When starting the journey to natural living, the first swap people typically think to make is cleaners. It’s funny how cleaning products are sometimes amongst the dirtiest in the house, in terms of toxins and harmful chemicals. Learn how you can make a fast and easy multi purpose cleaning spray for your home, with just a handful of ingredients!
The Power of Natural and Minimalist Cleaning
After getting married to my husband, I realized that I was lacking BIG TIME in the cleaning department. One of the reasons it was so overwhelming was that I had like 17 different cleaners. Literally. Those fancy cleaning caddies that look so cute on all the Pinterest photos? Yeah, I would have needed like 5 of those.
I had so overcomplicated my cleaning products, that it actually overwhelmed even to think about cleaning. Dirty bathroom counter? Let’s see…should I use the sink cleaner or the special disinfectant spray or the soap scum remover or the sanitizing spray or the spray-and-come-back-later-while-it-supposedly-does-the-work-for-you cleaner or the… you get the idea.
Needless to say, I needed to find something that was easy to use, all natural, and multi purpose. I shouldn’t have to spend time reading everything on the cleaner bottles before knowing what to use. And you shouldn’t either.
Why You Should Make This Spray
I researched for hours about cleaning sprays. I wanted something that was powerful enough to clean and disinfect, but gentle enough to be safe around everyone. This is when I started to discover that there were easy ways to make my own cleaners, and that they were super cost effective too!
I researched ratios, ingredients, and how they work. I finally came up with the BEST recipe for a homemade cleaner. Not only that, but the cost per bottle comes in at less than $2. That’s a steal!
Supplies You’ll Need
Thankfully, most of these supplies are one-time purchases! After you have those, all you’ll need is a few ingredients to have a multi purpose spray ready in minutes. And buying larger quantities of the ingredients means that you can make several bottles of cleaner before ever having to buy more ingredients. It’s a win-win.
- A spray bottle: I use an old one from Grove, but if I were to order one today I’d get this pretty spray bottle. Whatever you get, just make sure it is a 2 cup (16 fl oz.) capacity. I prefer glass, since there are essential oils in the recipe. The silicone base on the glass bottle makes it durable!
- A funnel: I love this funnel set. There are multiple sizes in the set, so you can use them in your kitchen as well! The medium size is pictured above.
- A measuring cup: I love this tried and true glass measuring cup.
- Distilled water
- Distilled white vinegar
- Isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol
- Essential oils (I use tea tree, lemon, lavender, and eucalyptus)
Why these ingredients?
Distilled water softens the cleaner and dilutes it to the perfect amount needed to get the job done. The reason to use distilled water is because regular tap water has additives that can harbor bacteria when the cleaner is stored. Since there are no preservatives in this cleaner, we have to start with sterile ingredients so that it stays shelf stable. The last thing you need is for your cleaner to get dirty, ha!
Distilled White Vinegar
If you aren’t new to the world of non-toxic cleaning, then you likely already know what a powerhouse white vinegar is. Vinegar has been used for centuries as a cleaning agent. It washes away germs and is a natural degreaser.
Isopropyl (Rubbing) Alcohol
Isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol is where the main disinfecting portion of this cleaner comes in. Alcohol kills germs. It’s an antiseptic and a deodorizer.
Essential oils provide a pleasant scent to cleaners, but they also provide additional beneficial properties. The oils that I chose for this recipe specifically provide antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. Just make sure that you are using a quality oil. Some brands of oils sold in big box stores are actually diluted, and do not contain all of the properties as a higher quality oil. I’ve used Eden’s Garden oils for years, and have been impressed by their quality, especially for their affordable price!
How To Make a Multi Purpose Cleaning Spray
- 1 cup distilled water
- 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
- 1/2 cup isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol
- Essential oils (I use 20 drops tea tree, 15 drops lemon, 10 drops lavender, and 10 drops eucalyptus)
- Using the funnel, slowly pour each ingredient into the spray bottle.
- Attach the lid, and give the bottle a swirl for a minute to incorporate everything together.
- It’s ready to use! That soap scum in your bathroom doesn’t stand a chance.
What can I use this multi purpose cleaning spray for?
Since this cleaner is disinfecting, antibacterial, antimicrobial, and degreasing, it really is the only multi purpose spray you’ll ever need. I use this cleaner for nearly everything! Now I can get that cute cleaning caddy.
You can use this spray to clean countertops (both kitchen and bathroom), sinks, showers and bathtubs, appliances, walls, glass, and even most floors (such as vinyl, laminate, linoleum, and tile)! It also evaporates quickly, so it’s super helpful as a floor cleaner when you have others tracking around behind you. No more footprints leading to the fridge.
Please note: Due to the vinegar content, it is not recommended that you use this on wood of any kind, as it can take the finish off some wood and even damage the wood over time. This means you should not use this cleaner on real wood furniture or wood floors. If you need a good wood cleaner, I recommend that you try my Castile Cleaner Spray recipe for these applications.
Can I omit or swap the essential oils?
Yes! You can leave out the essential oils if you want. However, you will lose some antibacterial and antimicrobial properties if you do so. You may also find that the smell of the cleaner is pretty harsh without the essential oils masking some of it. If you want to use other oils of your choice, that would also be fine! Just do your research to be sure that the ingredients in those oils do not interfere with the types of surfaces that you intend to use this multi purpose spray for. If you plan to use this cleaner for baby toys, make sure you use essential oils that are safe for children to consume, though the amounts of oil actually left behind from the cleaner are minuscule.
Can I omit the isopropyl alcohol?
You can! However, you will lose most of the disinfectant properties. If you are looking for a more simple cleaner, and you are not looking for a disinfectant, you may want to try my Vinegar Cleaning Spray recipe!
Is this cleaner safe for kids?
The ingredients in this multi purpose cleaning spray are safe for use around the house with kids. However, because of the isopropyl alcohol content, this cleaner is toxic to consume (swallow), and it can cause issues if sprayed directly onto delicate skin. Because of this, it is recommended that you keep the bottle out of reach of children. Once it has dried on a surface though, the surface it was used to clean is safe to come into contact with (and even safe to come into contact with babies’ mouths), as the cleaner is no longer there and has evaporated. If you need it to dry fast because you have a screaming child who needs their toy back or the world is going to end, you can use a cloth to dry it up. Also check your essential oils to make sure they are safe for children.
If you would like to have your children clean with you (and therefore have the risk of the cleaner coming into direct contact with skin), I suggest that you use the Castile Cleaner Spray or the Vinegar Cleaning Spray recipe. These are both wonderful, and fully non-toxic options for children and adults alike!
How to Make a Multi Purpose Cleaning Spray for Your Natural Home
This antibacterial, antimicrobial, disinfecting spray is the perfect natural and minimal cleaner for every area of your home!
1 cup distilled water
1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
1/2 cup isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol
Essential oils (I use and recommend 20 drops tea tree, 15 drops lemon, 10 drops lavender, and 10 drops eucalyptus)
- Measure each ingredient out, and carefully use the funnel to pour into your spray bottle.
- Once all ingredients are in the bottle, place the nozzle back on. Give the bottle a gentle swirl to mix the ingredients together.
- It’s ready to use! Happy cleaning!
- Due to the essential oils, I recommend using a glass spray bottle.