Natural All Purpose Cleanser takes less than a minute to make, cleans well, and replaces many toxic substances in your home! Try this all-natural DIY cleaner today!
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Clean Home with No Cleaning?
I have a problem and it is a problem shared by many other Americans.
I attribute my issue to the attitude-behavior gap. Have you heard of this phenomenon? It’s the difference between what people say and what they actually do, the discrepancy between their beliefs and their actions.
You know, the thought “I want to look good for swimsuit season” and the action “I think I’ll stay here on this comfy couch, watch a little TV, and have some popcorn.”
The problem I have lasts much longer than swimsuit season.
What is my problem?
I have the never-ending desire for a clean home with absolutely zero desire to clean.
Back me up here. You have this problem too, right?
I love to have a gleaming oven, shiny bathtub, and glistening pots and pans but lack the motivation and time to scrub and polish each day. My best hours are not spent bent over a dirty bathtub scouring and buffing until my back is sore and my hands are red and irritated from harsh cleaners.
Clean with Less Cleaning
I am a clean freak! I truly believe there is a place for everything and everything has its place. I love shiny sinks. I hate piles of laundry. I love a clean home.
But I still hate cleaning.
What can be done?
I use quick tricks to minimize the time I spend cleaning time and maximize results:
- I pick up in quick 5-minute spurts to keep the clutter away.
- I wash a load of laundry every morning so it doesn’t pile up.
- I clean like things together (i.e. vacuuming all rooms at once or scrubbing all the bathrooms together).
- I use Non-Toxic No Scrub Shower Cleaner
- I minimize the number of cleaners I use around the house.
Using multi-purpose cleaners means I have to spend less time looking for the correct cleaner, less time hauling multiple cleaners from place to place, and less time mixing up homemade cleaners.
Natural All Purpose Cleaner
A few years ago I started making an all-natural cleaner that can tackle tough jobs throughout the home. This Natural All-Purpose Cleanser is a workhorse!
- Scour sinks, bathtubs and showers.
- Clean and freshen toilet bowls.
- Clean glass top stoves.
- Degrease and scour an oven.
- Remove stains from cutting boards.
- Be used as dishwasher detergent.
- Replace laundry detergent in a pinch.
- Polish pots, pans, and cookie sheets.
- Pre-treat laundry stains.
- Remove carpet stains.
- Scrub tile and grout.
- And more!
Plus it is all-natural and so gentle on your hands that you can use it to exfoliate!
Natural All Purpose Cleaner Ingredients
What is in this miracle all-purpose cleaner? It contains just two simple ingredients:
- ¼ cup Castile Soap (I use this kind)
- ¾ cup Baking Soda (I use this kind)
And (if you desire)
- 5-10 drops of Lemon Essential Oil (I use this kind)
How to Make All Purpose Cleaner
Simply stir the ingredients together to make a creamy paste that is the consistency of buttercream icing. You can make the cleanser thinner by adding extra castile soap or a tablespoon of water. Customize it to your preference!
These ingredients are non-reactive so you can mix this cleaner and store it without worrying about it emitting fumes, the bottle exploding, or it becoming ineffective.
Tip: I mix and store Natural All Purpose Cleanser in a glass jar to prevent the plastic from leaching into the cleaner. (I use this kind)
Power It Up!
It is easy to make this all purpose cleaner extra-strength. You simply spray the mixture with hydrogen peroxide when cleaning.
For example: I spread the cleaner on laundry stains and then spritz it with hydrogen peroxide before tossing it in the wash. When people are sick I scrub the toilet bowl with the cleanser and the toilet brush and spray on hydrogen peroxide to disinfect.
Tip: Screw a recycled spray top onto a hydrogen peroxide bottle to make it easy to use for household cleaning.
Warning: Do not combine the hydrogen peroxide with the cleaner you plan to store. The hydrogen peroxide will react with baking soda neutralizing the cleaning power and releasing carbon dioxide. This gas will make the bottle of cleaner explode, leak, or spray all over when opened.
