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Making your own household cleaners is one of the simplest and quickest ways to cut out toxins from your home. By keeping just a handful of basic, non-toxic ingredients on hand, you can make a wide variety of task-specific cleaning recipes to tackle any sort of cleaning need in your home.
This protective all-purpose cleaner is the DIY cleaner I use most often on a daily basis. It’s perfect if you’re looking for a single, DIY cleaner that will work well for most cleaning jobs around the house.
But first, you might be wondering why you’d want to make your own cleaner in the first place. Here’s why I make my own.
What’s In Mainstream Cleaners?
I realized soon after getting married 19 years ago that the ingredients in some of the household cleaners I was using were potentially very dangerous. I was getting headaches and feeling nauseous often while cleaning with mainstream cleaners. As soon as I started researching what was in these cleaners, my symptoms made a lot of sense.
Mainstream all-purpose cleaners often have very harsh ingredients that are harmful to our health as well as the environment. Some of the common ingredients used in many cleaning sprays have been linked to the following conditions.
- Respiratory effects
- Hormone disruption
- Skin irritation & allergies
- Developmental & reproductive harm
- Damage to vision
To check a specific cleaner’s ingredients, you can look up the product on EWG’s Guide to Healthy Cleaning.
Once I began to learn about the toxic chemicals in the cleaners I was using, I started looking for non-toxic alternatives that would clean just as well.
Ingredients in This DIY All-Purpose Cleaner
This cleaning spray only has 3 ingredients! Water, liquid castile soap, and dōTERRA On Guard.
Castile soap is a vegetable oil-based soap made of oils like hemp, coconut, olive, or avocado seed. It is non-toxic and comes in solid bar and liquid forms, depending on how the soap is processed. Dr. Bronner’s is a very popular brand, and the one that I use, but there are lots of other castile soap brands out there.
Castile soap is very versatile, and can be used for personal products like body and hand wash as well as in natural cleaning recipes like the all-purpose-cleaner in this post.
dōTERRA On Guard
This homemade All-Purpose Cleaner is particularly useful during cold & flu season because it contains dōTERRA’s protective blend, On Guard. This spray is one of the tricks I use when someone in the house is sick and we don’t want it to spread like the plague to the whole family.
On Guard is a proprietary oil blend from dōTERRA that is used to support immune and respiratory system function. The blend contains Wild Orange Peel, Clove Bud, Cinnamon Leaf, Cinnamon Bark, Eucalyptus Leaf, and Rosemary Leaf/Flower essential oils. If you haven’t tried it before, On Guard has a really nice warm and spicy aroma.
On it’s own, On Guard is an effective non-toxic cleaning agent that can be used to clean skin as well as household surfaces. In this easy DIY surface spray, it is combined with liquid castile soap to create an awesome cleaner that you can use everywhere in your home.
How To Make Your Own All-Purpose Cleaner
This recipe is really quick to mix up. Here’s what you need.
- 2 cups of distilled water
- 20 drops of an immunity blend EO of your choice
- 4 tablespoons of liquid castile soap
- a 16-ounce spray bottle
- Add the water to your spray bottle. (I always add the water first to minimize the sudsing while I’m making my cleaning solution.)
- Then add the liquid castile soap and the essential oil drops.
- Put the sprayer back on the bottle and turn upside down a few times to mix the ingredients together.
Where to Use All-Purpose Cleaner
This all-purpose spray can be used in all areas of the house that you would want to disinfect for germs. I also use it anywhere that just needs to be wiped or washed down. Here’s a list of some of the places I use this cleaner in my home.
- kitchen counters and table
- remote controls
- refrigerator handles
- bathroom countertops
- front of dishwasher door
I want to specifically point out that it’s my go-to cleaner for polishing stainless steel appliances. It’s excellent at removing fingerprints and smudges, and leaves a shiny, polished sheen.
Why This Cleaner Has NO Vinegar
There are a lot of recipes on the internet that use vinegar, but this is one DIY all-purpose cleaner WITHOUT vinegar. And I have a reason for that, even though I do love cleaning with vinegar.
Vinegar can be corrosive and damage certain surfaces.
For example, you shouldn’t use vinegar on granite countertops or other natural stone. Over time, it will eat away at the stone and create little pits in the the surface. You don’t want that! (For a granite-specific cleaner that shines and cleans, see Homemade Granite Cleaner.)
Vinegar can also be too harsh to use on some metal finishes on faucets, like a satin or brushed finish. And if you have any type of sealed floor, you should avoid vinegar there, too.
Since an all-purpose cleaner should really be safe to use anywhere, this one is made without vinegar.
Using it for Glass & Mirrors
The only task this cleaner is not ideal for is shining glass and mirrors. Because it contains oil, this spray leaves a bit of a smeary residue on glass. You can use it on very grubby windows or mirrors. I do. It won’t harm the surface in any way and will clean off the grime. You just need to be sure to follow up with a vinegar/water spray to remove the oil residue and leave a streak-free shine.
I have a whole post on how I clean glass without toxic chemicals if you’d like more specifics on that.
This On Guard spray cleans surfaces extremely well and is totally non-toxic, so you won’t have to worry anymore about polluting your home with harsh chemicals and artificial fragrances.
The printable version of the recipe is below. Happy cleaning!
- 2 cups of water (distilled or previously boiled)
- 4 tablespoons liquid castile soap
- 20 drops of dōTERRA On Guard essential oil
Works very well on stainless steel appliances, too.
For more on non-toxic green cleaning, check out Green Cleaning DIY: The Ingredients You Need.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease.