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Effective homemade cleaners for a healthier home and planet

A green globe cut out of grass

We tend to feel most comfortable in our home when it’s clean, but what if the products we use aren’t the best for us or the environment? With our guide on homemade nontoxic household cleaners, you can get the job done and rest easy knowing you’ve also helped the planet.

Pro Tip: For best results, please refer to your user manual before using any of the cleaners below.

Homemade cleaners to try at home

Different appliances and systems in your home have different cleaning needs. With these specialized homemade cleaning solutions, you’ll be able to make cleaning products that are customized for your specific cleaning needs.

DIY oven cleaner to make your cooktop shine

Making your own home oven cleaner may sound complicated or dangerous, but this easy formula makes it easy to bust grime and leaving your range and cooktop gleaming.

Combine water and baking soda in a respective 1:2 ratio and let it sit for 20-25 minutes before wiping it clean with a sponge or soft cloth. If your range hasn’t been cleaned in a while, try leaving it on for 2-5 additional minutes to be able to remove all the gunk!


A hand in a yellow cleaning glove uses a neon green cloth to clean a soapy cooktop


DIY Dishwasher cleaner for sparkling dishes

Many homeowners focus on buying the right dishwasher detergent, but it’s just as important that your dishwasher is also clean. Every 3-6 months, this natural dishwasher cleaner can help you set your dishes up for their brightest shine.

After emptying your dishwasher and removing food debris from inside the dishwasher and around the gasket (the rubber part of your door seal), fill a dishwasher-safe cup 2/3 full with white vinegar, then place it on the top rack. Run your empty dishwasher at its hottest setting to clean away stains and remove smells, and you’re all set!

Homemade drain cleaner for more efficient plumbing

A clean drain not only smells great, but it works better. Using this easy drain cleaner recipe once a month as a part of your regular plumbing maintenance can not only save your pipes, but it can also help you breathe more easily when a drain is clogged.



Homemade window cleaner for spotless windows

Windows are one of a home’s most prominent features, so it’s extra important to keep them clean. By using this natural glass cleaner recipe, you’ll always have it on hand to safely remove little handprints or paw prints from all your mirrors and glass.

To make indoor window cleaner, combine 2-5 drops of mild dish soap with 2 cups hot distilled water in a spray bottle for a beautiful shine, free of streaks and ammonia.

DIY shower cleaner for cleaning mold & mildew

Many bathrooms are fairly tight spaces, so using strong chemicals to lift the mold and mildew can make it difficult to breathe. With this recipe for shower cleaning solution, you’ll get the cleaning power you need without having to open all your freshly wiped windows.

By mixing equal parts vinegar and dish soap in a wand scrubber, you can cut through shower grime as you go, so you both stay clean!

DIY toilet bowl cleaner for a sanitized throne

Cleaning the toilet may be your least favorite activity, but here’s a way to make it a little more bearable—use lemon juice or borax (not boric acid) as a DIY toilet bowl cleaner. To keep your toilet looking clean, pour in one ingredient or the other and let it sit for 10-20 seconds before scrubbing, and flush the grime down the drain to keep your toilet good as new.


Pink gloved hands use a sponge and a toilet brush to clean the toilet


DIY washing machine cleaner to keep your clothes feeling new  

The cleanliness of your washing machine can determine how well your clothing gets washed. Use this process for deep cleaning a washing machine every 3-6 months to give it a hearty refresh and keep your clothes coming out clean.

How to clean a top-loading washing machine: Pour 4 cups of white vinegar and ½ a cup of baking soda into separate cups. Dial your washing machine to its largest load and hottest water setting. Add all 4 cups of white vinegar as the water fills the drum, and let the agitator work for 1-3 minutes to mix the vinegar in.

Stop the agitator and let the vinegar water sit for 45 minutes to one hour, using a soft cloth to wipe the lid and exterior walls of the machine. Use a toothbrush or a sponge to remove buildup from the detergent compartment and top of the drum.

Once 45-60 minutes have passed, resume the wash cycle. If possible, give the holes in your washer a deeper clean by setting your washer to drain the drum as it spins. If your machine does not have this capability, you can start another hot wash cycle and let it run to the end. Enjoy the clean!

How to clean a front-loading washing machine: To clean your front-loading washer, start by filling your detergent compartment with 2 cups of white vinegar. Set your machine to self-clean (or the largest and hottest load settings), and let it run for a full cycle. Pour 2 cups of bleach into the detergent compartment, and let it run on the same settings for another full cycle. Rid your washer of any remaining residue by running it once more without anything added, and your machine should be fresh and sparkling.

Now that your washing machine’s drum is clean, it’s time to address the accessories. To clean your gasket, remove any debris before spraying soapy, hot water in the folds of your gasket, wiping it away with a soft cloth, and repeating as necessary.

Next, dab the corner of your cleaning cloth into a solution of 10% bleach, 90% water and wipe thoroughly to remove mold. Get the gunk out of your detergent and bleach trays by taking them (and any other removable parts) from your washer and soaking them in soapy water for 20 minutes before rinsing them in water, wiping them with a soft cloth, and placing them back in the machine.

Bonus: DIY all-purpose cleaner recipe

Sometimes, you need the simplicity of a cleaner that can do double, triple, and quadruple duty. With the spray of one hand and the wipe of another, this DIY all-purpose cleaner is not only easy to make and use; it also leaves many of your household surfaces gleaming, making you want to reach for it over and over again.

Unless you’re cleaning wood, mix water with 3-5 drops of dish soap and ¼ cup rubbing alcohol to get rid of most grease and stains.

With this list, you’re fully equipped with what you need to make your own fume-free solutions. Save this article to keep these earth-friendly recipes handy, and feel free to share it with your friends!