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Trial Number 431

Trial Purpose:

Laboratory evaluations of alternative cleaning products

Date Run:


Experiment Procedure:

Basic cleaning performance testing was conducted using ASTM G122 as the bases for cleaning. 

Several "do-it-yourself" home formulations were evaluated for performance on several substrates and typical soils for all purpose cleaning. All Purpose Cleaner Formulations:

Home Formulation 1 - Dissolve 4 tbls baking soda in 1 qt warm water for a general cleaner

Home Formulation 2 - Vinegar and salt, mix together into a paste for a good surface cleaner (another version is mix salt and water together with a little vinegar)

Home Formulation 3 - Liquid castile soap (small amount) and baking soda/borax with lots of water for floors walls or counters

Home Formulation 4 - Liquid castile soap (medium amount) and baking soda/borax for tubs, sinks, cat boxes or anything that can be well rinsed.

Home Formulation 5 - Baking soda and water, make a paste for all purpose cleaner

Home Formulation 6 - 3 tbsp vinegar, ½ tsp washing soda, ½ tsp vegetable based liquid soap (Murphy’s), 2 cups hot 2cups hot water and put in spray bottle or bucket. Apply and wipe clean. General cleaner

Home Formulation 7 - 2 tbsp borax, ¼ cup lemon juice, 2 cups hot water. Combine in spray bottle and use as all purpose

Home Formulation 8 -Fill a spray bottle with ½ part vinegar and ½ part water. Add some lemon juice for scent

Home Formulation 9 - Mix liquid soap with 1 tbs of baking soda. Add lemon juice and water.

Cleaning: Spray cleaner on the coupons
30 secs Manual Wipe
Cleaning at 68 F
Contaminant: Huckers Soil
Substrate: 2"x 4"x 0.06"
Ceramic Coupons
Painted Steel Coupons
Plastic Coupons

Trial Results:

Product Average (%)
Home Formulation 1  
Ceramic 26.91
Painted Steel 137.41
Plastic 48.58
Home  Formulation 2  
Ceramic -27.84
Painted Steel -109.96
Plastic -349.84
Home Formulation 3  
Ceramic -33.81
Painted Steel -24.61
Plastic -22.16
Home Formulation 4  
Ceramic -58.05
Painted Steel -192.68
Plastic -330.51
Home Formulation 5  
Ceramic -34.23
Painted Steel -423.13
Home Formulation 6  
Ceramic 20.99
Painted Steel 29.37
Plastic -7.52
Home Formulation 7  
Ceramic 34.97
Painted Steel 75.05
Plastic 368.76
Home Formulation 8  
Ceramic 18.86
Painted Stee 45.73
Plastic -8.29
Home Formulation 9  
Ceramic 40.58
Painted Steel 55.35
Plastic 92.13

Success Rating:

Preliminary compatibility tests on substrate coupons encouraging for at least one cleaning chemistry. More in-depth laboratory testing necessary.


Many of the mixtures left behind a lot of residue when using the standard laboratory procedures for commercial cleaning products. Modification of the cleaning process may improve the effectiveness of these "do-it-yourself" formulations.

Home formulation 1 and 9 showed some signs of effectiveness, removing over 60% of the all-purpose soil.

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