I’ve been on a personal mission over the last 2 years to rid my household of all commercial cleaners and I’m almost there! This DIY all purpose cleaner is just the thing I needed to meet that goal.
When we moved into our new house, I wiped the slate clean. In the packing process, I left all my old cleaners out of the boxes (since cleaning the empty house was the last step anyway) and ditched them all at the curb on my way out. I brought only four store-bought cleaners with me to the new house–toilet bowl cleaner, laundry detergent, wood floor cleaner, and disinfectant wipes. These are the only things I haven’t replaced yet, but we’ll get there.
Out With The Old, In With The New
One of the first things I replaced was a disinfecting countertop spray in my kitchen. I threw out the old and replaced it with a vinegar based DIY version that is much healthier, way less expensive, and just as effective. I use it on my kitchen & bathroom counters, my black stove top (which is annoyingly streaky when ‘cleaned’ with anything but this spray), cabinets, appliances, mirrors, windows, table top and chairs, door knobs, light switch covers… You get the idea. It’s awesome for everything.
The great thing about it is that I use regular old apple cider vinegar so it’s non-toxic. Even if my kids got a hold of it, it would be no different than giving them a pickle (except the essential oils, but those aren’t even close to dangerous in the quantities we’ll be using). It’s so quick and easy to make that I mix up more the moment I run out, which is usually once a month in my four-person, large-kitchen, three-bathroom household.
If you find the smell of vinegar to be too strong for you, you can dilute it with more water or more oils but I spent lots of time achieving the right balance of cleaning power and mild scent for my vinegar-hating husband so I hope it works for you too.
DIY All Purpose Cleaning Spray
1/3 cup vinegar, apple cider or white (apple cider is less pungent)
1 2/3 cups tap water
20-30 drops of Essential Oils (My favorite combo is 15 drops Cleaning, and 5 drops each Lemon and Grapefruit)
Combine all ingredients in a clean 16 oz spray bottle and label clearly. Shake before each use.
One note about the glass spray bottle: It’s not totally necessary. I only recently switched from a plastic spray bottle, which I picked up at a local big box store, to the amber glass bottle pictured here. I used the plastic bottle with no noticeable issues for about a year, but three reasons made me switch. First, essential oils can actually deteriorate plastic containers over time, meaning it won’t last forever and likely won’t be reusable for another purpose down the road. Second, the oils lose some of their potency when stored in a clear container and exposed to sunlight. Probably not a huge issue considering how quickly I go through this stuff, but something to keep in mind. Lastly, glass is a renewable material, as opposed to plastic, so I can either repurpose the bottle later or recycle it. For those reasons, I finally sprung the extra few dollars for the glass bottles and I won’t go back!
That’s it! Enjoy your streak-free shines and unassaulted hippie sensibilities.
Blessing upon blessing,
p.s. If you have suggestions for natural replacements for any of my four crutch cleaners, do tell! Let me know in the comments and thanks for reading.