How to Make Your Own Cleaning Supplies

Everyone knows by now that I am really getting into this zero waste thing. Somedays I obsess over how I can continue to push myself on this zero waste journey and others days I am on auto pilot making great progress without noticing the amazing changes that I have made overtime. I have a few cleaning supplies that I make myself. They are super easy to make, inexpensive, don’t contain any harsh chemicals, and work great. They work so well it makes me think we are being bamboozled by the cleaning supply industry when what grandma did was more than good enough to get the job done. Below are some of my favorite homemade cleaning supplies:

Easy Everyday Cleaner: Great for wiping down counters and tables

  • Spray bottle
  • Vinegar
  • Water

Step 1: Fill the spray bottle with 1 part vinegar 2 parts water.

More Powerful Everyday Cleaner: Great for cleaning your stove top, and cleaning up after a pet accidents

  • Jar
  • Orange, lemon, grapefruit or lime rind
  • Vinegar
  • Spray bottle
  • Water
Step 1: Keep your citrus fruit rind instead of composting
Step 2: Put rind in an empty jar and fill with vinegar
Step 3: Let the jar sit for several weeks. Once it’s changed color it’s ready to go.
Step 4: Fill the spray bottle with 1 part vinegar solution (without the rind), and 1 part water. Compost the rind.
Step 5: Get another rind ready so that by the time you run out you are ready to go with the next batch

Floor Cleaner: Great for tile, stone or laminate.

  • Bottle, or spray bottle
  • Vinegar
  • Rubbing alcohol (isopropyl)
  • Water
  • A few drops liquid dish soap
Step 1: Fill empty bottle with 1 part vinegar, 1 part rubbing alcohol, 1 part water and a few drops of liquid dish soap
Step 2: Put cap back on the bottle, and shake to mix
Step 3: Let the suds settle before use

Bathtub/Sink Cleaner: Good for removing soap scrum and general cleanliness of the tub/sink

  • Lemon (I like using Meyer lemons)
  • Baking soda
Step 1: Cut Lemon in half
Step 2: Sprinkle baking soda on lemon, preferably over the tub or sink you wanted to clean
Step 3: Scrub the tub or sink squeezing the lemon and sprinkling more baking soda on the lemon as need
Step 4: Let it sit for a few minutes
Step 5: Rinse
Step 6: If really dirty repeat

Toilet Cleaner

  • Vinegar
  • Baking Soda
  • Toilet Brush
Step 1: Flush toilet
Step 2: Pour 1 cup vinegar, and let sit for 20 minutes (60 minutes if it’s really dirty)
Step 3: Sprinkle baking soda in bowl
Step 4: Scrub with toilet brush
Step 5: Add more baking soda ,and brush if needed
Step 6: Flush toilet

Homemade Chicken Broth

We cook a lot in our house (at least 4 times a week). Sometime I get adventurous, like the time I made gyro meat and tahini sauce from scratch for homemade gyros. They were amazing, but too much work. Other times it’s a game I like to play called what can I make with the random things in the pantry and fridge, I mostly win. Mostly is the keyword here.

For Christmas I decided to cook my first whole Chicken. I found a rosemary chicken recipe that I was excited to use. The chicken was great so I decide to save the carcass in my freezer for making chicken stock at a later date. And in the mantra of zero waste I started saving the scraps from onions, garlic, carrots, and celery and was storing in my freezer.

Rosemary Chicken

Yesterday was the day! I pulled the chicken and leftover scraps out of the freezer. Filled a pot with water and started cooking. About 4 hour later I have almost 5, 24 oz jars of stock.

Homemade Chicken Stock

Tips:

  • Instead of throwing away your leftover onion, garlic, celery & carrot scraps put them in a glass jar in your freezer
  • Do the same thing for meat bones
  • Substitute the stock for recipes that call for a cup or two of water like rice or quinoa
  • You can use the onion peals, but it can add a bitter flavor to the broth
  • Store the stock in the fridge or freezer in a reusable container. These are the 24 oz jars I use which are also great for bulk grocery shopping because they have a wide lid.
  • Make sure to write the date somewhere on the container
  • Enjoy!

Top Four Zero Waste Products

The following four products were easy to start using on my Zero Waste journey. When I say easy I mean it, these were simple swap outs of existing products and I either didn’t need to change my behavior or only made slight modifications. All four are now staples for me and my family.

mesh bags, bamboo toothbrush, wool dryer balls, reusable snack bag, reusable sandwich bag

  • Bamboo Toothbrush – Most toothbrushes are made of plastic. Not only is this brush compostable, but the packaging it comes in is too.
  • Wool Dryer Balls – We use this instead of dryer sheets, they cut down on waste and dryer time. You can make your own using wool yarn or purchase ones already made.
  • Reusable snack and sandwich bags for school lunches – why throw away plastic when you don’t have to, plus my son thinks they are super cool.
  • Mesh Bags for buying fruits and veggies – great for the grocery store and farmers market to cut down on plastic.

Hope you find these products of interest and start joining me along this life changing journey.  I am planning a future post around more advanced products that I use and some other products that just haven’t stuck for me yet.