Apartment Living DIY & Crafts Lifestyle

8 DIY Household Cleaners: Clean Your House, Your Way, with Your Products

The products we use to clean our households are extremely important both for our wellbeing, as well as our homes. For this reason, just like we would look for an apartment for rent in hopes of finding the best option for us, we should also do the same when it comes to finding homemade recipes for cleaners. So, below are recipes for eight DIY household cleaners that are natural and just as effective, if not more so, than the specialized products you would otherwise buy for every type of stain or area in your homes.

All-Purpose Cleaner

Having a cleaner that does it all is great and a requirement for your legion of cleaners. And, best of all, it’s easy to make and natural. It will also clean everything from hard water stains, trash cans, smudges, and more. Plus, the lemon leaves a fresh scent, while enforcing the cleaning power of the other ingredients. However, keep in mind that acidic cleaners will etch granite, so avoid using it on delicate surfaces.

What you need:

    • 1 part vinegar
    • 1 part water
    • Lemon rind
    • Rosemary sprigs

Glass Cleaner

While you may not wash your windows regularly, it’s good to have something handy for when you do. Also, this cleaner can also be used on mirrors, which may require more regular cleanings given their daily use. This natural cleaner is not only easy to make, but also easy to use. When cleaning mirrors, spray it on a paper towel before wiping. Meanwhile, for windows, avoid cleaning them on hot, sunny days, as the solution dries quickly and will leave streaks.

What you need:

    • 2 cups water
    • ½ cup white vinegar
    • ¼ cup rubbing alcohol
    • 1 to 2 drops essential oil for aroma (optional)

Carpet Stain Remover

Wine, juice, coffee, or food have likely been spilled on all of our carpets at some point or another. Likewise, the panic of how to remove these stains is something all of us have experienced, as well. Although there are many products made especially for this purpose, there’s also a homemade recipe that works better than any other – and is less expensive. All you have to do is sprinkle baking soda on the stain and spray it with the solution below. Then, wait at least three hours, scrub it with a brush and leave overnight. The next day, vacuum the dry solution – and voila! Clean carpet!

What you need:

    • Baking soda
    • ½ blend water
    • ½ blend white vinegar

Tile & Wood Floors Cleaner

While you may be used to spending a lot of money on specialized cleaners, it’s time to switch to a less expensive, homemade formula that works just as well, if not better. Specifically, vinegar and water can work miracles when used together, especially on tile and wood floors. However, keep in mind that vinegar does have a strong, distinctive smell, so it’s important to have proper ventilation when using it.

What you need*:

    • 1 cup white vinegar
    • 1 gallon of warm water
    • *Based on the area you need to clean, you may reduce or increase the quantity accordingly.

Pen & Ink Stain Remover

Whether it’s a small pen stain on your white shirt, a huge ink mark left by a pen explosion, or a child’s drawing on the couch, there is a way to remove all of these without having to run to the store for a special stain-removing solution. Using items that most people already have in their homes, you can make your own ink-removing solution to have on hand when you need it. However, it’s important to keep some things in mind.

If the stain is still spreading, apply petroleum jelly around it to stop it from spreading. Next, depending on the sturdiness of the stained material, you can use either a toothbrush or a cotton pad to rub or blot the area. If you only used rubbing alcohol, the solution will evaporate on its own. However, if you also used petroleum jelly, you will need some dish soap and water to rinse the stain.

What you need:

    • Rubbing alcohol
    • Toothbrush or cotton pad/ball
    • Petroleum jelly (optional)
    • Liquid soap (optional)
    • Water (optional)

Kitchen Sink Drain & Garbage Disposal Cleaner

Over time, your kitchen sink drain may get stinky, especially if it has an incorporated garbage disposal, but keeping it clean prevents it from starting to smell. And the cleaner recipe below also removes any build-up to ensure that it continues to run properly, while also disinfecting it.

First, remove the drain catch, pour the solution down the drain and leave it to fizz for a couple of minutes. Then, pour in a couple of cups of boiling water, and fill the drain with crushed ice and a cup of salt over it. Turn on the faucet with cold water and start the garbage disposal, running it until the mix is gone. Finally, add the lemon slices with the water still running, and continue to let the garbage disposal run until you’ve used up the entire lemon.

What you need:

    • ½ cup baking soda
    • 1 cup white vinegar
    • 1 cup salt
    • 1 lemon
    • Crushed ice

Grease Remover (for Pots & Pans)

Many people might enjoy cooking a homemade meal if they didn’t dread cleaning the grease from the pots and pans afterward. Because of this, and the struggle to remove the grease, many pots and pans still carry the marks of previous cooking sessions.

Luckily, there is a way to finally rid your dishes of all the stuck-on grease and gunk, without having to purchase any special cleaners. All you have to do is fill the pots and pans with hot water, add an unused dryer sheet to each and let them sit overnight. In the morning, everything should come right off, even the hard, remaining gunk, which can then be removed with a spatula. If there are still some spots that didn’t come clean, dump out the water and apply some baking soda for a couple hours.

What you need:

    • Dryer sheets
    • Water
    • Baking soda (optional)

Air Freshener

Some store-bought air fresheners can become irritating over time or may not smell the way you thought they would when you tried it in the store – if you even tried it at all. Fortunately, you can make your own natural air freshener at home that smells just the way you want it to. What’s more, you can refill it whenever you want without having to leave your home.

What you need:

    • 3 cups water
    • 1 cup vodka
    • 10 to 20 drops of essential oil
    • Spray bottle

While there are some things we can’t avoid buying, cleaners are something that we can make on our own. And these are only a few of the may DIY recipes out there for cleaners. So, do your research and, if possible, go natural for house cleaners!

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About the author

Sanziana Bona

Sanziana Bona is a creative writer and researcher for RENTCafé, with a strong passion for the dynamic real estate market, covering topics from lifestyle to market trends. She has a B.A. in International Relations and Spanish from Michigan State University, a LL.M. in International Business Law, Contracting and International Relations from Instituto Superior de Derecho y Economía. You can connect with Sanziana via email.

Sanziana’s work has been featured in CNBC, CBS News, NBC New York, The Press Democrat, Wolf Street and The Registry San Francisco, among others. Prior to joining the RENTCafé team, she wrote extensive analysis papers on world topics such as human rights violations, international laws, and world conflicts, as well as arts literature, in both English and Spanish.

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