flower designed spray bottle on counter top

Natural Homemade All-Purpose Cleaner (That Actually Works)

Purchasing and using commercial store bought “All-Purpose” cleaners to clean around your home can be dangerous to your health and the environment. There are many harsh chemicals in most commercial household cleaners so it might be best to steer away and create your own cleaners. This all-purpose formula is free of  toxic chemicals, fake perfumes, and it actually works!  Plus it’s inexpensive. It’s a win-win. 

Why Make Your Own Natural Cleaner?

Simple Answer:

Its easy to make, saves you money, works just as good, and its free of poisonous chemicals.

Important Note:

For this product we use borax as my main ingredient. Now, there is some debate about borax and if it’s safe to use in household cleaners. If you don’t agree with borax being safe then you can leave it out or use a natural concentrated cleaner such as Branch Basics in its place.

All-Purpose Cleaner Ingredients

What you will Need:

1 teaspoon Borax

1 teaspoon liquid castile soap

½ teaspoon natural washing soda

Essential oil of choice: (one way: use 4 drops lemon and 8 drops orange)

1 glass spray bottle

How to Make The All-Purpose Cleaner

  1. In your glass spray bottle place the borax, natural washing soda and liquid soap.
  2. Add 2 ½ cups of warm water
  3. Add your drops of essential oils of your choice.
  4. Screw on your bottle lid and shake contents together.

Use as needed on your counter-tops, around the bathroom, and for wiping down shelves where dusts accumulate. The combination of lavender and mint essential oils smells great too. 

Some All-Purpose Cleaning FAQs:

Concerned about making your own formula and want to make substitutions? Listed below are some common concerns and questions regarding the all-purpose cleaner recipe.

Is Washing Soda the Same as Baking Soda?

The answer is no, but they are similar. Washing soda is sodium carbonate and baking soda is sodium bicarbonate in chemical term. Washing soda is considered non-toxic and is more effective in this recipe. 

Is This Cleaner Considered a Disinfectant?

Technically no, but most household messes don’t usually need a disinfectant. This product should be used to wipe down your cabinets, shelves, counter tops, and floor. The essential oils may have disinfectant properties but are very mild. It’s not recommend using this product to clean up dirty dishes, contaminate cutting boards or near food. To clean your contaminated cutting boards and dishes use a disinfectant such as a natural dish soap.

Why is Vinegar Not in The Recipe?

First off, vinegar is considered an acid and would cancel out the washing soda cleaning power because it’s a base so the whole formula wouldn’t be effective. Also, the vinegar un-saponifies the liquid soap leaving a stringy residue when wiping down surfaces.  Next, vinegar is not an effective degreaser or well all-purpose cleaner. Vinegar is good for cleaning windows like in this  window cleaner recipe.

The Main Ingredient, Borax

There is a debate if borax is safe to use or not around your household. If you want to omit borax from this recipe, you can use a food grade alcohol or completely omitting.

The Expiration Date

This formula will last for about 4 months. Keep in a dry cabinet with your other cleaning supplies.

Why Store in a Glass Bottle?

Plastic is not eco-friendly and can contain chemicals, so it’s prefered to use glass.  Also, if you use a citrus essential oil such as lemon or orange in this formula, over time the plastic will start breaking down. Plastic will also break down if kept in a warm environment. If this occurs, the chemicals in the plastic will commence into your formula. Sticking to a glass bottle is a better idea for this all-purpose cleaner. Store in a dry, cool place along with your other DIY natural cleaners.

Do you make any DIY household cleaners? Please share below

cleaning supplies in plastic tub

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