Natural Cleaning Supplies


Here you will find my ever growing list of natural clean supplies recipes. I have been making these for some time now. I make them for several reason:

  • To save money.
  • to know and control what ingredients are in my environment, going into my home and on my body. (NO TOXINS!)
  • To reduce the amount of unwanted packaging coming into the house.
  •  and as a way to recycle the bottles I already have.

If you have some of your own I would love to have the recipe and try it out. Feel free to add your’s here…

Liquid Laundry Soap

1/3 bar Ivory Soap, grated
1/2 cup Washing Soda-Sodium Carbonate- (not baking soda)
1/2 cup Borax
1 oz. Lavender essential oil (or your favorite scent)
5 gallon bucket with lid

  • Using a cheese grater, the larger hole side grate, your bar soap.
  • In a pot add 6 cups of water and grated soap and heat to a boil, continue until soap is melted.
  • to this add the washing soda and borax, continue to stir until dissolved well and remove from heat and pour into your bucket.
  • Add 4 cups HOT water into the bucket and stir until everything is mixed well.
  • Add 1 gallon plus 6 cups cold water and stir.
  • stir in essential oil well, cover bucket and let sit 24 hours.
  • In 24 hours remove cover and your soap should be a thin gel. Use 1/2 cup per load to wash.

I use a downy fabric softener ball with white vinegar for the rinse cycle.

We have a septic system and powders aren’t good for it. The original recipe called for soap flakes but here in the US soap flakes are not easily available. There are other recipes that call for Fels Naptha soap, but this has petroleum in it, so I choose to use pure Ivory soap.

Home made Liquid dish soap:

1 gallon of warm water
2 cups shredded bar soap (I use Ivory)
Large pot
2 Tbl. liquid glycerin
½ cup lemon juice
2-5 drops essential oil (I like eucalyptus)
5 drops tea tree oil (Antibacterial)
  • Mix warm water and soap flakes in a large pot.
  • Dissolve the soap flakes in the water on the stove over low heat. Continually stir the mix while it is heating.
  • Stir in the glycerin and remove from heat.
  • Let cool until almost room temperature.
  • then add lemon juice (or white vinegar).
  • Mix in your favorite essential oil and tea tree oil.
  • Pour the mixture into bottles and shake well.
liqiud-soap2But anyone that knows me knows that I can’t leave things alone and am always looking to make things easier. Here is how I make mine:
  • I have a large plastic juice container I use and this is the amount of water I use. I pour hot water into my pot and turn it on high to heat up.
  • While it’s heating I grate 1 bar of castlie soap and put it in the pot. Stir often to melt soap into water.
  • Once it’s melted I turn off the heat and add the liquid glycerin and let it cool to room temperature.

Then add:

  • 1/2 cup lemon juice and essential oils, plus the tea tree oil.
  • Stir well and pour back into my bottle.
4/09 Update:
Since I first posted this I have received several questions about the liquid being on the thin/runny side. Yes, this is much thinner than a store bought variety. I find that it still works very well and I usually use about 1/2-3/4 of a cup per sink of water. Mine lasts about 1 week, we do alot of dishes here. If let set much longer than that it will start to become moldy. It’s because of the water and lemon juice going bad. Water and lemon do grow bacteria!
I also only use enough water to fill the container I use to store the soap in, not as much as the recipe calls for.

Oven Cleaner

I keep this recipe mix in an old jar and just use a bit when needed. I have a self cleaning oven so I don’t ever have that much clean up to do. I also keep a sheet of aluminum foil in the oven and place it under anything I bake that might spill over while cooking.

3/4 cup salt
1/2 cup Borax
32 oz. Baking Soda

Mix all dry ingredients together and store in a glass jar. When ready to use pour out a small amount into a bowl and add small amount of water to make a paste. Spread it on the oven and let sit one half hour. Wipe off with a clean cloth and vinegar.

Scouring Pads

I have always trade with a neighbor for the loofah she grows, cut them into 1″ thick slices and scrub away with my favorite cleaner. When used up, rinse well and toss into the compost.

Toilet Bowl Cleaner

1 cup of white vinegar left in the bowl overnight and scrubbed in the morning.

