Homemade Cleaning Products

by Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom on March 10, 2009

There is one aspect of frugality and green living that I have not tackled yet. That is making your own cleaning products. Heidi from Frugal Girls shares a few of her “recipes” for homemade cleaning products that are economical and safe for your home and your family!
I can’t tell you how many delicious and thrifty recipes I’ve been able to make from the $5 Dollar Dinner collection! Erin does such a wonderful job of providing us with tasty meals every night, and I’ve sure surprised my hubby with some yummy frugal meals, thanks to her!

Today, however, I wanted to share some non-food recipes with you. One way I’ve found to really save money is by making my own cleaning solutions!

Honestly, it took me awhile before I was willing to try this, but after I did a quick analysis of how much money I could save, I knew it was time to start making up some frugal cleaning solutions of my own! These solutions literally cost about 40 cents or so to make, as opposed to the $3 – $4 price tag you’ll often see on cleaners at the store.

The following are some tried and true “recipes” for homemade cleaning solutions. Just a few simple ingredients, and you’re on your way to some effective and thrifty solutions!

Homemade 409

2 Tbsp. Distilled White Vinegar
1 Tsp. Borax
1/8 cup Dawn Dishsoap
1 cup Hot Water

Pour vinegar, borax and hot water into spray bottle. Then continue filling spray bottle with cool water. Add dawn dishsoap last. No need to shake.

This is a great cleaner, because the vinegar acts as a disinfectant!

Homemade Laundry Stain Remover

I was skeptical of this one at first, but I’ve got two boys that are dirt and grass-stain magnets, and this stain remover has never let me down!

1/3 cup Dawn Dishsoap
1/3 cup Ammonia
3 Tbsp. Baking Soda
1 cup Water

Mix all ingredients together and store in an empty spray bottle (I use an old “Shout” spray bottle.)

If you haven’t tried making your own cleaning solutions, I’d highly encourage you to try! It’s easy to do, and you might be amazed at how much money you’ll save!

Frugal Girls is a positive and fun site dedicated to helping you save $$ and stretch your dollars by sharing the best bargains, hottest coupons, easy meals and outrageous deals!
Photo Credit: T.S. Dumont

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

rebecca April 18, 2009 at 5:27 pm

I am like you and was skeptical but am now a Green Cleaning Machine!! Saving money all the day long on great earth friendly products. I was wondering if you have tried making your own laundry detergent? I know there are lots of recipes out there but I have found a great creamy one and it’s awesome. Let me know if you want the recipe and I’ll gladly share it.


dayna May 1, 2009 at 8:25 pm

I have a large family and since our financial situation has changed the way i clean my home. I make all my cleaning supplies and laundry soap. I love making the stuff too.I always tell all my friends. I am writing a journal that one day will be passed on to my daughters on how to be a homemaker. I sprinkle borax on my carpet to get odors out and white vinegar for fabric softner. I have another trick if you like scented clean clothes. It is crazy but it works i have people stop and say you smell good , i tell them its my clothes and they will say what do you wash them in. Well my secret is that you take a scented oil refill and warmer. You have to put the oil refill in the warmer if not it absorbs to much of the oil. You just get an old sosk and throw it in the dryer and there you have some exotic smell. What ever fragrance you pick your clothes will surely smell like it. i love it and it last for about 3 weeks,


Bonnie May 14, 2009 at 7:59 am

Rebecca, could you please pass on your homemade laundry soap recipe? thanks so much.


lorraine dahl May 31, 2009 at 6:11 pm

I have been using a homemade recipe for laundry soap that I like very much and just wondered if perhaps it is the same . I would love to try yours. Thank you!


holly June 14, 2009 at 5:22 pm

The recipes I’ve been using is a liquid. It makes up 2 gallons. The web site is:
I also add 1/2 C of regular baking soda. I know it’s a natural deodorizer and I’ve got 2 teenagers and well with all of the changes they go through ( if you know what I mean) they stink. So I add it just for good measure. I add it at the same time as the borax and washing soda.
I’ve given samples of this to my friends to try and see what they think. I was pleased to find out that it wasn’t just me, but they also thought it cleaned just as well as the store brands we’d been buying. Who would have thought such a thing could work. Well I won’t go back to store bought.
Happy Washing


Geni August 7, 2009 at 11:09 am

I like many mothers have come to the conclusion that money really matters during these times. I also have started making my own laundry soap and fabric softener sheets.
Laundry Soap (I mix in an ice cream bucket) – 7 cups borax, 7 cups Purex (powder laundry detergent), 3 bars Ivory soap grated. Mix thouroughly use 1/2 cup for a large load and less for smaller loads. For really dirty or greasy loads (we own a repair shop – so my laundry machine sees its share of grime, and I have 3 boys) – I add 1/2 cup of vinegar. – You will notice your clothes are clean and feel softer also.

Dryer Sheets – take several wash rags and soak in your favorite fabric softener, ring out (putting excess back into bottle), let rags air dry till completely dry – use rag in dryer – each rag will do about 30 loads until needing refreshed. Store in air tight bag or container to keep fresh. A bottle of fabric softener will last forever!


Jenn March 11, 2013 at 9:50 pm

I would love the recipe for the creamy laundry detergent I have tried one but I’m still on the fence about it would like to try something else


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