DIY Cleaning Supplies (that work and save money)

{including our cleaning supplies!}

Happy Saturday, friends! We have a special guest on the blog today. Demi Giles is sharing some of her favorite tips on DIY cleaning alternatives that not only work great, but also help save us some money. Cha-ching!

Demi contributes to several blogs and is passionate about topics related to home improvement, cleaning and organizing. She owns a small company based in London called Clean Start, and I’m excited she’s contributing to the Neat Nook community today!

DIY Alternatives for the Whole House


Let’s be honest, some cleaning products are just too expensive. And why waste money when you can make these things at home on a much cheaper price and they will have the same effect?

On top of that, a lot of the commercial cleaning products are really not that environmentally friendly. And it is not just the environment they harm. A lot of children and pets and the people cleaning can get affected from some the products, which could cause irritation and many other problems.

To kick things off, let’s start with a good window cleaner recipe.

You will need a quarter of a cup of white vinegar, a quarter cup of rubbing alcohol, one tablespoon of starch to reduce streaking (your options for starch are widened in case you happen to have an allergy from corn), two cups of water and eight to ten drops of essential oils of your choice.

When you have all of your ingredients, get a glass spray bottle and pour everything in. Close it up and give it a good shake so the ingredients thoroughly mix and the starch doesn’t clog up the spray nozzle.

This product can be used for not only windows but also any glass surface. So you can clean up your coffee table or glass door cabinets or display cabinets. It is best used with a microfiber cloth.

Let’s keep things shiny.

How about we stick to the shiny part of your home and talk about making a product for ideally cleaned aluminum kitchenware, aluminum window frames and doors. If your kitchen sink happens to be aluminum, that as well.

The recipe for windows and doors four cups of water, one cup of vinegar and a few slices of lemon. Mix the water and vinegar in a pray bottle and shake it up. To use this solution, rub the lemon slice on the aluminum service and after that add the mixture and wipe off.

This solution also works for removing hard water stains from aluminum, like the faucet or shower head. But drop the lemon slices and get an old toothbrush and put in some elbow grease to it.

To clean up your aluminum kitchenware, you will have to go with this method: Start filling up your pot or pan with water, while making sure you add two tablespoons of potassium bitartrate for every quart of water. After that, add half a cup of lemon juice or white vinegar and let it boil for about ten minutes. After that, let things cool down and proceed to regular washing. When you are done, set it to dry.

Now let’s clean the toilet.

You are going to need three quarter cup of borax, one cup of white vinegar, ten drops of lavender essential oil and five drops of lemon essential oil. Mix them all together in a bottle with a squirt nozzle and shake it up really nice. The way to use it is to flush the toilet once and pour the whole thing in the bowl and let it sit for a few hours.

A good idea is for this to be done in the morning so that during the day no one will need it because they are at school or at work.

Okay, now let’s see about cleaning your sofa or any upholstered furniture.

You will need rubbing alcohol, white vinegar, and if you want, essential oils for fragrance. If you are going to use essential oils, a glass spray bottle is best. You already know how it goes. Let’s move on to using it.

To be sure it works on your furniture, first use it on an inconspicuous area. If it doesn’t remove the coloring, then proceed to use it anywhere. Get the bottle and a sponge and spray and scrub. If the stain persists over time, repeat the process.


Special thanks to Demi. I hope you’ve enjoyed these tips. Do you have a favorite recipe or secret cleaning ingredient you love to use? I’d love to hear from you.



PS. If you’re a blogger or author and would like to share some of your best organizational or creative tips with the Neat Nook, let me know! Check out my contact page and let’s talk.


Why It’s Important to Clean Your Gardening Tools


Whether you’re a beginner or master gardener, cleaning and taking care of your tools is essential. It not only protects your tools from rust, but also keeps your plants healthy.

Each time you clean your trowel, you’re removing soil that may have been contaminated by diseased plants. The same goes for your pruners. You want to sanitize them before each use so you don’t spread disease or bacteria around your pretty garden.

Which Tools to Clean?

Even the simplest patio garden requires a few tools, such as a trowel, pruners or kitchen scissors. And these hand tools are the most important ones to keep tidy. You use them the most – and they’re more likely to touch more things in the garden.

A few good ones to consider…

Gardening Trowel

This is considered one of the best gardening trowels.

Quality Pruners


These pruners are ranked the best in their category.

Hand Weeder

This is considered the best tool to is the best tool to extract, uproot, disrupt, and behead the most common small weeds invading your garden.

This is the best tool to extract, uproot, disrupt, and behead the most common small weeds invading your garden.

Tip: If you’re new to the hobby of gardening, this is one of the best articles I’ve found on understanding garden tools and what you really need. It’s definitely worth a read.

 Let’s Get Crackin’

Here are a few simple ways to keep your hand tools in prime condition.

Season Kickoff

Right now would be a great time to do these 4 simple steps – especially if you’re getting ready to do some fall planting.

  1. Spray each tool with WD-40.
  2. Dip each tool in and out of a bucket of sand until the grime is gone.
  3. Brush off the sand and let air dry.
  4. Once dried, store the tools in a bucket of sand.

After Each Use

Rinse with soapy water, dry your tools, and then store them (sharp ends facing down) in a bucket of sand. Why sand? It absorbs moisture and keeps your tools squeaky clean.

For pruners, be sure to sanitize with Lysol wipes or a sanitizing spray after each use.


Wouldn’t this be the most heavenly place to stash your gardening goodies?!

Season Wrap

Once you’ve had a hard freeze and the season is wrapping up for winter, you can clean your tools with WD-40 again, as you did for the season opener.

If you have wooden handles on any of your tools, smooth out any rough spots by gently rubbing with sandpaper. Then rub a small amount of linseed oil to preserve the wood and reduce splintering in the future. If you notice any rust, scrub the area with steel wool and try spraying with a rust-resistant primer.


Once your tools are clean, smooth and dry, you can store them in the bucket of sand in your shed.


I hope that was helpful. Be sure to stop back on Thursday for some garden inspiration. I’ll share a few of my favorite veggies and plants for the fall.