Recipe for a Toxin-Free Kitchen: 10 Homemade Kitchen Cleaners

By using simple, natural homemade cleaners, we can eliminate many other toxins that could otherwise leach their way into our systems. Here's 10 homemade kitchen cleaner recipes to help you keep your kitchen safe free of chemicals AND bad bacteria!

Written by Erin Odom, Contributing Writer

As we near the end of our “Spring Clean the Toxins” theme this month, let’s develop a recipe for a toxin-free kitchen. After all, the kitchen is often the center of the home, and it’s where we homemakers spend much of our time.

We know that making ingredients from scratch and getting rid of hidden food/food prep toxins is a great start. And by using simple, natural homemade cleaners, we can eliminate many other toxins that could otherwise leach their way into our systems.

From the endocrine-disrupting phthalates that hide away in conventional dish soaps to triclosan-laden hand soaps which can promote the growth of drug resistant bacteria (source), toxins may be lurking in our kitchens under the guise of cleaning products.

Without further ado, here are 10 recipes for homemade kitchen cleaners that are sure to keep the toxins at bay.

1. Homemade Liquid Dish Soap

Conventional dish soaps can contain phthalates, which can lead to reduced sperm count in men and possibly even liver cancer (source). It’s really quite easy to make your own. I make mine using liquid castile soap, all-purpose citrus cleaner, and essential oils.

2. Homemade Dishwasher Detergent

I will admit that one of my favorite things about homemade cleaning supplies is that I don’t have to go to the store as often if I keep a good supply of key ingredients to make my own. Stacy’s recipe for homemade dishwasher detergent just requires salt, borax, baking or washing soda and lemi-shine! Four natural ingredients that leave no toxins, like triclosan, on your dishes!

3. Homemade Liquid Hand Soap

I don’t know about you, but when I’m dealing with raw meat or even eggs, I wash my hands incessantly! When I started reading about the dangers of antibacterial hand soap, I couldn’t wait to find an alternative.

This homemade foaming hand soap couldn’t be easier to make. My husband and I re-use old mason jars to store the soap, and we gave a peppermint version as Christmas gifts to female friends and family this year! This recipe is so mild that we even use it as a homemade body wash/shampoo for our toddler and preschooler!

4. Homemade All-Purpose Cleaner

I have previously used a simple vinegar-water solution for cleaning my countertops, but I recently discovered Lexie: Natural’s all-purpose citrus cleaner and fell in love!

This cleaner is SO easy to make. All you need is orange peels, salt, vinegar, and water! The best part is that the citrus scent helps masks the strong vinegar smell, which makes my hubby one happy man! I use this cleaner on my countertops, stove, sink, and even on my floors!

5. Homemade Disinfectant Wipes

When I was a newlywed, I used Clorox disinfecting wipes meticulously! I loved the ease of the cleaner already made into the wipe. Boy, how things have changed!

But I still enjoy using homemade disinfectant wipes on occasion. They really aren’t hard to make yourself, and you can use old T-shirts to cut down on waste. Emily has an excellent recipe, and here’s the version I use.

6. Homemade Oven Cleaner

I’ll be honest–I rarely clean my oven. I guess it’s part laziness and partly the fact that I just hate exposing my home to chemicals like the eye/skin-burning Sodium Hydroxide–which is a part of most conventional oven cleaners.

But Anne of Quick and Easy, Cheap and Healthy has several great ideas for non-toxic oven cleaners using supplies that most homemakers keep on hand anyway!

Image by  LuMag00

7. Homemade Natural Ant Killer

Thankfully, I’ve never had to deal with ants in my kitchen. But growing up on six acres in the country, I watched my mom battle the tiny insects almost daily. It seems that it only took one crumb on the floor for a whole army of ants to invade her kitchen.

Instead of using harsh insect repellents/killers, I’m suggesting my mom use Stacy’s recipe for a homemade natural ant killer. It uses white sugar, but, hey, it’s the ants eating it, not your kids…right?

8. Homemade Green Drain Cleaner

Nothing seems worse than a clogged drain–especially when you are trying to get dinner in the oven! Jen at This Gal’s Journey has an easy-peasy, green drainer cleaner recipe that sure beats Drain-O (and is much cheaper as well!).

9. Homemade Produce Wash

Despite any debates about how to wash produce, I err on the side of caution and wash my produce well–especially if it’s not organic. TipNut’s recipe just requires water, baking soda, vinegar, and lemon juice!

Image courtesy Lexie: Naturals

10. Homemade Soft Scrub

A little over a year ago, Sharon shared this homemade soft scrub recipe with Keeper of the Home readers. Using just baking soda, laundry soap and grapefruit seed extract, Sharon says this is a “better, safer, cheaper alternative” to scrubbing your sink with conventional cleaners!

Bonus: Norwex Cloths

Now, I do NOT want to purchase expensive cleaners or cleaning supplies–not when I know I can make my own! But a few months back, Gloria asked if I’d like to review her Norwex cleaning cloths. She claimed the colloidal-silver-laced microfiber could actually clean up raw chicken with nothing else than water and the cloth!  I can say that, in the long run, using these or a similar product would cut down on toxins without burdening your budget on pricey “green” cleaners.