Antibacterial/Anti fungal multipurpose Cleaner

4 Tbl. lemon juice
1 Tbl. Tea Tree oil

equal parts white vinegar and distilled water.
mixed together in a spray bottle. Shake before using.

Window Wash

1/3rd part ammonia
2/3rds part water

Mixed together in a spray bottle.

Window Wash #2 from Mitchell

    • 1/3 Ammonia
    • 1/3 Alcohol (rubbing)
    • 1/3 water

put in spray bottle. This works very well on windows and glass mirrors. Dries very quickly.

Carpet Fresh

1 old jar
Baking soda (1lb.)
20 drops essential Oil

mix together in glass jar. Sprinkle on carpet and let sit overnight, vacuum the next day.

  1. I am new to your blog and am enjoying it very much. I got here via Two Frog Home. I love the picture of your beagle, Dalton! I am going to try making my own laundry detergent and dish soap, and I have a question….where can I find liquid glycerin? Do regular groceries carry that or do I need to go to a health food store? Thanks for all the great tips.

  2. Hi Lilla,

    I bought my liquid glycerine at the pharmacy and have seen it in the bigger department stores in the pharmacy area, by the first-aid supplies. Our local grocery store also carries it in their shampoo/band-aid section.

    I think you will like both the laundry and dish soap, I have been using them for awhile now and find they work well.

    Glad you are here and enjoying the blog. I would love it if you had a recipe or two of your own to share.

    Dalton, is a big baby and I love him!

    Have a great weekend.

  3. Hi Karyn,

    I also found your blog via Two Frog Home and have really been enjoying it. I bookmarked your natural cleaning post because I am always looking for good cleaning recipes. Also, I really need to clean my oven and don’t have a cleaner, so that was serendipitous. 🙂 Here are two cleaners that I use in the bathroom:

    Toilet Bowl Cleaner–Sprinkle 1/2 c. borax into bowl and let sit 40 min to and hour. Scrub as usual.

    Bathtub Scrub–Cut a lemon in half. Dip into borax and scrub tub gently. The lemon juice and borax make a sweet smelling paste that is very effective!

  4. Hi LauraLynne,

    Those are great cleaners, I will give the borax in the bowl a try. Currently I simply add vinegar and let sit overnight then scrub in the morning.

    Does the lemon and borax work on fiberglass tubs? Guess I will give it a try, tomorrow is the day to clean the tub in the guest bathroom.

    Glad you are enjoying the blog, come back for another visit.

    Have a great day, the sun is out here….


  5. I really like your site. Glad I stumbled onto it through Down…To…Earth. Does the laundry soap work pretty good? sounds like something I might like to use for my kids clothes. Sounds, definitely, less harsh than a commercial brand.

  6. Hello,
    I’m happy your here. Yes I have been using this laundry soap for awhile now and like it very well. It’s easy to made, less expensive, works wery well, and is safer for the environment. I do use it to clean my Granddaughter’s clothes and our barn/work clothes. She has sensitive skin and this doesn’t bother her. Rhonda over at Down To Earth has more recipes, I haven’t tried them yet, but some of them she says are for heavy soiled clothes. I would say it safe to say if she likes them they do work well for her. A quick search there will bring you to her recipes.

    Stop back for a visit, I’ll be posting more soon, just a bit busy around here lately for me to post. Have a great day.

  7. Mitchell Webster


    Just really looked at the other parts of your site, the home cleaners. The Mennonites down here mix 1/3 Ammonia, 1/3 Alcohol (rubbing) and 1/3 water and put in spray bottle.

    I use it in the kitchen, it cuts grease and I use it on windows also, as with the alcohol it really make it dry quickly when you wipe it off.


  8. lizzylanefarm

    Tried this over the weekend and it does clean very well my windows are shinny, lint free and no streaks. Of course I used old news paper to dry.

    Hope you had a great weekend.


  9. Mitchell Webster

    Good Morning Karyn,

    I am so glad that you liked the cleaner, I tell you we have been using this for years, it is just great like you said on windows, and also mirrors, and boy if you fry stuff on the stove, I just keep the bottle handy and spray on the stove and counter top and it cuts right through the grease.

