Run out of cleaning solution and need something in a pinch? Or maybe you want to make something with ingredients that you know to be natural and safe.
Here are some recommended formulas for the best cleaner liquid you can make at home.
Basic Cleaning Solution
My favorite cleaning solution at home is very simple: white vinegar and water. I normally use a 50/50 mix of the two and place it in a clean glass spray bottle.
While this solution is low-tech it’s good for cleaning up oil, dirt, and other basic grime. It’s particularly good at cleaning up the kitchen after the kids are done eating.
This isn’t an anti-bacterial cleaner and it won’t deal with super-tough adhesives or mildew, etc. as well as a commercial cleaner, but this handles kid and pet messes as well as I need it to.
You can adjust the amount of vinegar to water to dilute or strengthen the solution, but you won’t want to go past 75% vinegar as you can start to leave residue behind.
Homemade Citrus Cleaner
If you like the vinegar cleaner above but want to jazz it up a little, I’d recommend getting some citrus peel and putting it in to the bottle. This will boost the cleaning power slightly and give the mixture a pleasant smell.
When doing this, make sure to take a few simple steps in order to ensure success. First of all, if you have a narrow mouth spray bottle, then make sure you cut the citrus into narrow strips or small squares that you can shake out. If you mash the peel inside it’ll be a big challenge getting it out (speaking from experience here).
Next, make sure you remove the pith (the white part) and leave the outer skin. The pith can age in a gross way while the skin won’t. Nothing will really rot since it’s essentially being pickled in the vinegar.
Lastly, don’t leave the peel in too long. After a few weeks it’ll lose it’s effectiveness anyway.
I’d recommend starting with grapefruit, but any citrus would do. Bergamot anyone?
How To Make Alvin Corn Homemade Glass Cleaner
Within the world of homemade cleaning solutions one of the most popular is the “Alvin Corn” glass cleaner. It’s been popular online for years.
The name of the cleaner doesn’t come from the name of its inventor, but rather the ingredients: ALcohol, VINegar, water, and CORNstarch.
Most sites online agree that you should use:
- 1/4 cup rubbing alcohol
- 1/4 c. white vinegar
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- 2 cup warm
Just combine the four, mix, and funnel it into a spray bottle. It’ll get your glass almost as clean as any commercial solution.
This cleaner is effective and easy to make. It’s much cheaper than commercial solutions and has no suspect ingredients!
The Right Spray Bottle
It’s easiest to simply put whatever cleaning solution you make into an empty spray bottle. I normally start fresh with empty glass or empty plastic spray bottles. As always, I prefer glass, but having broken a number of glass spray bottles I’ve largely moved to plastic, like the professional 24 oz. spray bottle from Houseables. You could, of course, reuse a spray bottle that you already have, just make sure it was holding something rather innocuous as even with a deep clean there will be some contents left over.