My Favorite Homemade All-Purpose Cleaner

The best part about this cleaner (other than the fact that it cleans just as well, if not better, than its store-bought counterparts) is that I can whip up a batch in literally seconds. Oh, and it costs under 30 cents per bottle once you have all 3 of the ingredients already on hand! I use this cleaner on my kitchen and bath counters, my ceramic cook top, and porcelain sink bowls.


Here’s the “recipe:”

  • 1/2 Cup Isopropyl Alcohol
  • 5-6 Drops Natural Dish Liquid (I use Seventh Generation, but you could also use Castille Soap)
  • 10 Drops Essential Oil (I like to use Tea Tree Oil in my kitchen batch due to its antibacterial properties and I use Lavender in the bathroom batch.)
  • Water

Just mix the alcohol, dish soap, and essential oil in a spray bottle and top to 32oz with warm water. It’s that easy! I find that it leaves my granite countertops super shiny and squeaky clean to the touch. Another major benefit is that it won’t leave you gasping for air while you inhale potentially toxic chemicals often used in conventional store-bought brands. You’ll find that the light scent of the rubbing alcohol mixed with whichever essential oil you use provides a clean, pleasing smell.  Enjoy!


Curative Cleaning

In my attempt to eliminate chemicals and toxins from my family’s diet, I have also realized the importance of minimizing or eliminating harsh, and often dangerous, ingredients from my cleaning cabinet. I highly recommend visiting the Environmental Working Group’s website to read about the products (and their ingredients) you are currently using and how they rate as far as safety for your family. I’ll admit that in addition to safety, I was also in search of a cheaper way to clean. Nowadays, there is a cleaning product for everything: floors, bathrooms, tile, granite, stainless steel, ceramic cook tops, glass, etc, etc, etc. This adds up to a lot of time, money, and space under your kitchen cabinet!  Oh, and this is not to mention all of the harsh and often toxic chemicals in those products. Here are the items that I am now using to clean just about anything:



For under $35.00, I have all of the cleaning ingredients I will need for cleaning just about anything in my house for a long, long time. The only thing that is missing from my arsenal is washing soda, which is used to make, among other things, laundry detergent. I’ll admit that I have so much conventional detergent in my laundry room (due to an unbelievable sale at my local grocery store two years ago) that will probably last me at least another year. After that runs out, I definitely plan on making my own!

I would like to point out that the biggest expense for me was the essential oils (about $20.00). I like to add them to the cleaners for their beautiful aromas as well as their antibacterial properties. If you don’t mind the smell of vinegar or rubbing alcohol, you could purchase all of the ingredients for under $15.00.  I also recommend having several microfiber cloths for counter tops, appliances, and furniture. For the baking soda powder, I recycle old grated cheese containers and for the other cleaners, I am using recycled Windex and kitchen cleaner bottles.  If you do this, please make sure to thoroughly soak and clean out the bottles or you may have a little chemical reaction when you add your ingredients!

Here is a list of some individual cleaning “recipes” that I have tried and found to be as, if not more, effective as their store-bought counterparts:


Granite Cleaner

It is very important to note that you do not want to use vinegar on granite or other stone counter tops. Vinegar is acidic and can create microfissures in your natural stones which can collect bacteria and eventually cause damage.

  • 1/2 cup Isopropyl Alcohol
  • 6 drops of natural dish soap (I prefer either Castille Soap or Seventh Generation)
  • warm water topped of to 32 ounces
  • 10 drops of essential oil of your choice (I am currently using tea tree oil for its antiseptic properties, but  thyme, lavender, or lemon would do the same)

Dusting Spray

  • 1 Tbsp natural dish soap
  • 2 cups water
  • 10 drops lemon essential oil

Toilet Bowl Cleaner

  • Spray bowl with vinegar
  • sprinkle baking soda all around and in the water
  • let sit for several minutes
  • scrub with a toilet brush and flush

Bathroom Tub and Tile

    Basic Cleaner

  • put some baking soda in a dish
  • add enough natural dish soap to make a paste
  • scrub the tile with a rag or sponge and rinse

    Mold and Mildew

  • Take 1 part hydrogen peroxide to 2 parts water
  • spray on grout
  • rinse

All Purpose Cleaner

  • 1/4 cup of vinegar
  • 1/8 cup of baking soda
  • a few drops of essential oil of your choice
  • top of with water to 32 ounces

Stainless Steel Cleaner

  • spray appliance with a water and vinegar mixture
  • wipe down with a microfiber cloth to remove any spots or caked-on debris
  • take a new cloth and pour a dollop of olive oil onto it
  • rub the oil along the grain and buff dry