This homemade all-purpose cleaner is non-toxic and inexpensive. Use it to remove grime, grease, and dirt from almost every household surface. It’s safe for use on wood, stone, metal, ceramic, plastic, and washable fabric surfaces.
When using any cleaning product, it’s important to remember that cleaning and disinfecting are not the same thing. So, if you use an all-purpose cleaner on very germy surfaces like kitchen sinks or toilets, you’ll need to follow it with a disinfectant to kill germs.
Homemade All-Purpose Cleaner Spray Recipe
Makes 16 oz.
You will need:
- 2 cups warm water
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon liquid dish soap
- 3-5 drops of pet-safe essential oils (optional)
- Add all ingredients to a spray bottle and gently swirl together to combine.
- Apply directly to household surfaces and wipe with a damp microfiber cloth. For most surfaces, there is no need to rinse.
- Store unused cleaner in a cool, dry spot. Discard after 1 week.
What the Ingredients Do
Understanding the role of each ingredient helps you decide whether and when to change things to suit your personal preferences.
Soap and water
It’s tempting to reach for potent cleaning products in the belief they’ll do a better job keeping our homes healthy. However, according to the CDC, soap and water are enough to clean most surfaces. Stronger solutions contribute to indoor air pollution that can irritate allergies and asthma.
So, this homemade all-purpose cleaner puts soap and water to work around the home to help you clean without damage. There is no need for a fancy soap with antibacterial properties or oxygenating action. Although Castile soap is great for cleaning many things, I do not recommend substituting it in this recipe since it is oil-based and may leave a film. If you choose to use it anyway, you might need to rinse surfaces to remove any film left behind.
Baking soda (known as bicarbonate to UK readers) is a safe, natural, and inexpensive way to deodorize surfaces. In this homemade cleaner, it also provides mild abrasion to help lift sticky or crusty messes without damaging household surfaces.
Adding essential oils to this all-purpose spray recipe is optional. Some, like tea tree or lemon, can add some disinfecting power but may pose a danger if you have dogs or cats. So, be sure to use essential oils that are safe for pets. And remember, no matter what essential oil you add to your homemade all-purpose cleaner, you still need additional disinfection for bathroom or food preparation surfaces.
💌 Join My Free Daily Cleaning Series
These quick emails are the “secret sauce” to taking your home from tidy to truly clean — or rediscovering your cleaning motivation if you’ve lost it under the clutter.