What’s in Your DIY Cleaning Kit?

What’s in Your DIY Cleaning Kit?

Jun 28, 2023Tori Sajovec, RD, LD

Have you run out of your favorite cleaner and are in a pinch? Or looking for something more natural and environmentally-friendly to get the job done? You don’t need a bunch of chemicals to get a good clean. You can use simple ingredients right from your pantry for a DIY cleaning kit. (Note: Cleaning – the removal of dirt, dust, grime and some germs – is different than disinfecting, which kills germs on contact.)

Distilled white vinegar

Good ol’ white vinegar is a great all-purpose cleaner for removing dirt, soap scum build-up, and common foodborne germs like E. coli, salmonella and listeria monocytogenes from surfaces. Just be careful not to use it on granite, marble and stone surfaces, since the acidity may cause damage.

General all-purpose vinegar cleaner

½ cup white distilled vinegar
2 cups distilled or filtered water
Pour ingredients into a spray bottle. To reduce the vinegar smell, add 10 to 20 drops of your favorite essential oil. Shake well before use.



Lemons are another acid that make for a handy (and great-smelling) cleaner and stain-remover. Using the juice of a lemon:

  • scrub a cutting board and let it sit for 20 minutes to help get rid of food stains.
  • scrub plastic food storage containers and let air dry to remove stains and odors.
  • shine copper and brass.
  • deodorize appliances. (Run the dishwasher’s rinse cycle with a cup of lemon juice on the bottom rack, or microwave a small dish of water with a few tablespoons of lemon juice in it until it boils. Then let sit for several minutes.)

Need more lemon ideas? Check out HSTV for quick fixes!

Baking soda

Baking soda is great to have on hand for neutralizing odors and making your own cleaning scrubs. Create a paste with water to scrub sinks, baths, showers or kitchen appliances. To boost the dust-busting properties, you can mix or rinse baking soda with vinegar or hydrogen peroxide. Salt also makes a great abrasive.

What’s your favorite DIY cleaner? You really can’t go wrong, and another great thing about the items listed is that they’re all edible! Check out this recipe for Tuscan Lemon Chicken Sauté, which uses the juice and zest of a lemon for bright flavor in an easy weeknight meal.

Tuscan Lemon Chicken Sauté

Serves 4

All you need:

1 (1-lb.) pkg Hy-Vee True chicken breast tenders

¼ tsp Hy-Vee lemon-pepper seasoning

2 tbsp Bragg Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil, divided

2 cups Hy-Vee Short Cuts broccoli florets

2 cups Hy-Vee Short Cuts tricolor bell pepper strips

1 cup halved Hy-Vee Short Cuts zucchini and summer squash coins

½ cup Zoup Low Sodium Chicken Broth

1 tsp lemon zest

2 tbsp fresh lemon juice

1½ tsp Simply Organic Italian seasoning

1 (15-oz.) can Full Circle Organic Navy Beans

All you do:

  1. Pat chicken dry with paper towels. Sprinkle on lemon-pepper seasoning.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Cook chicken 5 to 8 minutes until done (165 degrees internal temperature), turning occasionally. Remove from skillet; cover and keep warm.
  3. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in same skillet over medium heat. Add broccoli; cook 1 minute. Add bell pepper strips, zucchini and summer squash. Cook 2 minutes.
  4. Increase heat to medium-high. Add chicken broth, lemon zest, lemon juice and Italian seasoning. Heat through. Stir in beans and cooked chicken tenders; warm through.


Want more? Your Hy-Vee dietitians are a go-to source for health and wellness ideas! Connect with us to learn more about services such as wellness classes, meal prep workshops, store tours and more.

*The blog articles, recipes and recommendations found on this site are not intended as medical advice and should not replace consulting with your medical provider. Please consult a medical professional for individual advice.

About the Registered Dietitian      

Tori Sajovec RD, LD, received her Bachelor of Science degree in dietetics with a minor in English from Iowa State University. From there, her passions took her to New Orleans, Louisiana, where she completed her 10-month dietetic internship program through Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. As her knowledge of food and nutrition grew, so did her desire to educate customers and clients on their overall well-being. Her goal as a dietitian is to make health and wellness an insightful and enjoyable lifestyle for all.

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