Save Over a $1,000 a Year By Making Your Own Cleaning Products

How Much Do Cleaning Products Set You Back?

How much do you think you spend per year on cleaning products? The answer might surprise you. Depending on the size of your family, you could easily spend as much as $1,500 per year on cleaning supplies. That’s pretty expensive, right?

In 5 years, that would equal $7,500. Imagine what you could do with that money if you still had it. You could buy a used car with that! Luckily, there is an easy way to reduce these expenses.

Now, I’m not telling you to just not clean. Obviously, that would save a ton, but seriously? Gross. So instead, try making your own cleaning products. Not only will this save you money, but you will also be able to decide what chemicals are used in your home. Some of the store-bought cleaners have scary ingredients that are bad for your kids.

It’s Easier Than You Think

You don’t have to be a chemist to make your own cleaners. Not only is it super easy, but many of the natural ingredients are safer for your family. It’s literally as easy as buying a couple ingredients, mixing together per the recipes below, then putting it in a spray bottle. Voila! Now you have cheaper, safer cleaning products and all the ladies on the block are going to want to know how you did it!


Typical ingredients used in homemade cleaners might include vinegar, baking soda, rubbing alcohol, washing soda (near laundry detergent section), Borax, mild dish soap like Dawn, and mild bar soap like Ivory.

All of these products can be found for very low prices at Walmart, Sam’s Club, Costco, or even online. Using these recipes can save you as much as a thousand a year. 

Recipes for Cleaning Products:

  1. All Purpose Cleaners. This one is the easiest to make. You just add ½ cup vinegar to a quart of warm water, put it in a spray bottle, and there you go. Vinegar is much safer than Ammonia or bleach when you have little ones around, and it is just as effective as killing germs and cleaning up. You can also use this as a window cleaner.
  2. Carpet Stain Remover. Use ¼ teaspoon of Dawn and mix into a cup of lukewarm water. Or you can mix 1 cup vinegar with 2 cups water. Just never pour these directly on the stain. Use a cloth to apply it.
  3. Shower Cleaner. Put 2 cups vinegar in a spray bottle, microwave until hot. Add 1 tablespoon of Dawn dish soap. Shake to combine. Or cut a lemon in half. Dip it in borax or baking soda. Use the lemon to scrub. Then rinse and dry.
  4. Floor Cleaner. Mix 1 cup vinegar in a bucket with 1 gallon of warm water. For wood floor, use ½ cup vinegar.
  5. Tough Kitchen Stains. Use baking soda and add a few tablespoons of water. Then let it sit and come back later and rinse. Equally effective as those chemically intensive, store-bought products.
  6. Toilet Bowl Cleaner. Just sprinkle some baking soda in the bowl and add some white vinegar. Then clean as usual with your cleaning brush. You’ll get a better clean if you turn off the water supply to the toilet and flush all the liquid out so it is mostly empty.
  7. Tile. Cut a lemon in half. Dip it in borax or baking soda. Use the lemon to scrub. Then rinse and dry.
  8. Unplug a Drain. Why use nasty products like Drano when you can go all natural. Just mix a cup of baking soda with a cup of vinegar in a boiling pot of water. Then pour the mixture down the drain. Run tap water down afterward. Super easy!
  9. Wood Furniture Polish. Mix ¼ vinegar with ½ tsp olive oil. Mix in a jar, and use a small amount on a soft cloth to polish.
  10. Stains on Walls (Not wallpaper). Rub a small amount of toothpaste on scuff marks or crayo
  11. n marks with a damp cloth. Then wipe clean.
  12. Deodorizers. You don’t have to waste money on plug-in scents or sprays. Just simmer cinnamon, cloves, or other nice smelling spices in a small pot of water. To remove odors from the air, boil 1 cup water and 1 tablespoon vinegar. For carpets, sprinkle a bit of baking soda on smelly spots areas. Let sit for about a half hour before vacuuming.
  13. Grime Removers. Use a lemon to get rid of the grime at the base of your tap or any other tough spots. You can also use lemons to clean glass.

Recipe for Laundry Detergent

Powdered detergent recipe: 1 box Borax, 1 box Super Washing Soda, 1 box Pure Baking Soda, 3 bars Fels-Naptha or Ivory soap (or all natural alternative), 1 container Oxy-Clean. Instructions: Grate soap bars into tiny pieces (you can make it even smaller by using a food processor), put soap and all other ingredients into a big tub and mix together. Only use 1 – 2 tablespoons per load. It should make 18 lbs. of detergent and will cost about $0.04 per load. It’s enough for 500 loads of laundry which will last about a year. This is massively cheaper than any other detergent on the market.

Liquid detergent recipe: 1 Box Borax, 1 bar Fels-Naptha Soap (or Ivory), 1 box Super Washing Soda, Water, 5-gallon bucket. Grate the soap bar into tiny pieces, add pieces into a pot of 4 cups hot water, cook on medium for about 10 minutes until all of the soap is melted. Fill the bucket half full of warm water. Pour mixture into the bucket. Stir in 1 cup borax and 1 cup washing soda. Fill remainder of the bucket with warm water. Stir. Cover. Let sit until next day to form a gel-like thickness.

Pour some into empty laundry detergent container to use and keep the remainder in the bucket until you need it. Use ½ cup for a front loader and 1 cup for a top loader. This comes out to $0.03 per gallon. Each gallon gives you 16 loads so it cost less than a penny per load. Each bucket will last for 80 loads and you still will have some of the ingredients leftover for the next batch.

