How To Make An All-Purpose Cleaner (That Will Leave Your Surfaces Shining!)

How To Make An All-Purpose Cleaner (That Will Leave Your Surfaces Shining!)

Everyone should have a good, all-purpose cleaner in their kit. They can be used to clean glass, tile, plastic, wood, metal and more (they're best for cleaning off stubborn dirt and stains).

When you're using a cleaning product on that many different surfaces in your home, you'd be right to wonder what's in it. Maybe you have children and pets and you're concerned about them coming into contact with the toxic solutions?

Why not try making your own all-purpose cleaner? It's surprisingly simple.  

Homemade all-purpose cleaner recipe

You probably have most of these already! 

Ingredients (makes enough for a bottle) 

  • 3/4 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 1 and 1/2 cup water 
  • 6 drops grapefruit essential oils
  • 6 drops lemon essential oils 


  1. Add water and vinegar to the bottle, using a funnel to reduce spillages. 
  2. Add your essential oils. You can use any essential oil that you like, but we opted for a combination of lemon and grapefruit.
  3. Shake to combine. 
  4. Spray directly onto surfaces to clean - no need to dilute. 

As water and oil are not the best of friends, you'll notice that after a short while the ingredients separate. Just give the mixture a good shake before each use. 

Lemon and grapefruit are great essential oils to use in cleaning products because they have antiviral and antibacterial qualities. They are also fab for cutting through grease and even boost your mood! 

WARNING: always be cautious when using new products. This all-purpose cleaner can be used on most surfaces, however, care should be taken. The acidic nature of vinegar could cause damage to some materials.

Always check with the manufacturer, or spot test, before using.

Will you be giving this a try? Let us know in the comments below! 

Joanne A


Expert in finding beautiful solutions for small and rented spaces. Would happily spend the rest of my life shopping for homewares and watching Disney movies - I only wish I had Cinderella's army of mice to help me clean!

  1. Author Christina Brenda Livesey on September 7, 2019 at 4:10 pm

    I'd love to make this - but can't find White Vinegar locally. I use Aldi and Lidl for shopping. Neither stock it. I live in a rural area where none of the large supermarkets have stores. Maybe I can get it from Amazon - though I dislike using them because of the way they treat their employees, as well as their lack of "green" credentials

    1. Author Joanne A on September 9, 2019 at 12:24 pm

      Hi Christina! I'm sure I've found white vinegar in Aldi before, but maybe your local branch has less stock than mine? Have you asked the staff in the shops if they can check for you?

  2. Author Lesley Reeves on September 8, 2019 at 11:14 am

    Is distilled white vinegar the same as pure white vinegar? I think I've seen the pure vinegar in Wilkos but not sure if it's the same stuff, and is it ok to use ordinary white vinegar if distilled/pure isn't available? Will have a go at it and try a few different oils too. Thanks for the tip.

    1. Author Joanne A on September 9, 2019 at 12:38 pm

      Hi Lesley! Either white vinegar (spirit vinegar) or distilled white vinegar will work for cleaning. One is typically made from fermented sugar, while the other is made from fermented fruit. Distilled white vinegar is more refined, which normally makes it more expensive too.

  3. Author Clair on February 16, 2023 at 10:28 am

    I buy it by the gallon from Amazon. I use it for washing my towels and bedding.

    1. Author Joanne A on February 16, 2023 at 3:29 pm

      That's a good idea!


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