Homemade All Purpose Cleaner Recipe

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This is my absolutely favorite cleaner for my house. I pretty much use this cleaner for 90% of the cleaning done around my house. I just use the Dawn but if you need something a little stronger you can use ammonia.  It’s in our book and I just love the way it makes everything from windows to sinks and toilets shine!

Homemade All Purpose Cleaner Recipe - 5 Homemade Cleaners You Didn’t Know You Could Make at Home

Homemade All Purpose Cleaner Recipe

1 gallon water
 Dawn dishsoap (2 tsp.) OR 1 cup ammonia
1/2 cup vinegar
1/2 cup baking soda

Combine all ingredients. Put in a spray bottle to clean showers, toilets, sinks and counters. Great for most cleaning needs. Use all-purpose cleaner to clean your floors. Just spray on and wipe off as you would counter-tops.

This is not a disinfectant. To make it a disinfectant too I add about 1/4 cup rubbing alcohol  to the bottle.


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  1. Kellie says

    If you have asthma ommit the ammonia as it causes lung problems. The water, vinegar, and baking soda will still work just fine.

  2. Ellen says

    I’ve started making my own cleaners in an effort to have less toxic chemicals in my home and save money – I will definitely use this recipe!

  3. Krista says

    do you have any other all purpose without ammonia? just wondering. I like vinegar and baking soda but would like a stronger one for some things, particularly like grease.

    • says

      Tawra sometimes uses a squirt bottle with 4 Tbsp. vinegar, 4 Tbsp. rubbing alcohol, a squirt of dish detergent and then the rest water. It really depends what you want it for. Hot soapy water to me is the best for most everything.

      If it helps to know:

      Vinegar is good for cleaning residues, shining and does some (about 85%) disinfecting
      Ammonia is for cutting grease.
      Baking soda is abrasive
      Rubbing alcohol is for cutting grease, disinfectant, and shines

  4. Beccie says

    Bec’s all purpose cleaner recipe:

    Place in a spray bottle: 2 cups water, 1/4 c. vinegar, 2 tsp dish soap. Shake for one minute.

  5. rose says

    a woman i used to work with at a restaurant many many many yrs ago .. she told me she cleaned her house and etc with hot sudsy water . but she would take a lemon and squeezed it in the water adn dropped the lemon wedge (she said she used a half a lemon per sink full of water.. and if there was any greasy pots/pans and needed scouring .. she would (after soaking the pans/pots) take some table salt, squeeze a lemon and then add a bit of the soapy hot water and just scrub .. she said this worked for her ..
    just thought i would share …

    thanks for posting this recipe .. i appreciate it .. 😀

  6. Susan says

    You can also add 2 or 3 drops of your favorite essence oil to the All Purpose Cleaner and your whole house will smell great!!

  7. Jan says

    Found this general purpose cleaning solution in a 100 uses for baking soda book…works awesome on counter tops,cutting grease after frying, and soap scum in the tub:

    1 tsp borax
    1 tsp baking soda
    2 tsp vinegar or lemon juice
    1/4 tsp liquid dish soap(we used Sunlight)
    2 cups hot water
    * Be sure to wear rubber gloves when working with this mixture.mix and store in spray bottle(I used an empty and rinsed out Windex bottle…925mL sized and doubled the recipe).

  8. Yvonne says

    Jill and Tawra, I made the All Purpose Cleaner today. The home health care provider lady that helps us used it to mop the kitchen and bathroom floors. They look clean and real shiney. We will be using it on other things too.
    Thanks for the receipe.

  9. Terri says

    Save your lemon/orange peels and add to vinegar – then when you add your vinegar to the cleaning solution you will have a nice citrus scent.

    • betty says

      will the vinegar help the peels from getting mold spots in it? How long will this solution stay good for?
      I used to make my own citrus olive oil and it would turn like a werewolf later.

      • says

        One way to help figure out how long something will last is to look at the ingredients and think about how long will these ingredients last if they were sitting on my shelf separately. For example the vinegar and ammonia have a very long shelf life. If you are adding things like the citrus peels they don’t have quite the shelf life although the vinegar will sort of help “pickle” them so they will last longer but the cleanser won’t keep as long as if you leave them out. You could to make much smaller amounts of the recipe that you will use up more quickly.
        As far as distilled water goes many people have recommended it but since I am always trying not only to save money but save the time and energy it takes to buy and store extra things like distilled water I have never used it and mine does fine.

