Regular HWHT readers know I’m fanatic about using homemade mixes to replace commercial products whenever possible, so this homemade all-purpose cleaner has become one of the most-used tools in my cleaning arsenal. It costs just pennies to make, and you know the exact ingredients in it — something that can’t be said for the store-bought stuff. Plus, it delivers an amazing clean!
Now, when I say “all purpose cleaner” I mean it: I use this on just about every surface in my home. For those of you with granite or marble counters, there’s an acid-free formula below, too!
Homemade All Purpose Cleaner
- 2 cups warm water
- 1 tablespoon baking soda
- 1/2 cup white vinegar
- The juice of one lemon
- 5-10 drops lemon essential oil
1. In a non-metal bowl, stir the baking soda into the water until it’s completely dissolved.
2. Add the remaining ingredients in order. Stir constantly for 1 minute while foaming subsides.
3. Wait 2-5 minutes then stir again. Once there’s no fizzing, transfer to a spray bottle.
4. Swirl gently before each use.
- It’s important you do the steps in the order provided, or the baking soda will react with the acidic ingredients and make a mess.
- Do not use the recipe above on granite or marble. Use the one below.
Thanks to the vinegar, the lemon juice will not go bad. The combination of lemon juice and vinegar give this cleaner its germ-killing properties. It also leaves a lovely scent and a nice, streak-free shine. I like to keep a bottle of this stuff under my kitchen counter with a microfiber cloth for quick touch-ups. There’s another one in my guest bathroom where I can pop in to tidy things if company drops in.
This homemade all purpose cleaner is great to use in just about every room of the house. If you’ve been doing my daily house cleaning routine, or any of the other printable cleaning routines, you’ll find it cuts through greasy fingerprints on door jambs and appliance fronts, vanities and light switch plates.
What really surprised me, though, was how clean it left my kitchen table. Then I realized, the recipe for this homemade all purpose cleaner isn’t that different from what I use to remove sticky wax buildup from furniture. See, it really IS all purpose… except for granite. For that, use the following homemade mix.
Homemade Granite-Safe Cleaner
- 1/2 cup isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol (methylated spirits in the UK)
- 1 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 tsp. liquid dish detergent
- Essential oils (optional, see note)
1. Combine the ingredients in a spray bottle.
2. Shake gently before each use.
3. KEEP AWAY FROM FLAME!!!
Note on essential oils: The smell of the rubbing alcohol will fade quickly, but if you’d like to leave behind a fragrance then add 10-15 drops of essential oils. Some combinations I enjoy are: orange and sage; lavender and peppermint; orange and rosemary; or cedar and chamomile.
While this works fine on floors, I’d really recommend using a homemade cleaner for all flooring types instead.
Equipment I Use For This: