The first day of spring is right around the corner—it’s finally time to put away your winter clothes, get your POLYWOOD furniture out of storage, and, of course, CLEAN! Okay—I’m definitely looking forward to the first two over the last, but the tradition of spring cleaning is a necessity for some of us. It’s a little shocking when the sun finally comes out again to reveal all of the dust bunnies that collected all winter.
As I mentioned in my post Whipped Natural Body Butter, I like to use natural and, often times, homemade products for my day-to-day activities. Here is a recipe for a safe and effective all-purpose cleaner that’s free of harmful chemicals that can be found in many standard cleaning products. Happy cleaning!
Homemade All-Purpose Cleaner
- 12 fl oz distilled water
- 4 fl oz white vinegar
- ½ Tbsp Dr. Bronner’s Sal Suds
- 20 drops essential oils (single oil or a blend) – optional
Add water, vinegar, and essential oils to a 16 fl oz or larger spray bottle (use glass or aluminum bottle if adding essential oils). Add Sal Suds to the bottle and swirl gently to combine the ingredients. It’s important to add the Sal Suds to the bottle last to avoid creating excess bubbles.
To use: spray surface with cleaning solution and wipe off with a cloth. For more stubborn messes, allow the cleaning solution to sit before wiping the surface.
- Recommended Essential Oils:
- Tea Tree – disinfecting, antibacterial, antiseptic and anti-fungal — works well to eliminate mold and mildew
- Peppermint – antibacterial
- Lavender – relaxing — blends well with peppermint essential oil
- It’s always recommended to avoid plastic containers when using essential oils. If you’re not adding essential oils, a plastic spray bottle will do the trick. I reused a glass 16 fl oz Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar bottle and replaced the cap with a spray nozzle (most standard spray nozzles should fit).
- If you’re not fond of the vinegar smell, you can use an orange-infused vinegar to add a refreshing citrus scent to the cleaner. To make, simply place several orange peels (fruit removed) into a glass jar. Fill the rest of the jar with white vinegar and allow to soak for at least 2 weeks. Strain the citrus-infused vinegar and use in place of white vinegar in the all-purpose cleaner recipe. You can also dilute the vinegar (⅓ orange-infused vinegar and ⅔ water) to create a simple solution for light surface cleaning.
I’d love to hear of other natural cleaners you’ve used/made. Happy cleaning!