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 a fantastic 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
You will need:
2 cups warm water
1 tablespoon baking soda*
1 cup white distilled vinegar
3 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
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 the fizzing stops, transfer to a spray bottle.
4. Swirl gently before each use.
1. It’s essential you do the steps in the order provided, or the baking soda will react with the acidic ingredients and make a mess.
2. Do not use the recipe above on granite or marble. Use the one below.
*3. The baking soda is added solely for the purpose of providing a gentle scrubbing power. The vinegar neutralizes it, but since we’re using it solely for the abrasive properties, that reaction isn’t important.
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 beautiful, 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 when 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, you’ll find it cuts through greasy fingerprints on door jambs and appliance fronts, vanities, and light switch plates.
What 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
You will need:
1/2 cup 70% isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol (surgical spirits in the UK)
1 1/2 cup water
1/4 tsp. liquid dish detergent
Essential oils (optional)
1. Combine the ingredients in a spray bottle.
2. Shake gently before each use.
3. KEEP AWAY FROM FLAME!!!
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.