It’s so easy to quickly make your own DIY natural cleaning sprays with essential oils and other natural ingredients! These 3 simple recipes will tackle most of your home’s cleaning needs.
When you’re making the switch to a more natural lifestyle, some changes feel difficult or seem expensive. Sometimes it’s hard to know what changes actually make the biggest impact.
But one simple switch gives you a lot of benefit and might actually save you money: making your own DIY natural cleaning sprays.
Think about the last time you walked down the cleaning products aisle of your local store. You could probably smell it before you even caught sight of a glass and surface spray bottle.
And once you turn the corner and actually walk along the shelves? It’s like being smacked in the face with a cloud of artificial fragrances, not to mention the other questionable chemicals that lurk in each bottle. These chemicals may irritate your respiratory tract, trigger headaches and other neurological symptoms, and even disrupt a healthy hormonal balance.
Thankfully, gentler cleaning products are becoming more widely available and are likely already at a store near you. Unfortunately, these tend to cost more than conventional products and budgets are real for most of us.
But you’re not left with just these two choices when homemade cleaning sprays combine the best of both worlds.
Yes, you really can quickly make simple cleaning sprays with ingredients you probably already have or can easily get on your next grocery run. I’ve got three different recipes for you to try, and each one will only take you a few minutes to put together, if that.
So give your health and pocketbook a break and start cleaning with these three DIY natural cleaning sprays!
3 Natural Homemade Cleaning Spray Recipes
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For each cleaning spray recipe, you’ll need a 16 oz. plastic spray bottle or the spray bottle top. You can also use glass spray bottles if you’d like, but these can obviously break much more easily. If your kids help you clean or you have hard floors, plastic spray bottles will likely be a safer option.
It’s really helpful to label your cleaning sprays with the ingredients and best uses. You don’t want to waste your time using peroxide to try to get soap scum off of a shower or vinegar to remove grease and grime!
If you write on the bottle itself, even with permanent marker, the writing will likely come off in time. I like to make simple labels on scrap paper and cover them with packing tape when applying them to the bottles. The packing tape protects the label from any drips and spills.
How to Make a DIY Cleaning Spray with Vinegar
Vinegar-based cleaning sprays make great all-purpose glass and surface cleaners. They’ll make your windows and mirrors shine, cut through soap scum, and even act as mild disinfectants.
- 1 cup vinegar
- 20 drops essential oil
- 1 cup water
Combine vinegar and essential oil, then swirl to combine. Add the remaining water, then cap and label your cleaner. Shake your vinegar cleaner well before using to help redistribute the essential oil.
How to Make a DIY Cleaning Spray with Castile Soap & Borax
When you’re faced with grease, grime, stains, and odors, use this Castile soap and borax-based cleaning spray. It’s a must-have for spot-cleaning carpet and wiping down your stovetop.
In a glass measuring cup, pour hot water over the borax and stir to dissolve. Combine the Castile soap, cool water, and essential oil in the spray bottle. Swirl to combine, then add the hot water and borax mixture and swirl again to fully mix.
How to Make a DIY Cleaning Spray with Hydrogen Peroxide
When you need more disinfecting power, a hydrogen peroxide cleaning spray is the way to go. It doesn’t have irritating fumes like many other disinfecting sprays and is recognized by the CDC as a disinfectant.
Use this spray when cleaning your bathroom or when you want to disinfect kitchen cutting boards. For best results, spray the peroxide on a surface, then wait a minute or so before wiping down.
- a 16 oz. bottle of hydrogen peroxide
- 20 drops essential oil
Peroxide needs to be kept in a dark container to keep its cleaning and disinfecting properties. For best results, just add the essential oil directly to the brown peroxide bottle, then replace the cap with a clean spray bottle top.
Just like with the vinegar-based spray, be sure to shake this cleaning spray before using it to help disburse the essential oils.
Avoid These Common DIY Cleaning Spray Mistakes
Making your own natural cleaning sprays is a pretty simple, safe, and straightforward process, but it is important to avoid a couple of common mistakes.
Some green cleaning ingredients shouldn’t be combined when making your sprays. Make sure you never mix the following cleaners:
- Peroxide and vinegar mixed together create peracetic acid, an unstable compound that can be potentially harmful.
- Baking soda and vinegar are fun for the little people in your life, but they really just neutralize each other when they’re done fizzing. It’s not dangerous to mix these two things, but it’s really ineffective for cleaning.
- Vinegar and castile soap leave you with messy globs of oil and liquid. The acidic vinegar causes the saponified natural oils in the soap to return back to fat. This will leave you with a much bigger mess on your hands!
You might also be tempted to reuse spray bottles from regular store-bought cleaners. But that’s not a great idea.
Unless you fully understand everything that was in the cleaning spray and know for certain that those residual chemicals won’t react to the new ingredients you’re putting in the bottle, you might end up with unintended chemical reactions.
It’s best to buy new, empty spray bottles, then reuse those with the same cleaning solution anytime you run out and need to make a fresh batch.
Which Essential Oils Should You Use in DIY Cleaning Sprays?
Essential oils are added to these DIY cleaning sprays primarily to improve the scent. Some essential oils, like lemon, can help boost cleaning power and help remove dirt and grime. Almost all will lend a small amount of disinfecting power, too.
All essential oils have some sort of antimicrobial activity, but no single essential oil kills all microbes. In fact, an essential oil can be considered antibacterial because it kills or inhibits 3 different bacterial strains, but that doesn’t mean that same essential oil effectively inhibits all bacteria.
So what does that mean for choosing essential oils for your natural cleaning sprays?
Your best bet is to choose them based on the scents you like.
Of course, some essential oils are more broad-spectrum antimicrobials than others. Tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) is a favorite for cleaning recipes because it uniquely inhibits various fungi, viruses, and bacteria. Citrus oils smell really fresh and are also generally antimicrobrial. You can’t go wrong with jack-of-all-trades lavender, of course!
Really, any of the most important multipurpose essential oils are great choices for cleaning.
Homemade disinfecting essential oil blends can be fun when you’re making your own cleaning materials, too.
DIY natural cleaning sprays are effective and frugal, saving you money while also saving your lungs from an assault of artificial fragrances and potentially harmful chemicals.
This little switch really can make a big difference in your health.
And the next time you’re in the store and smell the cleaning aisle? You’ll be able to just head the other direction because you’ve got safer alternatives waiting at home.