How to Make Non-Toxic All Purpose Cleaner

This effective all-purpose cleaner takes 2 minutes to make with common ingredients. The best part it it's completely safe to let kids to "help" you clean.

I’m okay if my house gets messy, but I don’t like it to get dirty. Which is why I’m glad I can make a simple and effective zero waste cleaner in no time. I have been making this for almost a decade, and it’s the only cleaner we use in our bathroom and kitchen. And yes, we are still all alive and healthy…

As a general rule, I don’t use any cleaners or chemicals in the house that I wouldn’t want to touch my body or my food - because if I’m spraying something around the kitchen, it’s very likely that it will end up touching my body and my food! This especially also goes for my kids. I wouldn’t let my kids touch or ingest bleach spray directly, so why would I let them do that passively through the kitchen table or counter?

Many conventional cleaners contain toxic ingredients that can lead to asthma and respiratory problems, skin irritations, nausea, and are poisonous to both humans and animals if swallowed. By the way, if you look at the Cleveland Clinic’s health warnings and safety tips for using conventional all purpose cleaners, it’ll scare the sh*#t out of you.

Before I started making my own cleaner, I bought natural or organic cleaners from the supermarket. The problem is that natural cleaners are still packaged in plastic, they are expensive and mainly made up of water, and they work no better than the DIY version. Bottom line: not a great value.

Why this cleaner works.

The main ingredient in this cleaner is simple white vinegar. Vinegar is an effective cleaner because of its antiseptic and antibacterial properties. The acid in vinegar breaks down not only bacteria but also mold, grease, soap scum and hard water stains. Lemon is a natural bleaching agent and the oil in the citrus peels make things shine. Of course, vinegar and citrus are also non-toxic and cheap (most of the year). I don’t like the smell of vinegar, but the citrus peels does a great job of masking it and making this cleaner smell fresh. You can also add essential oils to create some nice fragrance combos.

One more great thing about this all purpose spray is that it’s completely safe to let kids to “help” you clean.

The recipe.


  • Water
  • White vinegar
  • Citrus peels
  • Spray bottle


Cover citrus skins in a jar with white vinegar, and soak in a dark place for 1-2 weeks.
Fill an empty spray bottle up ¾ with vinegar mixture, straining out the peels.
Dilute with a little water.
Shake and spray!

If you want to add scented oils, lavender, basil, tea tree and eucalyptus are my favorites. Add more or less depending on how strong you would like it to smell.

Note: If you don’t have access to a bulk store, buy the largest bottle of white vinegar available at the supermarket and recycle the bottle. For the spray bottle, refilling an old empty cleaner spray bottle works fine.

This spray is great for any surface except marble and raw wood, which the acid in vinegar can damage over time.

Enjoy the good smells and clean kitchen!

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