Homemade All Purpose Cleaner

Have you been wondering if you can make your own cleaners? I wondered that too and I’m happy to report that yes, you can make your own cleaners, they work great, they’re inexpensive, and they’re eco-friendly too.

For almost a year now I’ve been using a really basic homemade cleaner of equal parts vinegar and water. It works really good, but even with some essential oil mixed in for fragrance it still has a vinegar smell to it. Hubby likes to walk through a room when I’m cleaning with my mixture and mutter “Yummmmm . . . Pickles” (Yeah, he’s kind of a smarty pants).

That’s why I’m liking this new mixture I’ve been using. It’s so simple to make and works great on a lot of surfaces without the smell of vinegar filling the room. I’ve used it on painted walls, my stovetop, to give the sink a quick cleanup, on the kitchen counter, the kitchen table, and on the bathroom surfaces. It really is all-purpose!

This recipe uses borax which can be found on the laundry aisle of most grocery stores. If you’re like me and love to make Homemade Laundry Soap, you’ll have some borax around already. The other ingredients are water, vinegar, and liquid dishwashing detergent which are basic items that are always on hand in most households.

Homemade All Purpose Cleaner

Homemade All Purpose Cleaner

Update Jan, 2019: Click here for my updated version of this cleaner with some new improvements – – > Updated Easy Homemade All-Purpose Cleaner

2 Tablespoons Borax (crush out any lumps so it is nice and powdery)
2 Tablespoons White Vinegar
2 Cups Hot Water
A Squirt of Liquid Dishwashing Detergent
Spray bottle (16 oz size or larger)

Put the 2 tablespoons of borax in your spray bottle. Add the 2 tablespoons of vinegar. Let it set for about 5 minutes to let the borax dissolve. (This is why you want your borax free of lumps before you put it in the bottle). Next pour the 2 cups of water into the spray bottle. Finally, add a squirt of dishwashing detergent. Shake gently to mix.

A Few More Notes About Homemade All Purpose Cleaner

  • You may want to mix the borax and vinegar in a small bowl first so that you can stir it around a little to help the borax dissolve.
  • You can also substitute a liquid soap like Dr. Bronner’s castile soap in this recipe
  • Add about 15 to 20 drops of essential oil to the mixture if you would like some fragrance. You can also get fragrance in the mixture by using a scented liquid soap.
  • A higher quality spray bottle will probably have a little filter on the bottom of the plastic hose going up to the spray nozzle. This is really helpful if you do still have any little tiny lumps of borax that did not dissolve. I tried this recipe first with a cheapo bottle from the dollar store and it clogged.

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  1. I read somewhere that vinegar and castile soap should not be mixed because it cause the soap to react which counter acts the purpose of using it. Have you heard about this?

  2. Tried this cleaner yesterday and I’m loving it. Works really well in my kitchen and bathroom and will be using this from now on. Thanks so much for sharing.

  3. I have heard, but not tried, that Vodka is a good window wash solution. We don't drink it, but i'd heard it made flaky pie crust, so i have some. May have to try it soon.

    I use mostly vinegar/water for cleaning, and i'd tried some essential oils, too, but like your husband, i missed the “clean” smell. I LOVE Young Living's Thieves' Oil Cleaner. It is expensive, but the bottle i bought has lasted me 2+ years. I don't use much, just enough to cover the vinegar smell of my home made stuff. It doesn't have the same, clean, pine scent, but i especially love the clove oil scent – my “new clean” smell. ๐Ÿ™‚

    BTW, i had read some time ago that Windex kills ants. So i tried my vinegar cleaning solution. Wonderful! Kills them quickly. We treat the outside of the house with diatomaceous earth (and it works great!), but if some get in the house, the vinegar does the trick.