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How to Make Your Own Natural All-Purpose Cleaner

10:18 AM MST
The links in the post below may be affiliate links. Read the full disclosure.

All Purpose Cleaner

Do you like the idea of making your own simple homemade cleaners with natural ingredients?  Then try this easy vinegar spray! Grab an empty spray bottle (you can also buy empty bottles on and pour equal parts distilled white vinegar and water. It’s perfect for the kitchen counters and everyday cleaning.

vinegar spray hip2save

Essential oils are a great way to disinfect naturally and they smell amazing! For this spray, I’ve added just a few drops of both Tea Tree Oil to disinfect and Lemon Grass Oil.  Both of these scents together smell super clean and refreshing.

lemon grass oil hip2save

 Simple Natural Cleaner Hip2Save

Do you like cleaning using essential oils and natural ingredients? What types of cleaners do you make?

Written by Lina for Hip2Save. Lina is a proud mom of 2 small kids who loves photography, all holidays, cooking, thrift store makeovers, bargain shopping, and DIY makeovers. Her goal is to create a beautiful life and stylish home on a dime!

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  • Mommy Mags says:

    We make our own, and I also make one for the road. Oregano oil will kill MRSA and E-Coli on contact.

  • lauri schultheis says:

    Vinegar can harm natural stone, so be cautious if you want a cleaner for counters/floors/showers with natural stone.

  • candy says:

    Sorry for hijacking the thread, but is there a problem with mobile app sign up? I’ve been trying to sign up for it for more than 2 mos now, but I am not receiving any notifications or any signup confirmation..

  • Brittany says:

    I’ve done this, but I have found my favorite natural cleaner is a mixture of water, Dr. Bronner’s and borax (yes, I know there is controversy on the safety of it, but my conclusion is that it is fine in my cleaner). I just ran out, so I thought I’d give Mrs. Meyers a try this time. Neither of these options are technically as “natural” as the vinegar and water one, but I’m good with a small compromise.

    • Kari says:

      I love Mrs. Meyers! I used to make my own natural cleaner like the one listed but my husband HATED the smell. No matter how much essential oil I added the vinegar smell still lingered. Mrs. Meyers lasts a long time too since you only use about 2 tbsp per 32 oz water.

  • Julie says:

    I make my own as well. For the holiday season I added cinnamon bark oil, it smells so festive!

    • Julie says:

      I make my own laundry detergent, all purpose cleaner, stain remover, dishwasher detergent, fabric softener, glass cleaner & bath/body scrubs.

      • SK says:

        Julie! Please share your laundry detergent, dishwasher detergent and fabric softener recipes. I would SO SO APPRECIATE it. I’ve tried a few and they just aren’t working. Would love yours. *Hugs*

        • Evelyn says:

          Julie please share! I’ve used the vinegar and water in a spray bottle for years and I love it. It’d be great to learn of more natural cleansers to be used at home.

        • Shanna says:

          About how many loads are you getting outof your laundry detergent and fabric softener ?

          • Julie says:

            The laundry detergent you only use 1-2 tablespoons per load. I use the lid from the Purex Crystals to measure, you fill it from half full to full. I wash a lot; at least one load per day and it lasted me around 9 months last time. I really don’t know how long the fabric softener lasts, I only use it in loads of sheets & towels.

        • Julie says:

          Fabric Softener: 6 cups very hot water, 3 cups white vinegar, 2 cups any hair conditioner; mix well in a gallon container.

          Dishwasher Detergent: 1 1/2 cups baking soda, 3 cups washing soda, 1 cup sea salt, 12oz container lemi-shine. Combine all in an airtight container. Use 1-2 tablespoons per load. Keep in a VERY dry place or it will clump up. For rinse aid I pour vinegar into the dispenser.

          Laundry Detergent: 3 bars Ivory Soap (prepped in microwave; see below), 1 55oz box Arm & Hammer washing soda, 4lb 12oz box borax, 4lb box baking soda, 1 container of purex crystals (optional). You can also add a box of oxyclean but make my own and add it in as needed (see below).

          Prepping Ivory Soap: Pop 1/2 bar of soap into the microwave on top of a large piece of wax paper. Microwave on high for 2 1/2- 3 minutes (you will open the door before time runs out :) When the bar of soap turns into a huge mass of fluff stop the microwave. Be careful it will be hot in spots! When its cool put all the fluff into a bowl & break it up by hand (I use a cheapo food processor to break mine up).

          DIY Oxyclean: 1 cup water, 1/2 cup peroxide, 1/4 cup baking soda, 1/4 cup washing soda OR you can skip the water and pour the peroxide & baking soda directly into the wash with your laundry soap and wash as usual.

          There are many versions of each but these work best for me….

          • SK says:

            AWESOME!!! Many, many Thanks. Your a sweetheart.

