A HOUSE IN THE HILLS HOME EC. /1

I’ve been meaning to tackle this for the longest time and I’m actually giddy to be sitting down to write this post! Is that a weird thing to be giddy about?!  Probably.  But I don’t care because today I’m sharing recipes for 6 household cleaning products that are made from the simplest ingredients, most of which are so common there’s a good chance they’re already living in your cupboards.  Rad, right?!  AND, those cute labels, they were designed by the incredibly talented designer Judy Hsu and are available for you to download and print out for yourself! Because cleaning isn’t fun, at least not for this girl!  So at least it can involve cute, inexpensive, GREEN products.  Triple Yes!  And I’ve made it as simple as possible for you below with a complete list of everything you’ll need to make your own personal cleaning arsenal, including those adorable bottles!

I know this post is a deviation from the norm around here and I hope you love it!  I’m trying to mix things up a little, devoting more time to some fun posts like this that I’ve been wanting to do for SO long!  I’m also taking on a few more sponsored posts, which means that companies pay me to share their products with you, or tell you about what they’re up to.  I will always note these posts are sponsored so there’s no shady shaderson going on over here.  And I’ll also remain committed to sharing brands with you that are a good fit for me + you.  Ultimately I hope they’re posts that you love as much as the others  Most importantly they’ll give me the freedom to spend more time on things like this post, which is MAJOR EXCITING!  At least for me, and I truly hope for you too! Thank you so much for reading, for being such a great part of my days, for all your kindness. So, SO MUCH MORE after the jump! xx- Sarah

Sparkle & Shine All Purpose Cleaner is the go to for things that need a little bit of elbow grease- *ahem* stove top, I’m looking at you!  The vinegar and castile soap clean and disinfect, the grit from the baking soda helps remove grime.  And the sage is just there to smell sweet.  If lemon scent is more your jam, no problemo just swap it out! 

Ingredients:

1 3/4 cups distilled white vinegar

4.5 tablespoons baking soda

3.5 teaspoons castile soap

5-10 drops clary sage essential oil

1 (160z) spray bottle

Method:

– Mix vinegar, baking soda, castile soap and sage essential oil in a large mixing bowl (It will have a reaction and fizz, so make sure there is plenty of room for it to do so!)  Once it’s settled, transfer to a spray bottle.

– Mixture should appear cloudy at first, and clear once baking soda settles.

– Gently shake before reuse.  

Mop To It Floor Cleaner– This makes a small batch for spot cleaning, but you can make larger batches for big time mopping jobs!  Disinfecting and cleansing- this floor cleaner does it all!  

Ingredients:

3 tablespoons castile soap

1 cup warm water

1 cup distilled white vinegar

10 drops peppermint essential oil

1 (160z) spray bottle

Method:

– Mix castile soap, warm water, vinegar and peppermint oil in bottle.

– Shake until combined.

– Castile soap make look clumpy at first but will thin out once shaken thoroughly.

Dazzling Reflection Mirror Cleaner– For shining up your reflection without the famous blue bottle!  Streak free goodness, this one!

Ingredients:

1/2 cup distilled white vinegar

1.5 cups water

5-10 drops tea tree essential oil

1 (160z) spray bottle

Method:

– Combine vinegar, water, and tea tree oil in bottle and shake.

– Mixture should be clear.

Spots Be Gone Carpet Cleaner– With two {messy} dogs a good carpet cleaner is more than essential, it’s something I’ve prayed to the cleaning gods many times to provide.  And TA-DA!  This one damn near removed ink!  The hydrogen peroxide binds and lifts the stain, the baking soda helps remove dirt and grime. WINNER!

Ingredients:

1/2 cup baking soda

1/2 cup hydrogen peroxide

1 cup warm water

1 (160z) spray bottle

Method:

– Combine baking soda, hydrogen peroxide and warm water in spray bottle and shake thoroughly!

– Mixture should appear clear.

– Baking soda may settle over time so make sure to shake before application.

– Apply stain remover to carpet and let sit for 20-30 minutes depending on stain.

– Scrub/blot clean with moisture absorbing towel.

Polish That Hide Leather Cleaner is as fun as it sounds!  The vinegar acts as a disinfectant, the olive oil is restorative for the leather.  Absolutely test this on an inconspicuous spot on your leather to make sure the leather hasn’t been treated in a way that will react with the cleaner.  It worked great on our brown leather sectional but I might have discoloration concerns with a lighter color leather and in these cases it’s always so much better safe than sorry!

Ingredients:

1 1/4 cups distilled white vinegar

3/4 cup olive oil

1 (160z) spray bottle

Method:

– Combine vinegar and olive oil directly in bottle.

