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DIY Citrus Splash All–Purpose Cleaner

Affiliate Disclosure | in Healthy Home | by | with 31 Comments

DIY Citrus Splash All-Purpose Cleaner

Hawaiian Breeze Paint Thinner . . .

Doesn’t quite have the right ring to it, does it? And yet when several top laundry products/ air fresheners were tested they were found to contain at least one chemical labeled as toxic or hazardous by federal law, including the active ingredient in paint thinner. (source)

Interestingly, none of the chemicals were listed on the label, and five of the six products emitted chemicals which are considered by the Environmental Protection Agency to have no safe exposure level.”

Take a deep breath and smell the irony with me.

Unfortunately “green” and “organic” options are not always what they seem, either. One company exec called his company’s cleaning products so safe “you can even drink them,” then he did on camera! While it was a great marketing technique, analysis by the EWG revealed that 10 of the 18 products they tested in the baby care line contained an ingredient that released formaldehyde during use.³

DIY Non-Toxic Cleaning11-001.jpg

Now For The GOOD News

You don’t need toxic chemicals or expensive and sometimes questionable organic cleaners to get things REALLY clean. You don’t even need fancy ingredients to make your own. Though most homemade formulas use the same basic ingredients, there’s often a trick to getting them to work. In my ebook, DIY Non-Toxic Cleaning Recipes, I explain:

  • Why so many homemade recipes don’t work

  • How to make cleaners that DO!!

Today I’m going to share an a recipe from the book and let you know how to save 25% just in time for spring cleaning.

All-Purpose Spray Cleaner Recipe - Costs approximately 50% less than store bought "green" cleaners!

DIY Citrus Splash All-Purpose Cleaner

Mood lifting, stress-busting citrus essential oils are the superstars of this formula, but the cheap- yet-effective white vinegar is a close second. Why? Because contrary to what chemical companies might like you to believe, humble vinegar has been proven to be effective against a variety of bacteria, viruses and mold, including E. coli and the flu virus.

Cost Savings Analysis

Store-bought “eco-friendly” cleaners – which often contain questionable ingredients – cost an average of $0.12 per ounce.

Here’s the breakdown for this recipe:

  • Water – Cost varies, but roughly $0.01 for the total recipe
  • Vinegar – About $0.05 per ounce
  • Essential oil – Prices will vary depending on brand and type, but mine came to about $0.01 total for the recipe

Total store bought cost – About $3.84 for 32 ounces

Total homemade cost – About $1.62 for 32 ounces

That’s a savings of 50%, and no questionable ingredients!


  • 1 1⁄2 cups water
  • 1 cup white vinegar or citrus infused white vinegar
  • 20-40 drops citrus essential oil (sweet orange, lemon, lime or grapefruit)

To Make: Combine all ingredients in spray bottle.

To Use: Shake before using, then spray on surface and wipe clean with a soft cloth.

Storage: Store away from heat and sunlight. Because essential oils oxidize when exposed to heat and sunlight it is best to keep them in dark glass bottles or a dark cabinet.

Looking For More Recipes?

Cleaning Book1-1

DIY Non-Toxic Cleaning Recipes is a 167 page guide that will show you how easy it is to make your own cleaning products, like:

  • Pink Lemonade Dishwasher Detergent
  • Powdered Laundry Detergent
  • Glass Cleaner
  • Goo and Gunk Remover
  • Fruit and Veggie Wash
  • Liquid Dish Soap
  • Ruby Red Grapefruit Soft Scrub
  • Oven Cleaner
  • Tub and Tile Cleaner
  • Lemon and Rosemary Dusting Spray
  • Leather Conditioner
  • Stainless Steel Cleaner

(Click here to buy the book)

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31 Responses to DIY Citrus Splash All–Purpose Cleaner

  1. Lisa @ Simple Pairings says:

    Love this! I try to go natural whenever I can. I generally just use water and vinegar, but I love the idea of using some citrus to brighten it up a bit. After all, it would remind me that warmer weather is coming! Do you have any suggestions for affordable essential oils available online?

