Homemade eco-friendly household cleaners for just $20

Les Trappeuses show you how to make your very own green household cleaners!

By Fonds de solidarité FTQ

We challenged the women behind Les Trappeuses to create three basic cleaners for $20 or less. Read on to discover which natural products they concocted, just in time for spring cleaning!

Photo credit: Sara-Maude Ravanelle

Ah, spring! The weather is warmer, the snow is melting, and the flowers are starting to bloom. You can finally open your windows and let a cool breeze air out your stuffy home! Why not start the season off right? There's no better time to slip on your rubber gloves and get cleaning.

The Fonds de solidarité FTQ asked us to create a few basic household cleaners with only $20. We happily accepted the challenge! Here are three simple and highly effective household cleaners that you can make yourself using common, affordable ingredients: an all-purpose cleaner, an effervescent powder toilet cleaner, and a scouring cream.

There's nothing better than cleaning your home with safe, eco-friendly products. We love when clean meets green!

List of ingredients for three cleaning products

  • Alcohol (vodka, a grain spirit, or rubbing alcohol): $2.50 (65 mL)
  • Baking soda: $1.50 (500 g)
  • Citric acid: $1.00 (⅓ cup)
  • Boiled water: free
  • Castile liquid soap: $5.00 (about 1 cup)
  • Mason jar: about $1.00
  • Amber spray bottle: $6.00
  • Optional: essential oils
  • Total: $17.00

We calculated the costs according to quantity. If you buy these ingredients in bulk, you can make enough cleaning products to last you until next spring. Your bill might be higher, but you'll save in the long run. Believe us, it's a smart investment!

You can find most of these ingredients at the supermarket, natural products stores, bulk stores, and even certain pharmacies.

All-purpose cleaner (for ALL surfaces!)

Shelf life: Up to six months

Quantity: 455 mL

A vodka-based all-purpose cleaner? Bet you didn't see that one coming! You might be wondering why we didn't opt for vinegar, a more traditional ingredient. Don't worry, we love using vinegar in our household cleaners. But not everyone wants their house to smell like vinegar! Plus, it shouldn't be used on certain surfaces, like marble, granite, or hardwood furniture. The following cleaner doesn't have that pungent vinegar smell and is suitable for ALL surfaces, except maybe windows and mirrors.


1 ½ cups (375 mL) of sterilized (boiled, then cooled) water for preservation

¼ cup (65 mL) of vodka, grain spirit, or isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol

1 tbsp (15 mL) of Castile liquid soap

Optional: 20 drops of antiseptic essential oils, like tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia), lavender (Lavandula angustifolia), or lemon (Citrus limonum L.) oil.


  1. Bring 2 ½ to 3 cups of water to a boil.
  2. Set aside 2 cups of boiled water and let cool.
  3. Pour the alcohol in your amber spray bottle (or reuse a spray bottle you already have).
  4. Add the essential oils, if desired.
  5. Add the Castile liquid soap.
  6. Add the sterilized water and shake well.


Shake well before every use. Spray and clean! It's as simple as that.

Effervescent powder toilet cleaner

Shelf life: Indefinite

Quantity: Two cups

Ah, cleaning the toilet bowl . . . It's everyone's favourite household chore, right? Just kidding! We're hoping this incredible powder will make your life a little easier. Just sprinkle some in your toilet and watch it fizz and bubble! This recipe makes enough powder for you to clean your toilet every week for two to three months.


1 ½ cups (375 mL) of baking soda

⅓ cup (85 mL) of citric acid

Optional: 20 drops of antiseptic essential oils, like tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia), lavender (Lavandula angustifolia), or lemon (Citrus limonum L.) oil.


  1. Pour your baking soda in a bowl.
  2. Add the essential oils, if desired, and mix with a fork.
  3. Add the citric acid while stirring gently.
  4. Place the powder in an airtight Mason jar and store in a dry area. Keep out of reach of children and animals.

Note: It's important that you add your essential oils to the baking soda before the citric acid, otherwise the mixture may start to fizz. You don't want all that effervescence to escape before it reaches your toilet!


Scoop one or two generous tablespoons into your toilet bowl. Watch it foam and bubble. Scrub the inside with your toilet brush, or let sit for a few hours and scrub later. This way, you're not only giving your toilet a deep clean, but also splitting the unpleasant task into two easy steps. Your least favourite chore just got easier!

Scouring cream

Shelf life: About 2 months

Quantity: 200 mL

Sometimes, you need extra elbow grease for those hard-to-clean surfaces. To give you a helping hand, we've created a simple scouring cream that's just as powerful as any you might buy. Often, store-bought scouring creams contain plastic microbeads that act as an abrasive agent. These should be avoided at all costs, since they end up in our waterways and are extremely harmful to the aquatic ecosystem. This recipe contains two eco-friendly ingredients that won't affect your health or the environment!


  • ½ cup (125 mL) of Castile liquid soap
  • ⅓ cup (75 mL) of baking soda
  • As needed: sterilized water for preservation
  • Directions

    1. Mix the Castile soap and baking soda in a bowl.
    2. If you want a thinner consistency, gradually pour in some sterilized water. If you'd rather have a thicker cream, add a bit more baking soda.


    Shake well before every use. Apply the cream on a rag, sponge, or brush and scrub the surface. Rinse with plenty of water.

    There you have it! With these three recipes, you have everything you need to start your spring cleaning with a clean conscience! For other DIY household cleaners and more, visit the Les TrappeusesAttention, this link will open a new tab.Attention, this link will open a new tab. website (in French).

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