Season's Cleanings: Safe, Homemade Cleaners

Today we have a practical guest post from Lisa of Retro Housewife Goes Green   Her blog has an interesting niche of vintage and sustainable, green living, so I knew she'd be the perfect person to contribute to the Season's Cleanings Series!

During the 1950’s America saw an increase in the use and purchase of consumer goods. This post-war period brought all kinds of new things to buy.  Housewives were being marketed to at a level that hadn't been seen before. Suddenly, we needed all kinds of gadgets and products to clean and care for our homes.

Now don’t get me wrong, I love my dishwasher, but is all that progress really good? Women today are exposed to countless chemicals while caring for their homes, chemicals our ancestors did fine without. 

The cost to our health is not the only thing the increase use of these store-bought cleaners have. From just 1952 to 1956 consumer debt (excluding real estate loans) increased from $27.4 billion to $41.7 billion. We’ve largely forgotten the frugal ways of the wartime women of the 1940s. 

A simple way to save your family money and improve their health is by using simple, natural ingredients to clean your home. These are three easy cleaners that you can make today to get you started:

All-Purpose Cleaner

You can find many all-purpose cleaning spray recipes all over Pinterest, but the way your great-grandma cleaned most things is really one of the best. 

Good old hot, soapy water is a simple, yet very effective way to clean much of your home. Fill up your sink, a bucket, or a bowl with some hot water and your natural soap of choice. I’m a big fan of Dr. Bronner’s Castile soap. 

Simply use a clean rag to wipe the surfaces and you’re done!

Towel Bowl Cleaner

Again, you can go for the fancy recipes or keep it really simple. 

While cleaning your bathroom, spray the inside and outside of the toilet with white vinegar. Let this sit while you clean other things in your bathroom. 

Wipe down the outside of the toilet, working from the cleanest area to the dirtiest. Scrub the inside of the bowl with a toilet brush.

If you need extra scrubbing power, use some baking soda. Just remember vinegar is an acid and baking soda is a base, they are fun to mix but don’t clean well together

Cleaning Scrub

For tougher messes a scrub can be helpful. Take a little bit of baking soda, a few drops of castile soap and enough water to make a paste. Use this to scrub those stubborn messes.  This is my favorite way to clean soap scum from the bath and sink. 

With just three affordable ingredients you can clean most anything in your home. And no more nasty headaches from the cleaning fumes, just a fresh, clean-smelling home! 

What do you guys think of Lisa's cleaning tips?  Are there any you especially want to try out?  Do you have any homemade cleaner recipes?


  1. Love these ideas. I just need to work out how to get hold of Castile soap

    1. Target, Walgreens, Whole Foods, and natural food stores all carry it. I use Dr. Bronners. You can also order from Amazon.

  2. Homemade cleaners have been a mainstay in my house since the moment I started living on my own. They're usually quite affordable, they rarely bug my uber sensitive skin, and they don't trouble my pets (as some commercially made ones can). What's not to adore?

    ♥ Jessica

  3. I love using vinegar and baking soda to clean!