Household cleaning products can be hard on your wallet and the environment. Many cleaning products are made using harsh chemicals that can be toxic to humans, pets, and the outdoors. By making your own cleaning products, you can save both money and the environment.

There are many common household items that can be used individually or combined with other ingredients to create non-toxic disinfectants. Below, find some common household items that can be used to keep your home clean.


The acid in lemon juice can be combined with baking soda or distilled white vinegar to create a natural reaction that helps to disinfect surfaces or remove stains and rust.

TIP: Lemon peels can also be rubbed on countertop surfaces for tougher stains.

Baking Soda

This household item can remove stains and absorb odors. Baking soda is a base that can be combined with distilled white vinegar for a bubbling, carbon dioxide cleaning solution that works against rust and intense stains. Be sure to use one-part baking soda to two-parts vinegar and flush thoroughly with hot water.

The combination of baking soda and vinegar is a great way to lift carpet stains without scrubbing. Sprinkle some baking soda atop the stain and add one to two teaspoons of vinegar. Let the mixed ingredients bubble and gently vacuum up the remnants after it dries. Lightly rinse with hot water and pat dry.

Distilled White Vinegar

This can be used as a disinfectant when combined with lemon, or as a stain remover when combined with baking soda. Vinegar can also be used to clean saltwater off of windows, as it does not leave streaks and breaks down the salt mineral.

Coarse Salt

Combine a coarse salt with a small amount of hot water in a large resealable bag, add the small glass item you want to clean to the bag, and swish around to clean off rust or buff out scratches. Continue to add more coarse salt as needed. The salt absorbs excess grease, and the coarse texture works against rust. Since salt is water soluble, it can be disposed of after use without producing harsh chemical reactions.


Plain toothpaste can be used to buff out scratches or clean window surfaces without removing paint films.

TIP: Toothpaste can also be used on the side of your vehicle to remove unwanted paint stains from traffic cones, poles, or other cars.

Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen Peroxide can be used as a less harsh disinfectant and stain remover.

DO NOT consume hydrogen peroxide. Should the liquid be consumed, contact poison control and seek immediate medical attention.

Liquid Dish Soap

Dish soap can do far more than just clean dishes. It can be used to remove grease stains and residue, along with rust and soap scum from various surfaces.

DO NOT consume liquid dish soap. Should the liquid be consumed, contact poison control and seek immediate medical attention.