All Purpose Cleaner Recipe

I have been trying to move to a more "green" cleaning routine for quite a while.  When I first started my journey, I went out to buy some products that were marketed as green or all natural and organic.  As soon as I looked at the prices, I turned around and left the store.  I think that using natural cleaners is extremely important, but not if it breaks my budget.

Instead, I decided to use baking soda and white vinegar.  Those two, very inexpensive, ingredients can work serious miracles.  Some people (my husband) think that the smell of vinegar is not great, but I would rather my bathroom smell like salad dressing than have my nose burned by the smell of bleach.  Plus, once the vinegar dries, the smell goes away.

The problem is that it isn't always convenient to go through the entire process of sprinkling the baking soda everywhere, putting the vinegar on, watching its awesome bubble action, scrub, wash off.  So I started looking for an all purpose cleaner recipe.  There are a lot of recipes out there.  The one that I use is adapted from the awesome book Make Your Place:

1/4 cup white vinegar
2 T Borax
6 drops tea tree oil
10 drops lemon or orange essential oil
24 oz hot water

Mix all ingredients in a large spray bottle - I like these ones and have several in my house for wipe solution, plain white vinegar, etc.  Then all you need to do is spray it on, let it sit for 5 minutes, scrub and then wipe off with a wet cloth.  I use this for everything from the kitchen counters to our bathroom.  And it doesn't smell like salad dressing.

Do you have a favorite green cleaner?  Do you make your own?

I'm linking up at the Barn Hop and Your Green Resource!  Welcome :-)  I would love for you to follow me if you are new!


  1. Awesome. I would like to try this. This is my first visit. I am now following.

  2. I am going to try this as well. I really can't stand the vinegar smell for cleaning, I feel like I'm dying Easter eggs BUT with the essential oil, I should be able to do it! Thanks!!!

  3. Thanks for the recipe. I usually use a mixture of vinegar, water and dish soap, which seems to work well for most purposes. But I'd like to try this.

  4. great recipe! Thanks for stopping by my blog! :)

  5. I didn't have lemon essential oil but I did have everything else on hand, including the tea tree oil :) What I DID, though, was lemon peels soaking in vinegar for several weeks so I used a 1/4 cup of that in place of the vinegar and lemon essential oil. For those of you concerned of the vinegar smell; this smells great!! I've only used it on the sink and countertops in my kitchen and so far, so good :)


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