DIY Small Appliance Cleaner

Our small appliances get a lot of use. From making toast to blending almost daily smoothies, it doesn’t take long for smudges, drips and spatters to appear. In an effort to keep them clean, I use a simple DIY cleaner to get the job done. It is ideal for the exterior of just about any small appliance and serves to get them clean with only pennies a bottle invested.

My preferred tool for cleaning small appliances is a barely damp microfiber cloth. Microfiber is a workhouse in the kitchen and cleans gently and effectively. It washes up beautifully and is reusable. New to the world of microfiber? Check out my post here for all the reasons why I love it so much.

On to the recipe, right? It couldn’t be much easier – if this looks familiar, this is the SAME recipe for my granite and marble cleaner.  How’s that for cleaning multi-tasking?

Small Appliance Cleaner:

  • 3 tablespoons rubbing alcohol
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon castile or dish soap

Combine in a spray bottle and shake to combine. I like to use a funnel to assure that the ingredients go where they are intended.

Dampen your cloth and wring out until barely wet. Spray the cleaner on to the cloth and wipe the appliance. On stainless steel, wipe in the direction of the grain. You can also spray directly on to the surface as long as you take care to avoid any openings or electrical components. This method works better on appliances like a toaster oven when there aren’t any exposed components. Repeat and wipe as needed until clean. Be sure to rinse and wring out your cloth as needed to prevent smears and smudges.

Set aside some time to clean all your small appliances all at once or as needed. This cleaner can easily be stored for a month or two – I mix it up weekly because I use it daily in the kitchen.

Love DIY cleaners?  Check out the tab on the sidebar or just click below to see all my DIY cleaner posts and recipes.


DIY Granite Cleaner

DIY Granite Clean Recipe via Clean Mama

With all this talk about counters this week I thought it would be fun to share a simple (effective and natural) granite cleaner you can make yourself.  A version of this recipe is also in my book – if you like this recipe, you’ll LOVE my book!  If you have granite or marble counters you know that they take a little more care because they can stain easily if you spill on them and don’t get it cleaned up right away.  You also have to be very careful to use only ingredients that are safe to use on them.  Most countertop manufacturers and installers recommend just soap and water.  This recipe is a little twist on the soap and water but I’ve added a little rubbing alcohol – the reason for this is 3-fold: (1) alcohol kills germs, (2) alcohol helps the water to dry a little more quickly, (3) alcohol is pH neutral – it has the same acidity of water.  If you want to leave out the rubbing alcohol you can, just up the castile soap to 1/2 teaspoon.  The reason you can’t use vinegar on stone counters is that the vinegar has a pH and over time will etch away at the finish of your stone.  Not good.  Give this recipe a try – you’ll love how quick it is to mix up and how easy it is to use.

Gather your ingredients and tools…


  • 3 Tablespoons rubbing alcohol
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/4 teaspoon castile soap (citrus orange is my favorite)


  • measuring cup
  • measuring spoon
  • microfiber or a cleaning cloth
  • funnel
  • clean and empty spray bottle

Combine ingredients, close spray bottle, shake, and clean.

Use a Funnel to Minimize Spillage via Clean mama

It’s important to clean granite (or marble) in small sections (a 4 foot square area is good) to minimize the time that any liquid sits on the surface.  I love microfiber cloths and cotton dish cloths for my granite.

Spray and Wipe via Clean Mama

My book, The Organically Clean Home, includes a version of this recipe and many more amazing cleaning recipes, tips, and tricks!

The Organically Clean Home - Clean Mama



Cleaning With Borax – 11 Simple Recipes – FREE Printable

Last week I shared a free printable for Cleaning With Baking Soda and this week I shared a free printable for Cleaning With Vinegar.  Because I can’t stop coming up with these recipes, I have another one for you today – Cleaning With Borax.  Borax (sodium, boron, oxygen, and water) isn’t as natural as vinegar or baking soda, but if you buy a box of it to make laundry detergent it’s nice to have a couple other ways to use it.

Cleaning With Borax - Clean Mama

Grab the FREE printable here and if you prefer black + white go here to grab that version.

Put it in your cleaning binder or just pin it and reference it as needed – happy {Borax} cleaning!   Looking for more DIY Homemade Cleaning Recipes?  Check out this series.

What’s your favorite way to clean with Borax?  Share your favorite recipes in the comments!


DIY Homemade Cleaner Series Round-up

I’ve been sharing my favorite recipes for some DIY cleaners with you over the past month.  Being the visual person that I am, I thought a round-up style post highlighting each post might be helpful if a reader stumbles upon this series.

Now that the series is over, are there any DIY cleaners you’d like me to research and concoct a homemade cleaning recipe for?  I’d love to hear from you in the comments!


scrubDIY Homemade Cleaners: All-Purpose Scrub

Making your own cleaners can be fun and economical.  This series is all about must-have ingredients, recipes {free printable}labels {free printable}, and how to make homemade cleaners.  Today is the last recipe in my DIY Homemade Cleaners Series – I hope you’ve snagged a couple new ideas for a little do-it-yourself cleaning fun.

