Top 3 Cleaning Products I Use That You Can Make At Home

31 Mar

I’m a big fan of inexpensive, non-toxic cleaners that actually work.

Here are the top 3 that I use regularly in my own home along with popular uses and instructions on how to make each one.

Put these items on your shopping list!


Magic ingredient: Joy Liquid Dish Soap

Uses: All-purpose glass cleaner for indoor and outdoor windows, mirrors, appliances, and sealed wood furniture. It shouldn’t be used on marble, which doesn’t like citrus-based products. For cleaning marble, you can substitute Ivory dish soap instead.

When using on exterior windows, hose the window down prior to cleaning in order to remove heavy dirt, pollen, or other debris.


–Fill a clean, empty spray bottle with water – I like the 32 oz. size. Use distilled or filtered water if you live in a hard water area.

–Add 1-2 tiny drops of Joy liquid dish soap (more is not better)

Optional – add a drop of food coloring if you simply must have blue window cleaner.

I’m not kidding, that’s it.

It really is the best glass cleaner you’ll ever use and it will cut the wax residue left by previous ammonia-based cleaners.

I purchased a bottle of Joy on sale for $1.00 at Walgreen’s. It should last me about 600 years.

It’s best to use a lint-free cloth instead of paper towels on glass. My favorite window rags are cut-up old t-shirts. You could also use micro-fiber cloths. When you wash the rags, skip the fabric softener.

I discovered this recipe through one of Angela Coffman’s readers over at the Grocery Shrink.


This product is a staple in our house and I use it Around My Home multiple times a day.

Magic ingredient: Distilled White Vinegar


a. Disinfectant cleaner that can be used on kitchen and bathroom countertops, appliances, wood floors, and sealed wood furniture, children’s toys, and any non-porous surface. It’s a must for cleaning up quick spills.

b. Deters pests. Vinegar virtually eliminates food odors, so it helps deter pests such as ants. If they can’t smell food, they won’t bother looking for it in your house.

c. Removes tough cooking odors in your kitchen from fish or onions. Try setting a pot on the stove filled with a few cups of this mixture on medium-low for a couple of hours. It really will help remove the odor – not completely – but you will notice a significant difference. I once cooked jumbo scallops and the odor took forever to disappear, but eventually left our kitchen.

You can follow up the vinegar mix with a pot of water and a few cinnamon sticks or mulling spices, again on medium-low for as long as you like. I love using this approach to prepare for dinner parties.

Although I do use this cleaner on my wood floors, I don’t use it on my tile in the kitchen or bathrooms. I like something with a fresh, clean scent, so I use a store-bought biodegradable all purpose cleaner on my tile floors. When we have company, I use my Williams Sonoma countertop cleaner to wipe down the kitchen. I like Meyer Lemon and Pink Grapefruit.

The smell of vinegar dissipates quickly, but if you simply can’t stand it, try adding a citrus essential oil such as tangerine.  Just a few drops should help.


–Fill a spray bottle with a 1:1 ratio of white distilled vinegar and water. Use distilled or filtered water if you live in a hard water area.


Uses: Scratch-free, deodorizing cleaner for sinks, stovetops, and bathtubs.

Magic ingredient: Baking soda


–Combine baking soda and Ivory soap in a small bowl until the mixture is the consistency of cake frosting.

Optional – Add a few drops of your favorite essential oil for a pleasant scent. The best ones for disinfecting are lavender or tea tree oil. Others that are good for general cleaning are bergamot, peppermint, and tangerine.

Ready to get started? Here’s your shopping list:

–Clean, empty spray bottles

–Sharpie marker or label-maker for labeling your cleaners

–Food coloring (optional for color)

–Distilled White Vinegar

–Joy liquid dish soap

–Ivory liquid dish soap

–Baking soda

–Lavender or tea tree essential oil

–Water (distilled or filtered if you live in a hard water area)

Question: What are your favorite cleaning products around your home?


5 Responses to “Top 3 Cleaning Products I Use That You Can Make At Home”

  1. Anonymous April 1, 2012 at 3:09 pm #

    I especially like the essential oils. I will try it! I wonder if using vinegar in my steam shark would be a bad idea.

    • mbolke April 1, 2012 at 7:52 pm #

      There are lots of other uses for essential oils that you may enjoy as well. One that I like is putting a few drops on my scalp before shampooing, just to change things up a bit. My favorite for this application is tangerine.

      I’m not sure about the steam shark – might be worth a call to the manufacturer, or they may have FAQ’s on their website. Happy cleaning!

  2. Letha June 23, 2013 at 10:25 am #

    What’s up it’s me, I am also visiting this website regularly, this
    web site is in fact good and the viewers are truly sharing pleasant thoughts.


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