19 Natural Cleaning Tips (+ Easy Recipes)

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Natural Cleaning Recipes and Tips
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Cleaning a house naturally is not any more difficult than cleaning it with harsh chemicals. It improves indoor air quality and is much safer, especially for children.

We’ve switched entirely to natural cleaning products and our house is just as clean (or cleaner!). I don’t have to worry about the kids getting sick if they lick the floors. (What, your kids don’t do that?) 🙂

The other great thing about natural cleaning recipes is that they are safe for kids to use. The earlier, the better I say!

Natural Cleaning Ingredients

Switching to homemade DIY cleaners might sound like a lot more work, but it’s actually quite simple. The ingredients are easy to come by and last a long time.

The natural cleaning ingredients I always keep on hand are:

Easy Natural Cleaning Recipes for Beginners

Here are a few easy and inexpensive natural cleaning recipes to get started around the house:

Homemade All-Purpose Cleaner – Four ingredients and thirty seconds to mix it up is all it takes! Customize the scent with essential oils.

Glass Cleaner – No need for that bright blue, highly scented stuff … vinegar + water cuts through dirt and leaves glass streak-free.

Tile Grout Cleaner – Mix 1 part water and 3 parts baking soda mixed into a paste. Apply to grout and let sit, scrub with toothbrush, remove with sponge.

Cookware – Use sea salt or coarse salt mixed with a little lemon juice and scrub. Also, try baking soda and water made into a paste. This also works well on stained tea cups or coffee mugs, and even the cutting board.

Fabric Softener – Mix 1 part vinegar and 2 parts water together. Add 1/4 to 1/3 cup to the final rinse cycle.

Toilet Cleaner – Use undiluted white vinegar, pour around the top of the toilet bowl, scrub until clean.

Wood Dusting Spray – Banish dust and nourish wood at the same time.

What could be easier?!

19 Tips for Natural Cleaning Success!

Through trial and error I’ve learned a bit about natural cleaning over the years. Below I’ve compiled my top 19 tips for easy natural cleaning so you can skip the learning curve!

Please share your best cleaning tips as well in the comment section below!

1. Baking Soda for Oven Cleaning

A paste of baking soda and water cleans ovens without the chemicals or the hassle of the self-cleaning cycle. Just make a paste on the bottom of the oven, leave for a few hours and wipe off for a shiny, chemical free oven. This post explains the specifics.

2. Save Money on Magic Erasers

Rather than buy the name brand magic erasers, buy the melamine sponge in bulk and save a lot of money!

why microfiber?

3. Switch to Microfiber

I have saved a lot of money since I switched to microfiber, and I was using inexpensive homemade cleaners before switching! I have a basic set of antibacterial microfiber cloths and a microfiber mop set that I absolutely love and use daily. I can literally clean my entire house (except toilets) with just water now! To keep things simple, I have one color-coded microfiber cloth per room. No chemicals and it saves money!

4. Make Scouring Powder

For soap scum on tubs and showers, make your own scouring powder with 2 parts baking soda, 1 part salt, and 1 part borax. It will cut through even the toughest scum!

Natural cleaning tips- infuse white vinegar with citrus peels for a potent natural cleaner

5. Citrus Infused Vinegar

Fill a jar with (organic) citrus peels and pour undiluted white vinegar over them. Leave for a few days (up to 2 weeks) and strain out the vinegar to use as a natural cleaner. It works as a window cleaner (dilute with water), for mopping floors, or for disinfecting surfaces.

all natural cleaning and organizing checklist

6. Use a Checklist!

Use a checklist for each room so that you can clean efficiently, or assign the jobs to children and know that they will be thorough. Here is my checklist (feel free to print and use!).

7. Treat Stains Naturally

small Wellness Mama Stain Treatment Laundry Guide small Laundry soaps and stain treaters can be some of the worst offenders for toxic chemicals. There are natural options that work really well, but it helps to know a little chemistry, as different natural options will work better on different types of stains.

Here is my reference sheet that I keep by my washer for quick reference: (Free Printable – Click Here)

8. Clean the Dishwasher

To clean your dishwasher effortlessly, fill a dishwasher safe bowl or jar with 2 cups of vinegar and set on the top rack of the dishwasher. I use a small glass Pyrex container.

