7 Frugal Homemade Cleanser Recipes

by Alison Wood
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Frugal women have been coming up with DIY cleaning solutions for generations. You can use these same homemade cleanser recipes to clean your house for less.

Frugal and creative housewives have been conjuring up their own cleaning solutions for centuries. Walmart and Target were not around. Women had to make their own cleaning solutions and were good at it!

Just think about it. Where did you find out vinegar and water make a great glass cleaner? Most likely, it was from your grandmother or great-grandmother. What about cleaning with rubbing alcohol? Yep, you learned it from them as well.

I am thankful for the women in my life who have taught me how to use my money wisely. They have shared their cleaning methods and solutions with me over the years. I listened and made a note of their advice. It has helped me since I moved to a place where supplies are few.

Their creativity also got me thinking and performing my own cleaning scientific experiments at home, and the kids love joining in! Try these out and see if your family enjoys a clean house without all the costly store-bought cleaners.

1. Homemade Goo Gone

Anyone with toddlers or school-aged kids around the home knows about Goo Gone®. This stuff is amazing for all the special sticky messes kids leave behind. This mixture is also handy for getting sticker residue off candles and other containers.


1 part vegetable oil
2 parts baking soda


Stir oil and baking soda together until a paste is formed. Next, use a paper towel, microfiber cloth or sponge and work the mixture into sticky messes until they release from the surface. Rinse with soapy, warm water.

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2. Homemade Soft Scrub Cleanser


3/4 cup baking soda
1/4 cup castile soap
1 Tablespoon water
10-15 drops of tea tree oil
1 Tablespoon vinegar


Mix the baking soda and castile soap in a medium-sized bowl. Add the water and 10-15 drops of tea tree oil. Stir with a fork or whisk until well-blended.

Next, slowly add vinegar. Prepare for bubbles! Stir the mixture until it becomes a paste. For future use, store it in a clean container of your choice.

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3. Hand-Washing Dish Soap


1/4 cup soap flakes or soap shavings
2 cups water
1-2 Tablespoons distilled white vinegar or lemon juice
1 Tablespoon glycerin (optional)
3-5 drops essential oil (optional)


Heat water and the soap in a medium-sized saucepan over medium-high heat and continuously stir until the soap is melted. Do not let the mixture come to a boil. Once the soap is melted, stir in the vinegar. Now, allow the mixture to cool. Add essential oils of your choice for an added scent. Once the mixture is cooled, store it in a clean container of your choice.

4. Bathroom Grout Cleaner

Try these two easy tips!

  1. Mix white distilled vinegar and water in equal proportions. Spray or pour onto the grout. Let stand for about five minutes, and then begin scrubbing in a circular motion with a bristled brush. An old toothbrush works great! If this doesn’t work, try step two.
  2. Make a paste of baking soda and water. Smear paste onto the grout and let it sit for a few minutes. Begin scrubbing in circular motions with a bristled brush and then rinse. Repeat if necessary until your bathroom is squeaky clean!

5. All-Purpose Cleaner

We all need this on hand for countertops, table-tops and you-name-it tops!


1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. dish soap
2 Tablespoons vinegar


Add all the above ingredients into a spray bottle of your choice. Shake it up to mix all the ingredients. Then, add warm water to the top of the spray bottle. Shake again and let sit for about one minute. Now, being your super-green cleaning!

6. Garbage Disposal Cleaner

Cleaning your garbage disposal can make your entire kitchen smell super fresh. This small chore only takes a few minutes.


Pulp from one lemon
1 Tablespoon lemon rind


Toss the pulp and rind into the garbage disposal. Turn on the water and grind for 30 seconds.

7. Furniture Polish

I love the smell of furniture polish but in Cambodia? It’s expensive! I would rather spend my money on something else, like really good coffee! Here’s a green and frugal way to keep your wood shined, clean, and smelling lemony fresh.


1 lemon
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 Tablespoon water


Cut the lemon in half and squeeze all the juice into a container, straining all pulp and seeds. Add the oil and water and whisk or shake. Now, you’re ready to polish!

This is a fresh polish and cannot be stored for further use. However, it’s quick and easy to make. The money you save and the chemicals you keep away are worth whisking up this easy cleaner.

Now that you have all the natural, frugal-friendly homemade cleanser recipes in your hands, start making your home sparkle!

Reviewed October 2023

About the Author

Alison Wood is a writer for several online parenting resources, a missionary in Southeast Asia, mom to six kiddos and blogs about parenting, pregnancy and frugal living at Pint-Sized Treasures.

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