Are you looking for an easy swap for your all purpose cleaner with ingredients you can actually pronounce? Or are you looking to spend less at the grocery store? In this post we will share several recipes for easy DIY all purpose cleaners and a DIY disinfectants as well as cost breakdowns.
**This post contains affiliate links. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn advertising fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated websites.
Moving towards a more natural or holistic lifestyle can become expensive and overwhelming. Once I started researching ingredients and toxic chemicals found in the household cleaners I was buying from the grocery store, I basically wanted to throw my entire house away and start over. It almost caused me to enter a depressive state. I was paralyzed with fear- not only for what I was putting in or around my body, but my child’s body. I want to encourage you to start slow. Start with the easy stuff and go from there. If you throw too much on your plate at once, it can cause a lot of anxiety which ultimately can cause strain on your physical well-being. One of the easiest places to start is making your own natural cleaners. Homemade cleaners only take a few minutes to make, it’s much cheaper and will last you a very long time.
DIY All Purpose Cleaner Ingredients
I love using vinegar and I keep several gallons of white vinegar on hand, always. I add it to my laundry, we clean chicken eggs with it and I use it in several of my all purpose cleaner recipes. It’s great for cleaning mirrors and glass, it’s a natural deodorizer and even removes hard water stains and soap scum- with that being said, vinegar is not the best disinfectant. Because of this, we add citrus peels and/or alcohol.
For our disinfectant spray, we use Everclear due to its high alcohol content (95%) and low expense. It is also free of color and fragrance so we don’t have to worry about stains or obnoxious smells. You can also mix 1 part Everclear to 1 part water and use it as an odor neutralizer and disinfectant on furniture, mattresses, etc. When choosing a product- keep in mind that you want it to be at least 190 proof for it to be the most effective.
Citrus peels, specifically lemon, have been found as an effective anitimicrobial against several bacteria including salmonella. So I started saving/ freezing the peels of our oranges, grapefruits and lemons to add to my vinegar cleaning solution. The peels also received bonus points because they add a nice citrus scent to the cleaning product!
Several years ago I started making my own castile soap. I love that it contains simple ingredients and does not cause skin irritation. It is so versatile and can literally be used to clean ANYTHING. Body, hair, house, laundry… etc. I am a huge fan and plan on sharing my recipe and all things castile soap in a future post. Stay tuned- I may even add some to our shop. If you don’t have time to make your own, I love that this brand is organic, non-gmo, vegan and palm oil free!
If you’re big on having fragrance in your cleaning products, you can add a few drops of your favorite essential oils. If you want extra antibacterial properties try using lemon essential oil or eucalyptus essential oils. Tea tree oil is another favorite I keep on hand. Recently, I did a deep dive into researching the best essential oils. It was necessary that they be organic, non-gmo and cost friendly. I stumbled across a brand called Cliganics– I am NOT an affiliate for them- I just love what they stand for, their price point and that they are available on Amazon! I have ordered directly from their site and can confirm that their shipping is speedy.
DIY All Purpose Cleaner Recipes
DIY All Purpose Spray
- White distilled vinegar
- Glass spray bottle
- Filtered water
- Citrus Peels
- Large jar with airtight lid
- **Optional: Pine needles
Fill a large jar (I like to use a half gallon mason jar with plastic lid) with citrus peels and/or pine needles. Cover with white distilled vinegar and cover with lid. Allow to sit for 1-2 weeks making sure to give it a good shake every 1-2 days. After a week or two, fill your glass spray bottle with equal parts vinegar mixture and water. My spray bottles hold 2 cups, so I use 1 cup of the mixture to 1 cup of water. If you aren’t a fan of the vinegar scent try adding 10-15 drops of essential oils. I use this homemade cleaner recipe for my mirrors for a streak-free finish or a quick clean up of sticky messes. It is safe on almost all household surfaces and contains only natural products.
**I will be using a combination of prices from our local walmart and what I have linked to amazon.
Once you have purchased your glass spray bottle, the only ingredient you are really paying for in this recipe is the vinegar. Distilled white vinegar at our local Walmart is $3.34 for a gallon. At this price point, the mixture for this DIY all purpose cleaner costs approximately $0.21 unless I add essential oils. Citrus peels can be collected as you use your oranges, lemons, grapefruit, etc instead of throwing them away or composting.
DIY All Purpose Disinfectant
- Alcohol of your choice (at least 190 proof)
- Filtered water
- Glass spray bottle
- All purpose vinegar spray described above
- **Optional: essential oils
In a glass spray bottle add 1/2 cup 190 proof alcohol, 1/2 cup vinegar solution and 1 cup water. You may also add 10-15 drops of essential oils for added fragrance or antibacterial purposes. Shake gently. This is my go-to natural cleaning recipe for areas such as bathroom surfaces.
Locally, I paid approximately $20 for 750mls of Everclear. For this recipe I used about $3.15 worth and about $0.10 worth of vinegar. Before adding essential oils, which are optional, the total for this DIY all purpose cleaner comes to $3.25.
Castile Soap Cleaning Spray
In an 8oz glass spray bottle add 1.5 cups water and 1.5 tablespoons of castile soap. You can add 10-15 drops of essential oils as well. Shake gently before each use.
Since the glass spray bottle is a one time purchase and essential oils are optional this DIY all purpose cleaner costs approximately $0.50 in castile soap.
All of these homemade cleaning recipes only take a few minutes to throw together. The best part is you know exactly what you are putting in them and can rest assured they contain no harsh chemicals. There is also no hidden or undisclosed ingredients. Get creative with these diy cleaners and make them your own. Try using different essential oil combinations. Pour any of these recipes over a paper towel and you have your very own cleaning wipes. For tough messes you can use baking soda in conjunction with any of these DIY all purpose cleaners.