Run through on a hot cycle with no other dishes in the dishwasher to clean and remove the musty odor.

9. Clean the Garbage Disposal

I use my garbage disposal a lot and sometimes it gets that not-so-lovely odor. To combat this, there are a couple of options:

  • Cut a lemon in half, shove in garbage disposal and grind (with water running) for 10 seconds.
  • Freeze lemon and orange peels in ice cube trays with vinegar or water and throw these in and grind for 10 seconds.
  • Pour 1/2 cup of baking soda in and then 1 cup of distilled white vinegar and let sit for 10 minutes before running the water and and the disposal.

10. Natural Air Freshener

In a medium saucepan, simmer a quart of water with natural ingredients to freshen and clean the air. Just make sure not to let the water evaporate off completely! My favorite combinations are:

  • 1 sliced lemon, 2 tablespoons rosemary and a dash of vanilla
  • 1 sliced lime and 1 piece chopped ginger root
  • 1 sliced orange, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and a dash of nutmeg and cloves (smells like pumpkin pie!)
  • 2 tablespoons thyme and 1 sliced lime

how to make your own laundry soap and save money

11. Homemade Laundry Soap

Save a lot of money by making your own laundry soap! Here is the recipe I use and it makes enough for our family of 7 for months and costs pennies!

12. Remove Urine Stains

If you have potty training kids like I do, tackle urine stains in mattresses with this great solution for removing the stains and smells using hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, and dish soap.

13. Clean Shower Heads

Clean a shower head by filling a plastic bag with white vinegar and then tie the bag around the shower head so that the shower head is immersed in the vinegar. Leave on for up to 12 hours and remove carefully. Pour it down the drain and your shower head should be clean and free of hard water residue.

14. Car Upholstery

Clean stains are car upholstery with Dawn dish soap, baking soda, and club soda. Here’s the method.
19 Easy, Natural and Inespensive Cleaning Tips with Recipes and Instructions- pin for reference

15. Clean Toilet

Dump a cup of baking soda into the toilet and let it soak for at least an hour. Pour in a cup of white vinegar, leave for 5 mins and flush. Unless the toilet is really dirty, this will clean it without scrubbing! Here is my bathroom cleaning checklist and recipes.

16. Stove Vent Fan

Clean the stove vent fan with boiling water and baking soda. Here’s how.

17. Glass Spray Bottle

glass spray bottleI am not a fan of plastic spray bottles, especially when they contain substances that can break down the plastic. A friend gave me a glass spray bottle as a gift and I’ve since made several more using old Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar bottles with the tops from a plastic bottle. These also look a lot better in my opinion and are an Earth-friendly option vs. generating more plastic packaging.

18. Microfiber for Windows

Since switching to microfiber for window cleaning, I will never go back! It cleans without chemicals (all you need is water!) and leaves no streaks or lint. This is my favorite brand.

Natural cleaning materials

19. Store-bought Cleaners

Yes … there are store-bought cleaners with good ingredients that make life even easier. While I enjoy making my own DIY cleaning recipes and truly feel it simplifies life, I honestly don’t love the smell of vinegar and not everyone wants to use borax.

Here are some store-bought green cleaners I’ve used over the years and love:

Ready for More?

Hooked and ready to try some more? Here are some other great natural cleaning recipes and ideas:

Here’s another article with some additional tips on natural cleaning.

Do you have any favorite natural cleaning tips? What are some of your favorites? Share below!

Use these natural cleaning tips to clean your whole house naturally: floor cleaners, all purpose cleaner, window spray, and more.

Katie Wells Avatar

About Katie Wells

Katie Wells, CTNC, MCHC, Founder of Wellness Mama and Co-founder of Wellnesse, has a background in research, journalism, and nutrition. As a mom of six, she turned to research and took health into her own hands to find answers to her health problems. WellnessMama.com is the culmination of her thousands of hours of research and all posts are medically reviewed and verified by the Wellness Mama research team. Katie is also the author of the bestselling books The Wellness Mama Cookbook and The Wellness Mama 5-Step Lifestyle Detox.


