I have spoken before about wanting to rid my home of chemicals and as much plastic as I can. So for me making my own DIY all-purpose cleaner is a win-win situation. I know exactly what’s in it, I don’t have to leave the house and I keep it in a glass container. Now there is a plastic nozzle on the container, but realistically a glass nozzle ain’t going to work so well. But at least it will be reused.
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I have been making this cleaner for a long time, so this is now in the category of old faithful. That said the more research I do, the more I think I need to expand my cleaning game. So, for now, I will share this with you as I work on my new natural cleaning products (stay tuned).
So before we jump into the making of the DIY all-purpose cleaner let’s take a look at what it is good for and what it’s not. I mean let’s be clear, this cleanser is not going to cure world hunger, cure ebola or make you rich. What it will do is help you clean your home in a more natural way. It’s also not going to be the perfect cleaner for every cleaning task. But that’s a good thing because it means we get to make other DIY cleaning products. So yay!
So let’s take a look at the ingredients and why they are included in this cleaner. I mean we don’t want anything in there that doesn’t serve a purpose right?
Vinegar is an old-time cleaning product like your grandma probably swore by the stuff. If you want to try and recapture some of those vintage skills that we have lost today you’re in luck. Check out my post on 16 Vintage skills you should master. Vinegar (acetic acid to be specific) does work well as a disinfectant but also helps to cut grease and deodorize.
It is also good at tackling salmonella, E. coli and other bacteria that are “gram-negative”. Why? Well, the acetic acid kills the cells by causing a release of protons when it crosses the cells membrane. Which is good for us in our natural cleaning ventures. If you can try and get cleaning vinegar as it has a higher acetic acid content, 10% vs the usual 5%.
Currently, I am using Dawn dish soap in my recipe and people just love this stuff. Personally I love how they help wildlife. I also came across this post about loads of other uses of Dawn soap in your home in case you are curious.
Skip the Castille soap
Now if you are hip to the awesome cleaning power and multiple uses of liquid Castille soap you may be thinking, I’m going to use some of that hella good soap in this recipe. Please stop and abandon that thought. Now don’t get me wrong Castille soap is awesome and I plan to start making my own to use in my homemade cleaning products. That said I won’t be using it in this recipe. Why? I will tap into my soapmaking knowledge for this. Vinegar is an acid (ok you probably knew that) and Castille soap is a base. So if you combine these two things together some sh*t is going to go down. Not the good kind either.
Instead of leveraging the grime cutting benefits of vinegar and the cleaner power of Castille soap you will end up with a curdled mess. Why? Well, the acid in the vinegar is actually going to “un-saponify” the soap. Which is bad (but not at all dangerous), because saponification is how you make soap, so undoing that essentially undoes the soap. Soap is made up of oils and the vinegar is going to cause them to separate back to their original oils. If you want to make your own cold process soap, check out this post.
Why baking soda? Well, it helps us in our cleaning ventures in three main ways. Firstly, it is a mild alkali which means it can help to get rid of grease and dirt. Secondly, it provides a mild abrasive effect that can help to scour the surfaces we are cleaning. Thirdly, it has a neutralizing effect on odours, which is why you keep a box in your freezer and or refrigerator. Talking about refrigerators, check out my post on how to simplify your life and save money with an “empty” fridge.
Glass container (with nozzle)
I snagged a nice set of four 16oz glass bottles off amazon. They came with some replacement nozzles and caps which I liked. The set came with 3 clear and one amber bottle (which is perfect if you are using essential oils). I like using the glass bottles as it’s one more way to get plastics out of my home and unless you break them they are going to last a long time.
- Glass bottles with nozzles
- Measuring spoons
- Measuring cups
- Dish soap
- Baking soda
DIY All-purpose Cleaner
Ok so now it’s time to make some homemade all-purpose cleaner. Trust me this won’t take long. This really is incredibly easy.
The first thing to grab is your funnel and carefully add the vinegar and half of the water into the spray bottle. This will help to dilute the vinegar a bit before you add in the next ingredients.
Now you can slowly add in the baking soda. We don’t want to end up with a volcano science fair experiment on our hands. So as I mentioned, do this slowly!
Next, you can add in the dish soap and then the rest of the water. I don’t add all the water at the beginning with the vinegar as I try to leave room for any reactions between the vinegar and the baking soda.
That’s it, you’re done.
DIY All-Purpose Cleaner
- 16oz Glass spray bottle
- Measuring spoons
- Measuring cups
- 5 Tbsp Vinegar
- 1 Cup Water
- 2 Tsp Baking soda
- 1/2 Tsp Dish soap (I prefer Dawn)
- Using a funnel, add the vinegar and 1/2 cup of water to the spray bottle.
- Slowly add in the baking soda.
- Add in the dish soap and the remaining 1/2 cup of water.