When we’ve got a lot on our plates, cleaning can be the last thing that we feel like doing. And these days there are so many products available (many at premium prices) that it can be difficult to know where to start. However, one way to save time and money is to make your own natural cleaning products.

Natural cleaning products keep cleaning simple, cost next to nothing to make, and can be just as effective (sometimes even more so) than conventional cleaning products. Plus, being toxin-free, they’re generally better for our health, furniture, and the planet.

With this in mind, we’ve put together all you need to know to get started with making your own natural cleaning products. We hope you find it useful.

What key ingredients do I need to make my own natural cleaning products?

What key ingredients do I need to make my own natural cleaning products

Before we look at how to make natural cleaning products, it can be useful to gather a toolkit of basic ingredients.

The three staple ingredients of natural cleaning recipes are often washing-up liquid, white vinegar, and baking soda. These ingredients will usually be enough to get you started, and you may already have them lying around in your pantry.

Washing-up liquid

Washing-up liquid is potentially the most versatile and useful cleaning product. It’s multi-purpose enough to use on most surfaces, but also strong enough to cut through grease and dirt.

Any washing-up liquid will do, though you may want to consider getting one which is eco-friendly (these usually cost a little more, but a tiny amount goes a long way in homemade natural cleaning products).

Some people swear by more eco-friendly Castile soap, which is made from vegetable-based oils instead of animal fats, and free of synthetic ingredients. The only downside to this is that you can’t mix it with vinegar in making natural cleaning products.

Baking soda

Baking soda is a chemical compound known as sodium bicarbonate. It’s safe and effective to use in almost any cleaning task.

It absorbs odours and has a mild abrasive action, which makes it easy to remove dirt with a gentle scrub (without scratching surfaces) on counters, sinks, ovens, stoves, and bathtubs. It can also be used as a whitener and a deodoriser.

Baking soda comes as a fine white powder and can be sprinkled onto a surface or made into a cream cleanser. Just be aware that it can leave a white residue behind after cleaning, so you may need to rinse or wipe a surface well after using it.

Baking soda is safe, cheap, and effective. It’s available to buy in bulk on Amazon if you’d like to stock up.

White vinegar

Vinegar is made from acetic acid – a natural disinfectant which kills bacteria and dissolves mineral deposits (such as limescale), dirt, grease, and grime.

White distilled vinegar, which has 5% acidity, is the one to use for cleaning purposes. It’s non-toxic, eco-friendly, cheap, and extremely versatile – working as a deodoriser, degreaser, stainless steel cleaner, glass cleaner and a soap scum remover. White vinegar can be used neat or diluted in water, depending on the job at hand (but avoid mixing it with hydrogen peroxide).

The main reason that people may avoid using vinegar as a cleaner is its pungent smell. But while its scent may linger for an hour or so, it then disappears; and you can mask it with a few drops of essential oil, such as lavender or peppermint.

You can buy small quantities of white distilled vinegar from some supermarkets for a couple of pounds, or by the litre on Amazon.


To make homemade cleaning products, it’s useful to have measuring cups and spoons.

You’ll also want a few small ceramic or glass bowls or dishes for mixing up pastes and cream cleaners. Recycled ‘Gü’ dessert ramekins work well, or you could always pick something up from your local charity shop.

Last but not least, you’ll need some empty spray bottles to house your homemade cleaning products. If you haven’t got any lying around, they’re available to buy on Amazon. You can use a funnel and a glass measuring jug to pour your concoctions into the bottle. Then, just remember to label them, and you’ll be ready to get started!

Natural cleaning product ingredients – optional extras

Natural cleaning product ingredients – optional extras

Although washing-up liquid, baking soda, and white vinegar will cover most of your natural cleaning needs, some people like to invest in a few extra ingredients to boost the effectiveness of their products.

Useful things to add to your toolkit include surgical spirit or rubbing alcohol (with antiseptic properties) and 3% hydrogen peroxide (a stain-remover, whitener and natural disinfectant). and a few essential oils.

You could also consider adding a few essential oils to your products to personalise them or add a bit of luxury. Essential oils are great because they leave your home smelling fresh, yet they don’t linger for too long. Plus, there are over 90 popular smells to choose from, and each brings its own health benefits.

Many essential oils claim to have disinfectant, antibacterial, and antifungal properties. Citrus oils such as lemon, grapefruit, and sweet orange smell fresh and will add a zing to your home. They’re also made from the rind of the fruit which has high concentrations of limonene – a substance known to help to cut through grease.

Herbal oils to consider using include peppermint, which smells particularly divine when combined with citrus; eucalyptus, which is one of the oldest natural medicinal oils used to combat viruses and bacteria; and lavender, which is calming and can be used to combat mustiness and freshen laundry.

Tea tree oil has a strong but clean smell, and is a powerful disinfectant, antifungal, antiviral and antimicrobial agent, as is thyme oil – and both work well in a multipurpose spray.

Generally speaking, for every 500ml of cleaning product, you should use around five drops for scent and up to 30 drops to maximise its other benefits. You can buy decent quality essential oils individually or in sets on Amazon.

Note: While essential oils have medicinal properties for humans, they can be poisonous to cats and dogs. So it’s best to avoid using them if you have pets, or discuss it with your vet before proceeding.

