5 Natural Cleaning Recipes

One of the first steps in creating a more eco-friendly home is to swap out old chemical cleaners for more natural ones. Here are five of my favorite natural cleaning recipes.

Why Use Natural Cleaners

The cleaning aisle of your local store is chalk full of miracle cleaners that will promise you a good smelling, spotless home. The unfortunate thing is, many of these cleaners have crazy amounts of synthetic chemicals like pthalates, phenols, glycols, and plenty more. There are literal books written on the topics of these chemicals and how they can affect our nervous system, endocrine system, and more. There’s a great article by Sloan Barnett that goes into greater detail to give you a general overview.

Bottom line for my family. I don’t want any sort of cleaner in my household that can negatively affect me or my children.

Thankfully, there are hundreds of DIY options for using natural herbs and oils for keeping our homes clean. I’ve picked out five of my favorites to share.

Ingredients & Supplies for Natural Cleaning Recipes

These recipes have simple ingredients and a few of them you will see repeated several times.


Vinegar is incredibly acidic. As we learned about in my tool cleaning tutorial, vinegar is strong enough to eat away at rust on garden tools. This same acidity helps with eating away at grease, grime, and general scummy stuff.

Vinegar is also proven to kill germs including the flu virus of all things.

Want to make your own vinegar? It is super easy!

Baking Soda

Baking soda, also called sodium bicarbonate, is found in nature in crystal form and is ground down into powder for use. It is technically a type of very mild salt that works great for cleaning for a few reasons.

First, it is slightly abrasive so it is excellent to use as a gentle scrubber.

Second, baking soda’s chemical compounds can dissolve mineral deposits and things like grease. This makes it perfect for cleaning up in the kitchen or bathroom.

natural cleaning products rough and tumble farmhouse

Essential Oils

Essential oils are a distilled version of plant materials, often herbs, that are very potent. Since they are so concentrated, it only takes a few drops for them to be effective. Herbs have been used for centuries to clean and disinfect. They can work wonders in your cleaning arsenal and are much more gentle for your home and family.

Essential oils have many benefits but they can also be harmful if used incorrectly. Please follow the amounts as listed and keep them away from small children and pets.

Here’s a quick rundown of the essential oils used in these recipes and what their beneficial properties are.

  • Bergamot – Antibiotic
  • Cinnamon – Antiviral
  • Lemon – Antibiotic, antifungal, antiviral, antibacterial
  • Lime – Antibiotic and antibacterial
  • Pine – Antibiotic and antibacterial
  • Tea Tree- Antibiotic, antifungal, antiviral, antibacterial
  • Orange – Antibacterial

If you are interested in using essential oils check out this post on making essential oil roller bottles!

This post contains affiliate links, which means I make a small commission at no extra cost to you. See my full disclosure here.

Supplies for Making Natural Cleaning Recipes

Here are a few supplies that are handy to have for making your own recipes. See below for links to purchase.

  • Glass spray bottles
  • Plastic Spray Bottles
  • Reusable Cloths

5 DIY Natural Cleaning Recipes

This collection of recipes comes from the book The Naturally Clean Home by Karyn Siegel-Maier

Vinegar Spray

This recipe comes from Real Simple and is a snap.

Simply combine two parts vinegar to one part water in a spray bottle and you are all set! For example, two cups of vinegar and one cup of water. You can also add a drop or two of lemon or other citrus essential oil to boost the cleaning power and cut back on that vinegar scent if that isn’t your thing. Shake well before use.

diy vinegar spray rough and tumble farmhouse

Kitchen Scrubber

This recipe uses simple ingredients you have in the kitchen. This works great for deep cleaning sinks.

  • 1 Cup Baking Soda
  • 3 Tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 3 drops of essential oil : Cedar or Sweet Orange

Combine all the ingredients in a mason jar or similar, then shake well to combine the ingredients. Allow the mixture to sit for several hours so the essential oils dry, then shake it up again.

You can skip the essential oils entirely and it still works really well. It also smells like Christmas cookies so that’s an added bonus.

Sprinkle the powder in the sink and scrub with a damp sponge or cloth. Rinse well.

Disinfectant Spray

This pine scented spray is refreshing and effective.

  • 2 Cups Water
  • 2 Tsp Borax
  • 8 Drops Pine Essential Oil
  • 4 Drops Cedar Essential Oil

Combine all the ingredients in a glass spray bottle. Shake it up well before using. Spray on surfaces and then follow up by wiping with a clean cloth or sponge.

Simple Toilet Bowl Cleaner

This recipe is effective with or without the essential oil. It adds an extra boost of cleaning and disinfecting.

  • 1/2 Cup Baking Soda
  • 1/4 Cup White Vinegar
  • 10 Drops Tea Tree Essential Oil

If you’ve ever made a baking soda volcano you know why this is not a make-ahead mixture.

Flush the toilet and turn the water off at the wall to empty the water from the toilet. Add the baking soda and white vinegar to the toilet and add in the drop of essential oil. Scrub well with a brush. Turn the water back on at the wall to fill the bowl and give it a flush.

Wood Cleaner

Spray a small amount on a cloth then wipe down wood surfaces. You can follow that up with a dry cloth to add a little extra polish.

  • 1/2 Cup Lemon Juice
  • 1 Tsp Liquid Castile Soap
  • 4 Drops essential oil: Geranium, Bergamot, or sweet orange
wood cleaning spray rough and tumble farmhouse

Simple Glass Cleaner

Spray it on glass, then wipe away with a cloth. This same mixture works well as a general countertop sanitizer, too.

  • 1 Cup Water
  • 1 Cup White Vinegar
  • 10 drops lemon or lime essential oils

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