Seven DIY green cleaning recipes

Seven DIY green cleaning recipes

Several years ago, I started making my own cleaning products. I’ve experimented with loads of recipes and have tweaked them to suit our own situation and to get them to a point where they really do clean. These seven recipes are ones I use all the time – you won’t find a commercial version in our home and that’s why I’m happy to share the recipes with you.
If you’ve made a New Year’s resolution to green up your clean up then these recipes are what you need.
I recommend starting with one product – once it’s into your cleaning routine then try another. The spray surface cleaner and washing machine powder are two of the easiest to begin with.

To make these seven recipes you need just seven basic ingredients –

washing soda
baking soda
citric acid
table salt
liquid castile soap
castile bar soap
essential oils (although these are mostly optional)

You’ll also need containers for storing the cleaning products. Re-using old ones is a good option. There are some kitchen items required eg a stick blender which are probably things you already own.


This powder is made by simply combining the ingredients. We have solar hot water so I usually do a warm or hot wash (skite!) and use this powder but if you mostly cold wash you might find my liquid recipe below works better for you.
This recipe makes – 450g – about 30 washes


Castile bar soap ½ bar / 50gms
Washing soda 1.5 cups / 375 gms
Baking soda 0.5 cups / 125gms
Essential oils 1-2 ml

Grate the bar of soap as fine as possible
Add washing soda, baking soda and essential oils
Store in an airtight container
Depending on what type of castile soap you use you may need more than this.
Note – some bars are 75g so you could just use the whole lot.

Use ½ scoop/ 1TB / 15g per full load. Adjust for your own machine if necessary.

See more detail on how to make this powder and tips on making your own cleaning products here.


If you usually cold wash your clothes, you may find this liquid works better than the powder. The bar soap needs to be melted but you can increase the quantities and make it less often.
This recipe makes – 7.5L of liquid – about 40 washes


Castile bar soap ½ bar / 50g
Washing soda 0.75 cups / 187 gms
Baking soda 0.5 cups / 125gms
Essential oils 2ml

You’ll also need –
Plastic bottles (8L worth)
A bucket that will take 8L of liquid

Get 2 litres of water boiling while you grate up the soap. (It’s probably quicker to use the jug to boil the water).
Dissolve the grated soap in the boiling water on the stove. (Look down to point ** to see what you can be doing while the soap is dissolving). Turn the element down to a very low simmer once the soap has dissolved. If the type of element you have retains heat you can turn it off at this point.
Add the washing soda. Stir it up gently until the liquid thickens slightly and take it off the element.
** While the soap is dissolving: in at least an 8L bucket add 1 litre of cold water and mix up the baking soda. It won’t really dissolve. Then add 2litres of boiling water and dissolve it in that.
(Don’t be tempted to add the baking soda straight to the boiling soapy mixture or even just the boiling water – it will fizz everywhere!).
When the soap has melted, stir it into the bucket with the baking soda.
Add another 2.5L of hot water and mix it up.
Let cool a little then pour into bottles. (Boiling hot liquid will warp plastic bottles, cool to a point where you can touch it, don’t let it go totally cold before pouring it into bottles).

· Don’t fill the bottles all the way to the top as you’ll need to be able to shake the mixture before using it.
· It will froth up when you pour it into the bottles (depending on what brand of soap you use).
· Leave the tops off to cool and in the morning add a dozen drops of essential oils for the laundry smell. This is totally your own preference – lavender, lemon, cinnamon etc.

1/2 cup per load. Shake well before use.


We have concrete floors which are great for the dog but need a lot of cleaning. I don’t use vinegar as it’s an acid (not good on our concrete sealer) and have found it hard to get a DIY recipe to work. Too much baking soda and there’s a gritty residue. Too much soap and there’s a slip issue. My recipe is easy to make and of course doesn’t involve
toxic bleach or fragrance!

This recipe makes – 500ml (about 8 washes)

Washing soda 2TB / 60gms
Liquid castile soap 2 tsp / 10gms
Water (boiled) 2 cups / 500ml
Essential oils (optional) 1-2ml

Dissolve washing soda in the boiled water. Add liquid castile soap and stir to combine.
Once cool add essential oils.
Transfer to a suitable container. Shake between uses.

50ml per half bucket of water.

· If the washing soda doesn’t properly dissolve, either return to the heat or add a little more boiled water.
· My two-bucket method of cleaning your floor means you use less of the cleaning product.
· Stubborn bits on the floor such as spilt food may need additional scrubbing. Be prepared with a rag. Some mops have a scrubby attachment which is great.


Instead of buying a bottle of spray cleaner try making your own. For general surface cleaning water and soap is all you need. You can add baking soda, vinegar and essential oils if you like but refer to my blog about surface sprays – putting some vinegar into the spray doesn’t make it a disinfectant.

