This easy DIY natural cleaning spray has only 3 ingredients and it’s my go-to recipe for a safe and effective multi-purpose household cleaning spray. I’ve been experimenting with different DIY cleaners for years now as it’s such a simple and affordable way to switch to natural cleaning products for the home without spending a small fortune!
Reasons to Make Your Own Cleaning Products
1. Reduce your toxin exposure
Did you know that cleaning products are often considered one of the most important sources of indoor air pollution?! The air inside an average home can be 2-5 times more polluted than the air outside according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Low level cumulative exposure over time can be more damaging than a single large exposure.
An analysis by EWG found that close to 75% of cleaning products contain ingredients with detrimental effects to respiratory health, known carcinogens and can contribute to chronic health issues. There’s also a study that found regular use of cleaning sprays could have a comparable effect to smoking a pack of cigarettes every day!
There’s a misconception that cleanliness comes with a scent. In reality, fragrance simply masks odours and we should really be looking for no discernible scent at all when deciding is something smells “clean”. Most cleaning products contain synthetic fragrance that have hormone-disrupting properties and can cause allergic reactions.
Making your own multi-purpose cleaner can hugely reduce your exposure to these toxins. You’ll know exactly what ingredients are used and that they’re completely safe for you and your family.
2. Protect the environment
Many cleaning products come with negative environmental impacts too, with lasting effects to the environment and toxicity to aquatic life. If you have old cleaning products you no longer wish to use, make sure you don’t flush down the toilet or drain as this can contaminate streams and rivers – dispose of them as hazardous waste instead.
3. Budget friendly
When you add up the cost of cleaning products, it can often be more than you first expect! The average British household spends £2.50 a week on cleaning products (that’s £130 a year) and the household cleaning product industry is worth billions just in Europe alone.
You can buy your own refillable amber glass spray bottles like I did for a small one off cost (about £4 for 500ml size), or you can even just re-use old empty spray bottles. The ingredients in this DIY multi-purpose cleaning spray works out to around £0.24 per 500ml bottle. Each bottle lasts me a couple of weeks so that’s only £6.24 per year spent on multi-purpose cleaner!
4. It’s simple, easy & low waste
I couldn’t be much easier to make your own effective, natural cleaning spray. All you need is a spray bottle and a couple of ingredients that you most likely have in your kitchen already! This recipe is super simple and also zero/low waste too so it’s often a more sustainable choice!
DIY Multi-purpose Natural Cleaning Spray
Lemons are not only great nutritionally with their vitamin C content – they also have a low pH which makes it ideal for cleaning with a bactericidal effect (creating an inhospitable environment for bacterial growth). It makes a great addition to vinegar’s anti-microbial properties and brings that fresh, citrus scent to mask the pungent vinegar. The high acidity is also great for removing mineral deposits around sinks if you live in a hard water area and it helps dissolve soap scum and remove stains too.
You can use this cleaning spray almost anywhere in your home, from the kitchen and bathrooms to windows and mirrors. Bear in mind it’s highly acidic, so it’s not recommended to use on marble, granite or other sensitive surfaces. I would avoid using it on natural wood surfaces too.
Caution: never mix this cleaning spray with bleach-based cleaning products, as it will create toxic chlorine gas.
What you’ll need:
- Distilled white vinegar
- Lemons (or any citrus fruit!)
- Optional: fresh herbs like mint
- Large glass jar for steeping lemons
- Spray bottle
- Fine strainer/cloth
- Optional: funnel
Step 1. Steep Lemon rinds
When you’ve finished with fresh lemons, instead of throwing the rinds away, you want to collect them into a large glass jar. You can collect these gradually thought the week if you need to. It doesn’t take me long to fill a jar as I enjoy a big mug of warm lemon water every morning!
Cover the lemons with distilled, plain white vinegar, and if you’re feeling fancy add some fresh mint or lavender too for extra antiseptic properties. Leave to soak at room temperature, away from sunlight, for 1-3 weeks. The longer you leave it, the stronger the citrus scent will be.
Step 2. Strain the lemon/vinegar infusion
After the lemons have been steeping for 1-3 weeks, you need to strain the infusion to remove any lemon pulp and residue that might clog the spray bottle. Pour through a fine strainer, cheesecloth or even some old clothes fabric over a large bowl/jug to catch the liquid. It’s worth doing this twice to make sure all the residue is removed!
Step 3. Add to spray bottle
Pour the strained lemon/vinegar infusion into the spray bottle. You can use a funnel if you don’t have a steady hand. Depending on how strong you want your cleaning spray to be, you can go full strength or dilute half / two thirds with water. I’m personally happy to dilute with water to stretch the batch further as it’s still really effective!
Step 4. Get busy cleaning, naturally!
Your all-natural, homemade multi-purpose cleaning spray is ready for action! Spray on whatever needs cleaning, like sinks, stainless steel appliances, the fridge/freezer, tiles, bath, shower, windows, mirrors and any other sealed, durable surfaces. As I mentioned before, I would avoid use on marble, granite, natural wood, or any other sensitive surfaces that could be damaged by the acidity.
One of my favourite uses is for mineral deposits/soap scum around sinks and leaving stainless steel and glass surfaces spotless! It’s also great for deodorising so it’s ideal for chopping boards and in the fridge. I also like to use it for cleaning out the washing machine too.
You can leave the spray to sit for a few minutes for stubborn cleaning before wiping away with a damp cloth. For mirrors, windows and stainless steel, buff dry with a microfibre cloth for a streak-free finish!