Fels Naptha, a natural soap. Unfortunately, I am allergic to it, so I just use whatever soap we have on hand (usually Ivory or Dove).
Sparkle * Glass Cleaner: Pour club soda into a spray bottle (yep – it is that simple!)
Clean * Surface Cleaner: Fill your spray bottle 3/4 full with water. Add in 3 tablespoons Dr. Bronner’s Liquid Soap (I use Tea Tree) and 20 drops of tea tree essential oil. Put spray top back on and shake well.
Mop * Floor Cleaner: Fill a squirt bottle 1/2 full with white vinegar. Fill the rest with water. Add 15 drops of essential oil (I use peppermint) to mask the smell of the vinegar. An empty dishsoap bottle or Meyer’s squirt bottle work great.
Shine * Furniture Polish: Put 2 teaspoons olive oil into a spray bottle. Add 20 drops of lemon essential oil and 1/4 cup white vinegar. Fill with water and shake well. Shake before using.
Go Spot Go * Stain Remover: Pour 1/4 cup liquid dish soap (not for dishwashers) and 1/4 cup glycerin into a spray bottle. Fill with 1 1/2 cups water. Shake well to combine.
Fresh * Laundry Soap: Combine equal amounts of grated soap (I use Ivory, but any kind will do), washing soda and borax. (For example, 1 cup of each or 2 cups of each). Stir well. Add 2 tablespoons to one load of laundry. If you have a front loading washing machine, you may want to put it directly into the drum – consult your machine’s instructions.
Some of my recipes are based off of recipes featured in Clean House, Clean Planet – a great book that has dozens of homemade cleaners. My copy is tattered and worn; I highly recommend it if you are looking for more recipes.
Feel free to add any of your favorite cleaner recipes or store-bought cleaners in the comments. There is nothing better than a good, simple, effective cleaner. Happy cleaning!