Natural All-Purpose Cleaner

Last updated 04/26/2020 | |

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This natural, all-purpose cleaner works great in the kitchen, bathroom, kids' rooms, and more. Skip the toxic chemical cleaners and make your own!

natural all purpose cleaner

No need to try 409 different cleaner recipes--this one is fantastik!

Sorry, I couldn't help myself.

Are you tired of coughing and choking when cleaning the kitchen...bathroom...shower? I sure was.

It seemed like every chemical cleaner I bought made my eyes burn. I couldn't use them in the bathroom without running the fan and opening the window because the smell made me nauseous.

Thankfully, after a bit of experimentation, I came up with this natural all-purpose cleaner recipe. It's great for cleaning all over the house (excluding marble or granite) and we use it just about every day.

Cleaning windows or mirrors? No problem. Make your own glass cleaner with 3 simple ingredients.

natural all purpose cleaner

clear glass bottle of cleaner in front of a wooden cabinet

Natural All-Purpose Cleaner

Yield: 16 oz.
Active Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Difficulty: Easy

Tools

  • 16 oz spray bottle
  • Small funnel

Instructions

Add all your ingredients to your spray bottle in the order listed. Label the bottle, shake gently to mix, and start cleaning.

Notes

This recipe calls for Dr. Bronner's Sal Suds instead of castile soap. There's an important reason for this.

Many DIY cleaner recipes mix vinegar and castile soap, but this is NOT a good idea. Here's why, according to the good folks at Dr. Bronner's: the vinegar will cause the castile soap to "unsaponify" and you'll have curds in your cleaner. Ick.

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Give it a try! You'll see that the combination of the vinegar, Sal Suds, and essential oil is amazing at cleaning and cutting grease.

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 on a rag and let her scrub away.

kid cleaning with natural cleaner spray

Now if I could just teach one of the kids how to mop...

modern white kitchen

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Pam

Hey, I’m Pam! I created Brown Thumb Mama to share my homesteading journey and help you live a greener life. Ready to learn more? Check out my Free Resource Guides, or my Shop to learn more.

25 Comments

  1. letha on January 18, 2019 at 10:33 am

    Question: I use a cap of laundry soap and half cup of white vinegar per load. Would a cap of this cleaner work as well?

  2. Kelsey Smith on April 24, 2015 at 2:48 am

    Thank you , I needed this today! I’m trying to switch to greener alternatives to the chemicals at home. I have two little girls and I want to do that for them !

  3. Laura Johnson on February 21, 2015 at 8:27 pm

    Would Bonner’s liquid castile soap work instead of Sal Suds?

  4. Siera Miller on February 13, 2015 at 5:38 am

    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!
    Best regards! Neasden Carpet Cleaners Ltd.

  5. sonja jackson on June 24, 2014 at 1:34 pm

    what is Dr Bonners suds. soap ?

    • Pam on June 26, 2014 at 8:32 am

      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.

  6. Lisa on June 21, 2014 at 5:20 pm

    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. 🙂

  7. Sal on December 18, 2013 at 3:17 pm

    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?

  8. Christina on December 16, 2013 at 2:10 pm

    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!

  9. Colleen on December 12, 2013 at 12:13 am

    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. 🙂

    • Veronica on December 12, 2013 at 2:15 am

      Will this work on glass shower screens?.

  10. Hannah@wholesimplelife.com on October 7, 2013 at 5:00 pm

    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:)

  11. Valerie on October 2, 2013 at 7:01 am

    Does citrus vinegar differ from regular vinegar?

    • Valerie on October 2, 2013 at 7:06 am

      Never mind….I see what it is now!!

  12. Hannah@wholesimplelife.com on September 28, 2013 at 5:39 am

    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!

  13. Catherine @ Happily Ever Crafter on September 26, 2013 at 5:52 pm

    That sounds like an awesome cleaner and super safe. I’m definitely pinning this!!

  14. Jonathan Smith on September 26, 2013 at 3:26 am

    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.

  15. CelloMom on September 26, 2013 at 2:45 am

    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 on October 7, 2014 at 9:10 pm

      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!

      • Pam on October 8, 2014 at 11:26 am

        Oh my gosh, I love that!

  16. Sharon on September 24, 2013 at 10:24 am

    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.

  17. Candace on September 23, 2013 at 11:30 am

    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!

  18. Deborah Davis on September 23, 2013 at 11:14 am

    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.

  19. Veronica Pawson on September 20, 2013 at 1:22 pm

    Where do I get Castile soap in the UK? please

    • Pam on September 20, 2013 at 2:02 pm

      Good question! I suspect you could get it on Amazon (it’s available on Amazon US).

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