Homemade All-Purpose Cleaner With Citrus

Every eco diva’s toolkit needs to have a really good all-purpose cleaner. One that is safe, effective and easy to make. This is one of my fav’s because you can use it anywhere in your home (like inside cupboards, or fridge/freezer, and all bathroom surfaces) and it smells amazing.

If you’ve been using toxic cleaners to clean your home you may be wondering how effective these DIY ingredients may be.  I promise you once you transition, you won’t want to go back.

I have combined three citrus essential oils, each of them have bang-up cleaning properties.

Vinegar: Versatile and safe to use on almost anything in your home (I’d shy away from granite and marble). Vinegar is an amazing cleaner on its own and when paired with certain ingredients, but not castile soap, baking soda or hydrogen peroxide. Read more about that here.

Rubbing Alcohol: It’s one of the best cleaning agents in the world, but you probably won’t find it in the cleaning aisle, but rather in the first-aid aisle. It does have a strong smell, so make sure you are in a well-ventilated area when making this recipe. This solvent is a really good disinfectant too. You can also use rubbing alcohol to clean your sponges or cloths, just soak them in a bowl for 10 minutes and rise.  It’s also an excellent cleaner for stainless steel….bye bye fingerprints. YAY.

Make sure you store it properly, it is highly flammable so keep it away from heat.

Homemade DIY all-purpose kitchen cleaner


Essential oils: Are really concentrated oils derived from plants that have both medicinal and cleaning properties, depending on what you are using. I use them quite a bit in both my skincare recipes and cleaning recipes. Many of them are anti-bacterial (tea tree), anti-fungal (lemon) and simply smell beautiful too. They are a great way to add a soft fragrance to your home without worrying about all the crap in conventional fragrances and cleaners. Using essential oils in the home is a very effective way to keep your home clean and smelling amazing.

Lemon: Lemon is one of the most “essential” oils to have on hand and can be used as a teeth whitener, laundry freshener, cellulite cream, face wash and household cleaner. It’s so purifying and the smell is lovely (I think I said that already).

Lime: Like lemon essential oil, it has antibacterial, antiseptic and antiviral properties.

Orange: great scent and a really great degreaser.


DIY homemade all-purpose cleaner


Print Recipe
Homemade All-Purpose Cleaner with a Citrus Twist
Candice Batista The Eco Hub
Candice Batista The Eco Hub
  1. Combine in a clean spray bottle, shake and clean!
  2. Spray directly onto surface and wipe clean
  3. Store in a cool, dark place
Recipe Notes

You can use other essential oils in the cleaner too - tea tree, eucalyptus and pine will provide a beautiful scent too.
Remember to do a patch test before using.


DIY homemade all-purpose cleaner

DIY homemade all-purpose cleaner

A few other things to keep in mind when cleaning your home:

  1. Open the Windows, even in the winter. Leave them open for about 10 minutes a day, this is going to air out all the VOCs that may be lingering about and freshen the space as well (in the summer if you have allergies, I urge caution).
  2. Use microfiber cloths to clean, they are built to last, I colour code each room and keep them handy, use them as you like, then toss them in the wash. No waste. No fuss.

If you try this recipe, I’d love to see a photo, tag @theecohub on social media and use the hashtag #TheEcoHub, I’d love to see your creations.



 There is nothing better than detoxing your home using cleaners that are safe, effective and cheap to make. A good all-purpose cleaner is a must-have in your home and trust me you’ll love this once you try it. The essential oils I have choose to you will halo your home smell amazing and keep it free of nasty toxins as well. Do you like to use essential oils in your home? Let me know in the comments.


Candice Batista

Candice Batista is an award winning Environmental Journalist and one of Canada’s leading eco advocates. Her career spans national and international media outlets, where she has used her background in environmental studies and media & communications to produce and report on various environmental and climate issues for primarily television and digital audiences including Huffington Post, The Globe & Mail, The Weather Network, CityTV, Rogers Television, The Pet Network, iChannel, and CTV, where she is currently the National Eco Expert for the stations number 1 daytime talk show, The Marilyn Denis Show.

  1. Definitely doing this .. when I think of the solvent I use daily for regular wiping of surfaces etc now worried about the toxins. What a wake-up call. Thanks and great post!

  2. This is fantastic Candice. I had already been using vinegar to clean but hadn’t thought of adding lemon, alcohol and essential oils. Beautiful website vibe and great ideas!

  3. Just a quick question about safe surface use! I have quartz counters, have you used this before on them? And I read that you say rubbing alcohol works for stainless steel, but does this recipe work for it too? What other surfaces do you use it on? Thanks in advance!

    1. Hi Amanda, thanks so much for your note. Rubbing alcohol is a fantastic cleaner for stainless steel, just make sure to use a soft cloth like microfiber (to avoid scratches). For your quartz countertop, you can certainly use rubbing alcohol and/or vinegar, if you are following this recipe, I would just leave out the essential oils.
      Or you can mix three parts dish detergent for one part rubbing alcohol, then add warm water. If you want something a little stronger you can use this recipe, it works really well. http://candicebatista.com/diy-all-purpose-kitchen-scouring-scrub-cleanser/ (I use it on my quartz countertop)
      I use this all-purpose cleaner inside my fridge, on the stove, inside cupboards, in the bathroom, the kitchen sink and even on the bathroom and kitchen floors. I hope this help, a good rule of thumb is to alway do a patch test. If you need more info, please do let me know. 🙂

  4. Thanks Candice. We use similar recipes and our clients especially love lemongrass, lavender and Jasmine essential oils. We service a lot of business class condo owners and we get in while their out to other cities. We love getting calls telling us how they just walked into their apartment after a long flight and feel so ‘at home’ walking into a refreshing clean smelling home.

  5. Hi Candice, I really wanted to try your all purpose cleaner recipe, but was reminded that due to the fact that I have granite counter tops, it wouldn’t be such a good idea. Can you please recommend a recipe that I could use around the house as an all purpose cleaner, include on granite?

    1. Hi Kristie,
      Thanks for your question. For general cleaning, you can use a mild soap (like Dr. Bronner’s Castile soap) and water, just make sure to use a soft cloth, as granite scratches easily. Or you can also add a bit of rubbing alcohol to the mix.

      2 cups water
      ¼ cup rubbing alcohol
      1 tablespoon castile soap
      10 drops essential oils – I’d go with either tea tree or eucalyptus or lemon or orange, this step is optional, I like to add oils to the mix as they are antibacterial and also have powerful cleaning properties.
      Hope this helps and happy cleaning! 🙂

  6. I’d must check with you here. Which is not one thing I typically do! I appreciate reading a post that can make folks think. Also, thanks for allowing me to comment!

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