We’ve all been there — that moment when there’s a mess that needs to be taken care of, but your bottle of all-purpose cleaner is on its last few drops. If you find yourself in a pinch or you’re looking to add natural products into your routine cleaning, you can make your own cleaning solution with a few items you may already have on hand.

By making your own cleaner, you can also extend the life of your plastic spray bottles. Reusing items is a critical component to the practice of the three R’s – Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle.

Before we begin, please read these important safety tips: If you’re reusing a spray bottle, do not mix cleaning solutions. First dump out the contents of the spray bottle and then swish water around inside it. Make sure the inside of the bottle is clean to start. Also, never combine ammonia-based cleaners with chlorine bleach or products containing bleach as they create dangerous fumes. Read the full product labels before combining products. Cleaners are not a one-size-fits-all approach and will work differently on different surfaces. Always test the solution on a small section of the surface before cleaning it in its entirety. Finally, label your cleaners with their ingredients so you are sure of what the mixture contains in case your pet or child gets into it.

To get started, it’s as simple as pouring the ingredients from each recipe in a spray bottle and shaking it vigorously to mix it up. Next step, clean!

Vinegar All-Purpose Cleaner

  • Equal parts water and white vinegar
  • A few drops of your favorite essential oils

Use this recipe to wipe away the grime on trash cans, both inside and out of the refrigerator, laminate/linoleum floors, and more. It also makes an excellent glass cleaner. It can also be sprayed onto carpet to clean up pet messes. Once the area has been sprayed with the mixture, spread a thin layer of baking soda over it to deodorize and absorb any liquid. Let it sit for at least an hour, and then vacuum the baking soda up.
This mixture is not safe for natural stone, tile grout, or wood as the vinegar will etch it.

Vinegar and Dish Liquid All-Purpose Cleaner

  • Equal parts water and white vinegar
  • A few teaspoons of dish liquid
  • A few drops of your favorite essential oils

This recipe is similar to the first, but the dish liquid gives it extra strength against grease and grime. Just a reminder, because of the vinegar, this mixture is not safe for natural stone, tile grout, or wood.

Rubbing Alcohol All-Purpose Cleaner

  • 1/4 cup rubbing alcohol
  • 1 teaspoon of dish liquid
  • 3 cups of water

Rubbing alcohol with a concentration of at least 60% can kill a variety of bacteria, viruses, and fungi. This cleaner is excellent for helping to disinfect your home after someone is sick. This mixture is safe for stone but not for wood.

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