Library Blog

DIY Cleaning Solutions

bottles of diy cleaner

Whether it’s because the stores are running low on cleaning supplies, you are going out only when you need to, you are interested in saving money and using less chemicals around the house, or all of the above, learning to make your own cleaning supplies is quick and easy. These simple yet effective solutions are a snap to create, and most of the supplies are already in your pantry. 

There are many sources on the web and in household cleaning books and magazines, and below you will find a link to a few of them. You see from the video below that it only takes minutes to make these recipes and to have your house sparkling in no time. Many of the recipes suggest adding essential oils for pleasant scents and extra cleaning properties. That is completely up to you, the recipes created and tested for the video did not contain any essential oils. 

Clink the link below to read an article on homemade cleaners from the Washington Post: 

Some of the supplies used in these recipes are distilled water, 91% Isopropyl alcohol (the alcohol should be at least 70% and higher to be effective)corn starch, natural dish soap, and white vinegar. All were purchased at a local department store, and most items were very inexpensive. 

**PLEASE NOTE: Do NOT use any white vinegar or anything acidic such as lemon juice on natural stone surfaces such as marble or granite. The surfaces can become etched or scratched. 

Each recipe will list the ingredients. It is suggested that you have sponges, microfiber cloths or clean soft towels or cloths, empty spray bottles, a funnel and measuring cups and spoons. I have a set that is just used for cleaning supplies. You can find many of these supplies at the local dollar store. 

Also, always label your bottles so as not to mix them up and so that everyone knows what is in each container. If you don’t have labels, you can either tape on a piece of paper or write directly with a permanent marker.  

Electronics Cleaner 

This solution is great for wiping down phones and tablets. Never spray directly on the electronics, always spray on a microfiber towel or soft cloth. 


  • ¼ cup of rubbing alcohol 
  • ¼ cup of distilled water 
  • Clean, empty, spray bottle 


  1. Pour ingredients into spray bottle and screw on top.
  2. Swirl bottle around to mix.
  3. Spray cloth and wipe down electronic surfaces. 

All-Purpose Cleaner 

This cleaning solution is safe for all surfaces but will not leave glass and mirrors their shiniest. Spray onto cloth or sponge to clean. 


  • 1 teaspoon of natural dish soap 
  • 16 oz. of distilled water 
  • Clean, empty, spray bottle 


  1. Pour ingredients into spray bottle, screw on the top.
  2. Swirl bottle around to mix. 

You can read more about this type of cleaner at the following link: 

Glass Cleaner 

If you find yourself out of the standard blue window cleaner, this will step up to the job. This cleaner works best with paper towels or newsprint for a lint free shine. You can use hot tap water instead of distilled water for this recipe. Make sure to shake before use.  


  • ¼ rubbing alcohol 
  • ¼ white vinegar 
  • 1 Tablespoon of cornstarch 
  • 2 cups of very warm water (okay to use tap water) 
  • Clean, empty, spray bottle  

**Because of the vinegar in this recipe, make sure to use this only for glass or mirrors. **


  1. Add the ingredients to a large spray bottle, and screw on the top.
  2. Shake gently before use.
  3. Due to the cornstarch, you may need to shake periodically during use. 

Follow this link to see more on this glass cleaner:  

Disinfectant Spray 

This will work to disinfect doorknobs, light switches, laminate countertops and many other high touch surfaces. Best not to use on painted or varnished furniture, or hardwoods. Make sure the rubbing alcohol is 70% or higher. 


  • About 7 ½ oz. of 91% Isopropyl rubbing alcohol 
  • ¼ teaspoon of hydrogen pyroxide 
  • Small to medium clean, empty, spray bottle 


  1. Pour ingredients into the spray bottle, screw on top, and swirl around. 
  2. It’s best to spray a microfiber cloth and then wipe surface.
  3. Use a new cloth each time you disinfect, so as not to spread germs. 

Find out more about this DIY disinfectant spray at the link below: 

Watch step-by-step directions on mixing your DIY cleaners in the video below:


Romie is a Systemwide Floating Librarian at the Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County, where she has recently landed in the Technical Services Department. She loves to help people and learn new things every day. When not at work, she loves reading, going on adventures, and the great outdoors.