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Homemade All-Purpose Spray Cleaner (Non-Toxic Recipe)

Make this homemade all-purpose spray cleaner with just three ingredients and two minutes’ time. It’s simple to make and good for the environment. This cleaner eliminates toxic cleaning products and works for your whole home. It’s gentle but powerful, perfect for all your cleaning needs, from the kitchen and bathroom to the living room and more.

A woman measuring ingredients for a homemade cleaning spray.

Why I Love Homemade Cleaners

Homemade cleaners are a better choice than store-bought options full of harsh chemicals. They are gentler on your skin and the air, help the environment and save you money.

By making your own, you control what goes in them (like the potency and scent). So, you can clean your home safely with easy-to-make products that are kind to nature.

I’ve been making homemade cleaners for years, including my homemade glass cleaner, homemade cleaning paste, this disinfectant spray and even a DIY all-purpose cleaning powder.

How to Make All-Purpose Spray Cleaner

To make your own all-purpose spray cleaner, you just need a few things: water, distilled white vinegar and essential oils. You can easily find these at the store or through Azure Standard.

Josh and I have been purchasing from Azure Standard for over twenty years now. I will only buy distilled white vinegar from them because their solution is 11% vinegar (store-bought brands are only 5%). So, for any recipe that calls for regular distilled white vinegar, you can actually cut the amount in half. That means for every gallon of vinegar I purchase from Azure, I’m actually getting two gallons worth.

Furthermore, I can trust that my vinegar is made from non-GMO crops and never from petroleum. Beyond that, Azure Standard has a special deal for first-time customers! If you place a qualifying order of $50 or more and use coupon code “HomesteadingFamily10” you’ll receive 10% off your order.

Ingredients for homemade non-toxic cleaners on a wooden counter.

Ingredients & Supplies Needed

As I said, only three ingredients are needed for my homemade all-purpose spray cleaner:

  • Water – If you are using your cleaning spray within a couple of weeks, you can use regular tap or filtered water. However, if you want this recipe to have a longer shelf-life, use distilled water. It doesn’t have impurities or minerals, unlike tap water.
  • Distilled White Vinegar – White vinegar is key for homemade cleaners. It’s a great disinfectant and deodorizer. Because of its acid, it fights bacteria well. You can use it on many home surfaces, but not on delicate ones like marble. It’s cheap, good for the environment, and can take the place of a lot of store-bought cleaners. (Source)
  • Essential Oils – Essential oils come from plants and are very strong. They can make your homemade cleaners smell nice and add a boost of extra cleaning power. For example, tea tree oil fights germs, and citrus oils cut through grease. Always check if an oil is safe before using it. Some oils are harmful to pets.
  • Glass Spray Bottle – I like to use glass cleaning bottles to eliminate more plastic in the home. They’re easy to clean, reusable and the perfect size to hold in my hand. (Learn more ways to have a zero-waste home here.)
  • Funnel – Having a funnel will keep spills and messes from happening!
A woman measuring ingredients for a homemade cleaning spray.

Essential Oil Options

Essential oils are a great way to improve your homemade all-purpose spray. They’ve been used for health benefits, in cosmetics, and to improve mood. Including them in your cleaning routine adds a boost of natural cleaning power.

  • Tea Tree Oil – Tea tree oil, also called melaleuca, is a go-to for homemade cleaners. It’s natural and a strong disinfectant. It’s been known to fight off bacteria, fungi, and even viruses. A few drops in your cleaner can make it more powerful against germs and smells. But remember, it can irritate the skin and be toxic to pets if too concentrated.
  • Citrus Oils – Lemon, orange, and grapefruit oils add a nice, clean scent. They’re not just about fragrance, though. These oils break down grease and kill germs. So, they boost your DIY cleaners’ performance. Lemon oil, powered by limonene, fights grease and dirt. Orange oil works similarly and leaves an uplifting scent behind.
  • Germ-Fighting Blends – There are also many germ-fighting blends. They’re known for their virus and bacteria-fighting oils. It usually includes a combination of lemon, cinnamon, eucalyptus, clove, and rosemary. This blend of essential oils will level up your cleaner’s germ-killing ability.
A woman measuring ingredients for a homemade cleaning spray.

