Get my 2-ingredient recipe for homemade all purpose cleaner plus a free printable label.
This homemade all purpose cleaner is the final recipe that I'm going to be demonstrating at the Georgia Organics Conference. This was also the DIY cleaning recipe that convinced me to start making some of my own cleaning supplies at home.
You can find the bones for my homemade all purpose cleaner all over the Internet. Cleaning with a water/vinegar mix is nothing new. The change that I made was to accommodate my husband, who can't stand the smell of vinegar. It turns his stomach, and that's no good!
Update: I recently learned that acidic cleaners like vinegar can damage the finish on granite counter tops. See the link in the comments for deets. I use this cleaner on our butcher block, corian, and mica counters in the kitchen and bathroom with no problems.
Any vinegar-based cleaner is going to leave a residual vinegar smell that lingers for a few hours. Don't worry though - it will fade in time! The homemade all purpose cleaner that I use still has a bit of a vinegar smell, but it's tempered by the essential oil, and Dave finds it a lot more agreeable than the basic recipe.
My friend Julie over at Crafting a Green World also makes her own cleaning supplies, and she recently shared a tutorial that I thought was a fun variation on this idea. Instead of adding essential oils like in the recipe below, she infuses her vinegars with different fruits and herbs to boost the cleaning power and improve the smell.
Homemade All Purpose Cleaner Recipe
Ingredients and Supplies
- spray bottle - You can use an old one or buy a new one.
- white vinegar
- lemon or lemongrass essential oil (optional)
- paper and a printer (optional)
- Printable All Purpose Cleaner Label
- double sided tape and packing tape
1. If you're using an old spray bottle, clean it out. If the bottle used to hold all purpose cleaner, you don't even really have to clean it out.
2. Fill the bottle halfway with white vinegar, then top it off with water.
4. Add your essential oil. I am not specifying an amount here, because bottle sizes can vary. I used a 32 ounce bottle, and it took around 20 drops to get the smell that I wanted. Lemon oil is on the strong side, so I'd start with 10 drops, then add 5 drops at a time until it smells lemony enough for you.
5. If you want to use the label, download, print, and cut it out, then use your double-sided tape to attach it to the bottle. You don't have to go overboard with the double-sided tape. Just a couple of small pieces to hold it in place for a minute will work. Use strips of packing tape to cover the label, so it won't get damaged by any liquid it comes into contact with. The packing tape is optional, and if you decide to skip it you'll just want to use more of the double-sided tape to stick the label on securely.
6. Use just like store-bough all purpose cleaner!