– Continuously shake while using to ensure that olive oil and vinegar is combined during application.

Counter on Me Kitchen Cleaner–  Keep those counters clean and disinfected with this pretty smelling mixture! (This can also be used in the bathroom!)  The castile soap and white wine vinegar disinfect, the essential oils make it smell as clean as it looks!  

Ingredients:

1/8 cup distilled white vinegar

2 tablespoons  castile soap

5 drops lavender essential oil

5 drops peppermint essential oil

Fill with warm water

1 (160z) spray bottle

Method:

-Combine vinegar, castile soap, lavender, and peppermint oil in bottle.

– Fill remainder of bottle with warm water and shake thoroughly.

– Mixture should appear cloudy.

 

A FEW NOTES:  

– These products have all been tested and loved in my home, but it’s best to check test them on an inconspicuous spot on whatever surface you’re trying to clean in your own home to make sure they’re the right fit!

–  These are mild smelling cleaners, if you prefer a stronger scent double the amount of essential oils in each recipe.  Feel free to swap out, mix ’em up and play around!  This lemon oil is perfect for that fresh and clean smell!

– If you have a small funnel handy it will be helpful (but not necessary)!

– If you would like to purchase enough supplies to make the entire collection, here is a complete list of ingredients needed:

6 (16oz) spray bottles

Download label designs to print here  (to be printed on these labels)

2 (32oz) bottles distilled white vinegar 

1 small bottle of olive oil

1 small bottle of hydrogen peroxide

3 oz of castile soap 

1 box of baking soda

1 small bottle clary sage essential oil

1 small bottle peppermint essential oil

1 small bottle tea tree essential oil

1 small bottle lavender essential oil

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Reader Comments

  1. Jeanine|

    cute labels!! I just love your passion behind this post…

    What do you use on your marble? (not a vinegar solution, I assume?)

    Reply
    • Laura|

      I’m with Katie — got any ideas about dish soap?? Over the last year we have gotten into doing things more naturally around our house.. and we are using essential oils more than ever… when our last container of dish soap ran out, hubby pulled one out from under the counter, it’s Dawn and it’s “lavender”… I can hardly stand to use it, the scent makes me gag!! *Not* real lavender in there….. I swapped it out for a Mrs. Meyers, but that’s still rated a “C” by the EWG. Anyway super glad to have found this, I just used the last of my countertop spray and am about to make yours right now!!

      Reply
  2. Tiffany @ Savor Home|

    This is AWESOME!! I am in the process of eliminating all of my chemical based products and this will make that process go by so much faster! I tackled soap this week (Dr. Bronners castile soap is amazing) and I will use this to tackle my cleaning products. I use the cute labels, too! Thank you!

    Reply
  3. meaghan [for a song]|

    long time reader, first time commentor- I'm very impressed with the way you handle the sometimes tricky situations that impact better known blogs. I found your breezy, honest comments about adding a few sponsored posts and mixing up content to be perfect.

    incidentally, I should make these over the weekend…the labels and names are adorable.

    Thansk Sarah!

    Reply
  4. jensen|

    I use the baking soda + hydrogen peroxide mix (with a little vinegar added) to get all sorts of stains out of white clothing (especially those of the sweat nature). Seriously a winning combination, that one.

    Reply
  5. sarah yates|

    I'm so happy you are all as excited about this as I am! And Jensen that sounds like a perfect use, will have to try! I sure spill enough to have plenty of opportunities! HAHA!

    @Meaghan, thank you so much, it's a delicate subject I think for a lot of bloggers but I just want to be as transparent about it as possible and hope that everyone is as understanding as you! 🙂

    Reply
  6. Kate|

    I am so excited about this post! You just made my day! I love cleaning with all natural products especially because I have four small children and I don't want them to be exposed to any harsh chemicals! I love the labels and spray bottles….so charming! Thank you!!

    http://www.taffetaandtulips.com

    Reply
  7. Sara|

    I LOVE this idea! Somehow I had never thought to make my own cleaning solutions, but it makes so much sense!

    Reply
  8. Miss Lynzie|

    Well, this is just fantastic. And adorable to boot! I've had a love affair with your blog for sometime now, and the best part is that it keeps getting better and better. I'm especially fond of your vegan recipes, and your honesty with regard to, well, pretty much everything. Thank you for that. xx

    Reply
  9. Sarah O.|

    Thank you for such a comprehensive post. Is on my to-do list! Any chance you have a recipe for laundry detergent and fabric softener?

