Homemade Cleaning Supplies that Save You Money

I save so much money per year by making my own homemade cleaning supplies… Here are my favorite cleaning recipes:

Homemade Cleaning Supplies

One of the things I do to save money on my grocery bill is to make my own cleaning supplies, including dishwasher detergent, laundry detergent, and other things. Cleaning supplies are excessively expensive, and once you start using these things, you’ll see an immediate relief on your monthly grocery bill.

I got the original “recipes” from a friend/mentor/stay-at-home-homeschooling-mom named Margie. She explained that they were not only cheap to make, but that they’re also safer to use around the home than other chemical-based cleaners. At the time she gave me the recipes, I thought, I bet they don’t work, and I don’t think I’ll try them. But a little while later, she offered me some samples of what she used. I used them, found out that they work just fine, and I’ve been using them (with a few changes I made to the original recipes) for over six years now. (NOTE: My recipes are technically not “green” cleaners, and I can’t vouch for their “safety” really, BUT…  they’re CHEAP!)


Mix together 2 c. Borax, 2 c. baking soda, ½ c. salt, and ½ c. generic powdered dishwasher detergent. Use about 3 tbsp. per wash cycle. I usually fill one of the cups in the door to about ½ full and leave the other one empty. I run the dishwasher once per day, and one batch of this stuff lasts me almost two months. Trick: plastics may spot, but they won’t if you take them out of the dishwasher, rinse them off, and place them to dry in a drying rack. To save even more money, you could use vinegar as a rinse aid. I’ve never done this myself, but I’ve heard it works pretty well. I still use regular rinse aid.


Mix together 5 finely grated bars of Ivory soap, 3 cups Arm and Hammer washing soda, and 3 cups Borax. Use about 2 tbsp. for a regular-sized load of wash (I use one-two baby formula scoops). I do an average of 1 load of wash every day or every other day, and one batch of this stuff lasts me for 3-4 months! Tricks: Stock up on the bar soap when it’s on sale and you have coupons. I used to have a hard time finding the washing soda, but now my local Wal-Mart has it.  Find a plastic container to store your soap, it needs to have a tight-fitting lid. Mine’s an old animal cookies container with the label peeled off!


Mix together 1 tsp. Borax, 1 tbsp. vinegar, and 1tsp. plain (not antibacterial) dish soap with a full spray bottle of warm water until it dissolves. I use this on my kitchen counters and table. It gets rid of stinky odors in the cat’s room, too! Tricks: Use an old cleaner bottle to store it (be sure to label it so you’ll know what it is). You don’t have to buy a special spray bottle. I still use 409 or some other antibacterial cleaner when I’ve cooked with raw meat or eggs, etc. But for normal everyday cleaning, this works great!


Ok, so this isn’t really my recipe, but it’s CHEAP. Mix about ½ cup Pine-Sol with water to fill a spray bottle. It’s great for bathroom sinks, showers, toilets, countertops, floors, showerheads, and more. And it smells nice, I think.  A bottle of Pine-Sol (or generic brand) will last forever this way, and you can clean lots of stuff with it!

This post was originally published in 2010.