Ask Anna: 5 DIY Cleaners for the Home

by Anna MoseleyJuly 28, 2016

When my daughter was born 7 1/2 years ago, it really got me thinking about the types of products I was using to clean my house and what impact they could have on her little lungs, etc. Over the past 5 years or so there has been a huge shift in the cleaning industry toward “green cleaning,” and I think it’s because a lot of parents have started asking themselves the same questions. Green cleaning products tend to be slightly more expensive than traditional cleaning products, which is why today I want to share a handful of products that you can make at home with things you probably already have in your pantry/medicine closet!

DIY Furniture Polish

Anna 1

  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
    10 drops
  • Lemon essential oil
  • 1/2 cup oil (vegetable, olive oil, etc.)
  • Corn starch, optional

Mix the ingredients in a spray bottle and polish with a microfiber cloth. After you polish the wood furniture sprinkle a small amount of corn starch over the surface of the furniture. Using a microfiber cloth, buff the wood surface until it is shiny. The corn starch will absorb any extra oil from the furniture polish and will leave your wood surfaces looking fabulous!

DIY Glass Cleaner

  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup rubbing alcohol
  • Water
  • Spray bottle

Add the lemon juice and rubbing alcohol together in a spray bottle. Next fill the spray bottle full, the rest of the way, with water. Shake well. Spray it on your windows and mirrors, then use a microfiber cloth to wipe them clean. Your windows will be smudge-free and your house will smell refreshing!

Kitchen De-greaser

  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 1 quart warm water

Add all ingredients to a spray bottle, then shake to mix them. Next spray your kitchen de-greaser on the greasy spots in your kitchen – stove hood, cabinets, cooktop, etc. Let it sit for a few minutes, then wipe clean with a damp microfiber cloth.

Garbage Disposal Cleaner/Deodorizer

  • Lemons, sliced into 1″ pieces
  • White vinegar
  • Ice cube tray

Place each l” lemon slice in a clean ice cube tray. Fill each ice cube mold with white vinegar. Freeze.
Ice Cubes for Cleaning Disposal
When the vinegar cubes are frozen, remove them from the ice cube trays and store them in a large freezer bag. When you need to clean, and/or deodorize, the garbage disposal take out a frozen cube, place it in the garbage disposal and turn it on. Once it sounds like the cube has been mostly broken up, turn on the cold water to rinse it out.

Silver Polish

Homemade Silver Polish

  • A large pot or a large sink
  • Foil
  • Baking soda
  • Boiling hot water
  • Tarnished silver

Line the kitchen sink, with foil. Pour about 1 cup of baking soda into the bottom of the sink and then fill it with boiling hot water. Once you’ve added the water place the silver in the sink. Right away you’ll see the tarnish coming off the silver. Once the tarnish gone, remove the silver from the sink, with a set of tongs (they will be hot), and set them aside. After you have finished cleaning all the silver, and the sink is empty again, rinse the silver with warm water to remove any baking soda residue.

If you have a small sink, or you only need to polish smaller items you can clean them in a large pot. Fill the pot up with water, once it starts to boil, add the baking soda, a ball of foil and the silver. When the silver is clean, remove it from the boiling water and set aside. After it has cooled off, rinse with warm water.

This is probably my favorite green cleaning trick because the transformation of the silver is beautiful and it’s fun for my daughter to help me with the “science experiment”.
These are just a handful of the countless green cleaning recipes that are out there, but these are my favorites because of how easy they are–always have them on hand! If you have a favorite green cleaning recipe, I’d love to hear it, I always love to learn new recipes and new ways to clean things!

Want to read more from our Ask Anna series? Check out The Best Bathroom Cleaning Tips, 5 Cleaning Habits For A Consistently Clean Home, and The Best Kitchen Cleaning Tips. is the place to dream and discover your ideal home! Are you starting to get the itch to look for your first or next home, but don’t know where to start? You’ve come to the right place! Browse our real estate and lifestyle blog for home buying tips, mortgage guides, DIY ideas, interior design, lifestyle topics, general home inspiration, or just some homes fun. We are sure you can scratch that itch and find all the information and tools you need to help in your home search. Want to start looking at available real estate right now? Head to our home page and check out homes for sale or rent listings all over the country.
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About The Author
Anna Moseley
Anna is the owner and creator of the AskAnna blog. Her blog provides creative ideas for everything ranging from decorating to home DIY to cleaning and organizing. Her eye for detail transforms everyday projects into beautiful yet practical solutions.