31 Days to Green Clean: Homemade Multipurpose Cleaner

31 Days to Green Clean

This is Day 8 in the 31 Days to Green Clean series! 

Happy Monday! I hope everyone had a great weekend! We were battling the sickies here all weekend, which was not fun! Let me tell you that I am thankful that I have all natural cleaning solutions that I know will also disinfect and kill germs! And I’m sharing one of them with you today! Sorry for the lack of a post yesterday, between being sick and issues with our internet, it just didn’t happen. But, it’s good to take a day of rest, right?!

homemade multipurpose cleaner

So today I have my recipe for Homemade Multipurpose Cleaner. This is the main cleaner that we use around our house because hubs doesn’t like the smell of vinegar.

We use it to clean our bathroom, kitchen, dining table and benches, floors and basically anything else that needs a good cleaning.

You make this multipurpose cleaner by mixing water, castile soap and tea tree oil in an empty spray bottle. The castile soap gives it strong cleaning power, and the tea tree oil has anti-viral and anti-bacterial qualities, so this cleaner disinfects and cleans naturally without using dangerous chemicals.

Homemade Multipurpose Cleaner

  • Fill a 32 oz spray bottle to an inch or two below the fill line, leave room to add the soap and essential oil.
  • Add approx. 2 Tbsp. castile soap (I like peppermint or citrus, but you can use any scent you like, or even unscented)
  • Add 10-20 drops of tea tree oil
  • Shake gently to combine.

This cleaner can be used anywhere that you would use the vinegar cleaner, or any other conventional multipurpose cleaner, around your house. After you make it, I’d love to hear how you like it!


If you like this cleaner, you’ll love my popular Homemade Disinfecting Wipes

Homemade Disinfecting Wipes
Also, if you missed it on Saturday, I asked for your questions about homemade and green cleaning, so I can try to answer some of those questions in future posts!

Go here to read all the posts in the 31 Days to Green Clean series.


Green Your Life: A Guide to Natural, Eco-Friendly Living by Emily McClements of LiveRenewed.comP.S. Are you tired of using toxic chemical cleaners around your home?  Do you wish you could replace your conventional cleaners with natural and effective cleaners that are truly safe to use around your family? 

My eBook, Green Your Life, will walk you step-by-step through replacing all of the conventional chemicals cleaners in your home with homemade, non-toxic cleaning solutions. You will save money by using inexpensive, natural ingredients to make multipurpose cleaning products that can replace the many different cleaning products you have in your cabinets right now. Begin your green cleaning journey today!

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  1. Kelly H. says

    I finally made the multi purpose cleaner with the castile soap, but I find that the castile soap is separating from the water like it does when mixed with vinegar. It separates into big white clumps. We have hard water and our county treats the water with lots of clorine, so maybe that’s why. Do you think using some dish soap in place of the castile soap would work for the multipurpose cleaner? (I have Seventh Generation dishsoap in two different scents.) Any suggestions would be helpful and much appreciated! : )

    • Emily @ Live Renewed says

      Oh that’s a bummer Kelly, I’m not really sure why it would do that. You could try using hot water at first to see if that would help the castile soap to dissolve better. Otherwise, yes, I definitely think that a natural dish soap is a great alternative to castile soap for a multipurpose cleaner. I have used that when I’ve run out of castile soap but needed to make more cleaner. Thanks for your question!

      • Kelly H. says

        Thanks for responding! : ) I will definitely try that. I had also tried to use castille soap mixed with water in my bathroom soap dispenser but it did the same thing. I will try the dishsoap and water for that too. It’s a whole lot cheaper than regular liquid hand soap, that’s for sure!

        • Emily @ Live Renewed says

          Oh, I also meant to say that it probably does have something to do with your water. I know another blogger who tried castile soap for her foaming hand soap and she said the same thing – that it just separates and gets all yucky. So I guess it doesn’t work with every water type. Hope you find something that works well for you!

          • Liz says

            I know that with a lot of the natural cleaning/cleaner recipes that I have used you need to go get distilled water for them, because the minerals block the soap from foaming. You could try adding a tsp of washing soda or filtering the water with a brita or pur water filter first. Good luck.

