Scrimply Thrifty’s Homemade Cleaner Recipes

I found the greatest shower cleaner by accident. I make my own laundry
detergent and when I did, I spilled it over the top of the jugs, I set
them in the tub to cool and there was a “clean ring” where they were
sitting. So I put some in a spray bottle and sprayed the tub, let it
sit for about 5 or 10 minutes and then cleaned it with one of those
sponges with the netting on it (like you would use to clean bugs off
your car). Any textured sponge, scrunchie, or textured kitchen scrubber
type would work. It took very little elbow grease and my tub was shiny
clean when I was done! I was amazed, It works better than store bought
cleaners and is dirt cheap.

Trisha's Labeled Homemade Cleaners

Trisha's Labeled Homemade Cleaners

Here is the recipe (this makes 4 jugs, you can cut the recipe to make
less to try it out:


1 bar of ivory soap (shred on cheese grater)
1 bar of fels naptha (shred on cheese grater) –recently used my homemade castille soap and it worked great!
2-4 cups washing soda (do not use baking soda) 
1 1/2 – 3 cups borax (found in laundry aisle)
6 tbsp glycerin (supposed to infuse the oil into the mix so it doesn’t
settle on top and seems to make it thicker) this is optional.
2 Tbsp tea tree oil.

Boil 2 quarts water in large pan on the stove.
Reduce heat to just below boiling and add shredded bar soaps. Stir until soap is melted.
Add 2 more quarts boiling water, washing soda, and borax, mix well.
Pour it into a large bucket with a pour spout.
Add glycerin and tea tree oil. Stir.
Using a funnel (make sure it’s stirred good) pour equal amounts in each
bottle (4 – gallon jugs, vinegar or laundry detergent jugs work best,
milk jugs cant handle the boiling water)
Next, add hot water (doesn’t have to be boiling) to the jugs but
not full. Leave room for shaking.
Let cool and shake once or twice (or more) a day for a few days to keep
it from getting too gloppy.
Shake before using.

Soap may be a little gloppy or thick and it may separate. Make sure you shake well before every use. You may have to squeeze the jug a little for it to come out. The consistency has varied in different batches I have made. I do prefer it to be thicker, since I have a front load washer and I stays in one place so I can see how much I put in, but sometimes it does turn out sepearted and runny. I am still working on getting it to a good consistancy.

Add 1/4-1/2 cup per load of laundry, depending on how badly the clothes
are soiled.
Safe for use in HE washers. (This soap is not sudsy.)
Pour into spray bottle for use on tubs and sink to remove soap scum. If too thick, just add some hot water (up to half and half) before using. Shake well before each use.
Does not work on grease (kitchen use) Trust me, I tried! (but my other “All Purpose” cleaner does)

Use white vinegar in the rinse cycle for fabric softener.


1/2 gallon white vinegar

1/2 gallon water

30-50 drops of tea tree essential oil (about 3/4 tsp)

20-30 drops of other essential oil (lemon, orange, lavender, etc.) (about 1/2 tsp)

Fill gallon jug with 1/2 white vinegar and 1/2 water, add of tea tree oil (vinegar and tea tree oil are both disinfectants) and add other essential oils, for a more aromatic scent. You can add about 1/2 tsp liquid dish soap for added cleaning but it really isn’t necessary (or nessairly healthy). Pour into spray bottle. Spray on dirty surfaces and wipe clean. This disinfects, cleans grime and grease and shines. I use it just about everywhere, kitchen counters, sinks, stove (use a little baking soda and the spray for burnt on or difficult stove messes) I use it in the bathroom (not anymore in the tub, but I used to use it with some baking soda and it worked great but needed more elbow grease. Now I use the laundry soap on the tub for “better than Scrubbing Bubbles” clean.) I use it to clean the sink, toilet (inside and out) and mirrors. I use it to spot clean the floors. (some floors may not take kindly to vinegar, so please check first) I also spray trash cans or other odorous areas and let dry, it nearly (and sometimes completely) takes the smells away. I use it for dusting throughout the house as well, although I have no furniture that is sensitive (such as delicate wood or stain that might dislike vinegar/water. There is a vegetable or olive oil/lemon recipe that works much like a furniture polish but I just don’t use it, I’m just thankful it gets done the way it does.) and I’m not concerned about ‘shine’ as long as it’s clean and dust free. (If using for dusting, use with care.) This is the best all around cleaner I have ever used, it is so much cheaper and non-toxic to boot!



