Detergent-Free All Purpose Surface Cleaner, DIY Style

This all purpose surface cleaner recipe solves a few problems. First and foremost, it gets things clean and kills germs. But even more appealing, is that it’s free from the harsh chemicals found in all those commercial cleaning products.

It would be great if some scientists could study whether or not fragrances and detergents are addictive. Particularly those found in household cleaning products. Up until the last century, a clean home smelled like vinegar. Lemons. Herbs and oils. But now, it’s that lingering detergent scent and the artificial fragrances that so many people feel are essential to making sure our homes are safe and clean. But nothing could be further from the truth. 

Detergents and artificial fragrances pose serious health risks to your family and the environment. They’re more expensive than they need to be (or should be). And, they’re totally unnecessary.

While it may take some time to break yourself from the expectation of a clean home smelling like bleach or Comet, be assured that the transformation is a liberating one.

Take back your home, and make it clean with this simple recipe for an all-purpose surface cleaner, DIY and au natural style. This recipe is excellent for kitchen counters, sinks, tubs, toilets, faucets and even walls. It’s not ideal for wood floors or furniture, as the alcohol can be drying out and pull off any finish.

What you need

  • 2 cups warm water
  • ¼ cup white vinegar (or a citrus vinegar)
  • 3 tablespoons rubbing alcohol or vodka
  • 2 teaspoons liquid castile soap (like Dr. Bronner’s)
  • 10-15 drops of your favorite essential oil. Recommendations include lemon, lemongrass, sweet orange, grapefruit, lavender, basil and tea tree oil. Mix as you like or stick with one scent.


Mix all ingredients into a large spray bottle and shake well. Spray onto surfaces and clean with a soft rag or towel. No need to rinse the mixture off with water.