Disregard the marketing hype and commercials! You do not need to buy separate bathtub scrub, shower spray, toilet clean, oven cleaner, stove top cleaner, stain treater, etc.
When you reduce the number cleaners you use you reduce the number of chemical substances you and your loved ones are exposed to in your home. It is an easy way to get a greener more natural home!
How to Use Natural All Purpose Cleanser
This cleanser is easy to use!
- Apply the paste with a damp sponge to scour sinks, bathtubs and showers, clean glass top stoves, or degrease the inside of your oven. Rinse well with water.
- Add a teaspoon of the paste to the edge of your toilet bowl and scrub with a brush to clean and freshen toilets. Spray with hyrdogen peroxide while scrubbing to disinfect. Flush to rinse.
- Apply the paste with a scrub brush to remove stains from cutting boards or clean tile grout. Spray with hydrogen peroxide while scrubbing to brighten and disinfect. Rinse with water.
- Spread on laundry stains and spritz with hydrogen peroxide to pre-treat laundry stains then wash as usual. (Pretest on delicate or dark-colored fabrics.) Add 2 tablespoons to a load of laundry to get your whole was clean, add a 1/2 cup of hydrogen peroxide to the wash cycle to brighten whites.
- Fill your dishwasher detergent compartment with the paste to wash your dishes. Apply the paste with a damp sponge to polish pots, pans, and cookie sheets.
- Apply to a wet sponge then squeeze to distribute through the sponge. Blot sponge onto carpet stains. Spritz lightly with hydrogen peroxide while you continue to blot. Spray with water and then blot dry with a clean light-colored rag or towel. (Pretest on delicate or dark-colored carpet.)
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I made several jars (like the ones you show) and filled with your Natural All Purpose Cleaner paste. I have them in each bath and kitchen. I made them about a month ago and keep the metal top screwed on tightly, but they have hardened into a rock! What do you suggest? Do I have to dig them out of each jar and remix???
Lynn, I would add a bit of water and wait for the cleaner to absorb it then stir to loosen.
Can I use lavender oil for a scent or is lemon recommended only? I just want to make sure it won’t have a bad reaction
You can use whatever scent you prefer. Be careful using scents other than lemon on food preparation surfaces or around pets.
I think I’m starting to understand how and why different ingredients work to clean/disinfect, but I’m wondering here, why is it castile soap that is used instead of detergent? Is there any particular reason for choosing the soap over detergent or the 2 really are interchangeable here?
You can interchange the two in this cleaner! You can not interchange them in a cleaner that also contains an acid.
Hi Bren. I am looking for ways to clean my home with natural agents vs chemicals and ran across your site. I will be trying your oven cleaner and all purpose cleaner for sure. Do you have any suggestions for wood floors? Much appreciated.
Linda, this is my favorite hardwood floor cleaner recipe.
if i wanted to clean my bathtub with this paste, i would have to cover the entire tub with the paste?
To clean a sink or tub you should 1) lightly wet the area to be cleaned 2) apply the paste to a sponge or rag and wipe the area clean 3) rinse. Good luck!
For this all purpose cleaner can I added vodka and Be able to store it? I read where you said don’t add hydrogen peroxide, but just wonder if vodka would be safe. I love this recipe I just want a natural disinfectant and cleaner in one for my bathroom.
Thank you for your time
Hi, just quick question.
As I read this article, it seems like you use hydrogen peroxide to sanitize something.
As I know, hydrogen peroxide does not sanitize anything when you use it by itself. It only reacts when it contacts with Catalase which we have in our human body and that’s why people use it when they are injured. If there is anything wrong about my thoughts, please let me know. Thanks.
Sol, the CDC considers hydrogen peroxide bactericidal, virucidal, sporicidal, and fungicidal. You can read more about its properties here: https://www.cdc.gov/infectioncontrol/guidelines/disinfection/disinfection-methods/chemical.html
Hi. I just came across to your website and i am loving it. I am trying to find something easy and 1 product that can be used for everything. I live in hard water area. I heard castile soap isnt good for hardwater. Can i use sal sud instead? can i use it for dishwasher to wash dishes? Will it give water mark?. I read about your diy dishwasher detergent from lemon. Which one is better? Can it be used for grout? Do we need to scrub when using this? Can i use it for laundry detergent too? Sorry for long question.
