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apartment homesteading natural cleaning products

As an apartment homesteader  the goal is to learn to be self-reliant in as many aspects of your life as you can. As a person trying to detoxify their life I want simple solutions. I want to surround my self with natural products and eliminate as many toxic products as I can. I kill two birds with one stone by making my own home cleaning products. We also save a few dollars on both product cost AND healthcare cost as time goes on. Here are some simple, easy to use recipes for every day cleaning.

All Purpose Cleaner and Disinfectant:

Vinegar and water 1:1 solution with 15 drops Lemon EO and 15 drops doTERRA’s On Guard oil blend. Shake well and use to clean hard surfaces.

This simple cleaner is great for hard surfaces. Vinegar has acetic acid which kills bacteria, viruses, mold, fungi and other pathogens. It helps remove build up in tubs, toilets, and sinks. Lemon is a wonderful de-greaser  and helps to lift stains. On Guard is a powerful essential oil blend that safely and effectively kills germs, viruses, bacteria, pathogens, fungi and mold. It is non toxic, bio-degradable and a great way to kill odors.

This blend is perfect to clean hard surfaces in the kitchen, bathroom, or any other room leaving behind a clean and invigorating scent.

Orange Vinegar Cleaner:

orange cleaner

Take orange peels (or lemon or lime) soaked in vinegar. Just fill a mason jar half way with vinegar and add the citrus peels from the fruit as you eat it. Be sure the peels are always underneath the vinegar to prevent molding. After the jar is full cap it, shake well, and let it infuse for about two weeks, shaking when you remember.

Fill a squirt bottle halfway with your orange-vinegar mixture and then top it off with water in a 1:1 ratio.

Spray, wipe, and enjoy the awesome smell and cleaning ability of citrus.

I love this spray on my tile and wood floors. I have had a streak free clean every time.

Clean Your Dishwasher Naturally

Mirror/Glass Cleaner:

I have tried many different ways to naturally clean glass. These are my two favorites:

Water and Lemon Juice: 1:1 ratio. Mix in bottle, spray and wipe.

 I am so impressed with this simple solution, There were no streaks on the bathroom mirror so I decided to try it on the creative coloring my daughter did on our glass porch door and it got the crayon right off! The stubborn tape is still there but this removed the crayon!

Water and about 3 drops of Dr. Bonners soap. Add to bottle, spray and rub away.This worked the second best. I had to put a little extra elbow grease into it but it left almost no streaks and leaves a nice clear look to the glass. This did not work on the crayon. Bethany, writer of modernmamalogues said she uses this combination on her bamboo floors and it works wonderfully.

I also tried water with vinegar and water with vodka. Both were highly disappointing, streaky and just looked bad.

Wood and Tile Floors:

1 cup to 1 gallon ratio of vinegar and hot water with 5 drops of peppermint, lemon, or On Guard EO. This leaves the floors clean and streak free with a refreshing clean smell. Lemon removes stubborn gunk from floors and is great for wood. Peppermint leaves an invigorating tingle to the smell of your house, and On Guard has super dis-infecting powers that are unsurpassed!

Hot water with a few drops of natural dish soap. I prefer Dr. Bonners

You can also try our Easy Homemade Floor Cleaner

Carpet Cleaning/Stain Removal:

Between having an almost two year old who enjoys dumping drinks on the floor, a dog, an active husband, and a new born who keeps me from being able to clean up as soon as something spills I was excited to run these tests.

A 1:1 ratio of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide worked so well that that section of my carpet is a lot lighter and cleaner than the rest of my carpet! It is time to shampoo the carpets. It also worked well on blueberry stains on my daughters shirt. Make a paste from the baking soda and peroxide and spread it on the stain. Scrub well, let dry and vacuum once it is dry.

Baking soda and vinegar was the best solution for carpet stains that I found. Not quite sure what this stain was but I think it might be bike grease from hubbie’s bike that comes through the apartment to the outside storage room. Shake baking soda on the floor and spray well with vinegar, scrub it, let it dry and vacuum. 

