Kitchen Chemistry: DIY Cleaners!

Your DIY Guide to Cleaning Products

Northern Arizona University
3 min readOct 24, 2022


by NAU Senior Sheridan Herrmann

Learning how to clean, and how to keep things clean, is a big part of the college experience for many students.

NAU is no exception.

As part of the Flagstaff Festival of Science Cline Library’s MakerLab hosted a session on to teach attendees how to make their own cleaning products.

A speaker presents a slideshow to participants at the Kitchen Chemistry event
Cleaning products (vinegar, baking soda, etc.) sit on a table with people sitting around them
“Kitchen Chemistry: Homemade, Sustainable, Money-Saving Products for Your Home” was led by NAU Cline Library’s Rebecca Harner.

DIY Cleaning Products for the Win!

Here’s some household essentials that you can make from your home!

  • All-purpose cleaner
  • Dishwasher soap
  • Drain cleaner
  • Dryer sheets

Recipes were also given to make personal items like toothpaste, deodorant and insect repellant.

⚠️ Proceed with caution ⚠️

While generally safe, Cline Library’s Rebecca Harner warned that mixing certain chemicals together could lead to disastrous results.

A presenter speaks to people about the pH scale

Mixing bleach + ammonia creates a toxic gas that is fatal to humans.

Another thing to consider is the concentration of the products being used.

Low-concentration hydrogen peroxide (~ 3%) can be used safely on skin to cleanse wounds.

However, higher concentrations can be extremely dangerous. #DYK High-concentration hydrogen peroxide (90% or higher) is used to make rocket fuel!

Non-toxic Household Cleaning

What can you use if you can’t find what you’re looking for at the store or simply prefer more natural cleaning products? Try making your own!

Not sure if kitchen chemistry is up your alley?

Harner assured everyone that making their own cleaning products is more of a trial-and-error process than an exact science.

The most important thing — have fun and experiment!

All About the Festival of Science

The cleaning product tutorial was put on by the Flagstaff Festival of Science — a 10-day event that brings together Northern Arizona’s vibrant STEM community for demonstrations, lectures, guided tours and more.

STEM Year-Round

The Flagstaff Festival of Science is not just once a year — the work they do extends past the annual celebration. A big part of their focus is on educating students in STEM and encouraging an interest in science from a young age.

Looking to volunteer? Get involved here.

Looking for more events at Cline Library MakerLab? Check out their calendar.



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