Best Homemade All Purpose Cleaner

8:57 AM

I have been wanting to use homemade cleaners for a long time now....but considering that JR did most of the cleaning, it was ultimately his decision :) Well since I have started doing a lot more cleaning, I decided it was time. I searched through tons and tons of recipes and I tried a few out. It seems that there are a few basic recipes with hundreds of variations. They include similar ingredients but there are a few stand out ingredients in each type. Type 1 usually involved borax and liquid soap. Type 2 usually involved baking soda or washing soda with vinegar. Type 3 involves Vinegar period.

I don't have borax and I didn't want to leave any soapy residue (no matter how minimal) on my counter tops because I do a ton of food prep straight on the counter--so Type 1 wouldn't work for me. I love baking soda so initially I tried Type 2. The problem that I had was that any area where the cleaner wasn't wiped fully or any area of drips would dry leaving a white film of the baking soda. Which is not really cool with me :) See, because vinegar and baking soda cause carbonation added to the fact that I am using a glass bottle means that I got drips out of the sprayer. On to type 3... this one worked perfectly for me.

You may be asking yourself, "Why would I even want to make my own cleaner?!" Well, Its WAY cheaper and you aren't exposing your family to harmful chemicals. I would say those are pretty good reasons. We are still using some store cleaners, but I figure the less the better. Why use those chemicals when the ingredients in your kitchen can do just as good of a job. Did you know that Vinegar is a natural disinfectant? A 5% vinegar and water solution has been proven to kill 99% of bacteria, 82% of Mold, and 80% of germs/viruses (source). And this solution is 50% vinegar! So on to the recipe.

½ water
½ Vinegar
1 tbsp of rubbing Alcohol
20 drops of essential Oil (optional)
UPDATE: My batch was 2.5 cups total. 

It's that easy. The essential oils add a lovely scent but also gives your cleaner extra boost. There are a bazillion essential oils out which ones should you use???  Lemon, Lavender, Tea Tree, Peppermint, Clove, Eucalyptus, Purification, Thieves, Rosemary, Pine, Cinnamon--just to name a few.  You can use just one or a combination. For my cleaner I used Peppermint and thieves.  (5-10 drops of each). It smells perfect for the holidays--makes me feel all warm and inviting.  You can use other essential oils to make it smell yummy or use them in combination with one of the oils above. I love that you can personalize the scent to suit the season or your preferences.

Update: I use Young Living Essential oils. Which have made a world of difference. For more info--check it out here.
Other Cleaning tips:
  • If you have extra stubborn areas you can use a little baking soda to do the job. 
  • Castile soap does wonders for the tub and sink. (I just put a little on a washcloth and the yuck just melts away).  I'm sure you could dilute it in a spray bottle, but I haven't gotten that far yet.  
  • I use fresh lemon juice in my Enamel cast Iron dutch ovens to get the stains out. Just apply, let it sit and scrub away. 

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