Bathroom Cleaner and Tub Scrub:

Baking soda and salt in a 2:1 ratio. You can add Melaleuca, On Guard or Lemon essential oils to the mix (10 drops) for fungus and mold fighting power. Sprinkle around tub, toilet bowl or sink, scrub and rinse.

You can also try this Easy Non Toxic Bathtub Scrub Recipe

Laundry Detergent:

I am hesitant to post this because there has been some information going around that borox may not be the most healthy laundry alternative. Here is my take on this: It may not be the healthiest, but it is far more healthy than almost all detergents you will find in the laundry aisle of your grocery store. It is even safer than the “natural” laundry detergent I have been using SO if you use borox in laundry soap, do not go sniffing it, and rinse your clothes well, you should not have a problem.

If you have a good laundry detergent that does not use borox please share it! Thanks.


1 bar ivory soap
½ cup Borax
½ cup Washing Soda

– Grate soap and place in air tight container. Add borax and washing soda, shake well.
– Before use, give either a quick shake or stir.
– Use 1 tablespoon for cloth diapers, and 2 – 3 tablespoons for other loads.


So there you have it! Some natural, quick, easy and effective cleaning solutions for your homestead no matter how large or small.

What are some of your favorite natural cleaning tips?


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The Orange Peel and Laundry Recipe are from previous articles written by Caitilin Lane. Her blog is All About Growing up and Becoming a Famous Author.



More blogs in this series:






This blog shared on Homesteaders Blog Carnival, The Gathering Spot, Tiny Tip Tuesday, Anti-Procrastination Tuesday, Domestically Divine Tuesday, Frugal “I did it!” Tuesday, Frugal Tuesday Tip, Show me what you got, Teach Me TuesdayFrugal Days Sustainable WaysSuper Link PartyWildcrafting Wednesday, Dare to Share

About Amanda

Amanda is a mother of two amazing toddlers. She is an herbalist, natural living guru, and real food, gluten free eating pro. She loves to help educate others on how to take control of their own health through natural living, real food, herbs, essential oils, and most of all - a positive mind set. Her other business Natural Herbal Living Magazine is all about helping people learn about how to use one herb a month on a deep and profound level.
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35 Responses to Apartment Homesteading: Make your own cleaning products

  1. Great post! 🙂 Thanks for linking up to “I Did It!” Tuesday. 🙂

  2. Great to see you join the Frugal Tuesday Tip
    The hardest thing for me with the natural cleaners is that I want ONE solution for all cleaning situations.

  3. We love making our own cleaners, it’s funny how the safge & non-toxic cleaners are cheap to make too! I would love for you to share this at Healthy 2day Wednesdays this week up until Saturday evening and also add your other healthy posts each week! Blessings!

  4. Ooh! This is great! I love homemade cleaning supplies!
    Thanks for sharing with my Super Link Party! 🙂

  5. […] Make Your Own Natural Cleaners that Work! by Natural Living Mamma […]

  6. Laurie says:

    Congratulations! Your post has been featured on Wildcrafting Wednesday. 🙂

  7. […] Apartment Homesteading: Make your own cleaning products […]


  9. Web says:

    Those are great ideas; I use two or three already

  10. abigail says:

    I think this is so brilliant. Maybe if i am excited about making the cleaning solitions i will clean 🙂 any suggestions for tolet bowl rings?

    • Amanda says:

      I just used vinegar. 1 cup and let it set in the toilet for about 20 minutes (mostly because I wandered off to take care of the bay for a bit) then I got the brush and it wiped right away! If you need some more scrubbing power baking soda is great.


  12. […] natural cleaning products that you can make your self. See my great inexpensive recipes that WORK here and laundry solutions […]

  13. Hedge Wife says:

    Just curious.
    I’m allergic to many soaps – including Dove. What ivory soap would you recommend to someone like me? I have yet to find one and would love to make my own laundry detergent but most of the recipes I’ve found involve using things i’m already allergic to like products with artificial fragrance.


