Homemade All-Purpose Cleaner

Originally Published on March 9, 2016. Last Updated on November 21, 2023.

The first day of spring is right around the corner — it’s finally time to put away your winter clothes, get your POLYWOOD furniture out of storage, and of course, CLEAN! Okay, I’m definitely looking forward to the first two over the last, but the tradition of spring cleaning is a necessity for some of us. It’s a little shocking when the sun finally comes out again to reveal all of the dust bunnies that accumulated during the winter.

As I mentioned in my post about making Whipped Natural Body Butter, I like to use natural and oftentimes homemade products for my day-to-day activities. Here is a recipe for a safe and effective all-purpose cleaner that’s free of harmful chemicals that can be found in many standard cleaning products. Happy cleaning!


Homemade All-Purpose Cleaner

  • 12 fl. oz. distilled water
  • 4 fl. oz. white vinegar
  • ½ Tbsp. Dr. Bronner’s Sal Suds
  • 20 drops essential oils (single oil or a blend) – optional


Add water, vinegar, and essential oils to a 16 fluid ounce or larger spray bottle (use glass or aluminum bottle if adding essential oils). Add Sal Suds to the bottle and swirl gently to combine the ingredients. It’s important to add the Sal Suds to the bottle last to avoid creating excess bubbles.

To use: spray the surface with the cleaning solution and wipe it off with a clean cloth. For more stubborn messes, allow the cleaning solution to sit for a few minutes before wiping the surface.  


Recommended Essential Oils:

  • Tea Tree – disinfecting, antibacterial, antiseptic, and anti-fungal; works well to eliminate mold and mildew
  • Peppermint – antibacterial
  • Lavender – relaxing; blends well with peppermint essential oil


  • It’s always recommended to avoid plastic containers when using essential oils. If you’re not adding essential oils, a plastic spray bottle will do the trick. I reused a glass 16 fluid ounce Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar bottle and replaced the cap with a spray nozzle (most standard spray nozzles should fit). 
  • If you’re not fond of the vinegar smell, you can use orange-infused vinegar to add a refreshing citrus scent to the cleaner. To make, simply place several orange peels (fruit removed) into a glass jar. Fill the rest of the jar with white vinegar and allow to soak for at least two weeks. Strain the citrus-infused vinegar and use it in place of white vinegar in the all-purpose cleaner recipe. You can also dilute the vinegar (one-third part orange-infused vinegar to two-third parts water) to create a simple solution for light surface cleaning.

I’d love to hear of other natural cleaners you’ve used/made. Happy cleaning!


5 thoughts on “Homemade All-Purpose Cleaner

  1. Thank you for this blog you post about cleaning tips. It is very helpful to me because my house is so dirty. It is important to maintain cleanliness at home to avoid bad odor that can harm your health.

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