Cheap DIY Non-Abrasive Cleaners

Non-Abrasive All Purpose Cleaner

There is no doubt that cleaners like Comet can get rid of all grime and dirt. In my experience, abrasive cleaners can make tubs, tile, and countertops shine as if they were brand new. Abrasive cleaners can also strip finishes off products and cause deep, ugly scratches on delicate surfaces.

I have tried to avoid abrasive cleaners because of my messy nature, and I eventually grew tired of staining my clothes with Bleach.  I was further motivated to use nonabrasive cleaners after refinishing our shower. My husband, Ethan, and I knew we couldn’t use bleach cleaners anymore, so I decided to experiment with making my own non-abrasive cleaner.

We use All-Purpose cleaners more than any other cleaners, so I started with that. Anyone can create their own All-Purpose Cleaner. I will share my favorite recipe and how you can create your own that best fits your needs.

First, I needed something that could cut through dirt, grime, and mildew without the rough, toxic feel and smell of an abrasive cleaner.  I also wanted something that could be used to clean countertops, floors, toilets, sinks, and shower walls. 

All-Purpose DIY Cleaner

  • 1 cup of Hydrogen Peroxide ($0.88)
  • 2 TBS dish soap ($0.99)
  • 5 drops of Tea Tree Oil ($3.00)
  • warm water (FREE)

This is not a terribly complex recipe, nor did I want it to be. I wanted something that I could throw together in a few minutes and begin using immediately.

The water acts as a liquid filler. It distributes the products so it can be sprayed easily.

The Hydrogen Peroxide cuts through the dirt without taking off finishes and or leaving an abrasive smell. Of course, like anything, if left unattended for long periods of time, Hydrogen Peroxide can eat away that furniture and finishes, but overall, it is safe. I purchased 3% Hydrogen Peroxide for $0.88 at Walmart. One bottle can made at least 4 batches.

The dish soap also acts as a cleaning agent. My favorite way to clean has always been with a dishrag, warm water, and dish soap. This has proven to be a sufficient alternative! I only used 2 Tablespoons of soap, to avoid it becoming too sudsy. If you’re on a budget, you can get Palmolive Soap for $0.99 at Walmart. One bottle will go a very long way!

I also added 5 or more drops of Tea Tree Oil. This is an essential oil that is known for killing funguses and other bacterias. It also has a heavy aroma that reminds me of traditional citrus cleaners, which I enjoy. I have added other oils to add or change scents. The entire bottle cost me $3 at Walmart. It took me a while to find it, because it is not near the other essential oils. Instead, look for it in the pharmacy area. This bottle will also last you a very long time.

I mix the Hydrogen Peroxide, the dish soap, and the tea tree oil first into a spray bottle. I fill the remainder of the bottle with warm water and shake it up. The cleaner is ready to go!

All together, this cleaner costs me $0.33 per spray bottle. I love it!

Here are some picture of my cleaner being used:


Sadly, I try not to let me sinks get too dirty, so my “before” picture is not a drastic difference. There were some set in, water stains on the back of the sink and on the knobs. I sprayed the sink and scrubbed it with a vegetable cleaning brush. I prefer small brushes like tooth brushes and vegetable brushes for things will small areas like a sink. The sink glistened after I rinsed it with warm water.


This is one of the only things in my house that I don’t clean very often. It is a column that used to be decorative but now is for the cats to play on. The left is before I cleaned it at all, and the right is after a gentle scrub with the same vegetable brush.

To customize your own All-Purpose Cleaner, you will need:

  • A cleaning agent 
  • A filler liquid (like water)
  • Essential oils (optional)

DIY Laundry Detergent

We also make our own Laundry Detergent. We modified this DIY Laundry Detergent by Matt and Betsy Jabs. Their recipe is a powder recipe, but we prefer liquid. I pair this detergent with Downy Unstopables to create a pleasant, welcoming aroma that is found with store-bought detergents! I’m sure you could add Snuggle to the detergent recipe to save a step later, if you were feeling experimental.

For this DIY Laundry Detergent, you will need:

  • 1 bar shaved bar soap (we use Ivory shredded bar soap) ($8 for 4 bars)
  • 1 cup Borax ($5)
  • 2 TBS dish soap ($0.99)
  • Water

I’m all about saving money, so I mix up this detergent in a recycled gallon milk jug. If you want your laundry room to be cute, you could pick up a decorative jug at any Walmart, Target, or Dollar Store.

I begin by grating the bar soap with a cheese grater. I add the borax, grated soap, and dish soap into a gallon jug. I fill up the remainder of the jug with warm water and shake it all together. Before each wash, I shake it again to ensure nothing separates to the bottom.

For each load of laundry, I pour in 1 cup of detergent, so 1 gallon will wash anywhere from 12 to 16 loads of laundry. That is only $0.18 a load!

I have used this detergent off and on for over two years, and I have never experienced any soap or grime build up! It is as good, if not better, than traditional, store-bought detergent and a whole lot cheaper!

If you try any of these recipes, please comment your experience!

This page does not have affiliated links. This post was created before I became a member of the Amazon Associates program. I will not receive any benefits from your purchases.

Some/All images come from – the royalty free collection of stock photos.

2 thoughts on “Cheap DIY Non-Abrasive Cleaners

  1. Pingback: 4 Products I CANNOT Live Without – DIY Diary

  2. Pingback: DIY Shower Refinishing for Under $150 – DIY Diary

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