The Ultimate list of Zero Waste Cleaning Recipes

Spring is in the air, the world feels new and it’s time to deep clean your space. And I mean DEEP clean it. 

And there’s no better time to do it than now while we’re all stuck in isolation! A little refresh might be just what you need to prevent yourself from going crazy while stuck at home. 

As someone who lives with a chronic illness, I’ve learned just how important it is to not only be mindful of the things I put into my body but the things that I put onto my body and the things I use to clean my space.

Traditional cleaners not only come in plastic packaging that’s harmful to the environment but they also come loaded with chemicals that have so much power to harm us as well. 

These chemicals can do a lot of damage when breathed in and touched. I for one, do not feel comfortable cleaning the surfaces I sue and touch every day with a bottle that has a skull on it.

So I’ve compiled a master list of all the DIY, chemical-free and zero waste cleaning recipes you need to clean your house from top to bottom!

The best part is none of these are complicated and only use ingredients you can probably find in your home already!

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Supplies you may need

The mast list of zero waste cleaning recipes:

1. Disinfectant –

I wanted to make this number one because right now, it’s arguably the most important. All kinds of disinfectants, Lysol, and sanitizers are extremely hard to come by right now.

Luckily, you can make your own with just a few household ingredients.

What you’ll need:

  • 1/2 cup of vodka or rubbing alcohol (at least 40% or higher, try to get as high as you can)
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 15-20 drops of essential oil of choice

Simply mix together and put in a spray bottle! This is great for wiping down doorknobs, handles, toilet flushers, faucets and, even your phone! (I recommend spraying a cloth and wiping down instead of directly spraying your phone!)

You could also pour this mixture over some reusable rags and keep in an air-tight container for reusable “Lysol” wipes!

zero waste cleaning recipes

2. All-purpose cleaner –

The cleaner that’s good for just about anything! Counter-tops, showers/bathtubs, and most surfaces.

What you need:

  • Vinegar
  • Water
  • baking soda
  • essential oils of choice

Mix equal parts vinegar and water with about 10 drops of essential oils of choice and put in a spray bottle. 

Sprinkle a tiny bit of baking soda on the surface you wish to clean and spritz with the vinegar mixture. As it bubbles up, scrub away!

I see a lot of cleaners mix vinegar and baking soda together and have done so myself in the past. I have heard that when the two are mixed together and sit for a long period of time can cancel each other out.

I’ve personally found that using them separately works for an overall deeper clean.

3. Dish detergent cubes –

These dish detergent cubes are s easy to pop into your dishwasher and work so well to clean your dishes naturally! 

What you’ll need:

  • 1 cup of washing soda (you can make your own by baking a tray of baking soda for 1 hour at 400 degrees, stirring twice throughout)
  • 1/2 cup citric acid
  • 1/2 cup distilled vinegar
  • 10 drops essential oils

Combine the dry ingredients and essential oils and slowly add in the vinegar. You may not need all the vinegar so be sure to go slowly. You want just enough so that the mixture will stick together, you don’t want it to be wet.

Then pack the mixture into an ice cube tray or other mold and let harden for about 24 hours.

4. Orange Vinegar all-purpose cleaner –

This is an even simpler all-purpose cleaner that has proven to be my absolute favorite! And it’s the easiest (though they’re all super easy!)

What you’ll need:

  • Orange peels
  • Distilled vinegar

Fill a jar with orange peels and enough vinegar to cover the peels. Let sit for about two weeks and pour the vinegar mixture into a spray bottle!

This is great for all surfaces and also works really well at keeping ants away in the summer-time!

zero waste cleaning recipes

5. Glass cleaner –

There’s nothing I love more than whipping down all the windows in the spring-time. This recipe works perfectly for that and mirrors as well!

What you’ll need: 

  • 1/2 cup rubbing alcohol or vodka
  • 1/3 cup distilled vinegar
  • 15 drops of essential oils

Mix and place in a spray bottle!

6. Wood cleaner –

This is perfect for all of you with wood floors or counter-tops! This recipe polishes up any wood surface and can even be used on wood decor pieces.

What you’ll need:

  • 1/2 cup of olive oil
  • 1/2 cup of distilled vinegar
  • 1 cup of distilled water
  • 15-20 drops of essential oil

Mix together and use a soft cloth to clean your wood surfaces!

7. Toilet bombs –

This is one of my favorite recipes for cleaning the toilet. 

What you’ll need:

  • 1/4 cup of citric acid
  • 1/2 cup of baking soda
  • 10 drops of tea tree essential oil
  • Water

Mix the dry ingredients and essential oils in a bowl. Add the water in slowly using a spray bottle. You only need enough water for the mixture to stick together, just like the dish detergent tabs. 

Tip: You always need less water than you think.

After it’s all well combined, pack very tightly into an ice cube tray or mold.

zero waste cleaning recipes

8. Carpet/fabric spray –

Think of it like Febreeze, freshening up your carpets, closets and, bedspreads in between washes. It also helps to get that lingering musty smell out.

What you’ll need:

  • water
  • vodka
  • 15 + drops of essential oils

Combine equal parts vodka and water and mix in your essential oils. Transfer to a spray bottle and away you go!

9. Dish soap –

Like all other traditional cleaners, dish soap is full of terrible ingredients and can be quite expensive. It’s way cheaper, chemical-free and more sustainable to purchase a large jug of Castille soap. Since it needs to be diluted this should last you a long time.

What you’ll need:

  • 2 cups of water
  • 5 teaspoons of Castille soap
  • 2 teaspoons washing soda
  • 10 drops of essential oils

Combine and let rest overnight. The ingredients might naturally separate so just give it a good shake before use.

You shouldn’t even need that much of the mixture for a sinkful of dishes so this should last quite a while. 

10. Laundry detergent –

A lot of skin rashes and irritants like eczema can be caused by or worsened by the chemicals in your laundry detergent.

What you’ll need:

  • 2 cups of hot water
  • 1 cup of baking soda
  • 1/3 cup salt
  • 1 cup of Castille soap
  • 10 drops of essential oils

Combine all ingredients and keep in a jar! This mixture will separate so give it a really good shake before using. I use about 1/4 cup of this mixture for an average to large load. So use a little less for smaller loads.

zero waste cleaning recipes

For the most part, all the ingredients for these zero waste cleaning recipes can be found in your home already! Giving you no excuse to not clean your house from top to bottom.

These zero waste cleaning recipes are not only cost-effective but non-toxic and zero waste!

Related reading:

15 things to start making instead of buying

Zero waste laundry routine

Thanks for reading! I hope this post inspires you to start making some recipes and cleaning your house! As always, please don’t forget to share this post and follow me on Instagram for daily low waste living tips.

zero waste cleaning recipes



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