Save on Cleaning Supplies with these DIY Products



An American family spends an average of $504 per year on cleaning supplies. That’s a lot of money, especially toward products that are made mostly of water! In the spirit of saving, Sparkle® paper towels brings you a way to seriously scrub down your cleaning budget: homemade household products. If you cut 75 percent of your cleaning-supply spending (which many of the following ideas do), you could save up to $378 a year. That could cover 2.5 weeks of groceries, 10 months of air-conditioning, or 47 movie tickets. Pick your jaw up off the floor and get ready to DIY!


1. All-purpose Cleaner This cleaner is the solution to so many messes — in the kitchen, bathroom and the dinner table where your little one (perpetually) spills some milk. Vinegar is a homemade cleaning heavyweight and the star of this potion, with disinfecting properties thanks to its acidity. A batch of this miracle worker cost its inventor 52 cents, or a sixth of what leading cleaners sell for.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 part water
  • 1 part vinegar
  • 10-15 drops essential oils of choice
  • Spray bottle

Pour all three ingredients into the spray bottle, shake, and bam – you are done creating your all-purpose cleaner! Make sure to shake before each use to ensure ingredients are well mixed.


2. Glass Cleaner

Save lots with this easy-to-make glass cleaner. It’s as simple as vinegar + rubbing alcohol + water — three ingredients already in your house! The gamechanging ingredient in this concoction is rubbing alcohol, which works to dissolve dirt and oil and dries quickly for a streak-free finish.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • ½ cup rubbing alcohol
  • ½ cup white/distilled vinegar
  • Water (Clean tap water is fine for short-term use. Use distilled or boiled and cooled water for long-term use.)
  • Essential oils of choice (optional)
  • 16 oz. glass spray bottle

Add the alcohol and vinegar to the spray bottle first. Then added water into the bottle until it is full. If you do not care for the vinegar scent (which goes away when the surface dries), add a few drops of your favorite essential oil. When using, spray the cleaner on windows and mirrors, then wipe with a microfiber cloth. Store spray bottle at room temperature when not in use.


3. Fabric Softener


It’s worth repeating, vinegar is the cleaning superhero that conquers all. This recipe for fabric softener uses it as a softening agent and static cling fighter, while a measure of conditioner incorporates your favorite scent. And at as low as $2 per batch, the price can’t be beat.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 12 oz. container of hair conditioner
  • 1 ½ cups distilled white vinegar
  • 3 cups warm water
  • Whisk
  • Mixing bowl
  • Storage container

Mix all ingredients together in a mixing bowl and whisk together. Pour ingredients into a storage container (e.g. glass jar with a lid), and that is it! You are ready to use your homemade fabric softener.


4. Fabric Refresher


This DIY makes use of the simple ingredients to fight unwelcome odors. Baking soda acts as a deodorizer, while essential oils add your favorite scent. Essential oils are another concentrated ingredient; a little will go a long way. Mix the ingredients and place in a small jar to make this easy room freshener. Perfect for bathrooms, your pet’s favorite chair and teenager’s bedrooms everywhere.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 TBSP of baking soda
  • 2 cups warm water
  • Essential oils of choice
  • Spray bottle

Start by adding the baking soda to the spray bottle, followed by adding in the 2 cups of water. Put the lid on the spray bottle and shake well. Once the baking soda has dissolved, take off the lid. Add 10 drops of essential oil. Shake all ingredients together, and you are ready to deodorize your house. Spray your chemical-free refresher on fabrics or in the air to leave your house smelling…refreshed!


5. Wood Polish


This two-ingredient furniture polish employs olive oil for shine and lemon juice to help remove any buildup or stains. Leaving your furniture shiny and lemony-fresh will only cost you $1.55 per bottle, a fraction of leading commercial wood polishes.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 2 parts olive oil
  • 1 part lemon juice
  • Spray bottle or empty jar

In an empty spray bottle or jar, mix 2 parts olive oil with 1 part lemon juice. Shake well! Now you have yourself some natural, chemical-free wood polish. Spray or pour sparingly onto wood and in circular motions, rub the polish into the wood until it is well buffed with a soft cloth.


6. Oven Cleaner

Cleaning out the oven is not for the faint of heart. Between the crouching, scrubbing and nauseating fumes, we tend to avoid it for as long as possible. This oven cleaner is nontoxic and fume-free, and budget-friendly. Just mix baking soda and salt for ultimate grease-cutting, scouring power. Let it sit and work its magic!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • ¼ cup castile soap or concentrated dish detergent
  • 1 cup baking soda
  • ½ cup coarse sea salt or kosher salt
  • Warm water
  • Distilled white vinegar
  • Sponge or scrubbing brush
  • Spray bottle
  • Mixing bowl

First, mix the soap, baking soda, and salt, adding a little water, if needed to make a paste. Then apply your paste the interior of the oven and let sit for several hours, preferably overnight. When ready, dip a sponge or scrubbing brush into the warm water and wash the interior clean. Spray interior with some distilled white vinegar to rinse away any excess paste residue.


7. Bleach Pen

Bleach pens are the laundry room sidekick we can’t live without. But they’re a little pricey! This homemade bleach pen will cost you a minuscule 25 cents. That’s not a typo. Cornstarch, water, bleach and a little bit of stovetop magic make for a household product that’s cheaper than anything we can remember buying … ever.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 cup cold water
  • 5 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 5 tablespoons regular bleach
  • Medium sized sauce pan
  • Container of choice (e.g condiment bottles)
  • Whisk

Mix cold water and cornstarch and whisk together in a medium sized saucepan. It’s important that the water is cold so that the cornstarch doesn’t cause any lumps in the gel. Over medium high heat, stir the mixture continuously until it is very thick and pasty. Remove from heat and let cool completely. Add the bleach to the gel and blend well. Carefully pour the gel mixture into container of choice like an empty glue bottle or condiment bottle. Bada bing! You have your own gel bleach pen. Use the same way you would a regular bleach pen on dirty areas like grout. Also, when working with bleach it might be a good idea to use gloves!

*Article originally appeared on The Huffington Post http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/07/20/diy-household-products_n_7055218.html

Don’t forget to download a coupon for a little extra savings on a pack of Sparkle® paper towels mentioned above.

More page turners!