DIY cleaning products for your home

The crew at Duross & Langel can teach you how to make natural cleaning supplies.
The crew at Duross & Langel can teach you how to make natural cleaning supplies.

Give your under-the-sink space a makeover. DIY cleaning products can be a snap to whip up, and they’ll make your house sparkly and smelling fresh — without any ammonia or bleach.

“This is one of those no brainers,” says Steve Duross of Duross & Langel on 117 S. 13th St. “It’s incredibly simple to do, and it’s a healthy, natural way to clean your home.”

Duross & Langel doesn’t carry household cleaners — the store stocks its shelves with handmade soaps, lotions and candles. But Duross and store manager Sarah Evancho still like to experiment with cleaners and other DIY products in the upstairs kitchen (usually home to the soap-making). If it can be described as “pure,” “natural” or “earth-friendly,” they’re into it.

“People are getting more savvy about chemicals — they want simpler products. And people love the idea of brewing up their own stuff,” Duross says.

All-natural cleaning products don’t have a long shelf life, but mixing up enough for a cleaning session or two is quick. “For furniture polish, for example, you take vinegar, olive oil and fresh orange peels, throw everything in a spray bottle and shake it up,” Duross says. “There aren’t a lot of moving parts.”


Three easy recipes

All-purpose cleaner:

Sage, or another essential oil or herb (For buying essential oils, Duross recommends They’re not cheap, he warns, but since you’re only using a few drops at a time, they last.)
1 part warm water
1 part vinegar
1/2 part alcohol
1 drop dish soap

Muddle or twist herbs into a spray bottle. Add liquids. Shake and start to clear away the bad juju.

Furniture polish:

Orange essential oil and a few orange peels
1/4 cup vinegar
About a tablespoon of olive oil

Combine all ingredients in a spray bottle. Shake. Use.

Bathroom scrub:

Six drops of essential oil, such as citrus, eucalyptus or mint
1 cup borax
1/2 cup baking soda
1/2 cup washing soda
1/4 cup coarse sea salt

Combine all ingredients in a jar. Shake. Use on tub, tiles, sink and toilet bowl.


Earth Day open house

Duross & Langel is hosting a “how to” open house April 22. Drop in anytime 5:30-7 p.m. for an informal demo on making natural, chemical-free cleaning products.


Brooklyn man charged in roommate's stabbing death

A Brooklyn man accused of violently stabbing his roommate to death on Monday is in police custody and faces murder charges.


Dinosaurs could have survived asteroid strike

It turns out there is a good and a bad time for the planet to be hit by a meteor, and dinosaurs were just unlucky.…


OkCupid admits to Facebook-style experimenting on customers

By Sarah McBrideSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - OkCupid, a top U.S. matchmaking website, intentionally mismatched users to test its technology, the IAC/InterActive Corp service said on…


MTA fares still increasing 4 percent in newly…

The agency said the 4 percent increases, previously announced in December, will remain steady even as the MTA deals with increasing labor costs.


Interview: Brendan Gleeson on the way 'Calvary' depicts…

Brendan Gleeson talks about how his new film "Calvary" began over drinks and how his character here is the opposite of the lead in "The Guard."


'Get on Up' producer Mick Jagger on the…

Mick Jagger, a producer on the James Brown biopic "Get on Up," talks about the time had to tell the singer some bad news and his favorite JB record.


'Glee' star Lea Michele to appear on 'Sons…

"Glee" star Lea Michele has been confirmed as a guest star in the final season of "Sons of Anarchy."


TV watch list, Monday, July 28: 'The Bachelorette'…

See Andi Dorfman make her big choice on tonight's 'Bachelorette' finale.


Angelo Cataldi: Ryan Howard deserves better from Phillies

Just last week, Ryan Howard endured the embarrassment of a benching that was inevitable, and yet still shocking.


Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.


Computer to Jets: Start Michael Vick over Geno…

Jets general manager John Idzik says the choice of who starts between second-year quarterback Geno Smith and veteran Michael Vick will be a “Jets decision.”


Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.


Glasgow: Hey, hey, the gangs aren't here

This European city has done a good job getting rid of its more violent residents and revitalizing with artists.


Babson College tops list of best colleges for…

Money magazine has just released its inaugural list of "The Best Colleges for Your Money" -- and the answers have surprised many. Babson College, which…


NYC teens learn how to develop apps during…

Through a program sponsored by CampInteractive, the high schoolers designed their own community-focused apps.


The Ministry of Silly Walks app is both…

Monty Python have dug into their back catalogue for cash-ins once more, but with the Ministry of Silly Walks app, they've made something that's fun too.