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How To Make Your Own All Purpose Cleaner That Actually Works

There are three things that I look for in a surface cleaner: cheap, safe and, gets the job done. A DIY all-purpose cleaner is perfect for balancing out what you need and want in a cleaner.

RELATED: Natural Cleaning Products You Can Use To Deep Clean Your Home

The Ultimate Guide to Making Your Own All-Purpose Cleaner

The Right Cleaner for the Right Surface

1. Most Surfaces

cleaning spray on the kitchen shelf | How To Make Your Own All Purpose Cleaner That Actually Works | diy multi purpose cleaner

Being one of the most powerful cleaning ingredients, soap is able to clean off most dirt, grime, and grease. Since it’s diluted in water, it won’t leave any residue after being wiped clean. This recipe by Wife How-Tos yields an excellent cleaner that can clean almost any surface.

Materials:

  • Spray bottle
  • 2 cups (16 oz) of water
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon of liquid soap/ dish washing liquid
  • (Optional) 5 drops of essential oil (Check out the different essential oils and their uses here)

Combine all the ingredients and the spray bottle and shake. To use, spray on surfaces and wipe clean with a damp cloth (preferably, microfiber).

2. Stainless Steel

stainless steel pots and counter | How To Make Your Own All Purpose Cleaner That Actually Works | natural all purpose cleaner diy

Stainless steel is known to be rust and corrosion-resistant. Still, it’s important that they are maintained in order to make them last longer. This recipe by The Homemade Experiment works well for this surface. It even keeps your stainless steel surfaces from rusting! The key ingredient here is the vinegar that helps to dissolve iron oxide (red-brown marks) that form on stainless steel.

Materials:

  • Spray bottle
  • 2 cups (16 oz) of water
  • 1 cup (8 oz) of white vinegar
  • 10-15 drops of essential oil

Combine all the ingredients and the spray bottle and shake. To use, spray the cleaner on the surface and wipe clean using a slightly damp cloth. For particularly stubborn stains, let the mixture sit for a few minutes before wiping it clean.

3. Granite and Marble

granite counters | How To Make Your Own All Purpose Cleaner That Actually Works | wellness mama all purpose cleaner

Granite and marble are one of the popular stones used in decorating counter tops. As smooth as they are, it’s easy to leave streaks and residue if they aren’t cleaned properly. While the soap + water cleaner can be used to clean granite and marble, this alcohol cleaner can provide a shinier and sleeker finish. This recipe by The Nourished Life is an easy way to get the job done.

Materials:

  • Spray bottle
  • 1/3 cup (2.67 oz) of 70% rubbing alcohol
  • 3 cups (24 oz) of water

Combine all the ingredients in the spray bottle and shake. To use, spray the cleaner on the surface and wipe clean using a dry cloth.

Note: If you’re not going to use microfiber cloth, make sure you’ll be using soft cloth. This way, you’ll avoid scratching the smooth surface.

4. Wood

wooden table | How To Make Your Own All Purpose Cleaner That Actually Works | borax cleaner recipe

Wood surfaces need a bit more care in cleaning. Frequent washing may easily wear down the wood, making it brittle and less sturdy. Good thing there’s this recipe by Mom 4 Real. Since there’s oil in the ingredients, this all-purpose wood cleaner both cleans and polishes!

Materials:

  • Spray bottle
  • 2 cup (16 oz) of warm water
  • 1 tablespoon of distilled white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • (Optional) 10-15 drops of essential oil

Combine all the ingredients in the spray bottle and shake. To use, spray directly on the wooden surface and wipe clean with a dry cloth.

Note: You can use this for wooden floors too! Just make sure you wouldn’t be pouring too much of the cleaner on the floor, a little goes a long way.

5. Glass

roses by the window | How To Make Your Own All Purpose Cleaner That Actually Works | diy multi purpose cleaner

Cleaning glass can be frustrating, especially when you see the streaks being left behind. But it doesn’t have to be that way! This recipe by Better Homes and Gardens is an easy way to have a streak-free and clean window.

Materials:

  • Spray bottle
  • 1 cup (8 oz) distilled water
  • 2-3 tablespoons of white vinegar
  • 1/4 (2 oz) cup of rubbing alcohol

At this point, you know the drill. Combine all the ingredients in the spray bottle and shake. To use, spray on the glass surface and wipe clean with a thoroughly-wrung damp cloth.

Note: If you’re cleaning the windows, it’s important to take note of the weather. Whether that’s too hot or too windy, it will dry up the cleaner too quickly, resulting in streaks.

RELATED: Homemade Cleaning Products: What You Should Know Before You DIY

The Myths of Cleaners

If you’re going to make your own all-purpose cleaner, you’ll want to know if it’s actually doing something. You wouldn’t want to waste all that elbow grease on nothing now, would you?

1. All-Purpose Cleaners Clean All

All-purpose cleaners aren’t really used for everything. The more appropriate name for this is multi-purpose cleaner. While it can be used on almost every surface and remove most dirt and grime, you should still take note of its ingredients to avoid unwanted damages and maximize cleaning capacity.

2. The Baking Soda + Vinegar All-Purpose Cleaner

This is one of the most popular combinations when you search for homemade all-purpose cleaners. The truth is that you shouldn’t mix the two ingredients immediately.

When you combine baking soda and vinegar, a reaction takes place. And in cleaning, it’s the reaction that you need. Once the bubbling and the fizzing stops, so do the cleaning benefits. Read more about the science behind the cleaning reaction here.

3. The More the Essential Oils, the Better

When cleaning, it’s a plus to finish with a wonderful aroma. It’s even more wonderful if that aroma comes with antibacterial, anti-fungal, and antimicrobial properties. As tempting as it may be to add more drops of essential oils to your DIY cleaner than necessary, it isn’t advisable. Unhealthy doses of these oils may raise their toxicity levels. Read more on essential oil toxicology here.

But don’t let this deter you from having fun in choosing which scents you like. Balance is key!

Done cleaning? Watch this video by Emily Carmona to learn how to make a disinfectant spray and keep those bacteria at bay:

Most of the time, the reason why a cleaner doesn’t work is because you’re not using the right one. You should take note of the ingredients and choose the ones fit for the job. Make the right one and maximize your cleaning prowess!

Did these homemade all-purpose cleaners do the job? Tell us in the comments down below!

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