  2. Sarah P says:

    I’ve used something similar for the past couple years, but instead of adding essential oils, I put citrus peels in a half-gallon mason jar, cover with vinegar, soak for 2-4 weeks, then strain the peels out. This concentrate can be diluted for a variety of uses. For all-purpose cleaning, I usually use 4 parts water to 1 part concentrate.

  3. Anita says:

    Hey Heather, just a heads up that the link connected to the big pink text ‘click here to buy the book’ starts a download of the sample, it doesn’t take you to a page to buy the book. Have a great weekend!

  4. Deirdra says:

    Hi Heather, I love your website.
    Do you use a glass spray bottle? I have heard that essential oils shouldn’t be used in plastic bottles. Is that right?


    • Heather says:

      Hi Deirda, yes I do use a glass spray bottle. It’s actually an old apple cider vinegar bottle with a plastic nozzle on top. The tubing inside is plastic but it’s such a small amount comparatively I don’t worry about it.

  5. Stef says:


    I always love it when you post your natural solutions. Yours was the very first ebook I bought for DIY cleaners and it’s still the one I go back to. I am now teaching my (adult) children and their spouses/roommates/SO’s how to live non-toxically and rescue the monthly budget! You have helped make a difference in our household. Thank you!

  6. Mary says:

    I really want to use a cleaner like this, but my husband and my kids gag when they smell the vinegar. Wish there were something else I could use in place of the vinegar.

  7. Irene - Montessori Life As We Know It says:

    Just tried this and it was wonderful, cleaned up so well. I have done just vinegar and water and was over the smell to be honest but this has revived my love of vinegar and water. Going to try the one with lemon soon.

  8. Shanel Stephens says:

    What kind of essential oils do you recommend for cleaning? There are so many different brands out there. Thank you!

  9. Isabell says:

    Hi! I was wondering if your book on non-toxic cleaning is also available in print? I like the old fashioned way :)

  10. Marty Hawthorne says:

    Just read your lists on cleaning and bug sprays. These sound so simple. Can’t wait to try them. With summer almost here (2014) need to get ready for all the critters! Marty Hawthorne

  11. Beth says:

    What is an alternative for the vinegar? I have marble in the kitchen & it will etch if I clean it with vinegar. Thanks!

    • Heather says:

      Hi Beth, rubbing alcohol can be used on granite countertops. You might want to research and see if the same is true for marble.

  12. anna says:

    I always loved your recipes and have been making them for my baby. Just had a clarification with the recipe. Does water and essential oil blend together? Whenever I try to mix them together the essential oil floats on top. Am I doing something wrong?

  13. Carly says:


    Do you offer any current discount codes for your ebook? I tried a couple I found on other blogs, but they have all expired. I really want to purchase this book, but funds are limited right now. Thank you for all you do!

  14. Lisette says:

    I really want to purchase this ebook along with your beauty products ebook. With the holidays coming, any chance you will offer them in a holiday bundle? Please oh Please!? I want these so bad!!

  15. cheryl hennessy says:

    After reading this post, I bought the book – totally worth every cent – and more :)
    Thanks for making natural cleaning so accessible and affordable; left to my own devices there would be too many experiments … I especially love the liquid dish soap… Thanks Heather!

  16. Spencie says:

    This book sounds amazing! Is there a change you may offer a book bundle with your other ebook for the upcoming holiday? I would love to purchase them!

  17. James says:


    Hi, I have your book and it’s great! I did the liquid dish soap and it was clear but then it formed these white beads of soap. I used bonner’s soap. Any suggestions? Thanks much,


  18. Laura says:

    Can apple cider vinegar be used instead of white vinegar? White vinegar is almost always made with GM corn so I stopped buying it.

  19. Misty says:

    Where do you get your bottles for your cleaners?

  20. Helena Parsons says:

    Hi Heather

    I absolutely love your cleaning ideas.
    My husband is allergic to Sulfur Dioxide witch is in vinegar.
    I dissolve citric acid in water and get the same results.

  21. Drea says:

    Hi Heather, how did you come up with the cost analysis? What formula/method did you use?

    • Heather says:

      I divided the total cost of the ingredients I used by a designated volume (ounces for the vinegar and drops for the essential oil), then multiplied the number of ounces/drops to find the total cost of that ingredient in the recipe.

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