The Minimal Cleaning Cabinet

My first job was as a church janitor. So I know all the bleach-loving, artificially-scented cleaning products that are out there. I used different products for glass, toilets, mirrors, toilet bowls, countertops, doorknobs, etc. It took a whole cart to move the stuff from room to room. Who wants a cleaning cart in their own home? Or more accurately, a cleaning cabinet that’s so stuffed it makes the thought of cleaning even more miserable?

Enter green cleaning. Or minimalist cleaning. Frugal cleaning. Simple cleaning. All these things rolled into one.

My minimal cleaning cabinet consists of:


Baking soda

Essential oils

Castile soap

Hydrogen peroxide 

Olive oil

Other supplies: broom, dustpan, vacuum, mop and bucket, scrub brushes, and rags.

That’s it.

I don’t like to create unnecessary waste so I use recycled squirt bottles for my homemade cleaners and rags made from t-shirts rather than paper towels. Saves resources and money.

I’m also not a fan of sponges personally because they’re expensive and harder to disinfect than rags that I can just throw in the laundry.

Oven cleaner / stove scour / tub cleaner

Baking soda + water.

Mix into a paste and cover the area needing cleaned. Wait a few minutes and either wipe clean with a wet rag or scrub with scrub brush depending on severity of grime. 

Floor cleaner / all purpose cleaner

Castile soap + water

For mopping, I put about a tablespoon in the mop bucket and fill with hot water. For all other cleaning, like toys and countertops, I put in a spray bottle and dilute 1/10 with water. 

Homemade Febreze / window cleaner

Vinegar + water + 5 drops tea tree oil + 5 drops lemon oil

Combine vinegar and water in spray bottle 50/50 and add essential oils. Essential oils are totally optional but I love the freshness they provide, and they help kill bacteria that cause the smells to begin with. Spray this everywhere all the time. Neutralizes odors (rather than just covering them with fragrance), cleans glass, and refreshes fabrics. 

Disinfecting spray

Hydrogen peroxide + water

Combine in spray bottle 50/50. Use in the kitchen and bathroom to disinfect safely and naturally. Costs just pennies to make. (You’ll never want to use Lysol again!)

Wood polish

Olive oil + 5 drops lemon oil

Combine about 1/8 cup olive oil with the 5 drops lemon oil. Use as you would Pledge to dust and polish wood furniture. I also use it to restore the shine of my wood floors as needed. 

Carpet deodorizer

Baking soda

Sprinkle baking soda in a shaker generously over the carpet and let sit for 15 minutes before vacuuming. Breathe deep and enjoy the fresh. 

I keep a bottle of the glass spray and the disinfecting spray under the sink with some rags in my bathrooms. That way they’re handy when I notice things need wiped down. No hauling things to and from a cleaning closet. No days set aside as “cleaning days” but rather just a little here and little there. It’s not a big deal.

Because I no longer use artificial scents in my home, I find the stuff I used to use now makes my nose itch and gives me headaches. Glad it’s out!

What do you keep in your cleaning closet? What do you love? What can you minimize?


Add yours →

  1. I love this idea and want to try it. Castile soap? Liquid or solid? Where is the best place to get it?

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