How to Make an All-Natural Kitchen Cleaner with Things You Already Have

updated Apr 30, 2024
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(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

Cleaning is a necessary kitchen chore there’s simply no avoiding — but we’re all about finding any little trick that makes it easier, more convenient, or cheaper. Luckily, when it comes to DIY cleaning solutions, there are plenty of recipes you can make using just a few things you likely already have.

While chemists don’t recommend all at-home cleaning solutions, this one’s a winner. With just a few supplies, you can mix up your own all-natural cleaner using just three different things you likely have in your pantry right now. Do yourself a favor and make some today — you’ll be glad you did the next time your favorite cleaning solution runs out (and you’ve got a mess on your hands!).

Why Make Your Own Cleaner?

I used to spend a lot of money on all-natural cleaners from the store. Deciding I wanted to eliminate store-bought chemicals from my cleaning repertoire meant saying goodbye to cheap options, and splurging on better products from the organic grocery store.

But once I learned about the magical world of DIY cleaners, I was hooked. They work wonders on kitchen counters, save me lots of money, and give me peace of mind knowing exactly what goes into each bottle.

What Should Go Into Your DIY All-Natural Cleaner?

There are plenty of items you can put into DIY all-natural cleaners, from baking soda to castile soap to lemon juice. This solution keeps it simple — just distilled white vinegar, water, and essential oils — and here’s why.

White vinegar is a natural disinfectant. It contains 5% acetic acid, which has antimicrobial properties. It’s also great at cutting through grease and grime, so it’s perfect for cleaning kitchen surfaces like stovetops, tables, and counters. Vinegar on it its own is quite pungent, so I mixed it with equal parts water to help dilute it.

Vinegar is a great cleaner for nearly every surface, with the exception of soft stones, like marble countertops. (For marble, we recommend a gentler cleaner of dish soap mixed with hot water.) While you can certainly use just the vinegar-water mixture to clean, I always add a few drops or more of essential oil. For this cleaner, I used tea tree oil and grapefruit essential oil, as they both have antibacterial and antiseptic properties. (Plus, they smell great!)

How to Make an All-Natural Kitchen Cleaner

What You’ll Need

  • 1 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 drops tea tree oil
  • 3 drops grapefruit essential oil
  • 16-ounce glass bottle with spray attachment
  • 2-cup liquid measuring cup


Credit: Joe Lingeman
  1. Pour in the vinegar and water: Pour one cup of distilled white vinegar, then one cup of tap water into the glass bottle. Use a small funnel if necessary.
Credit: Joe Lingeman

2. Pour in the essential oil: Add three drops of tea tree oil and three drops of grapefruit essential oil into the bottle.

Credit: Joe Lingeman

3. Shake the bottle: Shake the bottle vigorously before using to allow all ingredients to distribute evenly throughout.

Credit: Joe Lingeman

4. Spray when needed: Spray directly onto the surface or onto a kitchen towel and wipe area clean.

Notes on the All-Natural DIY Cleaner

  • The essential oils tend to sit at the top of the bottle, so be sure to shake vigorously before spraying on any surfaces.
  • I used a glass bottle here, as I try to avoid plastic whenever possible. A great (cheap!) idea is to repurpose a glass vinegar bottle (like apple cider vinegar) after you’re done using it. Just clean and start using it to store your natural cleaners!