If you are looking for a good all-purpose cleaner for hard water I think Sal’s Suds is a great choice. It can be used to cleaner, wash dishes, and as laundry detergent. I have used it in the dishwasher by filling the dispenser with baking soda and then adding 2 drops of Sal’s Suds. Hope this helps!
Have you read this article:
What are you thoughts? I am trying to go green plus I am a breast cancer survivor so there’s all that goes with that.
I get so confused, it’s hard to know what really works!
Hi, Kris! I’m so glad to hear that your beat breast cancer!!! 🙂 Yes. I’ve seen that article. I wrote more about using homemade laundry soap here. I’ve had no issues with my homemade detergent but you should do whatever you are comfortable doing. I also love Biokleen detergent, it rates well and works great. Hope this helps. -Bren
I have a Q about the following:
Add 2 tablespoons to a load of laundry to get your whole was clean, add a 1/2 cup of hydrogen peroxide to the wash cycle to brighten whites.
Are you saying to add the mixture in with the clothes and then add hydrogen peroxide to the dispenser? Can you put vinegar in the softener dispenser or would it be recommended to avoid that when doing a load of whites?
Yes, you can add the mixture with the clothes. I usually add the hydrogen peroxide to the bleach dispenser. Good luck!
I’m really excited to give this cleaner a try! Am I able to use clear dish soap instead of castile brand soap?
Yes, you can sub clear dish soap. Good luck!
I love cleaning with vinegar. It’s amazing how well it works! Is the pink grapefruit essential oil your favorite? What other scents work well with the tea tree oil?
I generally use lemon or lemongrass for cleaning but love lots of EOs!
What do you think of adding witch hazel or alcohol (vodka or otherwise) to the cleaner? I can’t find any information to suggest that either would react badly with baking soda like hydrogen peroxide does, and they have good disinfectant properties. They wouldn’t pretreat stains on fabrics or help remove stains from carpet like hydrogen peroxide, but they could do roughly the same in terms of sanitizing.
I’ve never tried either combo. I would not mix alcohol (either rubbing alcohol or vodka) and hydrogen peroxide it can create an acid that has a bleaching and/or skin burning effect when used with bare hands. Hope this helps!
Hi Bren! This looks like a terrific recipe and I can’t wait to try it! How long/far does the amount you make in a 4oz container last/go? What all can you clean with that amount? Also, do any leftovers retain its consistency and effectiveness and how long can you store extra? TIA!
Holly, the cleaner lasts several months. (I’ve never had it “go bad.”) With 4 ounces I can clean a tub/shower/bathroom sinks and still have a bit left for the toilet. I really depends how much you use and how dirty your surface is before you clean.m
This stuff works great on carpet stains! I had spots on my carpets (grease? who knows) that I’ve hit several times with a carpet cleaner over the last 6 months to no avail. Found your recipe last night, mixed it up and applied it to sit overnight. It took 6 or 7 passes this morning with the carpet machine to get all the soap out but the spots were gone ( and probably now the cleanest spots in the whole carpet!). Thanks so much for a very useful recipe! Can’t wait to try it out in other spots!
Hooray! I am so glad it worked well for you, Jen! I’ll add it to the list of uses at my house! 😉
Just wondering what you would use to clean stains from a mattress? Mine is white so I’m not concerned about bleaching it. However, I don’t know what the fiber content of the fabric is. I doubt it’s acetate.
This is not a typical mattress it is actually the removable cover for a softsider water bed. It is in great shape just has some odd staining starting to show up. I normally keep a mattress pad on ANY mattress I have and wash those frequently. They help the mattresses last longer.
I need something fairly simple to use because I’m not able to scrub stuff for long due to medical issues. Thanks for your help.
