Homemade All Purpose Cleaner – Citrus and Vinegar

Homemade all-purpose cleaner

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This is the most simple-to-make homemade all-purpose cleaner there ever was. You’re going to love it. This is a brilliant idea, but I must admit, I did not come up with it myself. However, it takes some time to make, so if you don’t have time, this is not the recipe for you. Well, it is more accurate to say that this homemade all-purpose cleaner is very quick to put together but the solution takes a while because it must sit for a quite a while (two weeks) in order for it to be ready to use. My suggestion is to make it when you are half-way through your current all-purpose cleaner.

If you cannot wait for two weeks to make your own, I really like this kind. It smells amazing!

Toxin ingredients in all-purpose cleaners

According to the Canadian Health Food Association, commercial all-purpose cleaners contain MEA, DEA and TEA; these chemicals are possible carcinogens. They also contain synthetic fragrances that can cause migraines and/or that many people are sensitive to. They contain dyes and petrochemical derivatives that are contaminated with cancer-causing heavy metals. Furthermore, all-purpose cleaners contain ammonia. Ammonia causes damage to the skin, eyes, throat and lungs. There are also harmful compounds that mimic estrogen and affect the endocrine system and that are associated with reproductive problems (source).

Natural ingredients

There are only two, natural ingredients in this homemade all-purpose cleaner – vinegar and citrus fruit rind (fruit rind is the part of the fruit that is used to make essential oils). I used lemons, but I am looking forward to trying grapefruit or a combination of lemon, lime and grapefruit.

This homemade all-purpose cleaner is a double-whammy because vinegar and citrus are both excellent cleaners and disinfectants. You could just use distilled water and citrus rinds, but adding vinegar makes it a more powerful cleaner and I don’t find that I can smell the vinegar at all. Now, let’s get to the recipe.


Homemade All Purpose Cleaner
  • 6 grapefruit 8 lemons or 10 limes (or a mixture of all three)
  • enough vinegar to fill a jar
  • 500 gm mason jar
  • BPA-free squirt bottle
  1. Remove the rind from the fruit and place it in the mason jar.
  2. Pour vinegar over the rind and fill to the top (be sure to completely cover the rind).
  3. Put the lid on and tighten.
  4. Let the solution sit for two weeks in a cool, dark area.
  5. Once two weeks is up, pour the solution into a squirt bottle.

That’s it. Your homemade all-purpose cleaner is ready to use. Happy cleaning!

*That is my 8 year old son’s adorable little hands holding that jar of refreshing cleanliness. He wanted to get in on the picture. 🙂


Please share if you know someone who might love this recipe. Thanks! 🙂

Have you tried making your own homemade all purpose cleaner? Do you have a favorite non-toxic store-bought product? Share your comments below.

Be happy, stay healthy! 🙂







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