Minimalist Housekeeping: Clean

Yesterday I shared a few simple tips that have helped us keep a tidier house. I now have an eagle-eye for the beginnings of a clutter trap, and though I'm not perfect, I love a good clutter-bust! But the other half of the story is cleanliness. I thoroughly enjoy making dirty things clean, but I like trips to the library better.

So here's my regimen for cleaning the house; it's quick, effective, kid-friendly, and best of all, simple.

First, I reduced the number of cleaning products in my cupboard from about 9 to 4. I don't need nine cleaning products! And neither do I need their toxicity within reach of inquisitive little hands. So I whipped up 3 homemade cleaners that I've used for the last 6 months with no regrets. They smell better, clean better, and my son can grab his own rag too!


2 T Peppermint Castille Soap + 1 cup water + ~4 drops Tea Tree (Melaleuca) essential oil


Mix in spray bottle. Double, triple, quadruple recipe as needed. Use to dust furniture, mop floors (dilute a bit), clean counters, scrub bathroom surfaces. Tea tree oil is said to have disinfecting properties, and it smells so good and fresh! Win-win.

Glass Cleaner

1 T dish soap + 1/2 cup white vinegar + 1/2 c rubbing alcohol + 4 cups water


Mix in spray bottle and use to clean all glass surfaces. This recipe was given to me by a friend, and I have never encountered a better anti-streaking glass cleaner. Add a few drops of essential oil if you want it scented.

Bleach Alternative

1 T lemon juice + 1/4 cup hydrogen peroxide + 3 cups water


I love this cleaner. There are few times when I've really needed to use bleach, and when I do, I'm notorious for getting it on myself. This alternative has been sufficient for all my diluted-bleach needs. I even add 2 cups of it to the washer when I need to whiten laundry.


The 4th cleaner in my arsenal and the only one I still purchase is toilet cleaner. I haven't yet found anything that competes with the gooey, sticks-to-all-the-bacteria-goodness of it to make the toilet sparkle. 

I love my homemade minimal ingredient cleaners! I clean the house weekly in an hour or less, and violà. On to more enjoyable tasks.

Do you like DIY cleaners? Are you concerned about toxicity in your home? Or maybe it's simpler and quicker for you to buy all your cleaners rather that going to the bother of making them. My way isn't the best way, it's just what works for me. Your way will probably look different than mine, and I'd love to hear your take how you clean your home!