By Ashley Roe, Contributing writer
I haven’t bought commercial household cleaners for a few years. Instead, I have been making my own using just a few simple ingredients.
What I love best about DIY cleaning recipes, is that they usually require ingredients I already have or can use for many things and they aren’t toxic like most commercial products. Plus, you can save money too! What’s not to love about living healthier without breaking the bank?!
I have been making this easy powdered laundry detergent (click the link for a recipe plus a free printable) for a few years now but it has taken me a while to find a great all purpose cleaner. I have tried multiple recipes to find one that I like best. Many of the recipes I have tried worked okay but didn’t seem to clean as well I would have liked.
I’ve been using this super simple all purpose cleaner for almost a year now and have been very happy with how well it works. I use it for just about everything.
Simple All Purpose Cleaning Solution
Amounts will vary depending on the size of your bottle. Amounts below are what I use for this 8 oz spray bottle.
- Add about two tablespoons castille soap to empty spray bottle.
- Fill half way with peroxide.
- Add 15-30 drops of essential oils.
- Fill the rest of the way with warm water.
- Do not shake but tip bottle upside down a few times to mix.
- Now you’re ready to get cleaning!
Obviously, you just use this like any other cleaner, spray and wipe off. However, I wanted to share it’s multiple uses, so here is what I use it for:
- Kitchen counters: Spray and wipe! Easy peasy.
- Stove-top: Depending on what you cooked, you may need a little elbow grease but still works great for me.
- Sinks: No special instructions, just spray and wipe clean.
- Microwave: Spray on any messy areas and wipe off.
- Bathroom Counters: Same as other counters, spray and wipe.
- Mirrors: Again spray and wipe. Another reason I love this cleaner is that it doesn’t give me streaky mirrors like others I have used.
- Toilet: Just spray and scrub with a toilet brush then flush. It seriously works better than some toilet bowl cleaners I have purchased.
- Bathtub: Works for light cleaning but you might need something more heavy duty for harder to clean areas.
- Floors: It doesn’t work as a heavy duty mop solution but for a quick clean it does the job. Just spray on the floor and wipe with cloth or mop. I have a reusable cover for a Swiffer mop that I use.
Though I do use one cleaner recipe for just about every cleaning need around my home, I do have a few other ingredients that I like to use for some jobs. So before I get to the cleaner recipe, here’s a list of ingredients I like to keep on hand for cleaning purposes.
My Top Five Ingredients for Natural Cleaning
Essential oils are great in cleaning because many contain antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. Essential oils are also great because of their aromatic and therapeutic benefits. I use essential oils for many things like helping with mood, energy, skin issues and illness. One of my favorite uses for essential oils though is around my home.
Some of my favorite essential oils to use for cleaning are lemon, orange, tea tree (melaleuca), and a germ fighting blend (The name will vary depending on brand. This blend usually contains cinnamon, lemon, eucalyptus, clove and rosemary).
It is important to note that essential oils are very potent so a little goes a long way. They are not the same as fragrance oils so use with caution!
For more on how to use essential oils check out these post here on Young Wife’s Guide:
- Introduction to Essential Oils
- My Top 10 Favorite Essential Oils
- Essential Oils: Resources for Learning More
I use baking soda when a little scrubbing power is necessary. It’s also great for deodorizing as well.
Mostly I use it to clean the sink when it needs a little extra attention. I also use it in the garbage disposal and to help freshen smelly areas like the bathroom or near the garbage.
Another great use for baking soda is as a carpet freshener. Just sprinkle on the floor and let sit for 5-10 minutes then vacuum it up!
I don’t use vinegar as much anymore, but I use to use it as a main ingredient in my cleaning solution. I found that the smell was a bit too much and never got my bathroom counters clean enough as it seemed to leave a bit of a film. That could have been the other ingredients I had mixed with it, but either way I don’t use it in my regular cleaning.
However, I do still use it for some things, especially mixed with baking soda to create that fizzy reaction. This has been great for the garbage disposal and I am hoping to try it out on my tub and shower tiles soon.
Castile soap may be new to you if you don’t already make a lot of your own cleaning or health and beauty products. It’s a great natural option and has lots of uses. Here’s a great article by Live Renewed on the many uses of castile soap if you want to know more.
I have used it for a number of things but mostly as one of the ingredients in my simple cleaning solution. I believe that it is the main ingredient that has transformed the recipe I use and would not be without it! I got a small bottle for under $3 at my local health food store and have seen it at regular stores as well. It comes in a variety of scents but I have only used the lavender one so far since it has lasted me so long.
I know peroxide may not be at the top of your mind when you are thinking of cleaning supplies. You may be surprised that it isn’t just for cleaning wounds, it great for household cleaning too! It isn’t toxic like many other cleaners you will find but it still does a great job of sanitizing.
Peroxide is another ingredient in my cleaning solution, which is why I added it to my list. It seems to work much better than vinegar which is what I used before. I’ve also used it as a stain remover for clothes, sometimes mixed with a little dish soap.
For more uses of peroxide check out this post on hydrogen peroxide magic by One Good Thing by Jillee.
More Homemade Cleaning Resources
If you are looking for even more ways to clean your home naturally, here’s a list I put together of other homemade cleaning resources:
- Build a Natural Spring Cleaning Arsenal by Richly Rooted
- Cleaning With Natural Cleaners (also includes free printable) by Clean Mama
- Homemade Cleaners by iHeart Organizing
- 52 DIY Natural Cleaners by Money Saving Mom
- 66 Natural Cleaning Solutions by Real Simple
- Learn How to Make DIY Products for Your Home (The Simple Way) by Young Wife’s Guide