Waste Not

attempting to waste less and live more deliberately

The Simplest All-Purpose Cleaner

1 Comment


the simplest all-purpose cleaner




It wasn’t too long ago that we went about our daily lives with minimal chemical exposure. Now, it seems everything contains chemicals, from the food we eat to the cosmetics we slather on our bodies.  Researchers are still studying the effects chemicals have on our bodies, making it difficult to speak with any certainty of their safety. This is one reason we attempt to make most of our own products from ingredients that we know are safe.

Are you interested in learning more? American Lung Association and Tox Town


A gallon (128 oz) of White Distilled Vinegar should cost about $3. I use about 10 oz when I make a full batch of cleaning solution. That means one gallon of WDV yields about 13 spray bottles worth of cleaning solution.

One lemon costs about 50 cents.

$3 (cost of WDV) / 13 (total yield) = 23 cents

.23 + .50 (cost of a lemon) = .73

.73 + 0 (cost of water from tap) =.73

.73 total cost of one batch of natural and effective all-purpose cleaning solution.

13 home-made bottles at .73 = $9.49

13 store-bought bottles at $3 (average cleaning spray cost) = $39


Being able to reuse the same container time and time again = way less waste!



Spray Bottle – Mine is an old, cleaned out method bottle.

Label – This is important so someone doesn’t accidentally mistake your all-purpose cleaner for plain water and mist the ferns! I printed some on some adhesive labels (these will probably last a life time!)


you may also spot labels for anti-bac cleaner. 1 part vinegar, 1 part water, 8 drops tea tree oil

White Distilled Vinegar –

“For 10,000 years this fermented alcohol (most probably accidentally stumbled upon) has had hundreds of different uses. The Babylonians discovered its preserving properties; the Romans drank it; the Greeks pickled vegetables and meats in it; and soldiers during the American Civil War used it to treat scurvy. It heals wounds, cleans glass, and melts away limescale and grease […] Once you realize how useful it is, you will probably want to stock up on several gallons of this magical liquid!”

– A Guide To Green Housekeeping by Christina Strutt, Cabbages &Roses, Cisco Books London New York

FAVORITE HOUSEKEEPING BOOK EVER! Want to buy a copy? Amazon it!

More on the many uses of White Distilled Vinegar HERE.

Lemon –

They smell good, they taste good, you can clean with them! Read more about that HERE.

Water – tap!


Simply combine 1 part vinegar, 1 part water, juice of one lemon



I quite enjoy the smell of vinegar while cleaning, if this smell is not for you, worry not! A month or so before making your cleaner ration your 1 part vinegar into a mason jar and load it with citrus peels (any kind will do)! When you are ready to make your cleaner just discard the citrus peels and combine ingredients as stated above.


Before trying it out, do some research and make sure the ingredients won’t damage the surface you are spraying it on! Especially for sensitive surfaces like granite and marble.


I am very pleased with this cleaner!

Do you have any go to cleaning ingredients? Baking Soda? Borax?

♥ ali


One thought on “The Simplest All-Purpose Cleaner

  1. I know the labels say juice of 1/2 a lemon, but now I use a full one! The ones I buy at market tend to run on the small side.

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