Prior to making this cleaner I was using up some “green” cleaner made by Clorox, but I knew it wasn’t as green as something I would make myself. I’ve been moving toward using homemade products for cleaning and beauty as much as I can. This homemade all purpose cleaner is part of that movement.
This recipe is super simple and one bottle lasts a long while – coming from someone who cleans a lot. Here’s my recipe on how to make homemade all purpose cleaner. I’ll also include tips on how I use the cleaner, how to store it and why a vinegar cleaning solution is best for your home.
Homemade All Purpose Cleaner
Why All Natural Cleaner?
I started looking more into using and creating my own home cleaning products shortly after we adopted our rescue dog Lulu. I wanted our home to be safe for her, especially. Over time this awareness evolved to me wanting the home to be safe for adults as well, my husband and I.
Now that we have our daughter, I continue to be aware of what products we purchase and use for cleaning in our home. This homemade cleaner recipe remains relevant for anyone wanting to DIY or clean their home in a more green fashion. I have always purchased or used an all purpose cleaner for the countertops, tables and any other surface of the home.
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DIY All Purpose Cleaner Recipe
Homemade All Natural Cleaning Solution
It’s easy to make your own natural cleaner. First I will share the ingredients you need to make a vinegar cleaning solution, then I will share step by step directions on how to make the vinegar cleaning solution.
What you will need:
- White Vinegar
- Water (I use distilled water)
- Rinds of several citrus fruit (I used navel oranges)
- Spray Bottle (purchase new or reuse old)
- Small Funnel (optional)
- Labels (optional)
- Patience (about two weeks)
How to Make the Cleaner Step by Step
- When you eat citrus fruit simply save the rinds. Slice them into thin, long strips. Place the strips in an air tight container and cover them with pure white vinegar. How much? It really depends on how much cleaner you want to make. If you are looking to fill an old bottle with your new homemade cleaner, measure out enough vinegar to fill half the bottle. It is important to have a good vinegar cleaning ratio.
- Let this rind and vinegar mixture sit in a cool dark place for up to two weeks. Check on your rinds periodically. If you see them turning brown at all remove them and consider the mixture done. If not, wait the whole two weeks and then strain them from the mixture.
- Mix the vinegar/citrus liquid 50/50 with water. I used distilled simply as part of an effort to ensure my mixture won’t go bad sooner than I use it. Also, if you find the vinegar smell is too strong, you can use more water, too. Please note: Regular kitchen vinegar works you do not need a stronger or special vinegar for this all purpose cleaner.
- Add your mixture to a spray bottle and you are done. Please note: If you cut your rinds sloppy like me, you may need to strain the mixture through a small strainer or coffee filter to remove any rind debris you may see in the liquid.
Tips for Using Homemade Cleaners with Vinegar
Where do you use the homemade all purpose cleaner? Here are some ideas:
- Cleaning bathroom counter tops
- Cleaning the toilet seat and lid
- Spraying down shower doors
- Cleaning kitchen counter tops
- Please Note: DO NOT use vinegar on natural stone such as marble. The acid can corrode the stone.
Storing the Cleaner
When I made this cleaner it stored for me indefinitely. I recommend storing the cleaner in a cool, dark place. By using distilled water and sterilized equipment when making the cleaner, I think the shelf life of the cleaner can be extended.
I store the cleaner in the pantry in our kitchen. It’s sort of a larger cleaning closet and it has done well there. I also have had no issues with the storage bottle. Being this cleaner is vinegar-based it stores much like a container of vinegar in your home – for a long time! It is of course important to have the right vinegar cleaner ratio when you make this, so be sure to measure all ingredients.
All Purpose Cleaner Recipe
This recipe for homemade all purpose cleaner should help you create an affordable, easy to make cleaner to use in your home in all areas requiring cleaning. By making your own cleaner you can be aware of what ingredients you are using to clean your home and potentially provide a safer living environment for pets and children alike.
What is your favorite cleaning tip? Share in the comments!
*This post was originally published in 2014 and has been updated and republished for accuracy and comprehensiveness.