Homemade Multi-Purpose Cleaners | Adding Essential Oils

by Heather Smith on February 27, 2012 · 13 comments

My husband and I recently had a discussion about the amount of cleaners under our kitchen sink. There seems to be a cleaner for everything, but after reading the ingredient labels we just don’t feel good about using them or even having them in the house anymore.

We have been on a mission for effective & efficient homemade cleaners that aren’t toxic to our children or the environment. My goal was to find one cleaner to do many jobs. This is one of my favorites so far.


Be sure to wear rubber gloves with using ammonia.

Recipe #1:

1/4 cup baking soda (sodium bicarbonate)
1 cup household ammonia
1/4 cup white vinegar
1 gallon warm water

  • Mix ingredients and store in tightly-capped container.
  • Can be used for cleaning counter tops, appliances, tile flooring, etc.

After using homemade cleaners au naturel for some time I grew tired of the strong vinegar and ammonia smell. I wanted my house to smell fresh and clean… to me that’s not vinegar or ammonia. I found organic, food grade and perfume grade essential oils at LiveTru (can you tell I’m looking into making other items at home? Smile ) to add a more pleasant smell to my cleaners.

Adding a few drops of essential oil to homemade cleaner gives it a fresh scent and (to me) a more pleasant experience using it. Once I found essential oils and played with them in my multi-purpose cleaner I decided to try it in my homemade laundry soap. Although this recipe is for the powdered variety you can still use essential oils to scent it. Try adding a couple of drops on your scoop right before use or if you want an entire batch scented the same add the oils to the batch, close it in a tight container and shake away.

Have you found a recipe for a homemade cleaner that does it all?

How about one that does a  fabulous job at its intended purpose?  

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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jill A. Collins February 28, 2012 at 8:41 AM

I’ve been teaching and studying essential oils for years. It is amazing when you really delve into their biochemical properties, just how healing, but also how anti-microbial they actually are. Not to mention they smell wonderful too. Just be careful in touching them directly (without diluting first) since some with a high phenol content, like oregano, can chemically burn the skin. Also, never rub your eyes after handiling oils without washing your hands first. They are readily absorbed through the mucus membranes of the body and will also burn you that way.


2 Tammy S February 28, 2012 at 9:30 AM

I hate buying all different kinds of smelly cleaners. I will have to try your cleaner mixture.


3 Marlena Curley February 28, 2012 at 12:17 PM

I love to use lemon juice with baking soda to make a paste for tough scrubbing jobs. The best part about it is that it already smells great! Tho I do also use vinegar and that is a much less pleasant smell. Maybe I should try some essentials oils… thanks for the tip!


4 Jennifer Reyer Young February 28, 2012 at 2:04 PM

Thanks for the info, I’d love to try this!!


5 Diane K. Brimmer February 28, 2012 at 7:23 PM

I can’t wait to try this cleaner. I am 53 and just now learning to make my own laundry soap, fabric softener and different cleaners. It is not only cost saving but a pride that you have made something of your own and taking charge of your life and financial areas. I think we need to teach our children that you don’t aways have to go to the store to get it. I am talking about from sewing to, cooking to being more frugal with our money. Just wish I had done this sooner in my life.


6 Jennifer Hedden February 28, 2012 at 10:06 PM

This is such a great idea. I have always wanted to make my own cleaners. Thank you for sharing!


7 Lindsay Coffman February 29, 2012 at 1:57 PM

I am in the same boat with you on this one! I’ve been trying to phase out all the cleaners under our sink & slowly replace them with just one natural cleaner (or make my own) that’s safe for our family.


8 Shirley February 29, 2012 at 3:55 PM

Sounds much better than the commercially available chemical laden stuff.


9 Deb March 1, 2012 at 1:24 AM

Awesome info!! Can’t wait to try them.


10 sheri grennille March 1, 2012 at 12:30 PM

does this cleaner stay effective over time?


11 Lyn March 1, 2012 at 6:05 PM

This is really a good idea, especially with young children in the house. Love it that my daughter is trying to go as green as possible.


12 Krista U. March 4, 2012 at 3:26 PM

I love the idea of mixing your own cleaning solutions! Buying them can get so expensive. Thanks for the recipe, I’ll have to try it out sometime!


13 url July 10, 2012 at 3:02 AM

I like it when folks come together and share opinions.
Great site, keep it up!


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