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 Homemade All-Purpose Cleaner With Citrus is one of my favorites because you can use it anywhere in your home (like inside cupboards, 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, and each of them has bang-up cleaning properties.

Homemade All-Purpose Cleaner Ingredients

1. 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.

2. 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 rinse.  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.

3. Essential Oils

These 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.

4. 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, household cleaner, or even natural laundry detergent. It's so purifying and the smell is lovely (I think I said that already).

all the ingredients to make a Homemade All-Purpose Cleaner With CitrusPin

5. Lime

Like lemon essential oil, it has antibacterial, antiseptic, and antiviral properties. Orange: great scent and a really great degreaser.

Making DIY All-Purpose Cleaner


  • ½ cup Vinegar
  • ½ cup Distilled water
  • 2 tbsp Rubbing alcohol
  • 5 drops of Lemon essential oil
  • 5 drops of Lime essential oil
  • 5 drops of Orange essential oil


  • Combine in a clean spray bottle, shake and clean!
  • Spray directly onto the surface and wipe clean
  • Store in a cool, dark place
all the ingredients to make a Homemade All-Purpose Cleaner With CitrusPin

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.

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

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).

Use microfiber cloths to clean, they are built to last, I color-code each room and keep them handy, use them as you like, then toss them in the wash. No waste. No-fuss. If waste is something you are worried about, I've got a comprehensive guide on how to make your cleaning zero waste. And if DIY is not your vibe, that's okay, you can take a look at these natural cleaning products, or these eco cleaners that disinfect and you'll need a good mop when using the DIY all-purpose cleaner!

If you love a good DIY, make sure to check out the following articles:

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 chosen for 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.

If you found this post helpful, please help someone by sharing this article – sharing is caring 🙂!

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16 thoughts shared

  1. Comment author image

    Michelle R Pinheiro


    I also enjoy making my own cleaners …a really great one with essential oils is: equal parts 99% isopropyl alcohol, 99%ethyl alcohol u can get the ethyl at (Walgreens or riteaid in oregon idk about other states) then water and real lemon juice but boil the lemon and the lemon peels on stove in apple cider vinegar just until it boils then add to mix with a dash of salt…CAN ADD ESSENTIAL OILS IF YOU DESIRE.

  2. 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!

  3. 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. Comment author image

      Candice Batista


      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! 🙂

  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.

    1. Comment author image

      Candice Batista


      Thanks for your note Maria. This is fabulous. Essential oil are “essential” in my home. They are so effective.

  5. 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. Comment author image

      Candice Batista


      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. 🙂

  6. 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!

    1. Comment author image

      Candice Batista


      Thanks Robin, I’ll be sharing lots more recipes. I love vinegar too! Give this a try and let me know how it works for you. 🙂

  7. 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!