In a world where lots of us are looking to live a bit simpler, making your own eco-friendly all-purpose cleaner at home is one way to jump into it.
With store shelves stacked full of cleaning stuff, most with chemicals and smells that make you wrinkle your nose, the idea of mixing up your own cleaning magic using everyday items is catching on. It’s not just about getting things clean – it’s about doing it in a way that’s good for your home, your wallet, and the planet.
Here are two DIY eco-friendly all-purpose cleaner recipes – one using essential oils and one without.
After the recipes, I’ll list some benefits of switching over to a DIY cleaner like one of these.
DIY All-Purpose Cleaner (With Essential Oils)
- 1 cup distilled white vinegar
- 1 cup water
- 1 tablespoon baking soda
- 10 drops tea tree essential oil
- 10 drops lemon essential oil (optional for a citrusy scent)
- 10 drops lavender essential oil (optional for a floral scent)
- Combine Vinegar and Water:
In a mixing bowl, combine equal parts distilled white vinegar and water. Vinegar is a natural disinfectant and helps break down grease and grime.
- Add Baking Soda:
Sprinkle the baking soda into the vinegar-water mixture. Baking soda acts as a gentle abrasive and enhances the cleaning power of the solution.
- Add Essential Oils:
Add 10 drops of tea tree essential oil to the mixture. Tea tree oil is known for its antibacterial and antifungal properties, making it an excellent addition to an all-purpose cleaner. For a refreshing scent, include 10 drops of lemon essential oil or choose lavender essential oil for a calming, floral aroma.
- Mix Thoroughly:
Stir the ingredients well to ensure the baking soda dissolves, and the essential oils are evenly distributed throughout the mixture.
- Transfer to a Spray Bottle:
Pour the mixture into a clean, empty spray bottle using a funnel. This makes it easy to apply the cleaner to various surfaces.
- To Use:
- Shake the bottle well before each use to ensure the ingredients are properly mixed.
- Spray the eco-friendly all-purpose cleaner directly onto surfaces such as countertops, glass, kitchen appliances, bathroom fixtures, or any area that needs cleaning.
Wipe and Clean:
- Wipe the sprayed surfaces with a clean cloth or sponge.
- For tougher stains or greasy areas, let the solution sit for a few minutes before wiping.
Note: This eco-friendly all-purpose cleaner is safe to use on most surfaces, but it’s always a good idea to test a small, inconspicuous area before applying it to an entire surface.
DIY Eco-Friendly All-Purpose Cleaner (Without Essential Oils)
- Citrus peels (from lemons, oranges, or a combination)
- Pine needles or pine twigs
- Distilled white vinegar
- Prepare Citrus Peels and Pine:
Collect the peels from citrus fruits (lemons, oranges, or a mix) and gather pine needles or twigs. Citrus peels provide a fresh, uplifting scent, while pine adds a natural, earthy fragrance to your cleaner.
- Combine Citrus and Pine with Vinegar:
Place the citrus peels and pine needles or twigs in a glass jar. Fill the jar halfway with distilled white vinegar, ensuring that the peels and pine are fully submerged.
- Let it Infuse:
Seal the jar and let it sit in a cool, dark place for at least a couple of days. The infusion process allows the vinegar to absorb the natural scents from the citrus and pine, creating a fragrant cleaning solution.
- Strain the Mixture:
After a few days, strain the mixture to remove the citrus peels and pine remnants. Use a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth to ensure a smooth, residue-free solution.
- Dilute with Water:
Mix the citrus-pine infused vinegar with an equal amount of water. This dilution ensures that the cleaner is gentle enough for a variety of surfaces.
- Transfer to a Spray Bottle:
Using a funnel, pour the diluted citrus-pine cleaner into a clean spray bottle. This makes it convenient for application on different surfaces.
- To Use:
- Shake the bottle well before each use to distribute the infused scents.
- Spray the eco-friendly all-purpose cleaner directly onto surfaces like countertops, glass, and various household items.
Wipe and Clean:
- Wipe down the sprayed surfaces with a clean cloth or sponge.
- For tougher stains or grime, allow the solution to sit for a few minutes before wiping.
Note: The longer you let the citrus peels and pine infuse in the vinegar, the stronger the natural scent will become.
By utilizing citrus peels and pine for fragrance, you create a DIY all-purpose cleaner that not only cleans effectively but also leaves a delightful, natural aroma in your home. This eco-friendly alternative reduces waste by repurposing citrus peels and brings the invigorating scents of citrus and pine into your cleaning routine.
Why use a DIY cleaner instead of a store-bought one?
Reasons to Make Your Own Eco-Friendly DIY All-Purpose Cleaner:
- Reduced Environmental Impact:
Creating your own cleaner means fewer plastic bottles and chemical-laden products in landfills, contributing to a reduction in environmental harm.
- Cost-Effective Solution:
Homemade cleaners often utilize common household items like vinegar, baking soda, and essential oils, making them a budget-friendly alternative to store-bought options.
- Healthier Indoor Environment:
By steering clear of harsh chemicals found in commercial cleaners, you create a healthier indoor environment, reducing exposure to potentially harmful substances for you and your family.
- Customizable Scents:
Crafting your own cleaner allows you to experiment with different essential oils, creating a signature scent that aligns with your preferences and enhances the overall cleaning experience.
- Versatility in Use:
An eco-friendly DIY all-purpose cleaner is versatile and can be used on various surfaces, from countertops and glass to bathroom fixtures, simplifying your cleaning routine with a single, multi-functional solution.
- Minimalist Living:
Making your own cleaner promotes a minimalist approach to cleaning supplies, eliminating the need for multiple products and streamlining your cleaning arsenal.
- Educational Value:
DIY cleaning engages you in the process of creating household solutions, fostering a better understanding of the ingredients used and their impact on the environment.
- Reduced Packaging Waste:
Homemade cleaners often come in reusable containers, reducing the amount of packaging waste generated compared to single-use plastic bottles.
- Empowerment and Control:
Taking charge of your cleaning routine empowers you to make informed choices about the ingredients in your cleaner, giving you greater control over what comes into your home.
- Positive Contribution to Sustainability:
By embracing the practice of making your own eco-friendly cleaner, you actively contribute to the global movement towards sustainable living, making a positive impact, one homemade cleaner at a time.