Welcome back to Clean My Space! I hate wasting money on cleaning products, especially when I can make them easier at home. Today, I will teach you the secrets to making effective DIY cleaning products without breaking the bank!

The Big 3

You’re going to need a few things to make your own DIY cleaners. The recipes, the tools, and the ingredients. Vinegar, dish soap, and baking soda are the big 3. You probably already have these under your sink and they can tackle even the toughest cleaning jobs!

Dish Soap

Let’s begin with the star of the show, dish soap. All dish soap is not created equal so I definitely recommend using the best quality one you can afford. In our house, we use dish soap to clean the majority of surfaces, most of the time. Dish soap is a surfactant, which means it’s best at lifting dirt off of surfaces. It brings greasy stuff up to the top and allows you to get rid of them.

My favorite way to use dish soap is by mixing a couple of drops with some water in a spray bottle. This will become your ultimate countertop cleaner! It’s also great for cleaning the floors or tackling a quick stain. There are so many ways you can use dish soap around the house but there are also things to consider.

A lot of my DIY recipes are no-rinse solutions, so all you have to do is spray and wipe with a cloth. But if you overuse dish soap, especially when cleaning countertops, it can lead to a residue being left behind. The more dish soap you use in the recipe, the more rinsing you’re going to have to do after to get a residue-free surface. This goes the same for dealing with a stain… The more soap you use, the harder you’ll have to work. Be sparing and get the job done faster!


When it comes to vinegar, you can either use plain white vinegar (5% acidic acid) or cleaning vinegar (6-10% acidic acid) which is a little more heavy-duty. Protect your skin at all times by making sure to wear PPE when using cleaning vinegar.

Vinegar is a magical solution for cleaning because it gives you the 3 D’s. It degreases, descales, and deodorizes! It’s great for hard-water build-up on the side of the tub or grease streaks on any glass surface like a mirror or window.

Generally speaking, I like to dilute the vinegar in water but I have been known to go straight-up with the vinegar when the job needs it. Now, I know that the smell of vinegar is a divisive topic but one thing is for sure; it is a GREAT deodorizer. Either spray it onto the surface with the odor, or pour some vinegar into a bowl and put it into the corner of a stinky room.

As with all DIY cleaners, you have to make sure that your solution is safe to use on the surface that needs cleaning. Because of vinegar’s acidity, you really don’t want to be using it on any stone surfaces. Also, an important note here. DO NOT mix vinegar with bleach. You can seriously hurt yourself and it’s not worth the risk. Vinegar and water. It’s so simple!

Baking Soda

Baking soda, the cleaning rockstar. I know it doesn’t seem strong but the mild abrasion it provides is perfect for scrubbing clean and it’s safe to use on almost all surfaces. It also has the ability to whiten, brighten, and deodorize. Trust me, this simple product will save you so much time and money!

Baking soda is great at deodorizing a smelly fridge or garbage can, and it’s abrasion is just what you need to get a fresh new shine on your old sink. It helps lift off that schmutz stuck onto the bottom of your pot and it can also really help move the needle when getting rid of soap scum in your bathroom.

With baking soda, just like with Borax, the solution you whip up will not keep, so make sure to make it when you need it and not a minute before. Another note here, vinegar and baking soda are unfortunately not great cleaning partners when mixed, as they neutralize each other. So, if you want to use both, clean with one, then the other, and not at the same time.

Use a Recipe

There are a number of other great DIY ingredients that are easily found around the house. Coarse salt, hydrogen peroxide, rubbing alcohol, essential oils, corn starch, and cream of tartar, to name a few. No matter the product, the key to getting the most out of your cleaning is to use a tried and true recipe. Clean efficiently while keeping yourself and your surfaces safe. So, always use a recipe! All About All-Purpose Cleaners and Disinfectants is full of great examples of useful DIY solutions.

Cleaning Tools

Making your own cleaning products is one thing but using them with the right cleaning tools is what really makes the difference. I find when I use subpar cleaning tools, I waste time making up for the crappiness of the tool. So, with that in mind, let’s look at some important cleaning tools.

A good quality spray bottle is very important to an efficient cleaning process. The one I like to use at home never clogs or leaks and is very sturdy, so I know it will last me a long time through multiple cleanings.

Next up, we look at quality brushes and scrubbers. Whether we’re talking about a sponge, brush, toothbrush, or squeegee, you’re going to want to go with something good. Soft bristles will only make your job harder and take longer. Go with quality on this one and see the difference it makes!

Last up, we have microfiber cloths. It may look appealing when you go to the dollar store and you see a 10-pack of cloths for cheap. But remember, in the end, a better quality cloth will last you 10 times longer and will help you get the best out of your DIY solutions.

Don’t forget to check out Maker’s Clean line of premium products. From microfiber cloths to the Maker’s Mop, they have a great line of high-quality products that will help you take your cleaning game to the next level!

Save Money with DIY Cleaners

Making your own cleaning products is a huge win. It’s easy, inexpensive, and it’s effective. Do a little back of your napkin math and you’ll see just how much money and time you’ll be saving over time.

Hopefully, you’ve picked up a trick or two and can now start making all your own DIY cleaning solutions! It’s time to get cleaning!

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Melissa Maker is an entrepreneur, cleaning expert, founder of Toronto’s most popular boutique cleaning service, and star of the Clean My Space channel on YouTube (but she still hates to clean!). Every week, Melissa delivers new videos dishing expert advice on cleaning products, tools, DIY substitutes, and practical, timesaving solutions to everyday problems. Melissa has appeared on the Today Show, and has been featured in InStyle, Real Simple, and Better Homes and Gardens.


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