The All-Purpose Scrub is easy – just grab your carpet freshener (it’s just baking soda and essential oils) sprinkle it where you need a little extra cleaning power – sinks, pots and pans, stove top….

 Add a little bit of your favorite dishsoap and a little water.


So easy  – just sprinkle, add soap, scrub, rinse clean!

What’s your favorite DIY cleaner recipe?  I’ll be back tomorrow with a little round-up post of the series.

Follow my Pinterest board for lots of cleaning tips and more DIY recipes!

Click here to see all the posts in this series.

DIY Homemade Cleaners: Carpet Freshener

Making your own cleaners can be fun and economical.  This series is all about must-have ingredients, recipes {free printable}labels {free printable}, and how to make homemade cleaners.  The carpet freshener recipe that I’m sharing with you today is my favorite homemade cleaning recipe because it’s so easy and because it has a few uses besides carpet freshening.

Carpet Freshener

  • 2 cups baking soda
  • 10-20 drops essential oil
  • container with a shaker top

Mix, put in container with a shaker top.  Sprinkle on carpet and let sit for 15 minutes to absorb odors and vacuum up.

Add baking soda to your container and add the essential oils.

Use a table knife to stir in the essential oils to the baking soda

Use cardstock and a whole punch to make your own shaker top

Add a label and you have your own carpet freshener!  I store this concoction under the kitchen sink – it neutralizes kitchen odors and is conveniently ready for another use  that I’ll be back tomorrow to share!

Follow my Pinterest board for lots of cleaning tips and more DIY recipes!

Click here to see all the posts in this series.

DIY Homemade Cleaners {All-Purpose Cleaner}

Making your own cleaners can be fun and economical.  Through the last week or so I’ve talked about must-have ingredients, recipes {free printable}, and labels {free printable} for homemade cleaners.

Let’s get started today with the all-purpose cleaner.   What’s makes a cleaner all-purpose?  An all-purpose cleaner is meant to be used for just about any surface and any mess.  This all-purpose cleaner works great on counters, tables, sinks, bathrooms, kitchens….

This all-purpose cleaner recipe is great because the vinegar and lemon combo has some germ-killing properties in addition to just being a great all-around cleaner.  {Like the spray bottle with the built-in juicer?  Me too!  You can find them here and here.}

Here are the simple ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • juice of one lemon
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 tsp. castile soap (optional)

Mix, spray, and wipe clean.

A couple notes on homemade cleaners:

Generally, homemade cleaners are not meant to be mixed up in large quantities because they don’t have stabilizers.  This recipe has fresh lemon juice in it – I’d recommend using it within a few days of making it and/or storing in the refrigerator.  Castile soap and vinegar generally aren’t compatible – feel free to leave the castile soap out of this recipe, but I have found that the very small amount of soap to vinegar ratio has no effect on the cleaning ability of this all-purpose cleaner.  It’s a good idea to test any homemade cleaners in an inconspicuous spot to make sure that it’s safe on the surface you are intending to use it on.  Vinegar and granite and/or marble don’t mix – the acid in the vinegar will eat away at your granite and marble.

Click here to see all the posts in this series.


DIY Homemade Cleaners {FREE Labels}

In my DIY Homemade Cleaners series, I’ve shared some of my favorite ingredients for homemade cleaners, a free cleaning recipes printable, and today I have free printable labels for your cleaning concoctions.  The labels can be printed on plain paper with a piece of packing tape over the paper, you can use a full page label sheet, or (my preferred method) use 2 inch round labels that come 12 to a sheet, like these:

Want labels for your own cleaners?  You can go here to grab your free printable copy!

Next up in the series?  How to make all the homemade cleaners.

Click here to see all the posts in this series.

Follow my Pinterest board for lots of cleaning tips and more DIY recipes!

If you like this free printable, you’ll love my shop, Clean Mama Printables!

DIY Homemade Cleaners {ingredients}

My preference is to purchase quality, non-toxic cleaning supplies, but I’ve been dabbling in some homemade recipes for the past year or so for a couple cleaning tasks, like washing hardwood floors.  Today I’m starting a little series of homemade cleaning recipes.  If you’ve been making cleaning supplies for years or if you’ve never tried to make your own cleaning supplies, hopefully you’ll learn something new and be inspired to clean a little differently.  {If I am sharing a recipe here, I’ve tested it in my own home and like it enough to share it with you.}

Over the next couple weeks I’ll be sharing my favorite cleaning recipes with you and of course there will be some freebies to go along with the series.

Today I’m going to share my ‘must have’ ingredients for making some basic homemade cleaners.  Yes, there are other ingredients you can purchase and use, but if you want to try it out without spending more than $25 or $30, just start here.

  • distilled white vinegar
  • baking soda
  • essential oils (my favorite scents are lemon and clove)
  • castile soap – liquid and bar soap (you can find this in different scents and unscented – my favorite is Dr. Bronner’s Citrus orange)
  • lemons or lemon juice
  • Borax
  • Arm + Hammer Super Washing Soda
  • containers
  • water

What would you add to the list?  Any favorite ingredients that you must-have?

Click here to see all the posts in this series.


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