Homemade Household Products from Under the Kitchen Sink

Make homemade household products, such as paint stripper, insect repellent, tar remover and whitewash, using ingredients that you can likely find under your kitchen sink.

  • Many of the natural items kept under your kitchen sink can be mixed to create homemade household products that compete with (if not beat out) chemical-ridden commercial products.
    Photo by Fotolia/Iriana Shiyan
  • In "The Country Almanac for Housekeeping Techniques," Richard Freudenberger and the editors of "BackHome Magazine" have collected hundreds of formulas for effective cleaning, gardening and home maintenance — as well as ways our ancestors saved on heating bills, prevented costly repairs and maintained a cozy, charming home with little besides ingenuity.
    Cover courtesy Fair Winds Press, 2012

Recent studies show that modern commercial household cleaners are causing serious health issues for individuals and their families. The Country Almanac of Housekeeping Techniques That Save You Money (Fair Winds Press, 2012) by Richard Freudenberger and the editors of Back Home Magazine shows you how to keep a clean and healthy home for just pennies a day. Using a collection of formula for effective cleaning, gardening and home maintenance. Don’t just clean your household, get the longest life out of every item. The following excerpt explains how to make homemade household products for common cleaning.

Be a Kitchen Sink Alchemist and Save a Bundle

Cost savings
Between $3.99 and $18, depending on the product you’re replacing

Natural, nontoxic, and inexpensive substitutes for common household products

Chemicals that are usual suspects in today’s commercial household cleaning products today didn’t exist in “the olden days,” and they got along just fine without them. The basic ingredients were mostly natural with no petroleum-derived synthetics or artificial additives — and they’re still available today. So, let’s take a look at how a little kitchen sink alchemy can still go a long way with natural homemade, household cleaning products.

Paint Stripper

This is an inexpensive and reasonably effective stripping solution for paint that uses washing soda (sodium carbonate) as the prime ingredient. Washing soda, also known as soda ash, is fairly alkaline, so protect your hands with rubber gloves when using it. The mixture is simple:

5/12/2014 10:41:12 AM

Paint stripper You seem to be cofused between soda [sodium carbonate NaCO3, a mild alkali] and caustic soda [sodium hydroxide, NaOH, a dangerous, caustic alkali capable of serious damage to skin etc.] Please get your facts right before the lawyers get aother pound of flesh - that is, if there is any left after splashing the caustic soda around. For the record, caustic soda is used as a paint stripper, soda is not. Are your other recipes ok, or old wive's tales? JohnB

5/9/2014 8:22:59 AM

I saw the notes about mixing Boric acid and painting it on wood surfaces. I was wondering, does this deter Carpenter Bees? If so can you mix it up and spray it on with a garden sprayer on the exterior, under eaves, etc?



Fall 2021!

Put your DIY skills to the test throughout November. We’re mixing full meal recipes in jars, crafting with flowers, backyard composting, cultivating mushrooms, and more!


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