9 Homemade Cleaners That Actually Work, According to Cleaning Experts

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Some of the items in your pantry (like  and ) work as effective cleaners and, even better, cost next to nothing. So the next time you’re staring down a big mess but you’re out of , don’t run to the store — try one mixing up one of these DIY standbys instead.

: Never combine ammonia-based cleaners with chlorine bleach or products containing bleach, such as powdered dishwasher detergent. The fumes they’ll create are extremely dangerous. Before doing any mixing, read the product labels first. Always label any bottles of DIY cleaners with all the ingredients inside. In case a child or animal gets into it, it’s important to know what the mixture contains.Important Safety Tip

1. Scented All-Purpose Cleaner

What you’ll need: One part  white vinegar One part water  rind Lemon Rosemary sprigs much more

Combine the above ingredients together, pour into a spray bottle, shake, and then let infuse for a week before using. Once done, you can use the solution to remove hard water stains, clean trash cans, wipe away wall smudges, and . Plus, the fruit’s acid adds extra cleaning properties — perfect for stubborn stains. 

2. Kitchen Cleaner and Deodorizer

What you’ll need: 4 tablespoons  baking soda 1 quart warm water appliancesGood Housekeeping Institute

To clean kitchen counters, , and the inside of your refrigerator, all you need is baking soda. “It makes a great deodorizer and can be used to shine stainless steel sinks and appliances,” says Carolyn Forte, director of the Cleaning Lab. Just pour the above solution on a clean sponge and wipe.

3. Glass Cleaner

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What you’ll need: 2 cups water 1/2 cup  or  whitecider vinegar 1/4 cup  rubbing alcohol 70% concentration 1 to 2 drops of  for smell (optional) orange essential oil wash your windows

The next time you need to  and mirrors, combine these ingredients and pour them in a spray bottle. Hint: Don’t clean windows on a hot, sunny day, because the solution will dry too quickly and leave lots of streaks. For mirrors, spray the solution on a paper towel or soft cloth first before wiping.

4. Brass Cleaner

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What you’ll need:  or  White vinegarlemon juice Table salt and more

To clean non-lacquered cabinet pulls, bathroom appointments, , dampen a sponge with vinegar or lemon juice, then sprinkle on salt. Lightly rub over surface. Rinse thoroughly with water, then immediately dry with a clean soft cloth.

5. Heavy-Duty Scrub

What you’ll need: 1/2  lemon 1/2 cup  borax powder enamel sinks and tubsAmazon

Rust stains on porcelain or  are no match for this cleaner. Dip the lemon into the borax and scrub the surface, then rinse. (This is not safe for marble or granite.) Tip: You can find borax, a laundry booster, in the detergent aisle or order it on .

6. Grease Cleaner

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What you’ll need: 1/2 cup  sudsy ammonia tough grimeoven

Sudsy ammonia contains detergent that helps remove . Mix 1/2 cup with enough water to fill a one-gallon container. Then clean your  racks, stove hoods, and grills by dipping a sponge into the solution and wiping over the surface before rinsing with clear water. You can also soak oven racks and grill grates in the mixture directly, with a little extra ammonia if they’re particularly dirty.

7. Water Ring Remover

What you’ll need: One part  white non-gel toothpaste One part  baking soda left a water ring

Places you’ve accidentally  (but not on unfinished wood, lacquer, or antiques), dampen a cloth with water, add the toothpaste mixture and rub with the grain to buff over the spot. Then take a dry cloth and wipe off. Use another soft cloth for a final shine. Polish as you normally would.

8. Last-Resort Clothing Stain Remover


What you’ll need: 1 gallon hot water 1 cup  powdered dishwasher detergent 1 cup , not ultra or concentrate regular liquid chlorine bleach badly stained but washable white clothing

Treat  by mixing the above ingredients into a stainless steel, plastic, or enamel bowl (not aluminum). Soak garment for 15-20 minutes. If stain is still there, let it soak a bit longer, then wash the item as usual.

9. Marble Cleaner

What you’ll need: mild dishwashing liquid2 drops  2 cups warm water

Mix dishwashing detergent and water the next time you want to clean natural stone countertops. Sponge over marble and rinse completely to remove any soap residue. Buff with a soft cloth; do not let the marble air-dry. Caution: Never use vinegar, lemon, or any other acidic cleaner on marble or granite surfaces; it will eat into the stone.

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