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My 6 Favorite (& Tested!) Homemade Cleaner Recipes

Monday, June 12, 2017

Homemade Cleaner Recipes from Pugs & Pearls Blog

Cleaning houses has been my side hustle for about 3 years now. That extra money has been so nice, but I'm slowly 'retiring' from taking on any more new clients. I'm getting older, after all! Cleaning can be really physical. I don't mind burning the calories, but there have been some side effects I'm not crazy about.
My nail strength has really suffered and I've even developed a sensitivity to smells. I can easily trace both of these problems to cleaning. You've gotta clean your own house, but all that extra exposure to chemicals can't be good. Not only did the harsh chemicals bother me, but I was blowing through cleaners on my busy weeks!

To combat these issues, I started looking into homemade cleaners. I wanted to find some recipes that really worked, but weren't so harsh on me, or whatever I was cleaning. Plus, if I could save money in the process, bonus! I did a little research, whipped up a few batches and started testing.
I'll be honest, some of the ones I made didn't work at all. Some of them smelled horrendous! I haven't found a solid recipe for a few cleaners, so I'm still using old fashioned Clorox spray and disinfecting wipes. However, I did find 6 excellent cleaners in my experimenting that I want to share with you today. 

I use these glass spray bottles and I bought these adorable labels from Etsy. And a small disclaimer here: These cleaners have worked really well for me, but make sure you test them in an inconspicuous area before you use them. 

All Purpose Spray
This guy is truly for all purposes! You can use it on any solid surface. Tea Tree essential oil is a great one to add for disinfecting, but you can add any scent you'd like.

Mix 1/2 cup vinegar, 1 tablespoon dish soap, and 5 drops essential oil to about 2 cups distilled water. Shake well before use!

Grease and Grime Cleaner
I've been thoroughly impressed with this cleaner! This works best on cabinets, blinds, and grease. It is fine to use on other solid surfaces, but it can be streaky. 

Add 1 tablespoon of castile soap to 2 cups of distilled water. Shake well before use!

Homemade Grease and Grime Spray Recipe from Pugs & Pearls Blog

Soap Scum Spray
I was sceptical of this one, but it blows me away every time. Spray this on your shower or fixtures, clean the rest of your bathroom, then come back to wipe and rinse. This does amazing things to chrome! It really helps with water spots. Depending on the soap you use, this cleaner can be a little strong smelling. The smell goes away when you rinse. 

Heat 1 cup of vinegar in the microwave. Add 1 cup of dish soap to the warm vinegar. (The heat helps it dissolve.) Stir, and pour into a glass bottle. Shake well before use!

Window and Glass Cleaner
Another cleaner that has been amazing. This works best with a glass cleaning cloth, but I've had no problems with paper towels. This even left the inside of my windshield streak free, which is incredibly hard to do. 

Mix 1/4 cup vinegar, 1/4 cup rubbing alcohol, 2 cups water and 1 tablespoon cornstarch. Shake well before use!

Homemade Sink Scrub Recipes from Pugs & Pearls Blog

Sink Scrub
Baking soda is a natural abrasive, so it's perfect for our stainless steel sink. I use lemon essential oil in my scrub, but tea tree would be a good choice too. Simply sprinkle into your sink and use a wet scrub brush to scour. Make sure to rinse thoroughly! I even wipe down the sink after rinsing to make sure it's spotless. I have my baking soda mixture in a salt shaker next to the sink for easy access. I have this salt shaker.

Add about 10 drops essential oil to baking soda. 

Air Freshener & Fabric Spray
With 3 pugs, we love this refreshing spray! It's great for the living room pillows, the dog beds, or even just to freshen the air before company comes over. You choose the scent! I went with a citrus smell, using grapefruit, orange, lemon and bergamot oil. I also made a small version of this spray using lavender to spray on our bedding. 

Mix 1/4 cup cheap vodka, 20 drops essential oil and about 3 cups water. 

Honorable Mention: I LOVE using olive oil on our leather couches. They look brand spankin' new, when we use a microfiber cloth and olive oil to clean them. My pugs love it too. Their little noses go crazy looking for the food.

I'm so eager to continue finding great homemade cleaner recipes! I still have a giant Sam's club sized Pine-sol to use up, but I think my next experiment will be with a floor cleaner. As I said, I'm not quite comfortable giving up Clorox just yet. It may just be a Florida thing, but I just feel like you need a little bleach in your bathroom. 

I'm also still completely obsessed with Magic Erasers, and I can't imagine giving those up without a fight. I wonder it there is a good DIY for those! 

Leave a comment below if you've made your own cleaners! I'd love to hear your recipes. Especially if you have one for something I haven't been successful at yet! The cute labels and bottles make a huge difference, amiright? 


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  1. Thanks for sharing these! I've been wanting to try some home-made cleaners!

  2. Thanks so much for sharing these! I've really been trying to switch our household cleaning products to something more natural or handmade, so this post will be super helpful!

    1. It seems like we are all wanting to make our environments a little healthier and I think that's awesome! Tell me if you do any experimenting!

  3. I love the Meyers brand!! We have so many of their hand soaps. BTW, your site looks great!! :)

    Katherine |

    1. Mrs. Meyers is so great! Expect the lavender one...I can't stand that smell for some reason!
      Thanks for noticing the facelift! I'm still messing around with my layout and colors-but overall I'm thrilled with the little makeover. I found a great template on etsy, and I've just been trying to customize it. Messing with HTML is so scary!

  4. I love the idea of doing this but I'm too lazy currently do so. I really need to stop this lazy routine! Thanks for sharing!

  5. Really interesting post! I admittedly don't give much (any?) thoughts to my cleaners because I just feel like you have to pick and choose what you give a lot of thought and energy too. However, I've been starting to feel like maybe I'm missing the boat here and need to make the change to more natural cleaners. This post was so well written and honestly inspiring. Thanks!

  6. I just bought some essential oils and can't wait to make some of these!



Hi friends! I'm Kristen, and this is the Life and Style of an early 30's Floridian living the Best Life Ever, with her husband and three pugs. Runner | Avid Reader | Small Shop Owner

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