    Reply
  10. sarah yates|

    Thanks everyone!! You all are the BEST!

    @ Sarah I don't offhand but now I'm inspired to do another round! I want a good stainless steel cleaner and a window cleaner too! Will add those to the list and hopefully do another post soon!

    Reply
  11. Katie|

    Love this post! I've been wanting make my own diy cleaning supplies and this is so fun and minimal with the label. They sound great. Definitely going to make some of these. Would you ever use the leather cleaner on leather shoes?

    Reply
  12. Jen|

    Love these types of posts, Sarah! Keep em in the mix for sure.

    I really appreciate that you listed all the supplies needed and did one big post of the different "recipes" instead of splitting them up for pageviews.

    Reply
  13. Victoria|

    I'm in the process of switching all my cleaning products to natural ones so this post is just perfect! Thank you! 🙂

    Reply
  14. lauren|

    Loved this post! I just ran out of Windex and was thinking about trying something more natural. Love the gorgeous photos and labels too! Thank you. 🙂

    Reply
  15. laura|

    Hi there! I’ve been following your blog for a long time (LOVE it), but this is my first comment. I have tried making the “sparkle and shine” 3 times this evening and to no avail, my kitchen looks like a 3rd grader’s science fair (think grade school volcano lol). I cannot for the life of me get it to settle enough to put the lid on. I have the bottles you linked to. I have tried adding in different ways, but nothing is working. I really want to use it soon. Is there a secret to adding/mixing? It explodes as soon as the vinegar and baking soda touch. Is the recipe missing water? Thanks so much!

    Reply
    • Sarah Yates|

      Hi Laura! Thanks so much for the kind words! OK, I just remade it to see where I went wrong- and I realized that the first time I made it I did so in a large bowl. So combine all of the ingredients (in the order listed) in a large bowl giving it plenty of room to react, then once it settles you can transfer it to the spray bottle (a liquid measuring cup or funnel would help with this!). I’m so sorry for all the troubles, I spaced that detail when putting the post together, not thinking of the crazy science experiment that could happen when trying to combine all of those ingredients in a small spray bottle!! I promise this will help and the sparkle and shine will be all yours for the cleaning!!! 🙂 xx- Sarah

      Reply
      • laura|

        Thank you so much! (and thanks for the quick response, that is awesome!) That technique makes a lot of sense, I’m going to go try again now 🙂 I love the bottles, btw, they have such a nice shape 🙂 I can’t wait to make the labels, there will be so many labels left over that I envision giving your soap recipe away as gifts and using the leftover labels on them 🙂 Thanks again!

        Reply
  16. laura|

    A note about the spray bottles, I purchased them from the link provided despite the reviews. I have tried 3 out of the 6 tonight and none of them will spray after 1 time of spraying…they’re pretty but terrible 🙁 I’m extremely disappointed in the non functioning of them. I’m going to try to send them back or something I suppose.

    Reply
    • Sarah Yates|

      Laura that’s terrible, I’m so sorry to hear that! All of our worked perfectly and have continued to do so since we got them. What a bummer, they really are adorable. Amazon always protects the buyer so reach out to the seller to return, or to Amazon and I’m sure they’ll replace them or give you your money back to buy another version. Good luck!

      Reply
      • laura|

        I have one that works, that I just used for peroxide and water. But I am pretty sure it’s the baking soda or the Dr. Bronner’s causing it. How do you keep yours from gunking the pumps up?

        Reply
        • laura|

          sorry for so many questions BTW, I just really want to get it to work haha…especially after last night I got a couple squirts out and it got the gunk off without having to scrub (sparkle and shine), though it did leave a white film on the black granite.

          Reply
          • Sarah Yates|

            No worries at all! I would just do a quick wipe down with water and that should take care of any white film! 🙂

        • Sarah Yates|

          Hi Laura! I think they must be faulty bottles, we’ve been using ours for the past month and a half with no issues at all!

          Reply
          • laura|

            Me again! I had an email from you saying you’d mess around with the order of adding the ingredients and would post the results, just curious if you’d had time to do that. I know you’re busy, so thank you!

  17. Leo|

    This is truly an amazing post. I really enjoyed learning some excellent cleaning products recipes. You’ve done great job by making everything quite simple. Thanks.

    Reply
  18. Melissa|

    Love the labels, and love the cleaners. I have a quick question and castile soap. I live in Australia, so it’s hard to come by, and expensive.( I’m not willing to buy it from overseas either!) Just wondering if there’s something else I can use instead? Would some dish soap work just as well? Or some other type of soap?