98 responses to “19 Natural Cleaning Tips (+ Easy Recipes)”

  1. Hannah Avatar

    For the citrus infused vinegar, what is the water to vinegar dilution ratio?

  2. teresa Avatar

    i have plenty of empty avc bottles..where do u buy good quality plastic spray bottle tops? that fit them? avc apple cider vinegar

  3. teresa Avatar

    question about the air freshener….i was looking for something
    i can bottle and spray into the air other than at home…

  4. Quinn Savage Avatar
    Quinn Savage

    Used your all purpose cleanser, scouring powder and window cleaner today. AMAZING. It’s changed my life. Have you found anything that works well as a replacement for something like Pledge? I didn’t find that mircofibre could polish up my wood furniture.

  5. Andru Petterson Avatar
    Andru Petterson

    After reading this article I am really impressed and I home others who have followed this article are impressed like me. I know that everyone is trying to save money and here I have found great tips. I hope many people will able to save money after reading this article.

  6. Jennifer Avatar

    I’m going to make laundry soap for the first time and I’m very excited. I wanted to make fabric softener if I was going to make homemade soap but I can’t find a recipe. Do you have a recipe for homemade fabric softener?

    1. Trudi Avatar

      I have used a couple of tablespoons of baking soda dissolved in hot water,then added to the fabric softner dispenser or the final rinse. you can also add a few drops of pure vanilla extract for fragrance.

  7. Alba Gonzalez Avatar
    Alba Gonzalez

    In my country I cant find Borax, can you tell me what could I use instead of it? Thank you in advance

  8. Michelle Partington Avatar
    Michelle Partington

    Do you have a recipe for a natural dish soap? This is one thing I’ve had a hard time finding. I’ve been making my own laundry detergent for a year now and love it!

    1. Lauren Pell Avatar
      Lauren Pell

      I think the main problem with Castile soap is that many are manufactured using palm oil – thus contributing to deforestation. There are palm oil free brands available though.

      Microfibre cloths send micro particles of plastic into the waterways every time they are washed so I am phasing mine out.

  9. Kaitlyn Pitchford Avatar
    Kaitlyn Pitchford

    Hi, my name is Kaitlyn. I have been a huge fan of your site for a while. But recently have been doing research of my own…. and have found that castille soap and microfiber are not safe. I am trying to find a safe dish soap recipe…but have had no luck. Any ideas?

    1. Kris H Avatar

      Castille soap is harmless and safe to use if you know the right one to purchase. Some contain lye, but you have to get Dr.Bronner’s or another which are all natural.

    2. Gabe Avatar

      Castille soap is simply soap that uses only olive oil for the oil in it’s contents, and is perfectly safe! The lye, when making soap properly, is completely changed to a non-toxic product, and is therefore, no longer ‘lye’ but a completely harmless by-product of the soapmaking process, also making it totally safe. On the microfiber front, I have my doubts, as it is not, as claimed on wikipedia, good for absorbing water, etc. It is made from polyester, or other plastic materials, which aren’t so great and can be toxic. I have also found microfiber to leave definite film when using on windshields, so I don’t go for the great effects using it on glass, etc. I have found that it is good for dusting, and that is all…..

    3. Mini Avatar

      Liquid castile soap can be used to clean almost anything and yeah it’s perfectly safe..

  10. Rachael Shannon Avatar
    Rachael Shannon

    For an all natural wood polish, I use 2 parts freshly squeezed lemon juice mixed with one part olive oil. I put it into an olive oil mister and go to town! It works great!

    1. Marcy Faber Avatar
      Marcy Faber

      Thank you! This is what I was looking for! Hope it works on neglected natural woodwork!

  11. Melanie Morsovillo Jarvis Avatar
    Melanie Morsovillo Jarvis

    I use corse salt, lemons and baking soda to clean my copper bottom pots works great

  12. Erica Avatar

    Thank you for all of these! I just have two questions: 1) Where do you find the spray tops that you use for the glass spry bottles? I can’t find any small enough for the Bragg’s bottles. 2) What kind of dish washing detergent do you use? I have tried, unsuccessfully, making my own. I have gone back to using dawn.

