10 Household Products You Never Have To Buy Again {With Shopping List}

windowAfter taking steps to live a more conscious existence, I have found that shopping is overrated. The satisfaction that I find from making my own household products far outweighs buying the “brand of the month.”

My reason to make my own products stem mainly from the ever increasing prices, as well as the harmful chemicals present in store bought brands. After using store bought chemicals for years, I noticed my eyes would burn and lungs would hurt after cleaning with them. The FDA doesn’t mandate ingredient disclosure to household products. That means that what may be deemed “safe” for one person may be harmful to another. As well, terms like “bio-based” and “solvent-free” have very broad meanings and do not necessarily indicate that a product is safer. I knew the chemical cleaners were doing more harm than good, and would much rather preserve my health and not pollute our water supply any further.

I have found many of these homemade cleaners and products use similar ingredients, therefore, purchasing them would be a lucrative investment.

{Shopping List}

Using the mentioned shopping list, you can make these 10 household products and

1. Laundry Detergent

  • 1 bar (or 4.5 ounces) of shaved bar soap (a homemade laundry bar, Dr. Bronner’s, Ivory, ZOTE, or Fels-Naptha)
  • 1 cup of Borax
  • 1 cup of washing soda
  1. In a large container, thoroughly stir all ingredients together for 5 minutes and enjoy the results!
  2. Use 1 Tbsp per load (or 2-3 Tbsp for large or heavily soiled loads).

2. Fabric Softener

  • 1 gallon distilled white vinegar
  • 30-40 drops of essential oil (popular scents include: lavender, a combination of lemon and citrus for an energizing pick me up or invigorating peppermint)
  1.  Combine all ingredients and shake well. When ready to use shake mixture and add to rinse cycle.
  2. For small or average loads add 1/4 cup to the rinse cycle, or a little more for large loads.

3. Dishwashing Detergent Tablets

  • 2 cup washing soda
  • 2 cup baking soda
  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup citric acid or 3 packets of lemon drink mix
  • 1 cup vinegar
  • 10-15 drops essential oils (lemon, lavender and peppermint will add antibacterial properties and aromas to tablets)
  1. In a large bowl, add ingredients. When the vinegar is poured, it will create a slight fizzing and will die down within 1-2 minutes.
  2. Add your mixture to ice cube trays, pressing with your fingers or back of a spoon.
  3. Allow mixture to dry in a warm and sunny spot for 24 hours or until completely dry. Remove and add to an airtight container.
  4. Add one tab to the dishwasher dispenser. Also use vinegar or jet-dry in your rinse dispenser too.

4.  All-Purpose Cleaner

  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup baking soda
  • Juice of lemon
  • 1/2 gallon water
  1. Shake well and apply for removal of water deposit stains on shower stall panels, bathroom chrome fixtures, windows, bathroom mirrors, etc. Or use a citrus-based natural all-purpose cleaner.

5.  Drain Cleaner

  • 1/2 cup kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup baking soda
  • 1/2 cup vinegar
  • 4 liters hot water
  1. Add ingredients and pour into drain. The resulting chemical reaction can break fatty acids down into soap and glycerine, allowing the clog to wash down the drain. After 15 minutes, pour in hot water to clear residue.

Caution: do not use this method after trying a commercial drain opener–the vinegar can react with the drain opener to create dangerous fumes.

6. Oven Cleaner

  • 3/4 cup baking soda
  • 1/4 cup salt
  • 1/4 cup water
  1. Use a moist sponge to wet oven surface.
  2. Combine ingredients to make a thick paste, and spread throughout oven interior. (avoid bare metal and any openings)
  3. Allow to sit overnight. Remove with spatula and wipe clean.
  4. Rub gently with fine steel wool for tough spots.

7. Toilet Bowl Cleaner

  • 1/4 cup baking soda
  • 1 cup vinegar
  1. Mix ingredients and pour into basin.
  2. Allow to sit for a few minutes. Scrub with brush and rinse.

8. Window Cleaner 

  • 2 ounces water
  • 10 drops lavender or lemongrass oil
  1. Add ingredients to a spray bottle. Shake bottle to mix ingredients together and spray on surface to wipe grime off windows.
9. Floor Cleaner
  • ¼ cup liquid Castile soap
  • ¼ cup distilled white vinegar
  • 10 drops peppermint essential oil
  • 2 gallons warm water
  1. Add ingredients to a bucket and mop floors.

10. Furniture Polish

  • 1 c. olive oil
  • 1/2 c. lemon juice
  • Spray bottle
  1. Shake well and apply a small amount to a cleaning rag or cloth.
  2. Spread evenly over furniture surface. Turn cloth to a dry side and polish dry.


The Prepper's Blueprint

Tess Pennington is the author of The Prepper’s Blueprint, a comprehensive guide that uses real-life scenarios to help you prepare for any disaster. Because a crisis rarely stops with a triggering event the aftermath can spiral, having the capacity to cripple our normal ways of life. The well-rounded, multi-layered approach outlined in the Blueprint helps you make sense of a wide array of preparedness concepts through easily digestible action items and supply lists.

Tess is also the author of the highly rated Prepper’s Cookbook, which helps you to create a plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply and includes over 300 recipes for nutritious, delicious, life-saving meals. 

Visit her web site at ReadyNutrition.com for an extensive compilation of free information on preparedness, homesteading, and healthy living.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published January 27th, 2014
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  • kent b

    Tess, this sounds good , but what is the cost vs. premade?as a single working person( and soon to retire within the next year or so )cost is important to me. I currently use Arm& Hammer brand liquid , which i only purchase when on sale at $2.99/ bottle ( reg.$6.29), 75oz. ( 50 loads)size. thats works out to $.04/oz or $.06/load.At 2 or 3 loads a week thats only 12 or 18 cents a week plus the coin operated washer….i have a stockpile enough to wash my clothes for 18 months…

  • MrApple

    I know from experience that the Laundry Detergent recipe works. I prefer using Fels-Naptha over the over bars of soap. One thing to mention is that some soaps are drier (Fels-Naptha) while others are wetter/stickier (Ivory). This becomes an issue if you use a cheese grater to turn the bar of soap into small shavings and then toss that into a blender to get the pieces even smaller for detergent use. It doesn’t hurt the Fels-Naptha soap costs around $.97 at your local Walmart and adds a nice smell to the detergent mixture.
    I forgot to mention:
    Plus you usually need to use 2 bars of Ivory soap compared to 1 bar of Fels-Naptha to get the same amount of soap in the detergent mix.

    • Tess


      I prefer the Fels-Naptha as well. I love the light clean scent the laundry detergent has. Best of all, it’s so darn cheap to make this! We are saving so much money in the long run by making our own laundry detergent and cleaning supplies.

  • Brenda

    Awesome!! I already make several of these but haven’t yet tried to make
    dishwasher tabs. Don’t forget, if you don’t have washing soda on hand
    you can convert baking soda by baking it in the oven @ 250° for about 45 minutes.
    Google it for more info if needed.
    Ya’ll keep preppin’!!

    • Tess

      Thanks, DB and Brenda on how to make washing soda. I am going to post this on Facebook and Twitter to get this great tip out!

  • Tess

    Tami – Yes the main reason is for the citric acid, and also to provide a lemon scent that we are all familiar with. Alternatively, you can use citric acid and a few drops of lemon essential oils.

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