Mix Your Own All-Purpose Cleaner for Pennies

Updated on April 19, 2019
JMichaelMartin profile image

J. Michael Martin is a professional writer, photographer, and adjunct professor.

Did you know most expensive spray cleaners are roughly 90% water? Many name brands cost $5 to $10 for a 32-ounce bottle that leave abrasive chemical residues. My wife has sensitive sinuses, and most chemical cleaners contain chlorinated bleach that causes her nose to bleed. She tasked me to create an alternative, and I quickly came up with a recipe that cleans and disinfects without any harsh chemical odors.

We have been using this formula for years now, and my wife has never had a sinus problem using this formula. In fact, she claims it cleans better than most name brands. The best part is by spending $20 on common cleaning supplies, you can make enough cleaner to last years.

All you need to make your own all-purpose cleaner.
All you need to make your own all-purpose cleaner. | Source


  • 2 Tablespoons Borax
  • 1/4 Cup Dish Detergent, (Dawn, Ajax)
  • 1/4 Cup Laundry Detergent, Bleach Free (Tide, Arm & Hammer)
  • 2 Tablespoons Non Chlorinated Bleach, Two Capfulls is fine
  • 1 32 Ounce Bottle, Chemical Resistant
  • 1 Tablespoon Scented Oil or Extract (Optional), Mint, Lavender, Lemon, etc...

You can actually half the amounts listed above and still make a good cleaner. I use more than I need, and then I refill the bottle with water once the finished solution drops to 1/3, then to 1/2.

The solution will still be cloudy, but you want the borax in suspension for later.
The solution will still be cloudy, but you want the borax in suspension for later. | Source

How to Make a Homemade Cleaner

  1. Purchase a 32-ounce chemical resistant bottle with a strong sprayer. You can find these in the gardening section at Wal Mart or other stores.
  2. Add the Borax to the bottle (A funnel really helps).
  3. Fill the bottle up with 8 ounces of hot water, then swirl to dissolve the borax. You may still see borax crystals floating around, but that is fine.
  4. Next add 1/4 cup Dish Detergent. I use Ajax, because it is cheap and effective. Dawn also works as well.
  5. Add 1/4 cup of Laundry Detergent. Make sure there is no bleach in the laundry detergent.
  6. Add 2 tablespoon (or capfulls) of non-chlorinated bleach to the bottle.
  7. (Optional): Add 1 tablespoon of a scent of your choice to the bottle. Lemon oil, mint extract, lavender oil, etc... all work just fine.
  8. Fill up the bottle slowly with warm water, then gently swirl. If you fill up the bottle too fast or swirl vigorously, then bubbles will form. You may need to wait up to an hour for the bubbles to dissipate before you can finish filling up the bottle.
The color of the detergents will also determine the color of your homemade cleaner.
The color of the detergents will also determine the color of your homemade cleaner. | Source

With just a few dollars of cleaning supplies and five minutes of your time, you can make a cheap all-purpose cleaner that doesn't leave harmful odors. You can also customize the scent depending on the types of oils you add.

Disclaimer: Do not ingest this cleaner. If you get any on your skin, wash the affected area immediately. Rinse out your eyes immediately if any cleaner comes into contact with your eyes. This isn't as harmful as many other cleaners on the market, but it is still a disinfectant that may damage skin and eyes.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.


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