27 June 2018

Natural Homemade All Purpose Cleaner Recipe

This natural homemade all purpose cleaner recipes is easy to make and can be used on most surfaces in your home.

When my oldest was a baby, I started using natural cleaners.  I wanted a more natural home for him, and I wanted to save money.  One of the first things I made was an all purpose cleaner.

I've changed the recipe a few times over the last few years and improved it (I think so anyway) with each modification.  

One thing that I like about making my own cleaners like this natural all purpose cleaner recipe is that I never run out.  I always have dish soap and vinegar to make a new batch.  If I don't have the essential oils, I can use one or the other until I get more or use different oils.  

I'm crazy about this cleaner, but my husband is not.  He doesn't like the smell of vinegar.  It dissipates quickly, so it doesn't bother me.  I'd rather smell vinegar than smell chemical cleaners.  


This recipe is so easy to make and costs about 30 cents per recipe!  Once you buy the bottle and the oils, you'll spend almost nothing to make refills.  


Vinegar is one of the best natural cleaning ingredients.  You can use diluted vinegar on its own to clean most surfaces.  It's high in acetic acid, which is what gives it its cleaning power.  

Because of the acidity, it can dissolve hard water spots and cut through grease and grime.  Not only does vinegar cut through grease and hard water, but it also deodorizes.  

When you're at the store looking at the vinegar, you'll noticed that are two varieties of white vinegar.  There's regular distilled white vinegar that has 5 percent acidity.  There's also a cleaning vinegar with 6 percent acidity.  

I use the regular white vinegar because I also use it for cooking.  This recipe will work with both varieties.  If you're buying it just for cleaning, the 6 percent cleaning vinegar does have 20 percent more acidity, so it can help its effectiveness.  

Vinegar kills germs by altering the fats and proteins in bacteria and viruses.  This changes their cell structure, which causes them to die.

I actually used lemon infused vinegar to make mine.  I've used regular vinegar and infused vinegar, and I like the infused better.  It gives it a little deeper color, too.  


Tap water can have bacteria in it.  It's safe to drink and bathe in, but if that water sits for long periods of time, the bacteria could grow.  It's best to use distilled water when you make natural homemade cleaning products.


I added a little bit of dish soap to help cut grease.  This helps cut through fingerprints and other oils to clean. I like Mrs. Meyer's dish soap.  


I add lemon essential oil for its benefits and because it just smells great.  I prefer a lemony scent when I'm cleaning.  It just smells clean to me.  

Lemon essential oil is also naturally antiseptic and antifungal, so it can kill germs.  


Tea tree oil is probably the popular antiseptic essential oil.  Tea tree oil has been proven to kill E. coli, the flu virus, and a virus that can cause pneumonia among other germs.  




Combine the vinegar, distilled water, and dish soap in a spray bottle.  This makes just over 16 ounces of all purpose cleaner.  If you are using an 8-ounce bottle, cut each measurement in half.


Carefully ad the essential oils.  If you use different essential oils for cleaning, add 20-30 drops per 2 cups of cleaner.  


Shake well.  The oil and water will separate, so you'll have to give it gentle shake each time before you use it.  

I use this natural homemade all purpose cleaner recipe on counters, walls, and most surfaces in my home.  Just be careful using it on the outside of your fridge because of the vinegar.  My old fridge has a smooth white finish and my new fridge is stainless.  Neither one could be cleaned with vinegar, so be sure to check with the manufacturer.

I haven't had a problem with this cleaner on any surfaces, but always use common sense.  Don't use on unfinished or unsealed wood.  If in doubt, do a spot test or use a cleaner that you know is approved for that surface.  I don't have marble or granite, so I have no idea if it works on those surfaces.

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This natural homemade all purpose cleaner works on most surfaces in your home.

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Cari Dunn
Cari Dunn

Cari lives on a small farm in Ohio with her husband, three kids, two dogs, two cats, five goats, several chickens, and homing pigeons. She loves Gilmore Girls, coffee, and her kids. Not in that order.