Homemade All Purpose Cleaner: A Simple DIY Recipe That Really Works

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Homemade All Purpose Cleaner

A homemade all purpose cleaner works well on all cleaning surfaces. This DIY all purpose cleaner is simple, natural, and it smells great!

“But do they really work?”

This is the question we most often hear from skeptics on the topic of DIY cleaning products. And it’s a tough one to answer. Some will be effective and some won’t because it comes down to the knowledge of the DIY-er.

Homemade All Purpose Cleaner That Works

While the process of making your own natural cleaners isn’t an exact science, there is some science to it. We recommend doing the following things to make sure you have cleaners that are really fighting germs, lifting stains, and getting things clean.

1) Begin with the proper ingredients.

Whether or not a natural DIY cleaner works effectively is dependent on how much you know about the ingredients you’re mixing together. Did you know that mixing vinegar with liquid castile soap causes a reaction that unsaponifies the soap, breaking it down into its original oils? You end up with a curdled, oily substance that looks like goopy cottage cheese. Instead of boosting your cleaning experience, this acid and base actually cancel each other out.

So how do you know what the right ingredients are for each recipe? That takes us to our next recommendation.

2) Learn from people with experience.

We have the time, experience, and resources to make a great homemade all purpose cleaner. Most people don’t, and for that reason, we did all the legwork for you.

There are several great ebooks, print books, and websites out there where you can get all the information you need to start making your own cleaners, without having to make all the horrible newbie messes and mistakes. And we wrote an entire book on how to make all your own cleaners (60+ recipes), and you can find it here.

3) Employ a little trial & error.

A little trial and error on your part may be necessary even once you have all the right recipes and ingredients. In fact, most who have done the legwork of creating a DIY all purpose cleaner don’t have fancy laboratories. They don’t have millions of dollars to fund product research and testing, so there are variables to deal with.

Hard water is one factor that makes a few DIY cleaning recipes tricky for some. This doesn’t mean that you can’t use homemade cleaners, but simply that you may have to tweak a recipe or two or use more of a cleaner than originally recommended. We always encourage people not to give up if a DIY cleaner doesn’t give results the very first time.

Practice makes perfect!

4) Tune out advertising.

I believe mainstream media is the biggest reason many people don’t believe DIY cleaners can actually work.

When the new Clorox campaign states that “Bleach means clean,” it’s no surprise that we doubt anything else could kill germs effectively. Yes, commercial cleaners may work, but they also introduce toxic chemicals into a home that you are working so hard to keep clean AND safe for your family.

Even some of the so-called natural cleaners contain chemicals you don’t want in your home. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) reminds us that, “Many manufacturers may tout a positive aspect of their product but ignore health or ecological concerns associated with other ingredients.” This means that even if you’re shelling out the extra bucks for a “green” cleaner, you’re not getting what you think, so you should be making your own so you can control the ingredients.

So when you’re working to reduce toxins and find a DIY all purpose cleaner that works, tune the media out. They might be selling you lies/half-truths, and trust what you know about simple, natural ingredients.

Put simply, no one cares about your family as much as you!

Natural All Purpose Cleaner

One of my favorite homemade All Purpose Cleaners is formulated with a few simple ingredients that I know are effective in cleaning household surfaces.

Hydrogen Peroxide (3%): This common medicine cabinet staple can kill bacteria, mold, mildew, and fungus. It is listed with the Environmental Protection Agency as a sterilizer. You can use it to disinfect all your surfaces in the kitchen and bathroom, remove stains, and even clean mirrors and stainless steel. I like to use it full-strength because it’s already diluted (3% hydrogen peroxide, 97% water) when you purchase it.

Note: Hydrogen peroxide is sensitive to light so it must be kept either in its original bottle (with an added spray nozzle) or transferred to another opaque spray bottle.

Essential Oils: Essential oils are volatile oils they extract from various parts of plants. In addition to their wonderful aroma, certain essential oils are known for their antibacterial, antifungal, antiseptic, and germicidal properties. I love adding essential oils to a DIY cleaner to further enhance its effectiveness.

Anything else? No. This is how you keep DIY cleaners really simple, cheap, and effective!

Enjoy this recipe.

Homemade All Purpose Cleaner

Homemade All Purpose Cleaner: Lavender Mint

5 from 1 vote

A homemade all purpose cleaner works well on all cleaning surfaces. This DIY all purpose cleaner is simple, natural, and it smells great!

Prep Time
5 minutes
Mixing Time
5 minutes
Total Time
10 minutes
16 ounces
Estimated Cost


  • Opaque spray bottle


  1. Combine all ingredients in bottle, attach spray nozzle, and shake to combine.

  2. For best disinfecting results, spray on surfaces and leave for several minutes before wiping clean.

Recipe Video

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Do you have a favorite homemade all purpose cleaner? Please share it in the comments!


About Betsy Jabs

Betsy holds a bachelor's degree in Psychology and a Master's degree in Counseling, and for nearly a decade worked as an elementary counselor. In 2011 she left her counseling career to pursue healthy living. She loves using DIY Natural as a way to educate people to depend on themselves to nourish their bodies and live happier healthier lives. Connect with Betsy on Facebookand Twitter.

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  1. Vanessa Reynolds says

    When you say $1 for 16OZ – where do you get your peroxide from please?
    I am in Australia and the peroxide I have found here about $8 for 500ml – which would make this product extremely expensive.