    • Amanda says:

      We use safe guard soap instead of ivory. IT is cheap with no additives and works well for things like laundry detergent. You might try that? I have also seen people use un scented handmade soaps or dr. bonnor’s bar soap.

      • Amanda says:

        Let me follow that up with I have multiple chemical sensitivities and safe guard does not cause me an issue. Ivory I am slightly sensitive to.

  14. Am impressive with the results. I will try for my wash-room mirrors.

  15. Kallie says:

    I have modified my laundry soap mixture. I use basically the same as you, but I use Oxi Brite which I found at Whole Foods. I also use a bar of Dr. Bonners Castile soap. They both cost a little more but are safer alternatives. I love the website, it has a consumer guide for cleaning supplies. They rate products with grades A-F, I only use products that rate an A. Borax rates an F.

  16. […] you want some other ideas for a natural cleaning solution check out this post where I discuss window cleaner, carpet cleaner, counter top spray and more! You can also read up on […]


  18. […] you want some other ideas for a natural cleaning solution check out this post where I discuss window cleaner, carpet cleaner, counter top spray and more! You can also read up on […]

  19. Susanne says:

    As I clean houses for a living, going green has been quite important to me and my health. Thankfully I have a customer base who has been quite open to alternative cleaning methods. I am a big fan of using vinegar for just about anything. In the showers I have found that spraying on a mix of 1 part vinegar to 3 parts water on shower walls and glass and leave it be for a few minutes brings about shiny easy to wipe tiles and cuts out the mildew stains. Didn’t think of mixing salt with the baking soda. That I am going to try. Never liked how the baking soda leaves a film behind. I will be cleaning my bath tub in a few to test that one. Thanks for great info

  20. […] and so much better for your family’s health. You can check out Natural Living Mamma’s Cleaner Recipes or Homemade for Elle’s cleaner recipes and see for […]

  21. Diane says:

    All natural cleaners are the best and effective cleaning products!

  22. […] a few natural alternatives like baking soda, vinegar, salt, and essential oils as I discussed in my Apartment Homesteading series. My Natural Bathtub Scrub, which I also use in the toilet and on the sink, is a great […]

  23. Jill C says:

    For the glass/mirror cleaner…. how long can it be stored? Does it need to be refrigerated since it has lemon juice? Fresh lemon juice or store bought?


    • Amanda says:

      I use the organic store bought lemon juice from costco with no additives. LEmon juice goes bad like wine does, it turns to vinegar, so no not really an expiration date, but it does start getting floaties after a few weeks.

  24. […] These recipes are fantastic! They are geared toward the apartment homesteader, but are perfect for anyone. Check them out at […]

  25. Hey Amanda these are really great recipe tips. I really find joy in DIY cleaning. Not only do I feel so hands-on, I’m also creating a very clean, conducive and productive environment for my significant ones. Surprisingly, the kitchen can be a great home cleaning partner. I can use vinegar, fruits, baking soda, corn starch, salt and others to my DIY cleaning recipes. You really inspired me with this post. Just a thought for everyone, tea tree oil is a toxic for your pets particularly dogs at home so to speak it’s not a good mix.

  26. Kim says:

    Love your blog! I am very interested in substituting my toxic household products with greener, healthier alternatives. I will definitely be pinning this blog post to my Pinterest boards so I can come back and try some of your recipes (PS – love the idea of the orange vinegar for a cleaning product! — so easy and good smelling!) — Be blessed! Check out my post on DIY dishwasher detergent.

  27. Wow! that was quite entertaining.

  28. Great list of homemade cleaners! I must say, these are common recipes, but the details and tips you specified in each item are what it makes it comprehensive and absolutely helpful. Vinegar and baking are two of the most popular natural formula you can use for home cleaning. Excellent job for you! Thanks for sharing!

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