July 29, 2014

a simple DIY cleaner (that I actually like!)...

DIY all-purpose cleaner | yourwishcake.com
For ages now, I've been wanting to make my own all-purpose cleaner, and guess what? I finally buckled down and—after doing a bit of Googling to find a good recipe—made my own. Apparently vinegar is where it's at when it comes to cleaning. Who knew? (Every generation of homemaker up until the past several decades, probably.)

The thing is, I love pretty bottles and friendly scents when it comes to cleaning products. If I had my way, I would buy all the fun Method products I could get my hands on. (Especially their clementine-scented dish soap. It completes me.) Still, as time goes on, I'm realizing a couple things:

1. Thriftiness prevails. I do enough cleaning these days, that it only makes sense to make my own all-purpose cleaner to save money (and the planet a little bit).

2. Kid-friendly cleaners mean that Eisley can help me out with weekly chores without me going all paranoid-mama when I'm busting out the 409. "DON'T TOUCH THE TABLE! DANGER! POISON! NO TOUCHY!"

The simplest (and most common) concoction I could find consisted of white vinegar, water, and tea tree oil. For reference, the recipe I followed can be found here. It fit perfectly into a Method cleanser bottle I already had on hand.

Before adding the tea tree oil, I was trying to use just vinegar and water as a cleaner, but the smell bothered me. Call me crazy, but if I'm not an 8 year old dying easter eggs in my childhood home, I just don't want to smell vinegar. (That is seriously the one thing I can think of when I smell vinegar! Did anyone else use that to dye eggs? Oh, childhood.)

The more I researched, the more I saw people recommending tea tree oil, which is supposed to cut the vinegar scent and help kill certain bacteria and such. I love the scent of tea tree oil, too, so the fact that it lingers a bit as the spray dries doesn't bother me one bit. I purchased my tea tree oil at Trader Joes for just over $6, which seemed steep—but I was too lazy to price-shop at that point, and this tiny bottle will last me forever with the small amount that is needed for one bottle of cleaner.

DIY all-purpose cleaner | yourwishcake.com

Also, if you're an essential oil kind-of-a-gal (or guy), you can add a few drops to make the scent even better.

Because of the added oil, I always give the spray bottle a little shake before using it, just to make sure the mixture is blended. I've been using it for the past week and am completely happy with it! I use it mostly in the kitchen, but on Monday I used it to spray down the bathroom (even mirrors!) and it worked very well.

I totally recommend trying it. Now that I've had such success with this, I'm on the search for some other homemade cleaners I can make. Let me know if there are any you'd recommend!


  1. I've been using a water/vinegar-mixture for years to clean my floors (and surprisingly, the vinegar scent doesn't bother me that much)...I have one of those mobs with a bottle attached to it and it's sooo convenient!! Adding the tea tree oil is a very good idea though. And I need a spray bottle! :)

  2. Ha! The item at the top of my to-do list for today is "research DIY cleaners" - my work is already done :) Thanks for sharing this! I'm off to find a pretty bottle ...

  3. I think I remember that adding a bit of rubbing alcohol to a similar concoction for floor cleaning will help it to dry faster. I would google it just to be sure, though!

  4. Ooooh. I am going to file this away for the day when I do more cleaning than the husband. <3

  5. I have two that I swear by --

    Glass/Surface Cleaner:
    1 gallon of distilled water
    1 pint of 70% isopropyl alcohol
    1 squirt of lemon Joy
    **This makes a ton, so you can always adjust the ratios**

    Shower/Toilet Cleaner:
    1 part white vinegar
    1 part blue Dawn soap

    My dad has been using this recipe for glass cleaner as long as I can remember and I've yet to find one that works as well. I found the shower cleaner on Pinterest and I swear it changed my life! I rent and no matter how much I scrubbed by shower/tub it never looked clean...until I used this concoction. I recommend spraying the shower and letting it sit for at least 30 minutes before scrubbing it with a sponge.

    I hope this helps!

    1. Totally saving these—thank you so much for sharing, Jessica! I will have to try them next week. I was especially looking for a good shower/tub cleaner, because we rent as well…and our tub is a little terrifying. Haha...

  6. As soon as I have hands and minutes free I'm going to make this. Having a new baby in the house again has brought on all my need for clean paranoia, heh.

  7. I'm so going to try this when my current cleaner runs out. :)


Thoughts? Questions? General musings? Do share!

If you are asking a question, I will respond here within the comments—so, be sure to click that handy little "notify me" box below to know when I've replied!