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Make Your Own Multi-Purpose Cleaner

April 4th, 2012

I spent a few years trying to come up with just the right recipe for a multipurpose cleaner. At first I simple mixed some castile soap with water and tried using that. It works OK for some surfaces but not for others. Then I tried adding vinegar but that didn’t quite work either. I wanted something that would disinfect, clean, cut grease, and do away with stains and odors. Somehow I ended up with this recipe and I LOVE it.
I use it for everything, cleaning my hardwood floors, toilets, windows, pet stains on the carpet, and it also gets rid of pet odor like you wouldn’t believe. It’s also so really great at getting rid of stains, but beware, it’s so good that you might notice a clean spot and the rest of your carpet might look a little dingy (from personal experience).

1/2 cup peroxide (the regular kind in a brown bottle)
1/2 cup distilled water
1/2 teaspoon castile soap or Sal-Suds*
(*Note that as Sage pointed out in her comment Sal Suds from Dr Bronners does contain SLS. I keep a bottle around and use it sparingly only if I actually do need to dissolve grease from my hands/clothing. It’s then followed up with castile soap to remove any residual SLS. Definitely not something you want to us all the time. )

Mix ingredients in spray bottle, use for cleaning floors, dusting furniture, cleaning toilets and other hard surfaces. This is also a powerful stain cutter and odor pet neutralizer. Make sure to test on an inconspicuous spot before using over a large area of your furniture or carpet. I spray my furniture and carpet without issue, but all fabrics are different. The Sal Suds will cut grease better than a regular castile soap will, that makes it perfect for cleaning windows.
When it comes to mixing up your own homemade cleaners, don’t be afraid to tweak things, add more soap, less soap, swap in vinegar. Just be sure not to mix ammonia & bleach (do you even keep those in your house?). A while ago I purchase The Naturally Clean Home. It’s filled with 150 different recipes for cleaning just about anything you can think of, including a number to clean various surfaces in your home, even one to can make your own car wax. For me, having one that use for everything makes it easy, I don’t want a bunch of bottles of various things sitting around. Sure every now and then I might need something special for cleaning carpets or something else, in case I’ll grab this book and mix up one batch to use. Other than that, you’ll find me using this mix for everything!

If you’d like to have a nice reference filled with a bunch of different recipes I’d recommend purchasing The Naturally Clean Home. For less than $10 it’s a valuable resource to have on hand. Who knows, perhaps you can even start a small business mixing up non-toxic cleaning products to sell at your local farmers market!

Is there anyone in your area that sells homemade non-toxic cleaning products? Would you be willing to purchase them from a small local business?

Stocking Your Non-Toxic Cleaning Kit
Learning to Love Castile Soap
Make Your Own: Foaming Soap
Make Your Own: Infused Vinegar
Make Your Own: Multi-Purpose Cleaner
Make Your Own: Color Safe Oxygen Bleach
Friday Favorite: Charlie’s Soap
Friday Favorite: Twist Sponges
and more to come

21 Comments to “Make Your Own Multi-Purpose Cleaner”
  1. FarmgirlCyn (Cindy) on April 4, 2012 at 5:50 am

    I’ve been making my own all purpose cleaner for several years now, with a spray bottle in nearly every room of the house. Cheap, cheap, cheap and best of all…they work!

    Reply to FarmgirlCyn (Cindy)'s comment

  2. Kathi Cook on April 4, 2012 at 6:42 am

    Thanks, I will try this!

    Reply to Kathi Cook's comment

  3. Victoria on April 4, 2012 at 7:17 am

    Looks like a great read & reference guide. If a local vendor sold non-tox cleaning supplies at a farmers market, etc..I’d consider a purchase. As easy as it is to make your own, often there just isn’t the time.

    Reply to Victoria's comment

    • Susy on April 4, 2012 at 7:20 am

      That’s what I was thinking, it’s definitely an area for someone to start a small business I think. So many people buy local soap, I’m thinking good cleaners would be a great little niche business. Been trying to get my nieces/nephew to start a little business like this to make some extra cash.

      Reply to Susy's comment

      • Allison on April 4, 2012 at 8:39 am

        Funny, I have considered this :) Since we are already at the market with our apples…. :)

        to Allison's comment

  4. daisy on April 4, 2012 at 7:59 am

    I really enjoyed that book! What a great idea to make cleaners and sell them at the farmer’s market.
    I’ve been making my own cleaners for years, but I want to try this recipe. Thanks!

    Reply to daisy's comment

  5. Allison on April 4, 2012 at 8:39 am

    Thanks for sharing this Susy! I will give it a try. The one I am using now doesn’t cut the grease to well.

