homemade all purpose cleaner

June 1, 2012 by Lauren

Homemade All Purpose Cleaner:

Essential Oil (optional! makes it smell better)

Are you ready for the super complicated instructions:
Mix together equal parts vinegar and water. We do half a cup of each and they fit lovely in our spray bottle. Then pour in 8-12ish drops of essential oil. More if you want it super smelly I guess…

And that’s it! Pour it in a spray bottle. We got ours at the grocery store. Harold E Butt’s grocery store. Also known as HEB. Ours is the Jewish one. Well, the store isn’t Jewish. But it’s in the middle of a very Jewish community and we have a huge kosher section and a kosher deli! And I always claim to friends that I see lots of Hasidic Jews with the long curly sideburns but then Josiah always points out that I actually never do. Just lots of matzo. Don’t believe me? Type in Jewish HEB in google. My HEB is the first that comes up. Ha! No, I’m not Jewish. But I love Jewish people! Ok, sorry for my HEB sidenote.

Use this awesome all purpose spray anywhere! I give it a little shake every time before I use it to remix the essential oil into it. This WILL smell like vinegar when you spray it, but when the vinegar dries, it won’t smell. We mainly use it in the kitchen but you would use it on bathroom counters and in the tub. Vinegar is AWESOME for killing germs and bacteria! And it’s not bad if your kids get ahold of it like those other yucky cleaners. And it’s so stinkin cheap. I got that massive container of white vinegar for like $2 at my Harold E Butt’s. (sorry. couldn’t help myself from calling it that again.)

Ok. Go clean. Not like I’m going to though. I’m at the shop making music playlists and other important things. Like thinking of all the different “themed” grocery stores out there. The east side Austin HEB has a huge row of just tortillas! Mine has like two options. Tell me about your themed grocery store please. I find them entertaining.

Officially done rambling.


  1. Danette says:

    I add one part rubbing alcohol and a few drops of dishwashing liquid. This has completely changed the way I clean.

  2. Natalie says:

    I go to the college-student-themed HEB. Which just means all chaos, all the time. And precut lunch meat options.

  3. Lauren says:

    :) Natalie that HEB is crazy!

  4. Missy says:

    @ Danette, you add 1/3 vinegar, 1/3 rubbing alcohol, and 1/3 water? Just making sure. Thanks ladies for the tip!

  5. My all purpose cleaner is just water with a few squirts of dish liquid. works great too.

  6. laura says:

    I will definitely have to try this. I HATE using the cleaners you buy from the shops, I’m sure it can’t be good for you to inhale them, I usually just hold my breath! Much better for the environment too, good job!

  7. Lauren says:

    Laura – yes, aren’t those cleaners yuck?! We’re trying to completely switch over to homemade ones.

  8. Ming says:

    I love this idea! I’ve never tried it with essential oil, I’ll have to give that a shot. We make our own laundry detergent, which is SUPER-easy and cheap! I’ve been using a recipe just like this one for about 3 years now, with great success: http://www.thesimpledollar.com/2008/04/09/making-your-own-laundry-detergent-a-detailed-visual-guide/

    It smells better if you add 10-15 drops essential oil.
    And I scrub my tub/stove/counters with a paste made out of baking soda and dish soap and a little water. Works as well as scouring powder, but won’t hurt the finish and doesn’t smell bad!

  9. Ming says:

    Side note: I miss HEB, used to go there when we lived in Texas, but Indiana doesn’t have them.

  10. Vanessa says:

    I did 1/2 cup vinegar 1/2 cup water and 4 drops of dish soap to clean my baseboards and windowsills- it worked great!

  11. Evonne says:

    I was just curious, have you tried anything other than the essential oils? Such as fresh lemon juice or vanilla extracts? Would these such things change the chemical balance of the cleaning solution too much?

  12. Lauren says:

    Evonne I haven’t used anything but I have some friends who soaked orange peels in vinegar for a week or two and then strained it. They love it!

  13. Nisa says:

    I love this, as soon as I get back from my trip, I’m going to make these :3

  14. Amanda says:

    I never really been a great cleaner, but im moving to a new place sooner and I am going to try and keep it clean all the time. Cant wait to try this cleaner, seems cheap!

  15. I love this. I am switching over to chemical free cleaning as well and feel so much better about what I am spraying around my kids! Thanks and keep the tips coming.

    Best regards! New Barnet Carpet Cleaners Ltd.

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