Household Cleaners

I really enjoyed reading everyone’s responses to my “How often do you…” post. Animals, kids, country living or not, family size, all played a part in how often we do housekeeping basics.

I had one question from a commenter:

I've been reading your website and blog for over a year now. My question is (and you may have previously addressed it) what cleaning products do you use (mainly bathroom, mopping liquid, etc)? I thought you might use homemade products or strictly Borax. Please share if you can. Thanks:)!

Mainly I use vinegar. Funny how after trying this and that I come down to vinegar. I make a small bucket of cleaning water (about a gallon) using vinegar and a little essential oil for a nice fresh lemon smell. I use 1 gallon of water, ½ cup vinegar and a drop or two of lemon essential oil. Technically it is a floor cleaner, but I end up using it for wiping down counters, wiping down walls, and of course cleaning floors. I use this cleaner more than any others because it is easy to make and inexpensive.

I make one gallon of this cleaner up and it lasts me several days. The trick is to never put a dirty or used rag back in the bucket of cleaning water if you want it to last for awhile. When I clean my floors I use a Sh-Mop.. a nifty floor cleaning tool my mother in law introduced me to years ago and I became an instant fan. Same idea as a Swiffer Mop.. only better.. the head it bigger and the cleaning cloths are terry cloth and you wash them and reuse them. They last an amazingly long time and do a great job in cleaning up the floors. I tried a Swiffer type thing once and was very disappointed in comparison. Plus I would not like having to buy the refill wipes for these.. don’t like being tied to a product like that and I guess I am just too frugal to boot.. Ha..haa.. :) So as soon as I mop my floor I take my Sh-mop cover off and toss it into the laundry. It gets washed with the rest of the cleaning rags. So basically no dirty rags ever go back into the cleaning water, so it lasts until it runs out. If you are interested in looking at a Sh-mop you can see them here: 


I do use a few store bought cleaners too.. I use Commet type cleaner to swish my toilet every day, I use Scrubbing Bubbles on my tub, tile, and sinks.. because the stuff is amazing.. and Windex on my mirrors and windows. Sometimes I will make my own window cleaners or tub cleaners. It is nice to know how to do this when I run of something.. there is always a homemade alternative!

I have my homemade household cleaners listed here: 



  1. Thanks for this post and the link :) :) I'm going to try that floor cleaner recipe!!! When I do have to b uy scrubber from the store, I purchase Bon Ami. It works wonderful :) :) Oh, my dad LOVES scrubbing bubbles. We have a spray can of that , too. He loves when it turns from blue to white :) :) Love and hugs from Oregon, Heather :)

  2. i have a Swiffer type floor cleaner, but I use clothes instead of their refills so I can wash them. I'm going to look into your sh-mop thing and that may work better. I am trying to use more homemade cleaners and most of mine end up with vinegar. I even use it for my hair rinse sometimes. Thanx for the info

  3. Thank you for posting this! I've tried vinegar but wasn't sure about the smell so the idea of adding essential oil is great! Thank you for answering my question on your blog:)!

  4. I love homemade cleaners. The essential oil added is a nice touch. I love the orange. It's a great pick-me-up to walk into the kitchen after it's freshly mopped. :-)

  5. I tried the Swiffer too but didn't think it worked as well as it should. I also heard from my Vet of several indoor pets that got very very sick (a couple died) from the residue left from both the dry and wet pads getting on thier paws and then they licked them. I took a dry cloth and layed it out on an old towel, then cut it out. worked great. For dry mopping, I use the terry dust rags (I get the large ones at WM in the car detail isle) the same way. Usually just warm water in a spray bottle works great for me. What did I do with the Swiffer dry and wet cloths? Used the wet ones to wash my walls (I have 10ft ceilings) and the dry ones worked great for dusting the t.v. and stereo and getting cobwebs from the ceiling and wall corners where I can't reach.

  6. I have a question about using the Sh-mop. Their website says that there is no need for a bucket. Do you dip the terry cloth cover into your floor cleaner then put it on the Sh-mop? Or do you use a squirt bottle to spray the floor then wipe it up with the Sh-mop? Thanks for your help.

  7. Janet, I use a bucket of water with my cleaner mixed into it. You don't need to rinse the sh-mop covers back in the bucket. The terry cloth covers have elastic around the edges to hold them onto the sh-mop. I dip the cloth into the bucket of cleaning water, ring out slightly, put it on my sh-mop and mop my floor. When I am done I put the used cloth in my laundry to wash.


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