    Reply to Allison's comment

    • Susy on April 4, 2012 at 9:06 am

      The Sal Suds will cut grease like you won’t believe!

      Reply to Susy's comment

  6. Peggy on April 4, 2012 at 8:49 am

    Thank you for sharing this recipe! And oddly enough I’ve been considering sharing a booth at the farmer’s market this year. The other two ladies sell homemade laundry soap and fabric softener. I would be selling bags made from recycled materials and cleaning products would be the perfect addition! Thank you!!

    Reply to Peggy's comment

  7. tj on April 4, 2012 at 8:55 am

    …I will definitely be giving this a try too. What gets me about these recipes are that they’re so easy with minimal ingredients, in other words, simple. :o)

    …Thank you Susy!

    …Enjoy your day!

    …Blessings :o)

    Reply to tj's comment

  8. elizabeth on April 4, 2012 at 9:52 am

    I love sal suds for washing floors. I’ll give this mix a try. I’ve been using a mix of rubbing alcohol, water, dish liquid and essential oil.

    Reply to elizabeth's comment

  9. whit on April 4, 2012 at 10:19 am

    Good morning! Thanks for this cleaning series. It’s giving me some more ideas for making other cleaners.

    We don’t have a small, local maker of cleaning products on our side of the Cascades (we have awesome companies like Biokleen), but the Inland NW has a couple of ladies from Spokane who started a homemade cleaning product line based on products they created for their maid service. Their products are quaintly named “Maid Naturally”.

    Since we’ve moved, i’ve been thinking about starting a business like soaps and cleaners to go with our farm stand we are planning. That’s what i love about your blog…full of good ideas and very forward thinking!

    Have a great day!

    Reply to whit's comment

  10. Sage on April 4, 2012 at 1:38 pm

    Sal Suds is made with SLS (Sodium Lauryl Sulfate) which can’t be metabolized by the liver and becomes residual in the body. According to health studies it can cause hormone imbalance, and is possibly a carcinogen. The ingredient is used in commercial insecticides, soaps and shampoos as a surfactant because it is so inexpensive and works so effectively.

    It’s kind of surprising to find it in a Doctor Bronner’s product, and to be an ingredient in many homemade cleaning products. I figure if I am going to make my own soap, I will not use SLS. I started making my own liquid soap a couple years ago with very basic ingredients. I’ll have to try your recipe with my liquid soap and see how it works. Currently I just use a few drops of it in warm water to spray and clean things.

    Reply to Sage's comment

    • Lisa on October 7, 2012 at 10:37 pm

      SLS is non-carcinogenic. Maybe you’re thinking of Sodium LAURETH Sulfate? Be careful what you read in mainstream media.

      Check out:

      Or do a pubmed search.

      Reply to Lisa's comment

  11. KimH on April 4, 2012 at 6:10 pm

    I keep a spray bottle of water, lemon juice, & vinegar to use for all surfaces but I dont use it on windows…

    I’ll have to give your recipe a try & see how I like it..

    You know, its funny. Making many things by hand are so fast & easy.. and for me, I try to explain to people how inexpensive & easy it is to make your own salt & sugar scrubs or bath salts, and they tell me they dont have time and they’d rather pay me to make them.. Crazy.

    Im sure there would be plenty people who’d buy non-toxic cleaners too.

    Reply to KimH's comment

  12. Maybelline on April 4, 2012 at 6:46 pm

    No. There is nothing local that I am aware of.
    Yes. I would purchase if there was something better than what I could make myself.

    Reply to Maybelline's comment

  13. Sophia on April 8, 2012 at 7:33 am

    How would you use this on carpet/upholstery? Just spray and rub, or do you rinse it afterwards?

    Reply to Sophia's comment

    • Susy on April 8, 2012 at 8:05 am

      Yes, spray on stain and dab up with absorbent towel. You can use a similar mix in your carpet cleaner as well, I’d reduce peroxide to about 1/4 instead of 1/2. You could also replace the peroxide with vinegar if you want for extra odor control.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  14. Sanjay on October 4, 2013 at 5:10 am

    Won’t soap disintegrate in hydrogen peroxide and render the cleaning solution ineffective?

    Reply to Sanjay's comment

    • Susy on October 4, 2013 at 1:27 pm

      No it really doesn’t.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  15. Elizabeth on October 25, 2013 at 9:27 pm

    I just used up my spray bottle full and made up another batch of this and figured I would comment while I’m here. Thanks for this “recipe,” it works really well. I had a stain on my counter that was bothering me and this took it right off. I use this for pretty much any non-metallic surface and use baking soda on my sinks and faucets. Cleaning doesn’t need to be hard!

    Reply to Elizabeth's comment


This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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