Messy stuff irritates me. I don’t like messiness. If you leave something around my house, I’ll tell you to move it back, clean it up, throw it in the trash – don’t matter, just get rid of it. I need stuff neat and organized. And, once I start cleaning stuff, I don’t stop until it’s done. Otherwise I’m irritated all day.
The key to making homemade multi-purpose cleaner strong enough to remove yucky grease and grime is a few handy ingredients, normally found in almost every household around the world. With a little baking soda, liquid soap, diluted vinegar, essential oil (this one may not be in every home), water, and a spray bottle, you can create one heck of a multi-purpose cleaner – no kidding! The great thing about this cleaner is that it’s safe and easy to make. It is also works amazingly good on just about any and every surface. Truth-be-told, in order to successfully remove dirt and gunk from your home, a potent cleaner is required, and this DIY concoction definitely fits the bill.
So, move over commercial cleaners – essential oils, especially oregano essential oil, can neutralize and destroy anthrax spores, harmful bacteria, E. coli, MRSA, salmonella, and pneumonia. In fact, certain essential oils can kill MRSA in less than two minutes. Thankfully, you can safely and effectively replace 90% of your commercial cleaning products with a few simple ingredients. With these six ingredients (i.e. vinegar, baking soda, liquid soap, essential oil, and water), you can create a natural multi-purpose cleaner that is strong enough to tackle even the toughest offenders. You can create this DIY multi-purpose cleaner by following the steps listed below.
You will need…
- 1/2 cup of white distilled vinegar
- 2 tablespoons of baking soda
- Liquid soap (i.e. vegetable, castile, or glycerin)
- Several drops of essential oil (i.e. tea tree, oregano, lavender, lemon, pine, peppermint, cinnamon, or eucalyptus)
- Spray bottle
- A nozzle (if needed)
Gather the items listed above. Note: If you don’t have a spray bottle, save a screw-top 16oz. water bottle and place a nozzle inside of it.
Next, mix 1 tsp. of Borax with 2 cups of warm water. Borax helps liquefy stuck-on dirt, grime, and grease. Stir the mixture in bowel until the Borax is completely dissolved, then pour it into the spray bottle. Note: If you prefer, you can fill the bottle up with water, then place the Borax inside. Close or lock the nozzle to keep the liquid from coming out, and shake the bottle to mix the ingredients. Warning: It is generally safe to use Borax in homemade cleaners; however, it can be toxic if used at high dosage, so keep this product away from children and pets. If you don’t feel comfortable using Borax, you can use Arm & Hammer washing soda instead.
Add 1/2 cup of white distilled vinegar and 2 tablespoons of baking soda to the spray bottle. White distilled vinegar is a “must-have” all-natural ingredient in most, if not all, homemade cleaning recipes, mostly due to its ability to clean, deodorize, and disinfect. One of the best things about white vinegar is its ability to cut through grease, oil, and grime, liquefy mineral deposits, lift stubborn stains, and eliminate nasty odors. And, although it has a potent smell when wet, that smell normally goes away when dry (within 15 minutes). In addition, baking soda is an excellent choice in homemade multi-purpose cleaners, because it’s a powerful deodorizer, germ-fighter, and stain remover.
Add 1/4 cup of top-grade liquid soap (i.e. vegetable-based, castile, or glycerin). Liquid soap adds a bit of foaming action to the spray cleaner. Note: You can find liquid castile soap at health food stores or in the health food section of your supermarket (i.e. Target, Walmart, Publix, Kroger, Whole Food, etc.). You can also make your own, if you prefer.
Castile Soap Recipe: Mix olive oil and coconut oil (60/40 blend) together in a large (6qt. or larger) crockpot. Then, turn the crockpot on high. While the oils warm, put on some safety goggles/glasses/rubber gloves and carefully pour potassium hydroxide lye flakes into a water-filled stainless steel or Pyrex bowl. The lye-water mixture will hiss and bubble, so don’t be afraid, but be cautious.
The lye flakes will quickly dissolve. Once the flakes have dissolved into the water, slowly pour the lye-water mixture into the warm oil mixture. After that, combine the soap mixture (lye-water-oil) in a blender on medium until it turns creamy and begins to slightly thicken. Note: This will take approximately 5-10 minutes. For the next 30 minutes, stir the mixture every 5 minutes until the soap mixture looks like glue. Cook the soap mixture/paste in an immersion blender for 3 hours, stirring it every 30 minutes.
Eventually the soap mixture will turn into a thick, clear yellow translucent cream. Then, check the clarity of the soap – it should be clear (not necessarily colorless) and translucent. Next, dilute the thickened soap mixture (it should resemble a paste), with 10 cups of water. Cook the mixture in a crockpot on warm for the next 8 hours. When the soap mixture is completely dissolved (with no chunks of soap remaining,) pour the diluted soap (with a ladle) into a dry and clean plastic container and voila!
Add about 20 drops of essential oil to the cleaner mixture. Fragrant essential oils (i.e. lemon, peppermint, lavender, orange, etc.) are not only pleasing to the nose; they are also antibacterial and antifungal. Essential oils like eucalyptus and tea-tree have anti-microbial properties, which helps delay, stop, or prevent harmful disease-causing microorganisms. So, once you have added your essential oil of choice, shake the bottle. Note: Allow the mixture to settle in the bottle before using your new multi-purpose cleaner. Test for color-fastness, before your first spritz, if you plan to use the cleaner on fabrics.
Lastly, spray your brand new homemade multi-purpose cleaner on any surfaces (i.e. sinks, countertops, toilets, stoves, and/or tables) that need a thorough cleaning. Then, wipe those areas down with a wet cloth. Truth-be-told, yucky messes won’t stand a chance against your super tough and highly-effective homemade multi-purpose cleaner! Warning: Refrain from using any type of vinegar on marble or porous surfaces, because it will not only leave horrible marks on your furniture, it will also erode granite countertops.
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Good Housekeeping. (2015). 9 cleaners you can make yourself. Retrieved from http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/home/cleaning/tips/a24885/make-at-home-cleaners/
North West Edible Life. (2016). How to make DIY liquid castile soap. Retrieved from http://www.nwedible.com/how-to-make-diy-liquid-castile-soap/
Hudson, K. (2012). 3 best essential oils for cleaning. The Huffington Post. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/organic-authoritycom/3-best-essential-oils-for_b_1847450.html