How to Make a Natural All Purpose Cleaner

The desire to jump into making your own cleaners always starts with a moment: you’re cleaning the kitchen with your environmentally-friendly spray cleaner when you *gasp* reach the last spray. The kitchen is half cleaned and you have a perfectly good spray bottle ready to be recycled. You start to wonder if you could make your own cleaner (and save a few bucks)

Here are 5 great recipes for all purpose cleaners to get you started:

Begin with an empty spray bottle that’s ready to be recycled.

  • Recipe #1. Combine the following ingredients in the spray bottle and shake: 1 cup hot water, 1 teaspoon borax, ½ teaspoon washing soda, and 2 tablespoons lemon juice.
  • Recipe #2. For a deeper multi-purpose cleaner mix a gallon of warm water, ½ cup white vinegar, 1 cup of ammonia, ¼ cup baking soda.
  • Recipe #3. Add 2 teaspoons borax to your empty spray bottle. Fill with hot water and shake until the borax is dissolved. Once the borax has dissolved, add ¼ teaspoon liquid castile soap. (Note that if you add the soap before shaking, your spray will become foamy). Another tip: you can purchase scent-free castile soap, or pick a scent such as peppermint or orange for a fragrant all-purpose cleaner.
  • Recipe #4. Use the power of herbal oils to cut down on grease. This recipe works great in the kitchen, especially on stove tops and refrigerators. Mix the following in a spray bottle: 2 cups water, 1/8 cup vinegar, ¼ cup lemon juice, 6 drops of citrus seed extract, 4 drops of orange or lemon essential oil, and 1 teaspoon of borax. Shake well. Add 1 teaspoon liquid castile soap. (see our previous post about cleaning with essential oils)
  • Recipe #5. And for the most simplistic cleaner, fill your recycled spray bottle with equal parts water and vinegar. The acidic vinegar kills viruses, mold, and bacteria, so you can rest assured that your homemade cleaner is just as effective as any cleaner you can purchase, while being cheaper and gentler on the environment.

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    Catherine Brock

    As a Southern California transplant now living in the Midwest, Catherine has turned layering into an art form and accepted that UGGs actually do have a place in the stylish lady's wardrobe. She's been featured in Woman's World Magazine,, Refinery29, and has made appearances on ABC7 Chicago, FOX2News St. Louis, KCAL9 Los Angeles, Fox19 Cincinnati, WGN TV Chicago and WCPO TV Cincinnati.

    Blog Comments

    Awesome!!! 😀

    Are all these recipes created equal or is one better than the other?

    where do you find citrus seed extract?

    try a store like wholefoods or a natural food store

    Absolutely sharing this! Thnx

    Do you have to make these in small batches so they don’t lose their effectiveness, or is that not an issue?

    I like making my all-purpose cleaner with tea tree castile soap since my husband hates the smell of vinegar. It’s also great for cleaning marble and granite since vinegar shouldn’t be used on those surfaces.

    I bought some Borax to kill some ants (works great, btw!), so maybe I’ll try that first recipe out.

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