Homemade All-Purpose Cleaner

Making my own household cleaner is probably something I should have tried a long time ago.

Not only is it more affordable than most of the “natural” cleaners on the market, it’s also incredibly easy to make!

I’ve always assumed that anything I made at home wouldn’t be as effective as a something I could buy at the store, which is why I’ve hesitated making my own cleaner up to this point. I’ve also dreaded having my house smell like vinegar. Luckily, my sister-in-law is braver than I am, and started making her own all-natural cleaners when she became a mom. To my pleasant surprise, her home doesn’t smell like vinegar, and it’s just as clean– if not cleaner– than it was back when she was using the store-bought stuff.

This was the proof I needed to try it myself.

The following cleaner uses all-natural ingredients that you may already have in your house. It takes less than 5 minutes to make, and is just as effective as any other cleaner I’ve tried. Don’t be afraid of the vinegar smell, it will dissipate as it dries. Adding tea tree oil to the mix not only improves the overall scent, but it also helps kill bacteria, fungi, and viruses. Feel free to use it as you would any other multi-surface cleaner!

Homemade All-Purpose Cleaner
makes 3 1/2 cups


1/2 cup white vinegar
3 cups water
1/4 teaspoon tea tree oil (about 10 drops)*

Optional: 10 drops essential oil, for scent

*Note: 100% pure tea tree oil is toxic, especially to pets. As I understand it, it can be considered safe when diluted properly, using at least a 10:1 ratio of water to essential oil. This recipe errs on the safe side and uses 50 times more water, for a 576:1 ratio. 


In a 1-quart spray bottle, combine the vinegar, water and tea tree oil and shake well to combine. Add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to the mix, if you’d prefer a scented cleaner.

You can use this cleaner on any hard surface, such as counter tops, sinks, and floors. When used with a microfiber cloth, it will even clean your mirrors and windows without leaving streaks! (It will be streak-free after it dries.)

Happy cleaning!

Reader Feedback: Have you tried making your own household cleaners? Any other all-natural cleaning tips to share? I’ve been using baking soda to scrub my bathroom and kitchen sinks, and I love how shiny and new they look!

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Well, I made up this mixture and I must say that I LOVE IT!! I used it in the bathroom. For the inside of tub, sink, and toilet, I sprinkled in a some baking soda then sprayed with your homemade mixture. It didn’t require much scrubbing either. I also cleaned the bathroom mirror using newspaper and it cleaned GREAT! Even cleaned the walls! This stuff is AWESOME! I will ALWAYS keep this on hand.

I used tea tree and lemongrass essential oils this time. But I will be using other oils. I could go on and on about this cleaner. It’s No.1 in my book!

Cora Love

It is true that the moment when you become a mom changes everything. I was also hesitating to try home made cleaners for the same reasons like you – didn’t want my house to smell like vinegar and I couldn’t believe that the natural cleaners would be better then the ones from the shop. Everything have changes since the baby and now I am cleaning only with green products and the results are wonderful! I love to browse the Internet for new cleaning recipes! Thanks for sharing this! I would definitely try the recipes that I have never tried! 🙂

Kerry Johnson

Natural homemade cleaners are really great! I am a professional cleaner (http://ovencleaninggreenwich.com/) and I prefer using homemade cleaners because I understand how harmful the toxic cleaners could be, especially when a person is exposed to them everyday, like in my case! The recipe for your all purpose cleaner seems good and I will definitely try it out! Thanks for sharing!


is it safe to used on wooden floors


Thanks for the recipe! Our 8yr old contracted ringworm and so I will be adding the tea tree to my vinegar spray that I already use for daily upkeep in the shower, I’ve read tea tree is powerful for killing fungi.


Does anyone know if this cleaner would be a good Fungal cleaner for shoes also? Want to use it to spray inside shoes.


    For shoes if you add some tea tree oil to a cotton ball and place them.inside the shoes it should help with odor and fungi. I tjink it waa e to 5 drops.


      •I think it was 3 to 5 drops!!! Grammer issues….cell phone. Sorry!

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