    Well I am enjoying the warmer weather now, however this morning it is sooooo windy here, but I am not complaining it can be windy at 63 degrees.

    I am getting ready to go out and cane chairs this afternoon.

    Hope you have a great day also Karyn.


  10. lizzylanefarm

    This is good to know I will give it a try on the stove. I use ammonia and water just at the moment.

    Glad to hear it’s warm! We had a very warm weekend and today it’s snowing 🙂 mmmmm…mud and snow…


  11. Love your site. Mom just forwarded it to me. I am interested in making the laundry detergent and was wondering if it is ok to use with my Front loader. I am suppose to use only high efficiency detergent. What do you think?


  12. Hi Angie,

    I am glad you are finding something useful here. I think this laundry soap will be ok for your front loader washer. My friend has one that’s 3-4 years old and uses it all the time with no problems. Let me know if you decide to give it a try.

    Think spring!


  13. Good morning…
    I love your web site. I’ve tried your liquid dish soap for the first time and I think I’ve done something wrong. After sitting overnight it thickened up so much that I can’t squeeze it out of the bottle. Is this normal? Has this ever happened and if so… how can I save this batch of soap.
    Thanks for your help…
    Amy B.

  14. Hi Amy,

    Boy I’m not sure what happened. Did you maybe use to much shredded soap? I have never had this happen. What if you try heating it back up and adding some more water…Just a thought.


  15. Hello,

    thank you for sharing this cleaning supplies. I promised myself that I will try at least one of them and give it a go. My partner does most of the cleaning here in the house and I know him to be rather sceptical towards these things, but I’m sure I will convince hem.

    Have a great day,


  16. Hi Meyser,

    I bet you will convert him. They clean well, are good for the environment, are less expensive and take little storage room.
    Let me know what you end up liking 🙂


  17. Karyn
    I love you site have some questions though.

    What size bar of ivory soap (4.5 oz.?) and is it just the ivory bar soap found with bar soap for bathing in the grocercy store.

    Is ivory soap castile soap?

    In your Laundry soap recipe is the essential oil only for fragrance?

    Other sites mention front loaders need only 1/4 cup of the laundry soap recipe and HE machines 1-3 TBS
    for light, normal or heavy loads respectiviely.

  18. Hi Carol,
    Yes just a regular bar of ivory soap from the grogery. I haven’t looked lately at the ounces on the bars I have. No Ivory is not castile soap, there are other ingredients in it besids olive oil. But it’s pretty good soap for washing. Yes, essential oils are for fragrance but also can be antibacterial such as tea tree or lavender. A quick search and you should be able to find the info. you need for each essential oil.

    I would follow the instruction that came with your front loader washer. I don’t have one so can’t say from experience, but others I know that do have one still use the 1/2 cup.

    Hope that helps,


  19. Just wanted to let you know I found your site, I really like the kind of item’s that you post, I have a glass cleaning recipe from my Mother that is awesome also, it is called Miracle Glass Cleaner, recipe is, 1 pint bottle rubbing alcohol- 2 tablespoon’s dish soap-3 tablespoon’s ammonia- few drops any color food coloring- mix all in a gallon jug and fill with warm water- pour into your spray bottle. I also have a hint for these cleaning cloth’s they are great, at Menard’s, by handy trend’s called Micro Magic, they are multi-surface cleaning towels, put dish soap and vinegar or ammonia in hot water ring well and wipe no need to dry sit back and watch the shine!

  20. I was on your site the other day , and there was a cleaning item(can’t remember what is was for) but it had 2 packages of unsweetened kool-aid….when I printed all of your receipes that was the only one that did not print. I’ve been using your same laundry detergent for some time now ,, its great, only if I don’t have any Kirks Castile on hand, then I just grab any bath bar soap and use it….clothes are clean smell good.

  21. Nice post. I used to be checking constantly this blog and I am inspired! Very useful info specially the final section 🙂 I deal with such information much. I used to be looking for this particular information for a long time. Thank you and good luck.

  22. Nice all this new info, i recently lost my job and I’m completely ready to start a new beginning. I’m interesting on doing the dish soap but can you tell me where i can buy liquid glycerin?

    Thank you for the time on reading this
    God Bless you.

  23. Most pharmacies carry liquid glycerin.

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