  10. Cathy says

    I have a question: I have a linoleum kitchen floor.The pattern has little indents size of a pin head. These do not come clean with regular mopping,have tried mechanical floor scrubber, and mops and the floor still looks dingey. Can anyone help? TY so much I love this site.

    • says

      I know just the kind of floor you are talking about Cathy and boy do I feel your pain. I had the same stuff and it was a mess. The only thing I could find to ever do was to slosh water with cleaner (sometimes I used dish detergent and Clorox) on a 2-3 foot area, let it soak then took a scrub brush to it. That helped some but it was a job. I didn’t have to do this though but once in awhile because once I got it cleaned it stayed “ok” for a few weeks. My floor was white and that can make a difference too.

      Someone else might have a better idea but one thing I have learned over the years in cleaning whether it is a kitchen floor, a stove or a counter top – what ever- let the water and cleaner do the work and let them soak for a bit.

      • Sheri says

        I had that same floor… My kitchen was 17 x 20. That was a big job. Yep, soak it, then scrub it and wipe it up right away do the dirt doesn’t settle back down in the dimples. I bought a floor brush I could use standing up. It was on a pole like a broom stick. That helped a lot! Other wise, I’m sitting on the floor. I clean about a 2 foot square at a time or we went at it like an assembly line. I soak and scrub the section, then move on and someone else follows me and wipes it up. I use laundry detergent and oxiclean on my floor.

        Yep, I agree with Jill. Let the water and soap do the work.

  11. Alexander says

    I don’t mean to be the nay-sayer here, but what I remember of chemistry is that this mixture renders the vinegar entirely useless. (baking soda and vinegar neutralize…) Further, if the mixture is poured directly into the bottle and sealed before the reaction finishes, you make yourself a very dangerous, lung-destroying bomb…

    • says

      The thing is for a recipe like this the ammonia in the recipe is being used as a degreaser, the baking soda for mild abrasion, and the vinegar is to help with the streaking and getting rid of residue. As we mentioned in the recipe this is not used for sanitizing and if you look many store bought all purpose cleaners you buy don’t sanitize. All purpose cleaners are for getting rid of grime and dirt which is exactly what this recipe does. The problem is so many don’t have a clue when and how to use the different things like vinegar, ammonia, baking soda and what they actually do in the cleaning process.

      What you are thinking of from science is the ph factor and that type of thing isn’t even a factor you have to consider for this type of recipe. I personally for most all my cleaning use just plain soap and water but there are times like right now as I am cleaning out my garage and there are things which have been sitting there for a hundred years that have a gross layer of “stuff” stuck on it so this is when I would pull out the big guns like my ammonia or this cleaner.

      As far as the bomb part goes, well I can’t live my life in a spirit of fear all the time. I ate a peanut yesterday and almost choked to death on it literally but that doesn’t mean I woke up thinking “If I eat there is a chance I will choke to death so there for I come to the conclusion that I will no longer eat because there is a one in a several million chance I will choke.” I see people worry all the time about what this or that is going to do to their lungs and will it hurt them yet they get in their car and speed, text or talk on the phone not giving it a thought that their chances are much greater of getting hurt or killed from doing that. Makes no sense to me at all.

      • Genghis says

        I’m inclined to agree with Alex. The Vinegar in the recipe is neutralized, i.e. ceases to exist, when mixed with the Ammonia and Baking Soda. As does some equal part of those two compounds.

        • says

          Genghis, you need to really the whole thing and understand what this recipe is for. We state that it is not used as a disinfectant. It is used in this recipe for one purpose only and that is to get rid of residue build up when cleaning so it doesn’t matter if it is neutralized or not. When it comes to cleaning products it is important to understand what the purpose is for the different ingredients in it. For example many use vinegar as a degreaser which it can do some what but ammonia is a much better degreaser and vinegar is better for mineral build up and removing residue.


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