          • Julie says:

            I forgot to add my FAVORITE of all cleaning products…dusting cloths…

            1 cup vinegar, 1 cup water, 1 tsp olive oil, 1 lemon rind (any citrus works), microfiber rages cut into 2-4 sections, 2 glass jars w/lids or 1 glass jar and an old clorox wipes container. Mix the vinegar, water, and olive oil together in the glass jar. Soak the rags in the solution. Ring out the rags until damp dry. Alternate the rags and rinds inside the clorox container or glass jar and seal the lid tightly. Take out a rag and dust away! The rinds will last a long time in the container thanks to the vinegar :) My least favorite chore but truly my favorite DIY cleaning product.

  • Bridget says:

    Vinegar+a dirty tub= SPARKLING TUB!

  • Renae says:

    We’ve done this for maybe about a year now. I tend to use either tea tree or peppermint oil (just because I love the smell). It’s great to have on hand and cleans just as well (and safely). You can also put a few drops of tea tree oil in your regular shampoo and its supposed to help keep lice away!!!
    We also love our homemade foaming handsoap.

    3/4 part distilled water
    1/4 part Castille Soap (any scent)
    put in a reused foaming hand soap container (Bath & Body?!)

    you can also add essential oils such as tea tree, peppermint, or lavender. Super easy and cheaper :)

    • Lynne says:

      I also refill my foaming hand soap….I’ve been doing 1/8 dish soap and the rest water. Will have to try the Castile soap next time.

      • jenn says:

        That is the same ratio I use with my castile soap in the foaming soap dispenser. 8 ounces water + 1 ounce castile soap fills up one container. :D

  • Lynne says:

    I’ve been doing this since I was pregnant with my first, scents really started to get to me, so looked into more natural cleaners. Now 5 years later this is almost all I use to clean with. My bathrooms I use vinegar and dawn dish soap. My 4 year old can ‘help’ clean without me worrying about her ingesting something accidently.

  • crystal@Atlanta says:

    a much needed break from all these awesome deals and spending money now I can do some DIY projects ;-) I also use vinegar in my rinse cycle It’s great!!

  • Rachel says:

    There’s also a great mason jar recipe for orange vinegar, which at full strength will disinfect well… Fill a jar with vinegar and the peel from several oranges. Leave for one week… It will infuse the vinegar with the orange oil! Put into spray bottle or pour onto sponge to use. Much nicer than a vinegar smell and cheaper than essential oils :)

    • jenn says:

      I do that too. Sometimes I use lemon and lime peels when use the rest for juice. It really decreases the vinegar smell, and super cheap! :D

    • Erin D. says:

      My friends once turned off the power to their property at the circuit breaker when going on vacation, so the electric gate couldn’t be opened (for added security). They forgot they had a frozen turkey in the freezer in the garage. After a summer week that turkey smelled RIPE and ruined the freezer. The only cleaner they found to get the smell out was Orange Oil. Nothing else worked.

  • Pam says:

    Not all essential oils are the same. Getting them from the health food store etc are cut and make with synthetic fillers. They will have no “medicinal” kill or benefit and can actually be harmful. Ive been using essential oils for years and only use young living ones. They’re pure plant and work. My kids and the husband and I are never sick and we don’t go to the dr period. They’ll be a bit more expensive then these other perfume grade oils (that will smell exactly the same) but will actually last longer and have the effect they’re supposed to. I did chuckle at the strep kit the other day. Don’t waste money on that if you’re using the correct EO you’ll never have problem with needing that. If you have a question feel free to email me

  • Linda says:

    I am loving this post and the comments. We’ve been using homemade detergent for several months now and am dabbing with homemade cleaners. I was shocked at how amazing Dawn dish soap and vinegar cleaned the soap scum off my glass shower doors. I am allergic to fragrance which makes me a big fan of natural products. Thanks for the post and everyone for sharing their comments.

  • jen says:

    I tried the vinegar solution (didn’t add any smell good oils). Every time i’d use it my boys would say, “our house smells like salt and vinegar chips”, Haha, “do we have any?”. I went back to my lysol solution:/ better smell for me.

  • michellini says:

    We use essential oils every day too from doterra.. I use them with vinegar in my wash and throw and old sock with a nice smell like lavender in the dryer.. No more chemical Downey for us

  • Beth says:

    How long does the vinegar, water, and tree oil solution keep? I have been using it for awhile, but I have always wondered if it loses effectiveness after a certain amount of time.

  • Milk Allergy Mom says:

    Collin, you need to let Lina use the cloths I sent you. ;) I’m all about homemade but water is even better and cheaper! :) you know I love you guys, keep up the great work!!!

  • Milk Allergy Mom says:

    Thanks for the recipes! I only need cleaners for clothes, dishes, and in the toilet. Gonna try some of these!

  • Olivia Lane (@itsolivialane) says:

    Awesome! I use mostly homemade cleaners and vinegar based ones are my favorite! I love the photos with this post. Beautiful! Lemongrass EO sounds fab. I’ve gotta get some. Hope you’ll visit my green living blog. Hugs!

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