The BEST Homemade Cleaner

Simple Non-Toxic Cleaner

Since I’ve mentioned in a couple of posts how much I adore this homemade, non-toxic cleaner, I figured it’s time to tell you how to make it. This recipe is based on several other ones that I’ve seen on-line, so I am not claiming it as my own. This is just my variation…

Fill a 1 quart (32 ounce) spray bottle (I found this heavy-duty one in the cleaning aisle at Target) half way up with warm water. Add the liquid castile soap (eyeball it) and slowly fill the bottle to within 1 ½ inches of the top. You might need to wait a few minutes for the bubbles to subside, but if you fill the bottle very slowly it shouldn’t be much of a problem. Add the essential oils, put on the spray lid and gently shake until well combined. That’s all there is to it. It takes less than five minutes and is super-cheap after the initial investment. The liquid castile soap and essential oils are extremely concentrated, so there is very little compared to the water. My half-gallon bottle of cleaner cost me less than a dollar (compare that to nearly $5 for half that much of the store-bought non-toxic cleaners!) and I have enough of the ingredients on hand to make dozens more! Each ingredient also has several other uses, so they are all multi-taskers.

So, apart from being non-toxic and cheap, why do I love this stuff so much? I think I’d better show you…

Last night we had some friends over and we toasted marshmallows. I left the sticky, charcoaled forks on the table overnight and woke up to the miserable prospect of scrubbing them. Ugh. I HATE to scrub things! I decided to spray them with my nifty cleaner and let them sit for a few minutes, first. Once I remembered them, about ten minutes later, I rinsed them under some hot water for about 30 seconds. Here’s what I have now. NO SCRUBBING! I didn’t even wipe them off! (Update: For anything that requires scrubbing without scratching the surface, I am loving these! I just cut each one into 4 pieces for the perfectly sized scrubby pad!)

Since I didn’t take a “before” picture, I thought I’d do a “before and after” on one of the grilling forks we use for camping. Now, this one was scrubbed and soaked and scrubbed again when we got home from our camping trip…

I sprayed it and ignored it for ten minutes. Instead of just rinsing this one, I sprinkled on some baking soda and wiped it off with a dish rag. I didn’t scrub, just wiped and then rinsed.

Yes, there are a few small spots left, but WOW! If I wanted it spotless, I would repeat the process, but I’m just not that concerned about how our camping gear looks.

My other favorite uses are cleaning the kitchen and bathroom with it. I use it as an all-purpose cleaner on any hard surface and have had no problems at all. Usually, spraying it on and letting it work on the grime for a couple of minutes means no scrubbing, just easily wiping it up. If something doesn’t come off, I either repeat the process, or I’ll add a sprinkle of baking soda or use one of these amazing things. Either way, it is so easy!

16 thoughts on “The BEST Homemade Cleaner

    • Hi Rachel!
      I hadn’t ever tried it since I usually just use a microfiber and hot water, so I just ran into the bathroom to test it out for you (My hubby laughed at me)! 🙂 I used a paper towel and it did a great job of cleaning the mirror and I can’t see any streaks at all.

  1. Rachel says:

    Im confused by your measurements. I have a spray bottle the same size as yours. At first you said a half gallon o f water which is too much for the spray bottle and then in the directions you said fill a half gallon spray bottle half way. So how much water should I use? I used 24oz of warm water and 2 tabl spoons soap plus the same amount of essential oil you suggested. Is that going to be a good potency?

    • So sorry, Rachel! You’re completely right, I messed up the measurements. I have several spray bottles that I fill at once, and when I did the math to break it down per bottle, I must not have been paying attention. The bottle is 32 ounces, which is 1 quart, not 1 gallon. You have exactly the right measurements, just finish filling the bottle with water. That will take you from the top measurement line of 24 ounces to the full 32 ounces. I’ll fix the instructions above. Thanks so much for pointing this out! 🙂

  2. Victoria K. says:

    what if you only have bar castile soap? is there any way to melt it down to use as a liquid? do you add water?

    • Absolutely! Just grate some of the soap bar into the water and gently warm it over low heat. It will melt in and work just fine. I’d just use two or three tablespoons of soap to start with, since it’s pretty concentrated. 🙂

  3. Viq says:

    I use a similar no-rinse formula to yours for my green cleaning business. I add peppermint oil and lavender oil, and I trade the soap for a tablespoon of borax…why? It kills fleas and tics and their eggs!
    Blessings on your non-toxic quest <3
    For glass and windows – vinegar and water and the microfiber cloth or newspaper.

  4. Terry says:

    I too have been trying to get away from chemicals and in an effort to do so I discovered that vinegar is a wonder cleaner. But what about the smell. Well I found lemon eucalyptus essential oil does the trick. In fact it is so pleasant and refreshing to smell, no vinegar smell left after about 15 to 30 drops in your water and white vinegar solution. I take an ordinary spray bottle and add 1/3 vinegar, about 30 drops of essential oil and then water to fill. This formula works very well on everything. I have used it with great success on floors, counter tops, pots and pans to release hard to scrub areas, tile, faucets, just about everything. You may want to dilute it for your walls but it works wonderfully on walls as well. Love the food grade acid and essential oil combo it just simply works and what more could your ask for. It is a great deodorizer as well. Spray right into your kitchen trash can for a freshen up but the plus is it is deoderizing while you are cleaning. Enjoy 🙂

  5. Danuta says:

    just fill up the bottle almost to the top, leave an inch of space, add some Dr. Bronner castile soap. close it and shake it, that it . I am using a guart bottles for cleaaning. This is the best solution ever:))

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