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.


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