Kim, if the cover is white you can spritz it with 3% hydrogen peroxide (the kind sold for wound care in the US) and place it in the sun (sunshine through a window will work). The hydrogen peroxide will fade the stains. Good luck!
I just made this and am IN LOVE!! Buttercream texture was the perfect description! This was my FIRST natural product to make myself!! I am on the path to healthier cleaning for myself. Since I am new to all this (and sadly to mason jars too! I know I know like 2 decades behind! and I am only in my late 20’s) but is the jar in your picture an 8 oz jelly jar? I am making one of these for my mom using citrus castile soap since she is a fan of doing the dishes and cleaning the kitchen sink in the AM whereas I used lavender castile in mine because I like to do it at night. Just an example of one of the ways I will be using mine. I have it in an 8oz glass jar (like a mason jar with a solid lid) but it’s not quite the right size/shape and need to get something different kind so I can have an extra ready to go. I LOVE this. SO easy!!! Also can you use hydrogen peroxide on stainless steel? Thanks a ton!!
Also if you’re up for it I have a few people needing help with a certain ingredient for natural cleaning 😉 I know you like a good challenge.
Tara, I’m so glad you like the cleaner! The mason jars in the photo are 4 ounces with a quilted design. I use household strenngth hydrogen peroxide on stainless steel. And yes, I love a challenge… just let me know what it is and I’ll give it a go. -Bren
Love it! I was amazed how clean this got my stove top! I got so excited I scrubbed down my entire kitchen haha. However, I couldn’t help but think if there is a way to add water, or another liquid, to make it more “liquidy” so it can be used in a spray bottle. Be a little easier and more convenient. Have you tried?
I’ve never tried adding more water… I think the baking soda would still cause clogs… let me know if you try! 🙂
How long does the liquid laundry soap last?
It lasts several months. If it starts to smell off or develops mold it should be discarded.
I am so thrilled to have found your website, Bren! I love everything about it, from your many E approach to deciding what ingredients to use (ease, economics, efficiency, ecological, etc.) to the final results that are your recipes. By far, this is the most useful resource for natural cleaning that I have found in over a year of looking. Thanks a million!
You are too kind, Jenny! I am so glad you found the site!
Hi Bren, what strength of hydrogen peroxide do you use?
I use 3% hydrogen peroxide, general household strength.
I mixed this up and used it on the window of my oven which was awful it worked like a charm I don’t like using the self cleaning option of my oven. My husband noticed what a good job it had done. I leave it out on the counter in a bowl it is very hard I use a damp cloth on it and it clean all things. Bacon grease stain that went through the washer and dryer a couple times thought I was going to loose a good shirt.
I’m so glad you like the cleaner, Karen!
I am so happy to have found your website today. My family recently moved into a new home and I have tirelessly been attempting to remove the residue from the former residents cleaning agents. Just when we can barely smell the tide wafting from the laundry room, we notice mouse poop…
This has turned into us noticing a full on invasion that I guess no one had noticed prior to selling us the home. I was wondering which of your all natural cleaners packs the biggest punch for getting rid of the smells left from something like mice. And even maybe even removing the smells of the peppermint oil I put around to try and keep them away. I wasn’t expecting to make myself sick trying to clean but here I am. I’m just glad to have found your blog. I have made my own cleaner for a few years but never checked the toxicity of what I was using..( mixing vinegar, alcohol, Castile soap, and lemon oil) but today it hit me that I wasn’t really helping myself or the problem. I am excited to make all of your cleaners but Im definitely curious about which one has the most odor absorbing power.
Thank you for your time and awesome, resourceful blog!
Thanks for the email. I understand your frustration, we move frequently and cleaning up after the last resident is such a pain! If you think the smell is coming from mouse urine I would use a 50/50 spray of water and white vinegar. Vinegar has a pH around 2.6 and animal urine has a pH around 7 so the vinegar will attack the urine and neutralize the smell. The vinegar smell will fade as the cleaner dries because vinegar is a natural deodorizer. My favorite everyday odor removers are Room Refresher Spray, Carpet Refresher, and Lemon Disenfecting Cleaner. These all help neutralize odors and do not leave a vinegar smell. Good luck!