    1. Wellness Mama Avatar
      Wellness Mama

      I use ones that I removed from other plastic spray bottles and they seemed to fit well… I use Tropical Traditions dishwasher detergent since I haven’t had great luck with making my own either. 🙂

      1. Sondra Avatar

        Thanks for all the great info on homemade natural cleaners. There’s a lot of I information on the web, but in many cases ideas don’t work well. I love, love, love your recipe for an all purpose cleaner and should be added to this useful list because of its versatility. It is better than any store bought cleaners and oh so cheap and fast to make. I love that it has no chemical or perfume smell. FYI, I also had no luck with your dishwasher recipe either and am trying to find a healthy alternative. Thanks for the tip.

      2. Shawna Avatar

        I used to teach home ec and we made dish washer detergent in class and the trick is citric acid! I used equal parts washing soda and borax with 1/2 part powdered citric acid. It worked great and dishes came out sparkling!! Maybe you could try it and see if you have any luck!

    2. Angel Avatar

      Dawn has several toxic to humans and the environment in it. I use a product called “dish it out”, which contains only castille soap, and some other plant-derived ingredients with essential oils. You may have to use more to get a good grease cutting effect, but in my opinion, that is MUCH better than using a product such as Dawn that has toxic ingredients that can kill, and harm the environment.

  13. Martie Avatar

    Thank you for the recipes. I need to get rid of all the toxic cleaners in my home immediately. I just saw an article on the Mercola site: “7 Ways to Cancer-Proof Your Home”

    “Research has found that breast-cancer risk is twice as high among women who
    report the most use of household cleaning products and air fresheners,
    compared to those who rarely use such products. Women who use make-up on
    a daily basis can also absorb almost five pounds of potentially toxic
    chemicals into their bodies each year”

  14. Tina Francis Avatar
    Tina Francis

    These look like really top notch and usuable ideas. I’m really looking for to trying many of these tips. Thanks so much for sharing.

  15. Amee Avatar

    Thank you so much for sharing urine remover and car upholstery cleaner. I love learning how to use household products to cleaning everyday issues and also the tough ones like urine on carpets and mattresses. Thanks, Amee

  16. mo bius Avatar

    Make your own natural castile liquid soap for pennies on the dollar using Kirk’s Natural Castile Soap bar ($1.25 at my grocery store), chop up fine with good kitchen knife (no need to grate) and combine with 1/2 gallon water on stove till melted… Let set 8 hours, mix up well, and bottle up!!! Might need more water…mine was quite thick!!!

    1. Maria Avatar

      Thanks for posting this tip. I’ll make it right now since I have Kirk’s soap 😀

  17. Willow Carver Avatar
    Willow Carver

    I really enjoyed everything you posted here. I am interested in what you said about the Magic Erasers … In Canada, they are not allowed to be used in any day care facilities because they are so toxic. I wonder if the bulk brand of them are as toxic as the “Mr. Clean” brand? I read the instructions on the link you posted to bulk erasers on Amazon (humorous read, obviously a very bad translation). They recommend that you use gloves when you use these magic erasers. I’m not sure that they would be considered “Natural Cleansers” … Might be something to be careful about …

    1. Indica Avatar

      I was about to post something similar to this. According to my quick and very unscientific research the actual melamine foam itself is the biggest secret behind the magic eraser because it literally works like an eraser, but when I pulled up the wikipedia page on melamine foam (again I already said my “research” was very unscientific) the very first line of the article states “Melamine foam is a foam-like material consisting of a formaldehyde-melamine-sodium bisulfite copolymer.” As soon as I saw formaldehyde my initial reaction was shock that they were mentioned on this site. I’m curious what Wellness Mama’s take on this is.

  18. Choymae Huie Avatar
    Choymae Huie

    Absolutely amazing how well everything that you’ve posted have work. Love it and thank you so much for this site.

  19. Annette Avatar

    thanks for all these money saving healty tips.I am going to use it for sure

    1. Shenek Avatar

      For a carpet cleaner, I use hydrogen peroxide. I have used it to remove spaghetti sauce and even blood. I usually use it on the stain right after the mess is made, so I don’t know how well it works on “old” stains. But it’s very cheap ($1) and very effective on the stains I’ve tried.

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