Natural, Homemade All-Purpose Cleaner

Homemade All-Purpose Cleaner:

No need to try 409 different cleaner recipes–this one is fantastik!
Sorry, I couldn’t help myself.

This all-purpose cleaner is great at cutting grease and disinfecting, and we use it all over the house. We call it APC for short.

1/2 cup citrus vinegar (degreaser)
1 teaspoon Dr. Bronner’s Sal Suds
2 teaspoons baking soda (removes odor)
15 drops tea tree essential oil (antibacterial)
2 cups water
Learn about the essential oils I use and recommend.

Add everything to a clean, empty spray bottle. The vinegar and baking soda will fizz a bit, so don’t put the lid on right away! Once the fizzing stops, put the top on, shake gently to mix, and start cleaning.

“Now that’s all well and good,” I can hear you saying. “But prove it to me! I want to see it work!”

I can do that–but remember, you asked for it. Mom, avert your eyes.

This is the fan hood over my stove. I can’t see it (I’m only 5′ 5″) so it doesn’t get cleaned very often.
Natural, homemade all-purpose cleaner:

Lovely, yes? Somebody tell me their stove hood looks like this too. I’ll feel better.

Here it is after a healthy spritz of APC and a single swipe with a rag.
stovehood2Natural, homemade all-purpose cleaner:

Pretty awesome, huh? In comparison, here’s what soap and water alone can do. Not much!
Natural, homemade all-purpose cleaner:

Best of all, it’s safe to use. I wouldn’t want the kids to help if I was using conventional cleaners because of the chemicals and the smell. But when Little Peanut wants to help clean, I spritz some APC and let her scrub away!

Now if I could just teach one of them to mop…

This article was shared on Clever Chicks, Make Your Own Monday, Your Great Idea, Small Footprint Friday, Simple Lives Thursday, Thank Your Body Thursday, Fabulously Frugal Thursday, Unprocessed Fridays,, Party Wave Wednesday, Cast Party Wednesday, The Thrifty Home, and Wildcrafting Wednesday.



Subscribe to the BrownThumbMama newsletter and get my FREE guide to essential oils!


  1. says

    I am so pleased to find this recipe for all purpose cleaner via Thank Goodness It’s Monday. It’s just the thing I need to clean the dirty smudges on my walls and around the house. Thanks for sharing this! I am sharing it with my friends and followers as well.

  2. says

    Thanks for sharing! I’m always looking for natural, safer cleaning supplies. Some of the chemicals in store bought cleaners are frightening. Pinning this to try soon!

  3. says

    Just had to check out this one since I’m such a homemade cleaner type girl. I like the sound of it. Haven’t tried making a homemade all-purpose cleaner. Putting this one on my to-do list.

  4. says

    No, my hood doesn’t look like that. In fact, it looks ten times worse. And the top of my refrigerator -ugh! So I’m going to try this recipe on that. If it works, I’ll call it Super-Fantastik.

    • Cat says

      I learned a trick about the top of the fridge…after you clean it, put down a piece of plastic wrap! It’ll cling to the surface and you won’t see it. Every month or so (or if you’re like me, happen to think about it >’.'<), just pull up the plastic and throw it (and the dirt and grime) away!! The top is still clean from the last time…just put down a new piece of plastic! Easy peasy!

  5. says

    Thanks for sharing this information. It is always better to use natural products for cleaning purpose. There are several cleaning products available in market that are absolutely safe and contains no harmful chemical. One can use these cleaning products as per his/her convenience.

  6. says

    Ohh I am so excited to try this recipe. I need to get my citrus vinegar steeping. I knew I saved an old spray bottle for a good use! Thanks for sharing a great and safe recipe. It’s nice to know a cleaner is pretty safe especially when you have kids helping you clean!

  7. says

    I made this tonight and LOVE it. I started some citrus vinegar and it makes a big difference, I also used lemon and orange essential oils instead of tea tree and it compliments the vinegar nicely, I love it! I’m excited to clean:)

  8. says

    I was sceptical about this because I’ve tried a similar ‘recipe’ and found it lacking…however, this stuff is AMAZING! I don’t ever remember seeing my stove top so shiny (my stove top looked like your range hood….). It even cleaned the cast iron plates on top of the stove beautifully. Thank you! :-)
    My only issue is that it’s really heavy on the tea tree. Next time I might do half the amount of tea tree and add 7-8 drops lemon. :-)

  9. says

    This looks like a great recipe! I have one suggestion for those of you whose general cleaning involves granite, tile, or other natural stones. Vinegar may be too acidic and damage your stone over time. I substitute isopropyl alcohol in my APC and it works beautifully!

  10. Sal says

    wow sounds awesome, definitely trying this one :) don’t think it will last that long but any thoughts on if it has a shelf life?

  11. Lisa says

    Way cool mama. All the way around. Little peanut has a great mom I’m sure she’s proud of. Great to see u have her health in mind as well as a clean home for her to live. Hope her relationship with the Lord is being just as attended to as well. :)

    • says

      It’s a cleaner concentrate made with plant-based surfactants and natural fir needle and spruce essential oils, without any synthetic dyes, fragrances or preservatives.

Leave a Reply