Skip to content

DIY Home Cleaners: 4 Recipes That You Can Make From Pantry Staples

Emma Loewe
mbg Senior Sustainability Editor By Emma Loewe
mbg Senior Sustainability Editor
Emma Loewe is the Senior Sustainability Editor at mindbodygreen and the author of "Return to Nature: The New Science of How Natural Landscapes Restore Us."
Freshly Cut Lemons on a Plate and Messy Tablecloth in Sunlight
Our editors have independently chosen the products listed on this page. If you purchase something mentioned in this article, we may earn a small commission.

If your cleaning product supply has run dangerously low but you're sheltering in place and trying to limit trips to the store, why not go the homemade route? DIY cleaners can be easy to put together and as efficacious as store-bought when you use the right recipes. Plus, they're cheap as can be. Here are a few from the mbg vaults that use ingredients you probably already have in your quarantine pantry.

Note that these are cleaners, not disinfectants (according to the CDC, there's a difference!) and will not stand up COVID-19 germs. They're good for quick touchups around the house, but if you suspect you may have tracked the virus into your home, you're better off using a heavy-duty product containing at least 70% alcohol.

Apple cider vinegar: An all-purpose cleaner.

Apple cider vinegar is a poster child of the DIY beauty and cleaning scenes. And while not all of its purported benefits are backed up by science, it does have bonafide antimicrobial properties that make it an effective spot cleaner.

There are many ways to use ACV at home including as a window wash, cutting board refresher, or even fruit fly trap. Most of the time, though, it's used in all-purpose cleaners. Simply combine equal parts ACV and water in a spray bottle and apply to appliances, countertops, and furniture like you would any other cleaner. Just be sure to try a small test patch first, since the vinegar's high acidity can potentially corrode some more sensitive materials. If it causes any discoloration, you're better off using a product that's more targeted to that particular surface.

This ad is displayed using third party content and we do not control its accessibility features.

Baking soda: A quick refresh for appliances (and basically anything smelly).

A deodorizer with a much more approachable smell than vinegar, baking soda can help you freshen up appliances, trash cans, and basically anything else that gets smelly over time. Mix in a few drops of the essential oil of your choosing and you have a cleansing powder for your sneakers and trash bin. Or combine it with just enough water to make a paste and let it sit in your blender, oven, or microwave for a few minutes before wiping clean.

Lemon: A surface stain remover.

While the jury's still out on whether lemon can remove clothing stains, it should be able to tackle food and drink stains on hard surfaces like mugs and tableware. Let its juice sit on a stain for 10 to 15 minutes before wiping down with a cloth. If that doesn't work, add some salt to make the spot treatment more abrasive.

White vinegar & essential oils: All-purpose wipes

Essential oils can add a smell-good factor to any DIY cleaner, and they also add an antibacterial element to these homemade wipes that Fern Green, author of Natural Home Cleaning, shared with mbg last year:


  • 60 mL (2 fl. oz./¼ cup) white vinegar
  • 5 drops lemon essential oil
  • 5 drops lavender essential oil
  • 500 mL (17 fl. oz./2 cups) distilled water
  • 12 sheets strong paper towels


  1. Mix the vinegar and oils with the distilled water.
  2. Cut the paper towels in half and stuff them into your container.
  3. Pour over the solution and swirl and shake it around until the solution is absorbed.
  4. Empty any excess liquid. When ready to clean, remove a paper towel carefully, wring out any excess into the sink, and use.
  5. Store for up to 1 week in an airtight container, Mason jar, or zipper bag.

Again, you'll need a cleaner that's at least 70% alcohol to kill viruses like COVID-19, but these easy DIYs are great for tackling stains, odors, and more everyday messes.

Want to learn how feng shui can help you create a high-vibe home and set powerful intentions to manifest your dreams? This is feng shui the modern way - no superstitions, all good vibes. Click here to register for a free session with Dana that will give you 3 tips to transform your home today!

This ad is displayed using third party content and we do not control its accessibility features.

More On This Topic


Health Coach Certification

Health Coach Certification
More Lifestyle

Popular Stories

This ad is displayed using third party content and we do not control its accessibility features.

Latest Articles

Latest Articles
This ad is displayed using third party content and we do not control its accessibility features.

Your article and new folder have been saved!