          • Greg says

            I’ve found that when I use distilled water with my natural cleaning formulas they tend to stay together – unless the container gets too cold. I haven’t tried this formula yet but probably will soon (or a similar – I’m researching my options right now…)

  2. Galanda B says

    This cleaner is AWESOME! I loved the way it smelled after I put the tea tree oil in. I was so excited that I started cleaning right away and before I knew it half the bottle (28 oz) was gone! I will never purchase cleaner again. I just have to convince my hubby…

  3. JBinDE says

    I think I saw on another of your cleaning pages Tea Tree oil is harmful to pets. So is this general cleaner okay to use? I was thinking with it being such a small amt in a whole bottle, its probably safe.
    THANKS for your great ideas & information

    • says

      Hi JBin DE, Thanks for stopping by! I am not completely sure about Tea Tree Oil being harmful to pets, but we do have a dog and use this cleaner all around our house and have not noticed any adverse effects. I would just be careful not to let the cleaner or any tea tree oil get directly on your pet’s skin, and do more research if you feel it is necessary. Hope that helps!

    • Lee says

      Tea Tree oil is toxic to pets and people if ingested. Whenever I use Tea Tree Antiseptic Cream to my hands or legs, my cat goes nuts and tries to lick it all off. Due to the Tea Tree oil being a small component in the cleaner, I’m taking an educated guess in saying it should be fine. Just like when my doofus cat licks the Tea Tree Cream I apply, he’s fine, he’s just a tad addicted, and I don’t encourage it. If, however, the pet or person was to ingest the oil, undiluted or poorly diluted, that’s definitely bad.

  4. Marion says

    Made this this morning and cleaned the bathroom while the kids were playing in the tub. It gave me a few uninterrupted minutes to clean, I didn’t have to worry about toxic fumes and my bathroom is sparkling. For the toilet and shower I sprayed the cleaner, let it sit for a few minutes, then sprinkled with baking soda to make a paste and scrubbed away. Thanks for the great recipe !!

  5. Gail Davenport says

    Today I have made my first every batch of multi purpose cleaner and I am more than happy with the results! My home is fresh and clean and its the first time in as long as I can remember that I have not needed my asthma inhaler after cleaning the bathroom with the my ususl chemical laden anti bacterial spray, instead I used the cleaner everywhere and a white vinegar and lemon essential oil mix on the toilet. I just want to say a big thank you to to all of you for your advice, tips and comments, from a very happy UK woman converted forever!

  6. Janis says

    Oh boy…after I got so excited about cleaning my home with vinegar, water and tea tree oil!
    Now I would like to try your Homemade Multipurpose Cleaner, but I have a question: should the surfaces be rinsed after using a cleaner made with castile soap? I assumed they didn’t have to be when using vinegar. Thanks!

  7. faizah says

    I just made today all purpose natural for cleaning, i use several essential oil, lemongrass, vetiver, rosemary, cinnamon, thyme, and patchouli, i love the smell so fresh oh yes one more kefir lime oil, i use for floor toilet i made also natural shampoo, natural dish soap laundry soap etc just hobby i love essential oil, for my cats room i spray with palmarosa, vetiver, and lavender……today i wash all my cats i use home made shampoo and lemongrass essential oil just small drop…….

  8. Theresa says

    Hi, I have found that when I mix tea tree oil in a spray bottle with water (this is my favored cleaning solution) if it sits for any length of time (even a few days) the spray bottle stops working. I attribute this to tea tees deep penitrationg quality and have stopped putting it in a spray bottle and insted just mix some in a glass jar. My question is have any of you that have made this fined this to be a problem?

  9. Kerry says

    I have been making my own cleaners for about a year now, and I must confess, I really don’t like the smell of vinegar. I’m looking to switch to hydrogen peroxide, and I’m also going to grab a bottle of castile soap the next time I go shopping. I know that tea tree essential oil is naturally disinfecting, but can you add hydrogen peroxide to this cleaner as an added bang to the antimicrobial properties? Also, I’ve been using vinegar and baking soda mixed with essential oils to clean my toilet. I just saw your post about how vinegar and baking soda isn’t a good antibacterial cleaner. Do you have an alternative? Thanks!


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