Homemade All-Purpose Chemical Free Cleaner
For a long time I had my go to all-purpose store bought cleaning solution that I grabbed for every little cleaning task imaginable. I wiped down my counters with it, cleaned the bookshelves, the walls, and had it handy for any little sticky grimy spot that popped up. When I finally came to my senses about the chemicals I was spraying around my home, I knew I needed my own solution (one that wouldn’t make me hold my breath when I sprayed it!) Does this cleaner kill 99.99% of bacteria or germs? No. And I am very much ok with that.
I don’t think eliminating that stuff entirely does us any favors. It does, however, do just fine cleaning what I need it to clean without going overboard, and contains the commonest components in home-made cleaning products.
Why white vinegar: White vinegar cuts through grease and grime, dissolves mineral deposits, helps lift stains, and breaks down odors. While it does smell when wet, I find it the smell goes away when it dries. I also just don’t mind the smell of vinegar.
Why essential oils: Some essential oils, like tea-tree or eucalyptus, have anti-microbial properties, which means they help inhibit the growth of disease causing microorganisms. They also add a nice scent.
Why baking soda: A powerful deodorizer and stain remover with anti-bacterial properties (that aren’t over the top) baking soda is, like white vinegar, a staple in household cleaning.
You will need…
-1/4-1/2 cup of white vinegar
-2 tablespoons of baking soda
-Several drops of tea tree or eucalyptus essential oil
-Enough water to fill the bottle
Pour ¼ to a ½ cup white vinegar in a spray bottle and add 2 tablespoons of baking soda. Put in a few drops of your chosen essential oil and then fill the bottle to the top with water.
Give it a good shake and let it settle before using. Test for color-fastness if you are using it on fabrics.
We got by for a long, long, time without hardcore cleaners, and I personally don’t think they are good or necessary. I think a home should be clean, but I don’t think it should be sterile. Otherwise we’re just ending up short term spraying nasty chemicals into our environment, and long-term weakening out immune systems and creating resistant strains of bacteria. Not to mention making your own cleaner is cheaper, easy, and incredibly satisfying.
P.S. Make sure to take a look at the Everyday Roots Book with 350+ pages of the best home remedies, natural beauty recipes, homemade cleaners and diy household products. View Remedies
By Claire GoodallClaire is a lover of life, the natural world, and wild blueberries. On the weekend you can find her fiddling in the garden, playing with her dogs, and enjoying the great outdoors with her horse. Claire is very open-minded, ask her anything 🙂 Meet Claire
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I was just wondering if you have a recipe for a spray that’s ok to use on granite and marble? We recently redid our kitchen and bathroom and now we have more natural stone around. The kids accidentally knocked over my jug of vinegar and well it seeped into my tile (one of those rare times they let us take a nap) and kind of ruined a little section of the floor. So, I’m a little scared to try any natural cleaning recipes that contain vinegar.
Any help/information you can give me would be most appreciated. Thanks!
I am so happy that I found your website and will be using it a great deal. I am a type 2 diabetic and have allergies so I have a lot of problems with store-bought cleaners, etc. I am looking forward to not having those reactions from the store-bought cleaning products any more. When I was a child I had asthma and was allergic to the medicines they used for it. I almost died from very small doses of the shots and the pills. My mother used a Rexaire (Rainbow now) sweeper that collected the dust and dirt in a water pan. When I would get an asthma attack she would put warm water in the water pan and add a few drops of eucalyptus and menthol essential oils. She would let the sweeper run and the fumes would make it easier for me to breathe. So I know how much good the oils can do. Thank you for providing your wonderful website.
Hi there. I’m from Canada and love your site. It’s very informative and I’ve tried several of your recipes which actually work great.
I’m wondering where you purchase (or make) the great stickers on your bottles like the spray bottle you used for the all-purpose cleaner.
I have used this cleaning solution to clean/ disinfect my hamster’s cage! It’s a good alternative to bleach or a heavy duty chemical cleaner, especially when it’s being used to clean the housing area of an animal. It helps not just clean, but aids in eliminating the urine order in his cage!
Can I use this on my bedding? Would love to use this as a dust mite killer!
This recipe works great. I was using another recipe for all natural cleaner but this one seems to do a better job cleaner stains. I just tried it in my bathroom. Cleaned great and has a nice smell to it as well. No vinegar smell.
i just have a quick question: can I put both the eucalyptus and tea tree oil in the bottle, or is it better to use one or the other? Perhaps it’s a silly question, but I’m still learning about essential oils… ☺️ Thank you!
Yes, you can
Hello! I want to make this cleaner with my brownie troop. How long does it last for? Can the girls each make a batch to take home and use as needed? I wasn’t sure because I know that the vinegar and baking soda will react quickly.
I agree with your comment about not needing sterile environments; I am not sure eliminating all bacteria is good thing. I just want to make sure that people know using baking soda and vinegar mixed together in a spray bottle is not going to yield anything but a chemical reaction leaving pretty much salty water behind. The oil will still help you clean but then why not just mix essential oils, a touch of soap, and water? Or just a spray bottle of vinegar vodka and some lemon oil? These would all be superior and worth you time to mix and will be ph stable and retain their cleaning power long after they are mixed.