Thank you! The elegant simplicity of water and vinegar had been lost upon me. I also had never thought of using vodka to clean but I will now! Thanks again!
Bren, I wanted to make this as a spray cleaner rather than a thick scrub. What would be the ratio of ingredients for a liquid solution? Thanks so much!
I would mix 1/4 cup castile, 1/4 cup baking soda and 5-10 drops of essential oil with a quart (4 cups) of water. You may have to shake the bottle occasionally to keep the baking soda and essential oils incorporated. You can also omit the baking soda and essential oils and make a great cleaner just using the castile soap. Good luck!
Awesome! Thanks so much for responding! I might use washing soda instead of baking soda since I have that handy.
I assume not, but would rinsing be required for this spray cleaner?
Holly, this cleaner is a scrub so it does require a rinse.
I used this for the first time today and it was pure magic! I started with the bathtub, then used it on the sinks, kitchen sinks, oven and even removed a stain on a shirt that I haven’t been able to get out!
I have a coil stove, and those little pans underneath always get so nasty and covered in burnt food. I’ve tried everything and haven’t been able to get them clean. Pinterest keeps suggesting ammonia in a ziplock, but I don’t feel good about that one. On a whim, I tried some of this magic cream, and it worked amazingly!! This will be new go-to cleaner for just about everything now.
Thanks for commenting, Megan! I am so glad you like the cleaner. I agree with you on the ammonia hesitation, I avoid it.
Ugh… ammonia is so gross! I’m certain that’s what caused all the lung issues that my mom has, as I hightailed it outside every time she washed the floors. I’m glad to hear a testimonial that this very safe alternative works so well!
Thanks Jenny! Let me know how it works for you!
Hi Bren, Is your All Purpose Cleaner safe for travertine? Thanks!
I’ve never used it on travertine so I can’t give you a definite answer. It also depends on whether or not the travertine is sealed. I’d check with your manufacturer to be safe.
Thanks for sharing Bren! Tea Tree Essential Oil is an antiseptic so you could use that too if you like the scent! Also – how do you think this would do on wood? It’s treated wood, but wood nonetheless.
Clarissa, I would be a bit hesitant to use it on treated wood (with a finish) as baking soda is abrasive and may act like sandpaper on your finish. I would stick to plain Castile for that purpose. I have used it on wood cutting boards with no problem. Tea tree is a great antiseptic, but I would only add it to the mix if you are NOT using it where you prepare food (cutting boards, etc).
Also, very important: Do not use tea tree oil if you have cats! It is known to be bad for their health.
Great reminder, Taylor. There are lots of EOs that are not safe for pets. It’s important to do your research before using any with pets in the house.
ok how do you make your own castile soap!? am VERY curious and if it saves me more $$ am IN
Michele, I’ve never made Castile soap but there are lots of recipes on Pinterest. Let me know if you try.
I wish there was some sort of magic potion to put in there that would make it “fun”. 🙂
Can’t wait to try this!
I completely agree, Karla!
Hi Bren! This sounds great! I want to try this one, but I’m afraid of putting it in the dishwasher and having a bubble party in the kitchen. I make my own Castile soap (being Spanish I’m trying to be true to my heritage) and use it for mostly everything, but the dishwasher option makes me a bit anxious 😛
I see where you could be concerned, Miriam. However, the 1-2 tablespoons of mix used in the dishwasher doesn’t contain enough Castile soap to produce bubble overload. Plus Castile soap is a true soap not a detergent. Dish detergents contains foaming agents such as sodium lauryl sulfate that make them too bubbly for dishwashers. This is the same issue as seen in HE laundry detergent vs regular laundry detergent, the HE foams less. My Grade A Laundry Detergent can be used in both types of washers because it uses Castile soap, not an artificial detergent. You can also try my All-Natural Dishwasher Powder and Fresh Lemon Dishwasher Detergent. Both are all-natural and use no Castile soap. PS – I love that you make your own Castile! I haven’t tried yet.