Final Thought

Even though homemade cleaners are by far the cheapest way to go, there are many people who would rather just use regular, store-bought products. So the way to save in that case is to use coupons, buy generic, and watch for sales to stock up.

Now that you know you can save over a thousand a year, will you try the recipes? What is your experience with homemade cleaners?

For help on creating a budget and sticking to it, see this post. Also get your free copy of The Modern Mom’s EPIC Guide to Easy Budgeting.

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  • Reply
    July 17, 2017 at 1:22 pm

    Thanks for the info, I’ll try these suggestions!

  • Reply
    Casey Garvey
    July 17, 2017 at 1:40 pm

    Love the recipes

  • Reply
    angela meek
    July 17, 2017 at 4:14 pm

    A friend of mine does this and saves a fortune. I so need to do this with as much as I do laundry! =D Thanks!

  • Reply
    Emma Prive
    July 18, 2017 at 6:00 pm

    You’re a superhero. Seriously. Every mom needs to be reading this blog. So much money to be saved!!!!

  • Reply
    July 19, 2017 at 8:25 am

    It never occurred to me to try to make my own cleaning products… Thanks so much for this awesome advice! I love to save money wherever I can! 🙂

  • Reply
    Jana S
    July 19, 2017 at 10:43 pm

    I love making my own products. They are safer and I know what is in them

  • Reply
    July 20, 2017 at 6:02 am

    Seems you are really doing hard and informing us how can we save our money. I am very thankful for this article.

  • Reply
    July 20, 2017 at 9:58 am

    I love this post! I’ve been making some of my own cleaners but this gave me even more ideas, so I’m definitely pinning it for later! 🙂

  • Reply
    Anne Marie Carter
    July 20, 2017 at 12:32 pm

    I try to use natural ingredients like vinegar, to clean my house. This is a great list of needed supplies.

  • Reply
    candace skinner
    July 21, 2017 at 9:59 am


  • Reply
    July 21, 2017 at 12:13 pm

    There is some great information here. Thanks

  • Reply
    July 23, 2017 at 6:15 pm

    Thank you for sharing your ideas.

  • Reply
    Geena O'Banion
    July 24, 2017 at 12:20 pm

    There are several ways to create cleansers; I know. I am going to try your ideas. However, I have pets and they do not do well with “odors”… I have purchased cleaners in the past from ACE HARDWARE that do not smell. Thank you for your advice.

  • Reply
    Ina Gribbins
    July 25, 2017 at 9:17 pm

    I know people that do this and they claim to save a lot of money esp. with the laundry detergent, but they say it is time consuming. I have not tried it yet but have been thinking about it. Will save this recipe!

  • Reply
    neil califano
    July 25, 2017 at 9:34 pm

    Vinegar is a great cleaner.

  • Reply
    July 27, 2017 at 3:11 pm

    Good idea about grating soap in a food processor – the hardest part about making my own laundry soap is the grating by hand!

  • Reply
    Nicole Bradley
    July 29, 2017 at 12:22 pm

    My hubby hates the smell of vinegar, i use to use it all the time for cleaning to cut costs. Do you think the homemade borax based laundry detergent would be safe for cloth baby diapers?

  • Reply
    July 31, 2017 at 7:44 am

    I like the one for cleaning out drains

  • Reply
    July 31, 2017 at 1:57 pm

    I tried the dry laundry detergent and it is SO MUCH CHEAPER. I highly recommend putting the grated Fels Naphtha into the blender so everything is more mixed together. Also, my daughter ended up being allergic to the scent in the Fels, so we switched to ivory, which seems to work well.

  • Reply
    August 2, 2017 at 4:36 pm

    Thanks for all the recipes in one place!

  • Reply
    Nicole Watson
    August 3, 2017 at 12:12 am

    Thank you for all the tips and information

  • Reply
    Jamie Johnson
    August 3, 2017 at 10:40 am

    Thank you for sharing! I feel I should do the same. I was online looking for a cleaner for my yoga mat. I could NOT believe the prices! So, I did what all women do, and I got on Pinterest, and what do you know? I found a DIY yoga mat cleaner that cost less than 3 dollars to make!And it has lasted almost a year! There are a million little ways like this to help you save money. I say use them all, and keep that extra cash for something you really want or need!

  • Reply
    Kathy bergman
    August 4, 2017 at 2:45 pm

    Thank you for these great ideas. I’ll be trying some

  • Reply
    annette fisher
    August 10, 2017 at 7:39 am


  • Reply
    August 10, 2017 at 9:21 am

    So innovative you are… My mom always read ur blogs .. she asked me to check out, and i did and i must say I am very impressed.. Really you have some great ideas on Your blog.. I have tried some and i m very satisfied.. Thank You…

  • Reply
    Dameshia Leonard
    August 24, 2017 at 12:55 am

    I didnt even know this. What a huge help to save tons of money! Thank you

  • Reply
    Margaret Sarsfield
    August 25, 2017 at 1:02 am

    wow! i always used baking soda and vinegar and such but this is next level stuff. thanks.

  • Reply
    Katara Harper
    August 25, 2017 at 10:10 am

    I use these alot but there are some mixtures i did not know about so thanks

  • Reply
    August 25, 2017 at 10:34 am

    I recently had a baby and have been very careful with cleaning supplies. These are some great suggestions and I am looking forward to trying them to see how they work instead of purchasing cleaning wipes or other cleaning supplies.

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