7 Ingredient DIY green cleaning recipes for every surface of your home

There are so many reasons to start mixing your own household cleaners.

I initially started doing this as a way to save money and eliminate some single-use plastic. In addition to the economic and environmental benefits, I’ve found that making my own household cleaners has been good for my health. Household cleaners can be loaded with toxic chemicals and nauseating fumes, and making them yourself ensures that you are only using (and breathing in) the good stuff!

Essential ingredients

I use 7 ingredients to clean my entire house. All of the ingredients I use have multiple purposes and most of them are things you probably already have in your kitchen!

  1. White Vinegar

    White vinegar is arguably the most versatile ingredients on this list. This article has a ton of uses listed out to sterilize and shine every surface of your house. My favorite use is as a glass cleaner, but I keep a full strength bottle on hand to mix as I go. 

  2. Baking Soda

    Baking soda another is excellent multi-purpose cleaner that cuts grease and deodorizes. It can be used in every room of your house and can eliminate so many commercial cleaners. 

  3. Olive Oil

    I primarily use olive oil for cooking, but it works really well for cleaning, too! My olive oil cleaner picks up dust better than my all purpose and rehydrates my wood furniture as I clean. 

  4. Dr. Bronners Pure Castille Soap

    Dr. Bronners Castile soap has 18 uses according to the bottle. Castile soap is a gentle foaming cleanser that is safe for use on your body and is even mild enough to use as a dog shampoo.

  5. Hydrogen Peroxide

    I keep hydrogen peroxide in a spray bottle to spot treat blood stains and to clean up cuts, but it’s proven to be useful in other areas of the house as well. I don’t reach for this as often as the other ingredients on this list, but it’s a powerful one to have on hand!  

  6. Vodka

    I try not to use this one too often because it’s pretty expensive compared to the other ingredients listed (Tito’s or nothing in this household haha), however, it has great cleaning power. Vodka is naturally antibacterial, leaves no scent behind, and emulsifies essential oils into an evenly diluted spray.

  7. Essential Oils

    The world of essential oils has been a little overwhelming for me to get on board with, but with some guidance I’ve really enjoyed utilizing their antibacterial properties in tandem with the natural fragrances.

My favorite cleaning recipes

Glass cleaner 

This stuff works better than Windex. Really. Just mix all of the ingredients in an 8oz spray bottle and you’re good to go. I’ve found that the best streak-free result comes with using a microfiber cloth to wipe your surface. 

  • 8oz spray bottle 

  • ⅔ cups distilled water

  • ⅓ cup white vinegar

  • 8 drops lemongrass essential oil 

All purpose cleaner 

I wipe down all of my big surface areas with this blend before going to bed every night. It’s a fresh and versatile cleaner suitable for everything from wood to marble. 

  • 16oz spray bottle 

  • 2 cups filtered water 

  • 2 tbsps Dr. Bronner’s All Purpose Castile Soap 

  • 20 drops grapefruit essential oil 

  • 10 drops tea tree essential oil 

Dusting spray 

Perfectly clean is easier said than done. I’ve found that the only way to pick up every last speck of dust is using a little bit of olive oil. I use this spray the least frequently of everything in my cleaning cabinet, but that says more about my cleaning habits than the usefulness of this recipe. 

  • 12oz spray bottle 

  • 1 cup filtered water

  • 2 tsps olive oil 

  • 10 drops spruce 

  • 10 drops frankincense 

  • 4 drops lemon 

  • 2 drops lemongrass 

Room spray 

I came across this recipe years ago when I was looking for an alternative to Febreeze. The vodka in this spray helps the water evaporate a little faster and the fragrance of the essential oils holds longer. 

  • 12oz spray bottle 

  • 1 cup filtered water 

  • 1 tbsp vodka

  • 36 drops lemon

  • 30 drops spruce 

  • 24 drops lavender 

Car freshener 

I use an abbreviated version of the room spray in a 2oz spray bottle for my car. It’s the best road trip companion to help cancel out all of the bad fast food smells. 

  • 2oz spray bottle 

  • 2oz filtered water 

  • 1 tsp vodka

  • 10 drops lavender 

Shower spray 

I keep this one in my bathroom and spray down all surfaces every other day. An all-purpose cleaner would work for this as well, but the fragrance in this is better suited for the bathroom. Spraying this before showering makes for a spa-like experience. 

  • 16oz spray bottle 

  • 1 ¾ cup filtered water

  • ¼ cup white vinegar 

  • 30 drops tea tree

  • 20 drops peppermint 

  • 20 drops grapefruit 

  • 10 drops eucalyptus 

Tough stains (aka urine remover) 

I’ve had to use this one more than I’d like to admit in the past year (puppy problems). This one is a little more laborious. Spray the mixture onto the affected area, let it dry completely, and then vacuum up any powder remnants. 

  • 8oz spray bottle 

  • 1tsp baking soda

  • 1tsp vinegar

  • 5oz hydrogen peroxide 

  • 30 drops orange essential oil

Toilet cleaner 

I never mix this one ahead of time. I dump the castile soap, scrub, flush, and then scrub the edges of the bowl with baking soda and essential oils for a sparkly clean toilet. 

  • ¼ cup Castile soap

  • ¼ cup baking soda

  • 15-30 drops essential oils (lavender, grapefruit, tea tree, lemon, or orange work best for this recipe)

Sink scrub

This is another one that I never mix ahead of time. I just add all ingredients to the sink, scrub, and wipe out. I’ve found that this works wonders on my stainless steel sink!

  • ¼ cup baking soda

  • 3 drops spruce essential oil 

  • 3 drops grapefruit essential oil 

There are so many more recipes and uses for all of the ingredients I love cleaning with, but this is a great starting point if you’ve been wanting to switch over to greener cleaning!

This post was written for the  Collected Eclectic blog.

Collected Eclectic was a passion project focused on recording the process as Grace and Michael van Meurer transformed their builder grade home in to something special.

124 blog posts were published between 2018 and 2021. Explore the complete Collected Eclectic archive here

Learn more about the project here

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