1 cup water

1 cup white vinegar

2 Tbsp baking soda

2 Tbsp lemon juice


Mix water and baking soda in a bowl. Very slowly, mix in vinegar and lemon juice. Wait until it is done fizzing and pour slowly into spray bottle. 


Spray on fruits and vegetables. Let sit for 5 minutes. Scrub with vegetable brush and rinse. 




½ to 1 tsp tea tree oil (and or other essential oil)

1 cup baking soda


Pour baking soda onto plate (paper works best) add in oil(s) by drops. Mix and work out all the lumps with a fork. Pour into a jar for storage.



Garbage Pail: Sprinkle in bottom of trash bag to keep fresh, or in bottom of pail before rinsing to absorb odors. Periodically rinse pail with vinegar and water and allow to dry in the sun.

Air Freshener: Store in opened jar or box and keep in area where odors occur.

Carpet: Sprinkle onto carpet, allow to sit for about 15 minutes, vacuum.

You can also use this in the washer in your laundry, add about 1/4 to 1/2 cup to the wash load for a fresh laundry boost. (no guarantee the scent will stick through wash and dry).




My mother in law loved this one! When the drains of your sink are getting a bit smelly, pour in 1/2 to 1 cup baking soda, making sure some of it goes down the drain, follow it with 1 to 1 1/2 cups of HOT  white vinegar poured slowly over the baking soda so it fizzes and runs down the drain. (The vinegar can be heated in the microwave, be sure to wipe down your microwave afterward, since boiling vinegar in the microwave is the best way to clean your microwave.) Let sit without running water for as long as possible. at least 10-15 minutes. Run water and your drains will no longer be stinky.


Making these mixes/cleaners I save about $30-$35 a month on the basic cleaners, detergents and softeners!!! And probably a lot more on things you buy less often.


NEW COMMENT 5/22/09:

I have found a new cleaner called TKO, found at health food stores or online. It is made from the oil that comes from the orange rind. I bought and 8 oz bottle for $15 and that in itself seems kind of pricey but you use 1-2 oz to one gallon of water which still makes it much cheaper (and healthier) than buying one 30 oz spray bottle for this and one for that. This orange oil cleaner is 100% safe around kids and pets, if someone were to accidentally drink it, it would not hurt them. It even cleans off sharpie markers from many surfaces (if used undiluted). I use this for cleaning counters, tables, trash cans, sinks, furniture, windows, etc. The wonderful thing about it is the great orange citrus scent! It makes cleaning more fun by uplifting my mood. I still use the vinegar AP cleaner with baking soda for the stove and other tough jobs and of course the Laundry soap cleaner for the tub, but this works great for almost everything else.


Okay, now the BIG SECRET! I found this same stuff at my local feed store, under another name, in the organic gardening section. It was in a 1 liter (almost 34 oz.) bottle for about $20.00. It apparently repels pests as well. I haven’t bought this other brand yet because I still have 1/2 bottle of TKO but will let you know the brand when I do purchase some.  P.S. It’s a good insect repellant as well and has many other uses and for that it would be best to give you the website rather than to list the many uses here. If you use another brand of this type of orange oil cleaner/pest repellant, please make sure it does not have any additional chemicals in it that could be harmful to your family or your pets.

8 thoughts on “Scrimply Thrifty’s Homemade Cleaner Recipes

  1. Pretty nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I
    have truly enjoyed browsing your blog posts. In any case I’ll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you write again very soon!

  2. The tea tree oil cleaner is also a disinfectant as well as an anti-fungal. Be sure not to get it in your eyes as it is very strong & you’ll be most uncomfortable. Thanks for the great cleaning idea.

  3. Pingback: Frugal Finds for Your Consideration « Living the Low-Income Life

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