Liquid castile soap 1tsp / 5ml
Water 1 cup / 250ml
Essential oils a few drops

Add water and liquid soap to a suitable spray bottle. If you’re using essential oils then glass is preferable as they will react with plastic over time.
Only make enough to last a few weeks as this is mostly water and doesn’t
contain any preservative.

This one’s pretty technical. Spray and wipe.


This cleaner is similar to Jif and works better than a soapy spray in some situations eg a grimey fridge or the stove splashback. Online cleaning recipes use baking soda and make a paste which I’ve never found user friendly. My recipe makes it squirtable and uses washing soda so it doesn’t leave the gritty residue baking soda does. It means you have to melt then blend ingredients but a big batch can be made to last for several months (and can be given as gifts to impress your friends!).

This recipe makes 250ml

Castile bar soap 1.5TB (when grated) / 6gms
Washing soda 2TB / 30gms
Water 1 cup / 250ml
Essential oils (optional) a few drops

Grate the soap as fine as possible.
Bring the water to the boil, add the grated soap and simmer until all the soap has melted.
Remove from the heat.
Once cooled slightly add washing soda and stir until dissolved.
Transfer the mixture to a container suitable for using a stick blender in. A bucket works well.
Let sit overnight. The soap will have separated to the top. Using a stick blender blend the mixture so that the soap and water is combined. It will thicken as you do this.
Add your choice of essential oils (optional – this is a cleaner, it’s not anti bactierial).
Funnel into a suitable container eg a squeeze bottle.

Shake the bottle before using to disperse water that might separate.
Some surfaces may need to be wiped down after cleaning to leave a polished finish eg wood laminate.

Tip – see my blog for more detail on how to make this cream surface cleaner.


Recipes you find online will simply combine these ingredients into a dry form but I’ve found (a) the citric acid will absorb moisture and you end up with an un-user friendly product and (b) they don’t clean very well. My method takes a bit longer but I think it gives the best dishwasher powder you can make with just these few ingredients.

This recipe makes about 70 tablets (depending on the size of your moulds) or about 700gms of powder.

Baking soda 1 cup / 250gms
Washing soda ½ cup / 125gms
Citric acid 1 cup / 250gms
Salt 1/2 cup / 125gms
Liquid castile soap 3TB / 50gms
Essential oils optional – a few drops

Mix the dry ingredients together. Sift if necessary.
Add essential oils (if using) then castile soap and stir immediately.
Keep stirring to stop over fizzing.
Put into ice cube moulds or spread into an oven tray to make a powder.

One ice cube size mould, 15g or 1TB worth. Adjust for your own machine if necessary.
Very dirty dishes will need to be rinsed and coffee/tea stains may appear on cups over time and will require hand washing.

Refer to my earlier blog, which includes a video for more detail on how to make these.


These are basically a bath bomb for the toilet. They’re great for when you’re not committed to a full bathroom clean but the toilet needs some cleaning attention.

This recipe makes about 25 tablets (depending on the size of your mould).

Baking soda 1 cup / 250gms
Citric acid ¼ cup / 62.5gms
Liquid castile soap 1.5TB / 20gms
Essential oils 4ml

Mix the dry ingredients together. Sift to remove any lumps.
Add essential oils then castile soap and stir immediately.
– If the mixture is too dry and not clumping together add water (5-10ml / 1-2 tsp).
Keep stirring to stop over fizzing.
Use a spoon to put into ice cube moulds (or similar). If you don’t have a suitable mould the mixture can be spread into an oven tray then broken into pieces once hard.
Keep in an airtight container.

Throw one cube /1TB into the bowl when it’s looking a bit wanting. Let fizz then scrub clean.

This is the only cleaning recipe where I recommend using more rather than less essential oils. Use highly fragrant ones such pine and florals as the purpose of the tablet is to help with the whiffy toilet bowl.
Making these is similar to making dishwasher tablets so refer to our blog, which includes a video, for more detail.

Take note of when you made these and how long they lasted. Double or triple the amount so it lasts a few months.
Don’t be lax about safety just because you’ve made something with natural ingredients. Label containers, keep out of reach of children, use gloves. If necessary, wear a mask to avoid inhaling particles when making.
If possible, weigh the ingredients as this is more accurate than a cup or spoon as a measure. For this reason I give the liquid soap as a weight as well as spoon measure.
The essential oils (or fragrance) you use can affect the reaction of the dishwasher tablets and toilet tablets. You might need to adjust the amount of liquid required.

I’m working on these DIY cleaning recipes to simply the process. As a lot of them use the same ingredients and methods I want to create just a few steps to make a variety of products. Sign up to my newsletters and follow me on Facebook and Instagram to find out more.

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