Simple Homemade 3-in-1 Household Cleaner

Post by Contributing Writer, Katie

Do you want to rid your home of toxic cleaners? Are you done paying high prices for natural/organic cleaners that might not be as natural as they claim? Are your cabinets overflowing with too many cleaning solutions? Then here is the answer for you: white vinegar.

You can make a simple household cleaner from white vinegar, liquid castile soap and essential oils that will meet almost all your cleaning needs.

White vinegar has become my favorite cleaner over the last couple years. It is inexpensive and non toxic, making it the perfect cleaner to keep around the house. I can buy a gallon for about $2.00 at the local market. It is safe to use around your kiddos, safe for you and for the environment.

White vinegar disinfects and deodorizers, killing 99 percent of bacteria, 80 percent of viruses (germs) and 82 percent of mold.

For an added antibacterial and cleaning power, I like to add essential oils. Some of my favorites to use are a combination of tea tree and lavender, both of which are antibacterial, or lemon which has disinfectant properties.

If you use essential oil be sure to exercise some caution around your children because the oils can be toxic if consumed.

I love the beauty of simplification. That’s why like I having one cleaner to accomplish many tasks. My cabinets aren’t crowded with spray bottles anymore; making them easier to organize and keep track of what I have.

Simple 3-in-1 Household Cleaner

Spray bottle
1 cup White Vinegar
2 cups Water
1 TBS dish soap (optional)
30 drops Essential Oil

Combine everything in a spray bottle. Make a pretty label or write on the bottle to remember what it is. Shake before using.

How to Use:

1. All-Purpose Cleaner

I use it for cleaning in the kitchen, bathrooms and just about any where. It does wonders on grease build up in the oven. For a nitty-gritty job, like mold in grout, spray on and let sit for a few minutes. For a little extra cleaning power you can use it in combination with baking soda (get ready for the bubbles of a baking soda & vinegar reaction!).

If someone in your family or a visitor is ill, it is good for spraying on plastic toys, doorknobs and light switches, to prevent illness from spreading. If you spray on any toys that little ones might put in their mouths, rinse off after a few minutes.

You can also spray 3-in-1 Household Cleaner on cutting boards and knives after cutting raw meat. Be sure to rinse off if you use essential oils/soap.

2. Window/Mirror Cleaner

Spray on and wipe off with old newspaper or soft lint free rag. It removes all the little finger prints, water droplets and toothpaste splatters, leaving your windows and mirrors sparkling!

3. Air Freshener/Deodorizer

Spray into diaper pails to disinfect and remove unpleasant 0dor. Spray in the air to dissipate unpleasant smells. Or, for a couple other recipes check out Michele’s and my own versions of air fresheners. When using this cleaner as an air freshener, I like to use other essential oils to make fun scents like cinnamon, orange and mint.

Katie is a dorm “mama” to 12 amazing girls ages 8 to 18 at a home and school for the Deaf in Baja California, Mexico. She and her “hijas” can be frequently found in the kitchen, the garden or making friends with their new chickens. She loves to read, hike the hills near her home and spend time with her girls. In her spare time Katie blogs at Mexican Wildflower about nourishing foods, herbal remedies, simple living, raising her girls and encouraging other women in their walk with Christ.

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29 comments to Simple Homemade 3-in-1 Household Cleaner

  • I love cleaning with vinegar and castile soap. My son is a ‘clean-a-holic’. He had asthma when he was younger and still has EXTREMELY sensitive skin. I always keep natural cleaners like this on hand for his sake. I believe it’s made a big difference with his respiratory system.

    [Reply]

    Katie Reply:

    @Pam M., I’m sure using those natural cleaners HAS made a big difference for your son. I don’t have any respritory problems myself but I’ve noticed that when I am around regular cleaners they irritate my lungs and nose.

    [Reply]

  • Debra E

    I understand the caution about essential oils being consumed, however if a high quality essential oil is being used then there is no need for caution. I use doTerra brand (just a very satisfied customer, not a salesman) which is certified therapeutic grade. These are completely safe ingested internally and quite beneficial if done so! I just don’t want people to get the wrong impression about essential oils and be scared away. I keep a “lemonade” mixture of lemon/orange essential oils and a bit of stevia in water and my girls drink it every day.
    For an all-purpose cleaner I currently use a mixture of 2 c. water/25 drops grapefruit seed extract. Whenever I run out of the grapefruit seed extract I will have to give this one a try. Never thought of putting vinegar in the mixture. Thanks!

    [Reply]

    Katie Reply:

    @Debra E, Thanks Debra, that’s good to know. The essestial oils that I have purcased over the years have always cautioned against consumnig them, excpet for my essential peppermint oil. I will have to look into doTerra when mine run out.

    [Reply]

    Michele Reply:

    @Katie, I have some DoTerra ones, & love them! :) I did a review on them here on the blog a couple years ago. :)

    [Reply]

    Katie Reply:

    @Michele, Thanks Michele!

    Holly @ Faithful Womanhood Reply:

    Young Living is another therapeutic grade brand that is safe for ingestion. doTERRA was actually started by people who once worked for Young Living. Sometimes a certain EO is cheaper with YL & sometimes it’s cheaper with DT, it just depends on the oil. There are also oils that one company sells that the other doesn’t. I really like both brands!

  • Thanks for this post. One of my New Years Resolutions is to make homemade cleaners. I’ll have to try this one on the re-occuring mold in the bathroom.

    [Reply]

    Katie Reply:

    @Maria, I hope it works well for you!

    [Reply]

  • Darla

    I am allergic to cleaning chemicals and fragrances and etc.,so I have been using vinegar and water for years.never thought about the ess oils tho Thanks! Love your site.

    [Reply]

    Katie Reply:

    @Darla, Vinegar and water are great aren’t they! Michele does have a lovely site! :)

    [Reply]

  • [...] Simple Homemade 3-in-1 Household Cleaner | Frugal Granola [...]

  • Holly, thanks for the info. I’m going to have to check both companys out now! :)

    [Reply]

  • [...] Simple homemade 3-in-1 household cleaner from Frugal Granola [...]

  • [...] is my favorite cleaning products. I use it in my 3-in-1 All Purpose Household Cleaner scented with essential oils. You can forgo the essential oils by making your own cleaner out of [...]

  • bri

    If you look on Dr. Bonners website, his daughter writes about NOT using vinegar and castile soap together. The acid & base mix negate each other.

    [Reply]

  • loblolly

    Could you clarify the AMOUNTS in your recipe?

    You give the amounts of vinegar and water in PARTS, but list the other ingredients in Tbs and drops, so there is really no way to know how to mix up this solution. It makes a big difference what a “part”is compared to the amount of soap and essential oil.

    [Reply]

  • Wife2Dan

    I made this recipe and it started clumping up! Nice waste of product…grrrr…don’t use Castille soap with vinegar!

    [Reply]

    Katie Reply:

    I am so sorry that this happened. It is an old recipe that was in need of updating, I am fixing it now.

    [Reply]

  • Whitney

    Katie, I just noticed this blog and was wondering if lemon juice would work instead of the oils? I don’t know if the acidity would effect anything though…?

    [Reply]

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