Before you can switch to homemade cleaners, you’ll need some supplies. Below is a handy list of goodies you’ll need in order to make and use an array of homemade cleaning products.
Empty Spray Bottles
*Note, always keep a couple spare bottles around, because spray bottles nozzles are notorious for breaking, right in the middle of a cleaning job.
If you’ve got old cleaning bottles, wash them out well and use them. If you’ve already recycled all those cleaning product bottles or if you just want a fresh start, pick up some nice new reusable spray bottles. Here’s what I suggest…
- Two large spray bottles for all-purpose cleaner – I keep one in the kitchen and one in the laundry area that tends to move around the house.
- One large spray bottle for homemade glass cleaner.
- One large or medium sized spray bottle for homemade disinfectant all-purpose cleaner.
- One medium sized spray bottle for a quick mold and mildew spray (if you have mildew issues in your area). I’m in a damp area (PDX) so I do need this. In New Mexico, I didn’t.
- A medium to small sized spray bottle for homemade fabric refresher.
- A few small spray bottles or spritzer bottles for homemade air fresheners.
Below are two cool options if you’re looking for bottles…
The Full Circle Come Clean Natural Cleaning Set comes with two spray bottles, one mixing container, two juicers, one microfiber cleaning cloth, one Clean House Green House guide and reusable stickers for labeling your mixtures. Plus the set is made with materials like recycled plastic and recycled paper. The ability to squeeze lemons right in the jar is super unique and crafty if you ask me.
If you’re not down with plastic look for Stainless Steel Spray Bottle
- One bottle for the fridge that you can keep squeezed lemon or other citrus juice in. A basic mason jar works well.
- One container for baking soda – why? Because if you’ve ever tried to sprinkle a bit of baking soda out of a box, you’ll know that it gets everywhere!
- A bucket for mixing up homemade laundry soap. A 2 gallon size should work.
- A bucket or container for keeping homemade laundry soap. The type of container you’ll need will depend on if you’re making homemade powder detergent or homemade liquid gel detergent. If making powder, get a scoop for your detergent too.
Various cloths to clean with
If you’re going green and non-toxic, seriously, don’t use paper towels. Get some cleaning cloths. I personally use a combo of old cloth diapers (from 11 years ago), some basic washcloths and lots of old cloths I made from deadbeat towels and cloth napkins. I also keep a few lint-free microfiber cleaning cloths on hand for glass.
Learn more about cloths for cleaning below…
- Green clean correctly with cloth towels vs. paper towels
- How to quit using paper towels and switch to cloth
- Why not use paper towels?
- Switching to cloth from paper towels will save you $1,000
Various scrubbing power tools
Hand power makes green homemade cleaners really work. It’s that scrubbing action that’s going to replace toxic chemicals, so get some decent scrubby brushes. Full Circle makes some of the best scrub brushes I’ve seen in a long while, mainly because they’re made with better materials than most. Such as…
Full Circle Lean and Mean Scrub Brush: This scrubs away dirt and grime, without scrubbing away natural resources. Made with a combination of post-consumer and post-industrial plastic and a bamboo handle. The unique design helps prevent bacteria buildup and it hangs for easy storage.
Full Circle Grunge Buster Grout and Tile Brush: The iron-shaped grout brush is designed to make one of the most unpleasant household chores easier. The outer softer bristles clean tile, while the tough narrow middle bristles do a killer job on grout. Made with recycled plastic and bamboo, plus the easy grip handle allows for tough, forceful scrubbing.
If you make homemade cleaners, you MUST label them. Especially because if you use essential oils, some people are sensitive to them so labels are a must. Also, it’ll make your life easier.
I’ve labeled stuff really nicely with fancy printed labels but I’ve also labeled homemade cleaners with a plain old permanent marker – right on the bottle. I’ve used duct tape, stickers, clear tape over paper and other crazy ideas, but it’s up to you how you label.
Do keep in mind that you need waterproof labels, because cleaning bottles get wet often, which is why I cover paper labels with clear packing tape. Also consider that your bottle contents may change, so you might want less permanent labels – erasable food labels work well in this regard.
Optional, but cool stuff to have on hand
- Old thrift store pie plate – good for placing in the oven with essential oils and spices for instant air freshening.
- Juice squeezer for citrus.
- Muslin fabric or muslin bags – you’ll be making homemade fabric softener sachets with this (recipe to come). You can also use them to make natural drawer and closet fresheners.
- A steam cleaner for hard floors or tile. I HIGHLY recommend you get an inexpensive steam cleaner because it allows you to clean with hot water and nothing more. Plus it’s way easier than a mop. I like this steam cleaner.
Although there are countless home cleaning goods you can get, the above list includes enough homemade cleaning gear to get you started. Soon I’ll post a mega list of homemade cleaners, but until then, get started with the homemade cleaner recipes below.