I love it when I find an all purpose cleaner that I can make which is about TEN times better than anything I could buy. I found this all purpose cleaner recipe and I want to share it with you!
I don’t know about you, but I’ve tried all kinds of cleaners during my 30 years of marriage. I could name names and y’all would recognize all of them – well, maybe not ALL of them. I’ve also been quite guilty of trying store brands in the name of being a frugalista! Some of them worked well, some of them bleached my clothes (do I even need to TELL you how many shirts I’ve ruined while cleaning with bleach!?!?) and some of them weren’t even worth the bottle they were stored in. I’d have been better off cleaning with plain water.
When I had kids, I wanted to be really careful what I cleaned with. We have four kids, and always had extras in the house as well. Of my four, two of them put everything in their mouth that didn’t move – and a few things that did (a mouse, a yellow jacket, a worm – you get the picture). So, when having cleaners around – and using those cleaners – I wasn’t sure I wanted something as harmful as bleach near the kiddos.
I started exploring alternatives to purchased, full-of-chemicals cleaners. I knew my grandparents had clean houses but probably didn’t run down to the dollar store to buy something ready made. So I began looking around for alternatives to purchased cleaning products. This was also at a time when money was tight (sometimes it seems like that is a permanent state LOL) and I knew that if I could find a way to make my own cleaning products, I would not only have better ones but also save money in the process! WIN WIN!
I tried a lot of different formulas and recipes and wasn’t really satisfied totally with any of them. I do have several that I have liked, and I will be sharing those as I go along. But most of what I found I didn’t like as well as I had hoped. They were hard to mix up, or had items in them I didn’t always have on hand. So I kept searching.
Enter this recipe on the Wellness Mama website. I found it after scrolling around on the internet, looking yet again for the “perfect” recipe. I saw this one and thought “Hmmm, I have everything in my house right now this needs. I could make it and try it.” In her description she states she uses glass spray bottles, but at that point I didn’t have one. Besides, if I’m being honest, I really thought this would be yet another failed attempt and I was just going to use an old window cleaner bottle I had under the sink. That way, I hadn’t wasted anything other than time in trying this.
Well, flip my pancakes and call me to breakfast! This cleaner is AMAZING. Seriously, there is not one thing about it I don’t like. It’s easy to mix together, it takes minimal amounts of ingredients, it smells great – and works like a charm! Once I found this recipe, it became my go-to, every day cleaner in a snap!
Here’s what you need for the cleaner:
HOMEMADE ALL PURPOSE CLEANER
- 1 teaspoon borax – I use this, 20 Mule Team Borax (and this is a great price, I think)
- 1/2 teaspoon washing soda (sometimes I put a little more)- this is what you want, and this is a fairly good price (they even have a combo with borax and washing soda here).
- 1 teaspoon liquid castile soap- I bought these and LOVE them
- Essential oils – whichever ones you like – I use lime, lemon and orange because I love citrus smells
- Warm tap water to fill the bottle
- Glass spray bottle (if you have it) – I bought one these at Amazon
Using a kitchen funnel makes this a little easier, especially if the neck of your bottle is small.
Add in the borax.
Then add the washing soda. Make sure the washing soda is smooth with no lumps.
Then add the liquid castile soap. You can see from my pictures I used the orange one – this set has four different ones. I like these because they are made in North Carolina – my home state!
Then add in the essential oils. You can put as many or as few smells as you like. I love citrus so I use 10 drop of lemon, then 10 drops of lime, and then 10 drops of orange. I’ve pictured tangerine because it’s what I could find LOL!
Then add the warm tap water. Warm is best because it dissolves the borax and washing soda.
Put the lid on and “shake, shake, shake….shake, shake, shake….. shake your bottle”…. 🙂
You can’t really see it but I tried to hold it up to the light. Didn’t work, I know. But that is IT – you are DONE! Once you shake it up it is ready to use. I use this on everything. Once it has sat for a little, I do shake shake shake it again before I spray it, but it is ready to use.
I use this in the bathroom on the counters, on the kitchen counters, on the appliances, on the floors for quick cleans. I haven’t found it to work well on mirrors, but I have a window cleaner I will share soon.
Baking soda shouldn’t be used in this because it is different than washing soda. You can get washing soda here for a good price. Borax is also good to have in your house and it can be purchased here. This is a different brand than 20 Mule Team but it is still a good brand to use. You can use borax for a multitude of things and I always like to have a box on hand.
I did try a plastic bottle when I wasn’t sure about this cleaner, but when I realized how much I was going to love it, I immediately ordered these glass bottles – two large and two small are what I currently have (kitchen, 2 bathrooms, plus an extra). They are really nice and it makes it perfect. I have read that the essential oils (especially the citrus ones I like the best) can eventually break down the plastic bottles. The glass ones are easily reusable – and they are pretty to boot!
You’ve got to try this cleaner – and don’t forget to check out the original on the Wellness Mama website.
Let me know below if you make your own cleaners and what they are. I will be sharing some more ideas for homemade cleaners in future posts and can’t wait to hear about yours!