Kid-Friendly Cleaning Caddy + DIY Cleaning Spray

Kid-Friendly Cleaning Caddy + DIY Cleaning Spray via Clean Mama

With summer upon us, structure and routines change.  In our house, the kids are responsible at an early age (I start with simple tasks at 2 years old) for tasks and chores around the house.  It’s helpful for me, teaches responsibility, and keeps the nagging away.  With my cleaning routine I am doing a little bit of cleaning every day and I integrate that into the kids’ days as well.  We all do a little bit every day and it really is just a couple minutes to complete a couple simple tasks.  I have a couple tactics that I utilize with my kids (9, 7, and 3) and today I’m sharing one of my favorites – keep an eye out for more to come through the month.

I have found that keeping a little cleaning caddy in the mud room for the kids to use is helpful.  I keep it stocked with kid-friendly supplies so we can clean together and learn a little bit at the same time.  Here are the most-used and fought over supplies in the kids’ cleaning caddy.

Kid Friendly Cleaning Caddy via Clean Mama

Want to teach your kids how to help around the house with daily tasks and chores?  Make it EASY and FUN for them to help out!  Keep the tasks simple and age-appropriate for your house.  This cleaning caddy can be used daily or weekly, depending on what works for your family and schedule.

Need some ideas for what kids can do to help out around the house?  Here are a couple ideas to get you started:

  • make beds
  • fold and put away clothes
  • dust
  • wipe baseboards, door handles, light switches (baby wipes are great for this!)
  • dust surfaces
  • wipe windows and mirrors
  • take out garbage
  • wipe counters
  • wipe kitchen table
  • sweep under kitchen table
  • tidy up bedroom
  • wipe bathroom counter and sink
  • sweep/vacuum floors

(Obviously, you know your children and know what they can/cannot do on this list, this is merely a suggestion and starting point.  Please use care to provide non-toxic cleaners or water in a spray bottle for your children.)

Tools for Cleaning With Kids via Clean Mama


  • microfiber and/or cleaning cloths
  • sponge
  • baby wipes – great for baseboards and door knobs
  • small dusting wand – Target has the white ones
  • hand vacuum – I turn my stick/floor vacuum into a hand vacuum for the kids
  • mini broom with dust pan
  • water or non-toxic cleaner in a spray bottle (keep reading for my favorite DIY recipe)
  • small cleaning caddy – the one pictured is from Target – it’s a silverware caddy


Kid Safe Cleaning Spray Recipe via Clean Mama

Want to make a Kid-Safe Cleaning Spray that works and is safe for your kids to use?  Try this simple mixture:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 20 drops essential oils – My kids’ favorite mix is 10 drops of lemon and 10 drops of orange.

Pour into a spray bottle with funnel.  Attach spray top, shake to combine and use as you would any all-purpose cleaner.  (Not to be used on granite and marble; the acid in vinegar will etch the surface.)

DIY Cleaning Spray via Clean Mama

If you like this DIY recipe, you’ll love my book, The Organically Clean Home!

Here’s another way to encourage cleaning up – click on the image.

Simple Chore Chart and Reward System Your Kids Will Love via Clean Mama


Clean Mama's Simple Summer Challenge via Clean MamaThis post is part of my SIMPLE SUMMER CHALLENGE – throughout the month I’m sharing ways to keep up with routines while having lots of fun in the process.  Go here to see the introduction post, and here to see all the posts in this series.  Make sure you’re following me on Instagram for more on this summer challenge!


  1. I love the idea of having our 2 year old start helping out. What kinds of things to you have them start out with? I think if I gave him a wipe and asked him to clean the door knobs he’d have fun with it, but I don’t know how effective he would be (though I guess it’s less about actually get things clean and more about getting him involved young). What chores on the list you provided does your 3 year old do?

    • You’re right that it’s more about getting him started. As you model what needs to be done and gently show him how to do it, he will learn. It takes more time but pays off in the years ahead!

  2. Where did you find the pyrex measuring cup with the teal markings?

  3. I love the idea of a kid friendly caddy. Just like using kid size hangers….making things easier for little hands increases success. Thanks for sharing!

  4. The House Cleaning Lady says:

    I have 2 kids and you can image what a mess can be at home. I try to convince them of helping me with the cleaning duties, but it’s very hard. I will try your tip with the chart and reward system. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Can you tell me where to get essential oils please?

  6. I have a lot of trouble getting my 3 daughters, especially the older 2 (15 and 18) to help at all. It’s embarrassing and I feel like a terrible Mom that I haven’t pushed them more all of these years. They do not help. They walk away and ignore me when I tell them to help do the dishes etc. I am having a lot of trouble with this. Please help or direct me to some articles.
    Thank you! I am desperate

    • Have you tried disciplines like losing phone privileges, allowance (if they get one) only hang out with friends if they have competed chores stuff like that. And same goes for finding a reward if they complete what they’re supposed to do, use the car, go to a movie have friends over our go to a friends…. you would know better what to fill in place of my suggestions but similar idea. I hope it helps and stick with it because that may be the hard part for you is getting through to them after all this time so they need time to learn that you’re serious, but don’t back down stay firm and loving. :)good luck

  7. I’ve never tried essential oils before. Do they have a strong smell? I was thinking of trying the lavender oil.

    • They have a natural smell – they are more potent/concentrated, but smell better than artificial fragrance (in my opinion) 🙂

  8. Does the spray nozzle on the spray bottle you recommend hold up for very long? I find that I have been going through a lot of spray bottles for my natural cleaners because the nozzles stop working properly very quickly.

  9. How well does this cleaner work on wood surfaces (like a hand rail for a stair case and pillars)? Do you have something else you recommend for cleaning/polishing wood? Thanks for all your tips and ideas!

  10. Can this cleaner be used in the kitchen (counters/cutting boards)? I feel I waist time cleaning them, disinfecting them, and then rinsing then. Even after all that I hate putting any food on them feeling there still might be chemicals on there.

  11. What kind of white sponge is in the caddy? Looks like its made of cloth.

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