Now, do I personally ALWAYS use homemade or even green cleaners? I want to be transparent with you. Yes, 99% of the time I do. However, a few weeks ago I actually broke down and purchased some bleach and lysol.What? Am I actually admitting that in this post?! Yes, I am. My family suffered for three weeks from the norovirus, and it finally took a bleach solution to kill it. However, I think those times should be very few and far between!

Looking for more homemade cleaning recipes or still new to making your cleaners instead of buying them? There’s an ebook called Simply Clean: DIY Solutions for a Naturally Clean Home, which includes a wide variety of ideas for homemade cleaners to use not just in the kitchen, but in all areas of the home (laundry, bathroom, floors, walls, windows and mirrors, etc.). The ingredients are simple, non-toxic and frugal. It’s $4.95, which is well worth it for the money you’ll save making your own.

What is your recipe for a toxin-free kitchen? What are some homemade kitchen cleaners you use?

Top Image by nannetteturner
This post includes affiliate links.

About Erin O

Erin is a follower of Jesus, wife to Will and mommy to three little redheaded girls (born in 2008, 2010 and 2012). She is a life-long, professional dreamer and recovering overwhelmed homemaker. Her mission is to encourage, educate and empower her readers at The Humbled Homemaker to live a grace-filled, natural life. She is the author of a 200+-page eBook all about cloth diapering-- Confessions of a Cloth Diaper Convert: A Simple, Comprehensive Guide to Using Cloth Diapers.

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  1. Debra Parker says:

    I seem to be having a problem with the links to The Humbled Homemaker. Any issues you know of?

  2. Great list. I totally need to try the oven cleaner. I always green clean and it’s so much less expensive to make your own. Off to click on all the links!

  3. Quick comment on household chemicals when you had the virus. Consider using Shaklee’s Basic G (germicidal) instead of bleach/Lysol. This has a longer lasting surface time ( Lysol, bleach, etc. maybe 24 hrs.) Their products are natural based & non-toxic. I use the Basic G in between bed sheet changes and especially when there’s been colds/flu. After cleaning sinks, tub/shower I spray and leave it, and on floors. I even just spritz it in the air when we’ve had illness in our home. It’s very concentrated and a bottle will last a very long time. I’m a garage saler and everything I buy gets disinfected. I’m not a seller of their products, but have been very satisfied with this and not having the choking fumes of bleach, Lysol, etc.

  4. I just wanted you to know that I have linked your site to my blog ‘Frugal for Everyone’. My blog is about cutting grocery costs but since April is spring cleaning time and also Earth month, I thought is would be interesting to combine being frugal with being environmentally smart.
    Using natural cleaners allows you to be both but since natural cleaners aren’t really what my blog is all about, I thought I would forward my readers to your site for the needed information.

  5. I just wanted to let you know the links for the All Purpose Cleaner no longer work.

  6. Thanks for the great recipes! I especially liked the handmade liquid soap, so easy, and homemade dish detergent. Tea tree oil soap from Trader’s Joe’s is a cheap way to get tea tree oil. It even worked on my toe nail problem. I had some sort of growth on my toe nail. My doctor told me it was fungal and there were 2 ways to treat it: laser it for $$$ or file it back myself and apply tea tree oil. I took the file and tea tree oil route and it took just a little while to heal (approx. 2 to 3 months). I used Trader Joes Tea Tree Tingle. body wash.
    I just filed the deformed toe nail with a metal nail file, then slathered on the body wash.
    Good luck and Thanks

  7. Dr. Bronner’s also offers a product called Sal Suds which is meant to be used for laundry and cleaning but not on the body because it can be drying. I use it as well as castille for shampoo and body. To the person who mentioned how expensive the soap is, you should know that Dr. Bronner’s is very concentrated and is meant to be diluted at different ratios depending on what you are using it for so it really goes a lot further than most other products. Borax receives a grade F from the Environmental Working Group. It is NOT a safe product. Household product grades can be checked at . Beauty product grades can be checked at

    • Sarah Hermsen says:

      Thanks for the info about Borax! I did not know that!!! Now, the money question is what can be substituted for it, especially in that dishwasher soap recipe? My dishwasher is the only product that I don’t make my own soap for (I use soap nuts for laundry…work great, it’s a fruit and cheaper even than making it yourself… I think) and I was really excited to see this recipe! Anyone have any substitutions?

  8. Regarding mixing vinegar and Dr. Bronner’s, apparently they make a great team but mixing them defeats the purpose. I just came across this yesterday as I am just now delving into my all-natural household transformation! Here’s what Lisa Bronner says:

  9. I was wondering if the orange peel in your all purpose cleanser could be replaced by lemon peel??
    Please let me know by email.

    Peace to you,

    • Any citrus peel will work. I’ve used lemon and a lemon/orange mix and they work equally well.

  10. I made my own dish washer soap and it left soap residue on all the dishes tried the second time with heated dry off with the same result. I used the recipe from chemerical using vinegar castile soap water and lemon juice. Do you have any suggestions?

  11. I made my own dish washer soap and it left soap residue on all the dishes tried the second time with heated dry off with the same result. I used the recipe from chemerical using vinegar castile soap water and lemon juice. Do you have any suggestions

  12. Great page great ideas. We ONLY use green products for cleaning that my wife and I make ourselves. Check out our site for all natural beauty products… Thanks again for the great info …


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