It’s the heart of the home, the place where everyone seems to gather: the kitchen.
As a homemaker, I probably spend the most hours of my day either cooking at the stove, prepping on the island, eating at the farmhouse table, or working from my “kitchen command center” desk.
Aside from the obvious need to keep the kitchen clean for food-prep sanitation, it’s super important with all of the family constantly coming and going to be sure that the tables, counters, and floors aren’t a breeding ground for bacteria and other germs.
That said, it’s equally important to be sure that what I use to get rid of the “bad guys” isn’t some sort of toxic cleaner that might actually make things worse!
Below are some fantastic recipes for homemade kitchen cleaners that are really easy to make and will keep the kitchen sparklingly—and non-toxically—clean!
Homemade All-Purpose Cleaner
Start by pouring ½ cup white vinegar into a full-sized spray bottle. Add 2 tablespoons of baking soda. Fill the bottle with tepid water and shake well.
If you’d prefer to cover the vinegar scent (and I do!) you can add a few drops of essential oil, such as tea tree, eucalyptus, or even a citrus oil.
Homemade “Soft-Scrub” Cleaner
This one also utilizes the cleaning power of baking soda. You start by measuring 1 ½ cups of baking soda into a mixing bowl. Add ½ cup of environmentally safe liquid laundry soap (ECOS, for example), and stir vigorously to combine into a paste.
As with the all-purpose cleaner, you may choose to add several drops of essential oil, such as tea tree, lavender, or rosemary.
Store paste in the food container, keeping the lid tightly closed. If the mixture begins to dry out, simply add a small amount of water and stir.
Homemade Disinfectant Wipes
For this one, you’ll need to start with an empty “wipe” type of container; I find that empty plastic baby wipe containers work well. You could also use a large mason jar. :)
You’ll need between 15 and 20 squares of scrap fabric to use for the wipes themselves, something like old t-shirt scraps or even old dish towels. Once you have those stored away in the container, you’re ready to add the cleaning solution.
In mixing cup/bowl, combine 1 cup of water, ¼ cup of white vinegar, and 8 drops each of tea tree oil, eucalyptus essential oil, and lemon essential oil.
Pour this solution over your cloth scraps in the container, where they will soak in and be ready for you when you’re ready to pull them out and use them!
I just wash the used rags with any other laundry I’m running, such as towels or other rags.
Homemade Liquid Dish Soap
For this recipe, start with a medium-sized mixing bowl, combining ½ cup warm distilled water with 2 tsp kosher salt, stirring until the salt is completely dissolved.
In a separate bowl, combine ½ cup white vinegar, ½ cup Dr. Bronner’s Sal Suds and 1 tsp lemon juice. Stir this mixture into the salt water mixture, and stir until thickened.
You may wish to add 10-15 drops of your favorite essential oil at this point for scent and potential disinfectant properties. Pour mixture into a recycled dish soap container for storage.
Homemade Dishwasher Detergent
It will last a long time: each load uses only 2 tablespoons of detergent! (I recommend keeping white vinegar in the rinse agent compartment, too.)
Homemade Oven Cleaner
OK, this one is more of a “how-to” than a recipe, because you really only need baking soda, water, and vinegar.
Use ½ cup of baking soda and stir in 2-3 tablespoons of water, adjusting as needed to get a spreadable paste. Spread this all over the walls of your ovens, rubbing it in for a scrubbing effect.
Let that mixture rest overnight. (Guess it’s Momma’s night off in the kitchen for dinner!)
In the morning, you will put some vinegar in a spray bottle and spritz everywhere you see baking soda, which will create a foaming action. Wipe clean with a damp cloth, rinsing until clean.
Homemade Drain Cleaner
Another vinegar and baking soda how-to! If you’ve got a smelly or slow-draining sink, sprinkle down the drain a heaping ¼ cup baking soda, and follow that with ¼ cup white vinegar.
Let that bubbling mixture sit for an hour or so, then pour boiling hot water down the drain to rinse it.
Depending on how smelly or clogged the drain is, you may need to repeat the process again. Once you do it regularly, you’ll find that one time usually takes care of it!
Homemade Liquid Hand Soap
And finally… what good does it do to have a clean kitchen if you hands are full of germs? Here’s a great recipe for a liquid hand soap that will remedy that!
Start with an empty foaming soap dispenser. Fill it to within about 1 inch of the top with bottled water (or distilled). Add at least 2 Tablespoons liquid castile soap (scented if you prefer; unscented if you want to use essential oils). Add ½ tsp olive oil and a drop or two of essential oil for scent. Close bottle and gently shake to mix.