The Need to Clean and Disinfect Never Ends

A task that is never ending at our house is wiping down counters, tables, floors, walls, really all surfaces.  Besides the everyday maintenance of wiping up after eating and meal prep, there are the endless spills that come with having children and teenagers who like to eat and do crafts.  I feel like I am always searching for my cleaner!

Chemical Free Is Important to Us

For 6 or 7 years now, I have made my own all purpose cleaner.  I will never go back to the chemical-smell of the store bought ones that I used to buy. If it smells so strong of chemicals, imagine how they affect growing children!

Cleaning with vinegar is a chemical free way to ensure the surfaces in your home are sanitized and free of germs.

Easy on the Wallet

Since I am cheap, uh hem, frugal, I don’t like the expense of the more natural cleaners available.  I admit that I do still buy generic bathroom bleach cleaner for my bathrooms. I just feel better when my bathrooms have been cleaned with bleach. But for all other surface cleaning around my house, I use this very simple recipe and my counter tops, tables, floors, and even carpets have always been clean and fresh.

How To Make It

In order to make this cleaner, you will need a chemical resistant spray bottle.  I purchased this one from Walmart Grocery and have been very pleased with how well it has held up.  This 3-pack set available on Amazon will also work very nicely.

This spray bottle is easy to refill and is perfect for filling with homemade all purpose cleaner

I use 1 part vinegar to 2 parts water.  My bottle has markings of ounces up to 24 ounces, so I roughly fill it to the 8 ounce mark with white vinegar and then the rest of the way up with water.  This in no way needs to be exact; cleaning with more or less vinegar isn’t going to affect the cleaning power of this solution very much.

You can even use a spray bottle that isn’t marked and eyeball ⅓ vinegar and fill the rest with water. 

Hydrogen Peroxide for Extra Power

Sometimes I will add a few tablespoons of hydrogen peroxide, especially during cold and flu season, to give an extra boost of anti-microbial power, but it is fine without the hydrogen peroxide as well. 

These, along with water, are all you need to formulate a highly effective, germ fighting all purpose cleaner

Add Essential Oils

After combining the water and vinegar, add 10 to 12 drops of your choice of essential oil for further antibacterial properties and to leave a pleasant smell when you are cleaning.

Although vinegar has exceptional antibacterial and grease-cutting characteristics, it does not have the most pleasant smell. 

I combat this by adding 10 to 12 drops of essential oil. This not only leaves a pleasant smell, but many essential oils have antimicrobial properties that work with the vinegar to leave surfaces germ free.

Varieties that work best

Essential oils that will give your home a fresh, clean smell are peppermint, lemon, clove, lavender, or orange (really any citrus flavor works beautifully in this recipe). 

Peppermint, citrus, lavender, and clove are all excellent choices to add to your vinegar cleaner.

I personally use peppermint the most often. Eden’s Garden and Plant Therapy have a very strong smelling, classic peppermint oil that lasts a long time. To see why I prefer these essential oil companies, click here.

But Oil and Water don’t Mix?

This is very true. To get around this fact of nature, simply shake your cleaner before spraying and the essential oil will disperse sufficiently in the water/vinegar mixture to get the job done.

Even though oil and water do not combine, shaking the cleaner before using it will enable the water and oil to work together.

Why Vinegar?

It Cuts Grease and Kills Germs

Vinegar is a natural substance that is acidic.  The acid cuts through the grease, grime, and soap scum making it an excellent cleaner.  Vinegar also is effective in killing viruses and bacteria including the flu virus.

Budget Friendly

Vinegar is very inexpensive. I buy a 2-pack of 1-gallon containers from Sam’s Club for under $4 and it lasts me at least 2 months, but I also use it in my laundry in place of fabric softener.  


The following surfaces should not be cleaned with vinegar:

  • Granite.
  • Marble.
  • Hardwood floors.
  • Irons.

This article contains links, from which I may get a small compensation if you decide to buy after clicking on them. The price is not affected at all if you use these links.

Ditch the chemicals and learn to make this simple, economical cleaner made with all natural ingredients. It really works!