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How to make your own household cleaning products

18 MAR 21 | 2 minute read

With continuing news headlines warning of a climate crisis, many of us are turning away from single-use and disposable containers to help cut our contribution to climate change. 

Instead, more and more of us are embracing refill culture for everything from household cleaning to pampering.

Many recipes for commonly used products are readily available online using ingredients most of us will have in the kitchen cupboard, so we can all give it a go.

It’s a great way of helping to protect the environment and could save you some cash too.

What stuff do I need?

Natural products like white vinegar, lemon juice and essential oils have been used for decades to keep homes clean. Many are also among the ingredients found in shop-bought cleaners.

Those you might not already have in the house include castile soap, a versatile cleaner made using vegetable oil.

You can buy it ready-made from most health food shops and several online retailers, or make your own. There are lots of recipes and even video tutorials online.

If you bake you’ll probably have bicarbonate of soda in the cupboard – but if not, it’s worth adding that to your shopping list too.

Just be careful if you’re following an online recipe, bicarbonate of soda is called baking soda in the US, and it’s not the same as baking powder!

You’ll also need reusable containers to store solutions in, so raid the recycling bin for bottles with lids – bottles with spray nozzles are particularly useful – or start saving jars and pots.

More and more of us are embracing refill culture for everything from household cleaning to pampering.

Homemade cleaning products bottles

What kinds of products can I make?

Everything from glass cleaner to laundry detergent – but arguably most common are all-purpose cleaning solutions that’ll do any hard surface, including kitchens and bathrooms.

Make your own all-purpose household cleaner

Prep time: 5 mins
Makes a one-litre supply (enough to fill two normal-sized spray bottles) 

150ml white vinegar
1 tbsp bicarbonate of soda
1 litre warm water

Mix all the ingredients together and decant the mixture into a couple of bottles with lids. Ones with a spray nozzle work best. It’s as simple as that!

Top tips

If you can only find one bottle you can make less of this cleaner by just reducing the amount of each ingredient proportionally.

It’s not an exact science. Recipes for all-purpose cleaners vary, so don’t worry too much about quantities. You can even mix and match ingredients - try leaving out the bicarbonate of soda and using half a squeezed lemon instead.