Step-by-Step Directions

  • Add all ingredients to a glass spray bottle.
  • Add the lid and give it a few good shakes.
  • Label and date the bottle and store it out of direct sunlight in a cool location.
A young girl cleaning a glass window with cleaner.

Uses for All-Purpose Spray Cleaner

Kitchen SurfacesThis versatile homemade cleaner is great for many kitchen surfaces. It’s perfect for countertops, sinks, and tile. Plus, it’s gentle but tough on grease and grime without leaving behind irritating residue. This cleaner is safe and non-toxic, making it perfect for food areas.
Bathroom SurfacesUse it on sinks, tubs, and showers to clean soap scum and stains. Its formula is kind to delicate surfaces but strong on dirt. This natural cleaner is a better choice than strong chemicals for a spotless bathroom.
Household SurfacesIt works on wood, glass, and mirrors too. No more streaks on your stainless steel or glass. For quick dusting, just spray on a cloth and wipe. With this DIY cleaner, your whole home can sparkle without harmful ingredients.
CAUTIONDo not use this all-purpose spray cleaner on natural stone. It can cause pitting on marble, granite and other stone surfaces.
A clear glass bottle with all-purpose cleaning spray.

Storage and Shelf Life

Making your own cleaning spray is great. But it’s key to store it right and know how long it will last. Use a glass bottle that seals tight to keep your spray fresh and distilled water to make your all-purpose cleaner last longer.

Depending on the water, your homemade all-purpose spray cleaner will last anywhere from 2-4 weeks (with regular tap or filtered water) or up to 3-6 months (with distilled water). Keeping your cleaners in a cool, dark place also helps.

FAQ

What are the main ingredients needed to make an effective homemade all-purpose cleaner?

To make an effective cleaner at home, you’ll need water, distilled white vinegar, and essential oils.

What are the benefits of using homemade cleaners over store-bought products?

Homemade cleaners are safer for your skin and lungs and air quality than most store-bought products. They’re also better for the planet, cheap to make, and you control their strength and smell. Unlike store brands, they don’t have harsh chemicals or fragrances.

Why is distilled water the best choice for making homemade cleaners?

Distilled water is best for DIY cleaners because it’s free from impurities. Regular tap water has bacteria and minerals that can cause your cleaner to go bad over time. This makes distilled water a key choice to prevent mold and keep your cleaner safe and effective.

What are the cleaning and disinfecting properties of white vinegar?

White vinegar is great for cleaning as it kills bacteria and gets rid of odors. Because of its acid, vinegar fights off germs, working hard on many surfaces in your home.

How can essential oils enhance homemade cleaners?

Essential oils add cleaning power and fresh scents to your DIY cleaners. For example, tea tree oil fights germs, while citrus oils cut oils and smell refreshing. Yet, always check the safety of essential oils, especially around children and pets.

What safety precautions should be taken when making and using homemade cleaners?

To stay safe, learn how to correctly use essential oils and keep your cleaners away from kids and pets. Also, always test new cleaners on a small spot first.

A woman pushing away common household cleaners for her all-purpose cleaning spray.

Check out these other common household products and their many cleaning uses around the home:

A woman pushing away common household cleaners for her all-purpose cleaning spray.

Homemade All-Purpose Spray Cleaner

Use this all-purpose spray cleaner and toss the rest of your toxic cleaners. This non-toxic option only takes three ingredients and two minutes of time. Great for all surfaces except natural stone.
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Prep Time: 2 minutes
Total Time: 2 minutes
Servings: 16 ounces
Author: Carolyn Thomas

Equipment

  • 1 16 oz. Glass Spray Bottle

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups water distilled is best
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar 1/4 cup if using Azure 11% vinegar
  • 10 drops essential oil

Instructions

  • Add all ingredients to a glass spray bottle.
  • Add the lid and give it a few good shakes.
  • Label and date the bottle and store it out of direct sunlight in a cool location.

Notes

* If using Azure Standard distilled white vinegar (11%), use half the amount of vinegar and increase the water by 1/4 cup. 
Tried this recipe?We want to see! Tag @homesteadingfamily on Instagram.
A man and wife smiling.

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