ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Homemade All Purpose Cleaner Recipe: A Natural, Safe and Effective All Purpose Cleaner for Your Home

Updated on February 25, 2013
The ingredients you'll need: white distilled vinegar, castille soap, tea tree oil & essential oil (optional).
The ingredients you'll need: white distilled vinegar, castille soap, tea tree oil & essential oil (optional). | Source

Clean your home safely and effectively with a homemade all purpose cleaner using vinegar, castille soap and essential oils. Here is the recipe and why you should use it.

I used to search for the latest and greatest in cleaning products. If I saw a commercial advertising an instant clean, I was on it. Did it change color? I wanted it immediately. A coupon for a cleaner I haven't tried yet? Yes, please. I shudder to think of the fumes I've inhaled in my desire to feed effective marketing. We all want clean houses, and we have come to believe the only way to kill germs and keep them away is to spray them with chemicals. But it's not true. There is a better way! It wasn't until I had a child that I really started looking for new and better ways to clean my home while keeping my family healthy and safe. As a bonus, I was helping the environment too! Will karma forgive me my past indiscretions?

Recipe for a Safe, Effective Household Cleaner

White vinegar has been a common household cleaner for decades (probably longer). But being a product of contemporary times and effective marketing online, on TV and on social networking sites, I did not know of it until a little over a year ago. Since then, I have used trial and error and this is what I have found works best for me and my family.

What you will need:

  • A spray bottle. Don't skimp on this. Go to Target or a hardware store and invest at least $3.00 in a good spray bottle for cleaning. I like a heavy duty one with spray options (stream to full coverage spray) since I will be using it a lot. I tried a bottle from the Dollar Store that only cost me a dollar, thinking "I just need it to spray" and that was a bad idea! You can find a good bottle in the cleaning sections of the store by the mops and brooms.
  • Distilled White Vinegar. I now buy this by the gallon at the grocery store and never pay more than $3.00 for the entire gallon. Do get the entire gallon! Vinegar has a million uses in the home. In fact, I think I've cooked with it only twice in the last year, but I have bought several gallons for cleaning and laundry.
  • Castille Soap. I prefer Dr. Bronner's soaps. I get several "flavors," though my preferred is lavendar. I also have used citrus, peppermint and almond.
  • Tea Tree Essential Oil. Only a little of this is used. It has antimicrobial properties and adds a pleasant scent.
  • Any other essential oil you might desire. I have played with lavendar and citrus to match the scent of my castille soap.

Ah... cleanliness. (This cleaner works to clean up floor spills too!)
Ah... cleanliness. (This cleaner works to clean up floor spills too!) | Source
  • Using water first, fill the bottle about 2/3 full.
  • Add a tablespoon of the castille soap.
  • Shake to mix.
  • Fill the remainder with vinegar (this should be 1/3 to the 2/3 parts water)
  • Add several drops of tea tree oil and if you choose, another scented oil.

The vinegar works against the castille soap and you may find that there are clumps of castille soap in the bottle. Shake it before each use. It is still effective and being used!

Additional Uses for Vinegar

  • Add vinegar to the fabric softener dispenser in your washer to soften your clothes without fragrant chemicals
  • Use vinegar to make a homemade powdered laundry detergent (recipe coming in a future hub - stay tuned!)
  • Use vinegar to help scrub metals that have become oxidized
  • Use it to eliminate odors from carpets by spot cleaning
  • Use it with newspaper to clean spots off mirrors and windows

What else do you use vinegar for?


  • Water & vinegar

I used to only use distilled vinegar and water, using about 50/50. This mixture still worked well, and the smell of vinegar dissipates over time as it dries. My husband, however, often wondered if guests would smell the vinegar and wrinkle their noses at it. I thought this was funny - cleaning with vinegar and water so frequently had got me used to associating the smell with CLEAN. I had to admit that is not the same for everyone!

The lavendar castille soap adds an added element of cleaning that I didn't worry about before. Vinegar cuts grease on its own. The castille soap just adds that little extra "elbow." The added hint of lavendar doesn't hurt either.

  • Water, vinegar & tea tree oil

As I mentioned above, the tea tree oil is naturally antimicrobial, which is great when you are cleaning up food messes and milk spills. But the scent is another great benefit! It effectively overpowers the smell of vinegar and though I do still associate the smell of vinegar with cleanliness, the minty scent of tea tree oil is far more convincing.

I'm about to clean my house. Do I really want the lung cancer that comes with it?
I'm about to clean my house. Do I really want the lung cancer that comes with it? | Source

Cost Benefits and Health Benefits

The cost benefit is immediately obvious. In our household, a bottle of this homemade all-purpose cleaner lasts a little more than a week. This is huge because I use it for everything:

  • the toilet
  • the bathroom sink
  • spills on the carpet (paint, food, juice)
  • coffee table
  • kitchen table
  • kitchen counters
  • stains on clothing
  • mirrors

Considering the cost of the vinegar is a mere $3, and several online shops sell the Dr. Bronner's soaps in 32 oz containers for about $16 (and I'm only using a tablespoon in this mix) and essential oils are anywhere from $4 - $10, one bottle of cleaner is about $1, maximum. With the ingredients already purchased, I can make several. But every ingredient can be used in different ways around your home!

And then there are the health benefits. I don't worry when I spray the stove and forgot our open container of leftovers is open beside it. The light mist that may have coated it is all edible. I also love that my toddler can help me clean and I'm not afraid it will get on his skin or damage his health! He loves to spray the coffee table at night and help me wipe it down - thanks to a homemade recipe using edible ingredients (in these diluted concentrations, of course), his help is fun and a learning opportunity, rather than the brawl it could be because I don't want him to risk harming himself while trying to help. It's a win-win!


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • BigSerious profile imageAUTHOR

      Christen Roberts 

      7 years ago from Harrisburg, PA

      I use it everyday!

    • profile image


      7 years ago from Bangalore, India

      it does work.. useful one..


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)