3 Simple Homemade Cleaners {That’ll Keep Your WHOLE House Sparkling}

3 Homemade Cleaners That ll Keep Your Whole House Sparkling | Mama Papa BubbaLast month, I had the absolute pleasure of attending a green cleaners workshop at Rocky Mountain Flatbread Co., the community-conscious, carbon neutral restaurant I’ve written about before.  It was a lovely night out with like-minded ladies, where Suzanne, one of the restaurant’s co-founders, shared all of her green cleaning tips and tricks. I left for home with a bag full of simple, homemade cleaners to put to the test.  

Now while using natural products that are safe for Miss G to be around is a top priority in our house, I love cleanliness way too much to use something that doesn’t actually work.  I’m pleased to say that so far, all three of these cleaners pass the test.  With flying colours, in fact!

And because we love them so much, Gracen and I decided we’d spread the love and make some to give to her grandmas.  We swung by an awesome local shop called The Soap Dispensary, picked up a couple of basic supplies, plus some cute wooden scoops and beautiful glass spray bottles, and got to work.

Homemade Lemon Mint Dishwasher Detergent | Mama Papa BubbaThe first cleaner we made is the only one we haven’t yet fully put to the test…  Not because we haven’t wanted to, but because it’s a dishwasher detergent and we don’t have a dishwasher (much to my dismay!)  But because I’m not willing to let it sit unused, I’ve put it to the test as a kitchen sink scrub and a toilet scrub, and I’m happy to say that it’s worked great as both.  

IMG 7861Here’s what you’ll need to make your own lemon mint dishwashing detergent… Washing soda (different than baking soda and found in grocery store laundry aisles), Borax, peppermint and lemon essential oils (you can really use any kind you like – last time we used a combination or sweet orange and rosemary and it smelled wonderfully), and a large mason jar.

Dishwasher Detergent PrepTo make this one, Gracen simply added a 1/2 a cup of washing soda and a 1/2 cup of Borax to our jar, added a few drops of lemon essential oil, then another round of washing soda and Borax, and one drop of peppermint essential oil.  We shook everything up, then repeated the entire process again.

IMG 7866Voila!  Dishwasher detergent made of 3 natural ingredients.  To put it to use, all you have to do is add a scoop to your detergent compartment along with a squeeze of castile soap (we like this one), and let it do its thing.  Oh, and instead of Jet Dry or another rinse aid?  Apparently white wine vinegar will do the job just as well!

Homemade Lemon Grapefruit Bathroom Scrub | Mama Papa BubbaNext up, Gracen and I made one of my favourites…  A citrusy bathroom scrub that makes getting rid of soap scum nearly effortless. It also makes tiles, toilets, and sinks sparkle and leaves them smelling fresh too.

IMG 7868In the line-up for our lemon grapefruit bathroom scrub… Baking soda, washing soda, Borax, salt, lemon and grapefruit essential oils (again, you could switch up the scents), and a medium-sized mason jar.

Bathroom Scrub PrepFor this one, Grae added all of our dry ingredients to the jar, dropped the essential oils on top, and shook it all up.  Easy as that.  The only thing about this recipe is that it does fill a medium-sized mason jar right to the tippy top, so mixing it in a bowl or larger jar would make it easier.

IMG 7878To clean tiles and other flat surfaces with this scrub, I simply shake a little on a wet, textured sponge, give the surface a scrub, and rinse it with running water or a wet cloth. Toilets are even easier – all you have to do is sprinkle some straight into the toilet bowl, let it sit a moment, and scrub with a toilet brush as usual.  And for soap scum (the nasty, stubborn stuff), I like to spray the surface with plain white vinegar first, let it sit 5 to 10 minutes, sprinkle the scrub on top, and scrub it off with a textured sponge (you’ll be amazed by how well this works!)

Glass Friendly All Purpose Cleaner | Mama Papa BubbaThe last cleaner Gracen and I made may just be my very favourite of the 3…  The recipe is ridiculously simple, and it works pretty much everywhere.  I use it all over our kitchen as a basic surface cleaner, plus I use it while dusting our main living space, and while cleaning up sticky messes on the floor.  The best part though, is that it works as a glass cleaner too and leaves mirrors and windows just as spotless and streak-free as specialized glass cleaners do.  And window crayons?  They literally melt off.

IMG 7885Here’s what you’ll need to whip up a batch of your own… Some hydrogen peroxide, some water, some freshly-squeezed lemon juice, and a spray bottle.

All Purpose Cleaner PrepWe juiced our lemon, added everything to the spray bottle, and shook it up {while singing with our eyes closed apparently}.

IMG 7909And that’s it.  Paired with a damp cloth, it makes a great surface cleaner, and paired with a dry cloth, it makes a great glass cleaner.

IMG 7915With these three cleaners, we’re able to keep our entire house sparkling clean.  Plus they’re inexpensive, all-natural, homemade, and you can feel good about using them around munchkins.  

3 Simple Homemade Cleaner Recipes | Mama Papa Bubba

An extra special thanks to Suz for sharing her recipes and teaching me all of her secrets.  For more great info on green cleaning, visit her blog post here.  


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5 thoughts on “3 Simple Homemade Cleaners {That’ll Keep Your WHOLE House Sparkling}

  1. jkossowan says:

    So sorry to everyone who had previously left a comment… I was having issues with this post and had to delete it and republish. Please feel free to repost your comments. 🙂

  2. these are great, thanks for sharing!! i use a combination of vinegar + baking soda for most of my cleaning now but i did not have a replacement for dishwashing detergent. what is the difference between baking soda and washing soda, though? could you not just use baking soda for all of it with the same results?

    • jkossowan says:

      I love the basic vinegar and baking soda for cleaning too, Midnight Mama! You’ll have to let me know how the dishwashing detergent works as it’s the only one I’m not able to properly test… I’ve got a few people testing it out right now and I’m anxious to hear about the results!

      As far as the baking soda / washing soda goes, I’m certainly no expert, but as far as I understand, they’re made up of the same components, but with a different chemical structure. I think you could substitute baking soda for the washing soda in many cleaner recipes with decent results, but I’m not certain. What I do know is that you can turn baking soda into washing soda by baking it in the oven in order to break it down… Here’s a good post about it – http://www.pennilessparenting.com/2011/01/homemade-washing-soda.html#.

      Hopefully this is at least a little big helpful! 🙂 Let me know how it goes!

  3. Jodi says:

    This may be an ignorant question…but how long will the all-purpose cleaner last, as it uses fresh lemons? Im just wondering if I make a big batch, will it “go bad” after a length of time?

    • jkossowan says:

      Hey Jodi! Not ignorant at all – in fact, I wondered the same thing when I was first learning about these recipes. If you’re worried about the lemon spoiling, you can always keep the cleaner in the fridge to extend it’s life, but I keep mine in the cupboard have had absolutely no issues, even when the batch has lasted me 1 – 1 1/2 months! 🙂

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