How to Make Your Own All-Purpose Cleaner (Without Vinegar)

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Perhaps you’re starting your journey to completely get rid of harsh chemicals in your house. So, you look up ways to create your own household cleaner, and in almost all of these recipes, vinegar plays an important role.

What if vinegar is a deal-breaker for you, though? Today is your lucky day because we’ll show you how to make your own all-purpose cleaner without vinegar. Let’s get right into it!

What Are the Alternatives You Can Use Instead of Vinegar

One of the many reasons you probably wouldn’t want to include vinegar in your cleaner recipe is its strong smell.

Another thing about vinegar you should know is that it’s harmful to certain surfaces like natural stone, marble, granite, and hardwood. Because of vinegar’s acidity can be corrosive to these surfaces, damaging them in the long run.

Luckily, you can use safer, alternative ingredients for your homemade, all-purpose cleaner. Here are some of them:

1. Castile Soap

This plant-based soap is made from palm, olive, and coconut oil. Since it’s made of organic ingredients, Castile soap is non-toxic and safe for the skin.

We recommend you use Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap with tea tree oil. This soap helps fight bacteria and viruses.

You can get a pack of two 16-ounce bottles for $23.24. Sure, they’re expensive, but they can last for months! Castile liquid soap is highly concentrated, so a little bit of it goes a long way.

2. Baking Soda

Baking soda is one of the best natural cleaners you can use for household purposes. It’s an alkali that can easily break down grease and grime. It’s inexpensive and highly accessible—you can buy some from your local supermarket!

3. Rubbing Alcohol

Rubbing alcohol’s active ingredient is Isopropanol. This makes it a powerful germicide that can kill various bacteria and viruses. It doesn’t only kill harmful germs, but it can also clean stainless-steel surfaces without leaving water spots.

4. Dawn Dish Soap

Dawn dish soap is a good household cleaner because it contains active ingredients called surfactants. Surfactants help the cleaning agents mix with water, ultimately allowing them to lift dirt and grease from surfaces.

What Are Simple Recipes You Can Try

Now that you’ve learned about the ingredients you’ll need, we’ll show you some quick and easy recipes you can try to achieve your all-purpose cleaner concoction. Follow these step-by-step guides:

Combine Baking Soda and Castile Soap

  • Step 1: Put two teaspoons of baking soda into your glass spray bottle. We don’t recommend using plastic bottles as they may leach chemicals into your homemade cleaner over time.
  • Step 2: Pour one cup of room temperature water and shake the bottle until the baking soda dissolves. It’s best to use distilled, filtered, or boiled water for your cleaner to prevent bacteria growth and increase shelf life.
  • Step 3: Add one teaspoon of Castile soap and swirl the bottle in circles to combine it with the mixture.
  • Note: It’s important not to shake the bottle at this point as this may result in bubbles — they delay the mixing of baking soda and Castile soap.
  • Step 4: Spray the cleaner directly on the dirty surface and wipe it with a damp cloth.

Mix Castile Soap with Rubbing Alcohol

  • Step 1: Pour a half cup of 70% rubbing alcohol into your spray bottle.
  • Step 2: Add half a teaspoon of Castile soap.
  • Step 3: Pour 1 ½ cups of distilled water into the mixture.
  • Step 4: Mix in 15 drops of essential oils. This step is optional, but if you’d like to add some, we recommend you use rosemary. It’s a natural antifungal, antiseptic, and antibacterial essential oil.
  • Tip: Not only does rosemary make your cleaner smell fresh, but it also helps strengthen the solution’s disinfecting power.
  • Step 5: Gently swish your bottle to mix the ingredients.

Use Dawn Dish Soap

  • Step 1: Pour 16 ounces of warm water into your spray bottle.
  • Step 2: Add two teaspoons of Dawn dish soap.
  • Step 3: Swirl the bottle gently to mix the soap and water.

Why Should You Make Your Homemade All-Purpose Cleaner

Going organic when it comes to cleaning your house may require lots of adjustments and lots of learning to do.

However, all of that will be worth it when you consider the benefits of completely unsubscribing from using store-bought cleaning supplies.

Listed below are some of these advantages:

1. Reduced Health Risks

According to the Environmental Working Group, some studies showed that various health risks are linked to using toxic household cleaners.

Because of the harsh substances they contain, they can easily cause health problems over time. Some of these include the following:

  • Chemical burns and poisonings
  • Skin irritation and allergies
  • Asthma and other respiratory problems
  • Risk of cancer
  • Birth defects

2. Save Money

Commercial household cleaners are getting increasingly expensive these days due to increasing demand. You also spend more money than you have to because one cleaning product is usually exclusive for one purpose only.

A homemade, all-purpose cleaner is cost-effective and pretty versatile. It helps you save money because you no longer need to buy high-priced products.

You don’t need to pick up various types of cleaners for different uses, too, because it’s already your all-around cleaning buddy! Now you can set aside more of your cash for a rainy day.

3. Protect Mother Nature

Store-bought cleaning supplies are harmful to the environment in more ways than one. They contain toxic chemicals, use plastic packaging, and increase fuel usage.

When you create your own all-natural, self-made cleaner, you’ll be able to help reduce the damaging effects of commercial cleaning supplies on the environment.

The Toxic Waste

Toxic chemicals like phosphorus, ammonia and nitrogen are found in most cleaning products. When they’re used on toilets and sinks, they’re eventually rinsed down the drain.

Before the water returns to rivers and lakes, wastewater treatment facilities remove the harmful chemicals that come along with it.

However, sometimes, not all of these substances are completely removed. These excess contaminants then end up in bodies of water, causing detrimental outcomes to nature and wildlife.

Plastic Packaging

Although cleaning products are packaged in plastic that’s essentially recyclable, most individuals throw them away completely. The plastic then accumulates in landfills and a simple plastic bottle can take up to 450 years to fully decompose.  

Toxic chemicals in partially-empty containers also pose a problem to these dump sites. They can harm animals that may come in contact with the contaminated garbage at the site.

Production Waste

Usually, mass-produced cleaning supplies are manufactured in locations miles away from your local supermarket. Because of this, getting cleaning products to consumers requires numerous transportation phases.

The entire process requires a huge amount of fossil fuel which can ultimately contribute to global warming pollution.


You can easily learn how to make your own all-purpose cleaner without vinegar, especially with the help of equally effective alternative ingredients.

Not only does creating your own natural household cleaner help keep you and your family safe from harmful chemicals, but it can also save money and reduce the harmful effects these commercial cleaners do on Mother Earth.

Now, off you go, our little scientist! Concoct away!

About Emily Leake

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