    Reply
    • Sarah Yates|

      Thanks Melissa! I’m sure a soap that has similar ingredients to Castille soap would work great- I would check your local health food store! 🙂

      Reply
  19. Lynda|

    Very cool list of cleaning mixes. I just thought I’d point out a couple of things for your benefit. We have hard water, so mixing castille soap and vinegar together is just nasty.
    I always understood that mixing baking soda and vinegar together isn’t the best, but I can’t remember why. Maybe they weaken each other?? I know it’s an awesome mixture to put down your drains, let sit for a half hour, then pour boiling water down, for cleaning them out.
    Also, I read that whenever you use hydrogen peroxide, use it on an as-needed basis, because it weakens when it’s mixed with other materials.
    I’ve used your leather cleaner, and that is awesome!

    Thanks for your posts,
    Lynda

    Reply
  20. Nora Reaves|

    So many cleaning mixes! I’m fascinated! I want to eliminate all chemical based cleaners and your article gave me so many choices! Thank you very much!

    Reply
  21. erin|

    Hello,
    I tried to download the beautiful labels and it says that website has expired. Can you redirect me? Thanks!

    Reply
  22. Diana Paterson|

    I’m a huge fan of DIY cleaning products so many thanks for the ‘recipes’. Regarding the all purpose cleaner, I already use a teaspoon of vanilla essence which gives a lovely warm fragrance that doesn’t smell like a cleaning product – if you know what I mean.

    Reply
  23. Carry Lorrie|

    Incredible article! Lovely pictures! What can I say? I will definitely try your proposals for home made cleaners! Thanks a lot for sharing them!

    Reply
  24. Faith Grant|

    Thanks for these “recipes”! I usually use vinegar alone for a lot of cleaning and deodorizing and wanted to also use baking soda but haven’t gotten around to it. Now I have everything in once place!! And I have to agree about vinegar being the best window cleaner!!!

    Reply
  25. Sharon Potter|

    So lovely article! I love the way it is written, the pictures and the great ideas which you’ve shared! Thank you a lot! I will try all of your suggestions!

    Reply
  26. EC|

    These are such great tips! However, what if after a while of using these products residue builds up? That happened to me! I finally purchase the best machine I’ve ever cleaned with from 1800 Go Vapor. It gets gunk and grime out of the smallest crevices and disinfects surfaces in seconds, killing ALL bacteria! It uses high pressured steam (water!) to kill germs, leaving all those harmful chemicals by the wayside. Check it out- again, best purchase of 2014- http://www.vapor-systems.com/

    Reply
  27. Nora Rivers|

    Wow! So many natural cleaning recipes that I don’t know from where to begin! I will try them all that is sure! I hate the common cleaners on the market because they are full of harmful ingredients and if there is a way to clean without using them I will try it. Thanks a lot! Chinatown Carpet Cleaners Ltd.

    Reply
  28. Natty Welsh|

    You must be joking! I just can’t believe that all of these products are in my pantry and I can make nice and toxic free cleaners! I will try all of your incredible suggestions and will write again to tell you about the results!

    Reply
  29. Melissa Michaels|

    Although I am working for a professional cleaning company, I have become a huge fan of the green cleaning. I am making DIY cleaning products for my home, but I really liked all of your recipes. They all seem very pleasant and especially in these cute bottles (beautiful pictures also). Thank you for the list of ingredients needed and for the great tips. I am totally going to try all of them!

    Reply
  30. Dora Nelson|

    I’m a beginner in making homemade cleaning products and enjoy the whole process from making to cleaning a lot. I love the idea of using essential oils in cleaning solutions I’m definitely trying your recipes. Till now I’ve tried few simple mixtures and now I’m going to raise the level. Thank you !

    Reply
  31. Elaine|

    I am trying to go all natural and really appreciate you recipes for natural cleaners. Could you please tell me if any of these need rinsing.

    Reply
  32. Pamela Phillips|

    Great, article, thank you! As a mother of 2 beautiful children I want to keep them away from all these chemical products harming their health. These recipes are just for my family. My husband helps me a lot and we prepare together cleaning product from natural ingredients. But my parents are still skeptic, unfortunately. However I continue talk to them about the harm of chemical products, I know they will change their mind. Greetings!

    Reply
  33. Kathy Hicks|

    Amazing ideas!!! So many good tips combined in one place. As a housewife I love experimenting and finding new ways of cleaning, especially with natural and nontoxic stuff.

    Reply
  34. Jane Gilbert|

    I love your post. I have tried your recipe. Instead of hot water I put cold. It was my mistake. I was distracted. The result was nòt bad. I shook it more. Best regards!

    Reply