7 effective natural cleaning products which cost pennies to make

Now that we’ve covered the basic ingredients, here are seven natural cleaning products to consider making…

1. Multipurpose cleaner

Multipurpose cleaner

Most of your home can be cleaned with basic soap and water, which is the essence of this multipurpose cleaner. And the good news is that most of us will already have the main ingredient to hand: washing-up liquid!

Simply combine a teaspoon of washing-up liquid with one and a half cups of water in a glass measuring jug.

To help combat bacteria, viruses, and fungi which may be lurking in your home, you can add either surgical spirit or rubbing alcohol, both of which have antiseptic properties. These will also help the multipurpose cleaner to dry faster and leave fewer streaks in the finish. If you don’t have any in your first aid kit, you can pick up some from Amazon.

If you’d like your cleaner to be fragrant, you can add 10 drops of essential oil. Why not try lavender or tea tree oil, which both have antibacterial properties? Or, you might just like to use your favourite oil, so you feel uplifted every time you clean.

Combine all the ingredients in an empty spray bottle, give it a good shake, and you’ll have an inexpensive natural product that can clean almost anything – even fancy finishes such as stainless steel and natural stone.

2. Glass cleaner

Glass cleaner

This homemade cleaner made from white vinegar, water, and rubbing alcohol will leave your windows, mirrors, and glass shower screens sparkling clean. Plus, the rubbing alcohol helps it to evaporate quickly to help keep it streak-free.

To make this product, simply combine two cups of water with ½ cup of white vinegar and ¼ cup of rubbing alcohol together in a spray bottle. Then, add a couple of drops of orange oil for a lovely citrusy scent.

3. Tub, tile, and grout cleaner

Tub, tile, and grout cleaner

For the bathroom, products need to be tough enough to remove soap scum left behind on tiles and bathtubs.

This intense natural tub, tile, and grout cleaner recipe will leave your bathroom gleaming.

All you need to do is mix together ¼ cup of washing-up liquid and ¼ cup of baking soda in a dish, and add up to two tablespoons of hydrogen peroxide (just enough to make a paste). If you’re using essential oils, consider adding 10 drops of tea tree oil for its disinfecting properties.

Apply the paste onto a damp non-scratch sponge and give your bathroom tub, tiles, and grout a good scrub before allowing it to sit for 10 minutes. Then, wet the sponge, scrub again, and rinse the areas well. Stand back and admire your handiwork!

This product is one of the most impressive and effective of the homemade cleaning products – great for tackling stubborn stains!

4. Toilet cleaner

Toilet cleaner

When considering switching to natural cleaning products, some people may be concerned about their ability to combat germs. In short, it can be difficult to ditch the bleach.

However, this toilet cleaner recipe uses tea tree oil and hydrogen peroxide which, when mixed with water, becomes a powerful cleaner and disinfectant. It combats microorganisms such as bacteria, fungi, and mould as effectively as regular bleach, but is better for your health and the environment.

To make it, combine ¼ cup of baking soda, ½ cup of water, ¼ cup of washing-up liquid, ¼ cup of hydrogen peroxide, and 15 drops of tea tree oil in a spray bottle (with a wide nozzle, as it can get clogged). Simply squirt the mix around the toilet bowl and scrub with your brush as usual, before flushing. For stains in the toilet bowl, try soaking it overnight in citric acid.

5. Drain unblocker

Drain unblocker

For a quick and easy solution to prevent or clear blockages in your drains, try putting ¼ cup of baking soda down the drain followed by ½ cup of vinegar. You’ll hear a satisfying fizz as they combine!

Leave the concoction to work for 15 minutes, then pour eight cups of boiling water in. And voila, the blockage should be cleared.

6. Stain remover

Stain remover

If you’re looking to create an effective stain remover, this homemade recipe couldn’t be simpler.

All you need to do is mix two parts hydrogen peroxide with one part of washing-up liquid in a small bowl. Then, apply the paste to the stain with an old toothbrush or cloth, and rinse it off with water after a few minutes.

You’ll need to mix this stain remover up fresh every time and discard any excess, as it won’t keep.

7. Floor cleaner

Floor cleaner

Vinegar is one of the best products for a natural floor cleaner because it cuts through grease and leaves no residue or smell. However, it’s not suitable for all types of flooring and differing amounts will be needed depending on the floor surface.

For tile and vinyl floors, use one cup of white vinegar to one gallon of hot water, and an optional five to 10 drops of essential oil.

To make a laminate floor cleaner, mix together ½ cup of surgical spirit or rubbing alcohol with ½ cup of water and ½ cup of white vinegar in a spray bottle and use with a flat-head mop. Unfortunately, vinegar is too harsh to use on stone or hardwood floors.

Note: To be on the safe side, keep cleaning solutions out of reach of children and pets.

Final thoughts…

Many people assume that natural cleaning supplies will cost more than conventional cleaning products. But due to their simple ingredients, homemade cleaning products are quick and easy to make, while often working out cheaper.

And, with many other benefits for your home, health, and the environment, why not try making some of your own natural products ahead of your next clean?

For further reading, head over to the home and garden section of our website. Here you’ll find everything from decluttering tips to spring cleaning checklists.