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DIY Glass Spray Bottle Tutorial (And A Recipe For All-Purpose Cleaner)

Affiliate Disclosure | in Healthy Home | by | with 136 Comments

how to make glass spray bottles

Yesterday, My Son Ate Some Laundry Detergent

Being the kind, thoughtful mother than I am, I handed him a glass of water to wash it down. That, folks, is the beauty of making your own non-toxic cleaning supplies.

The best part? They WORK. As in, move over Clorox – oregano essential oil can kill spores from anthrax, e. coli and a broad spectrum of bacteria – work. ¹ Certain essential oils have also been found to kill MRSA on contact in under two minutes, while others neutralize salmonella, e. coli and pneumonia. (source)

Yep, you can clear out 90% of your toxic cleaning supplies with some baking soda, vinegar, castile soap and a few essential oils.  Dish and laundry detergent need a few extra ingredients, but that’s for another day . . .

Unfortunately, Essential Oils Tend To . . .

Increase the likelihood that plastic bottles will leach the kind of nasties you’re trying to avoid by making your own cleaners in the first place. No worries, though! It’s super easy to make your own glass spray bottle.

Simply take an old screw top bottle (I use an apple cider vinegar bottle) and fit the nozzle from your old spray bottle on top. Voila! 

Need something to put inside your little container of absolute genius? Here’s a recipe to get you started!

How To Make Homemade All-Purpose Cleaner and Spray Bottles That Won't Leach - PLUS a recipe for homemade all-purpose cleaner

Homemade All-Purpose Cleaner


  • 1 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons castile soap
  • 20 drops essential oil (see below for options)


  1. Pour ingredients into a spray bottle, preferably made of glass
  2. Shake well before use
  3. Store in a cool, dark place. (Essential oils oxidize in sunlight)

Choosing your essential oils:

In various studies, these oils have demonstrated potent antimicrobial properties. Some are more effective in killing e. coli, while others are more effective with salmonella, etc., so it’s best to use them blended together.

If there’s a particular strain you’re trying to target check out this study, but in general find that they all work well for run-of-the-mill house cooties.

Note: Though I do try to make cleaners and beauty products that are safe enough to eat, I don’t recommend ingestion of essential oils in general. Some can be used as flavorings and there are times in which I might use them internally, but it is not a practice I take lightly. Also, some oils can cause respiratory problems in susceptible children, so I’ve marked the ones that are generally considered safe for use around kiddos. All essential oil solutions should be kept out of children’s reach.

  • lavender – kid friendly
  • lemon – kid friendly, and especially helpful in the kitchen as a degreaser
  • grapefruit – kid friendly
  • pine – kid friendly
  • cinnamon
  • tea tree – kid friendly
  • clove*
  • eucalyptus
  • peppermint – fine for kids over six
  • rosemary
  • oregano
  • spruce – kid friendly

Want More Recipes?

Cleaning Book1If you’ve ever wondered:

* Why your homemade dish detergent leaves behind a filmy residue (and how you can get your dishes crystal clear)

* Whether your homemade disinfectant REALLY works (Hint: Many are no more effective than water!!!)

* How to get streak free windows and mirrors without any chemicals

. . . along with other questions about homemade cleaners, you’ll definitely want to grab my ebook, DIY Non-Toxic Cleaning Supplies.

Click here to download a free preview.

¹ Archives Microbiology, Volume 174, October 2000; Quarterly Review Biology, Volume 73, March 1998

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136 Responses to DIY Glass Spray Bottle Tutorial (And A Recipe For All-Purpose Cleaner)

  1. april says:

    I would love some DIY soaps for extreme hard water.

  2. Ten on Tuesday: Homemade Cleaners for the Home - Don't Mess with Mama says:

    […] 1. How to Make Homemade All-Purpose Cleaner and Spray bottles That Won’t Leach from Mommypotamus. […]

  3. How To Make Homemade All Purpose Cleaner says:

    […] Homemade All Purpose Cleaner […]

  4. R Noel Rodriguez says:

    I use straight up food grade hydrogen peroxide mixed to a 3% solution to clean everything. It does a great job and leaves the smell of Oxygen. It is the best stuff ever. Cuts grease, kills bacteria, and cleans counter tops without residue. Forget all of that other stuff about essential oils unless you want your house to smell like a head shop!

    • Hussayn says:


      I’m thinking along the same lines but tell me do we really need brown bottles for this mixture so light doesn’t destroy it?

    • Vikki says:

      You obviously have not been shown the many choices of essential oils! You’re probably thinking of Patchouli, but there are many other scents like wild orange, lemon and grapefruit.
      Hydrogen Peroxide is a great choice for cleaning, as well as baking soda, (in fact, I saw a natural cleaner at the store for $12. The 2 ingredients were water and Hydrogen peroxide)
      I prefer a nice smell sometimes, the ‘oxygen’smell is kind of plain

  5. Gwyneth says:

    Try soaking orange peels in vinegar for a couple of weeks, then removing them. It makes the vinegar smell better, and I bet some of the oils come out into the vinegar. Lemon peel would also work this way.

  6. 3 Simple Steps to a Toxic Free Kitchen says:

    […] your own AP Cleaner (you know, the same one you already made for your […]

  7. Valerie says:

    Where do you buy your spray bottle that fits on the ACV glass bottle? Thanks!

    • Heather says:

      My nozzle came from the Dollar Store :)

      • Gretchen says:

        Hi Heather,

        How long do your spray nozzles last? I bought what I thought were “industrial” ones because someone (I forget which blogger) said they are worth the extra money. They were over $4 each and only lasted 4 months…

        • Heather says:

          I’m not exactly sure how long I’ve had my current ones – at least a year. Sorry to hear yours went kaput so soon!

  8. Rachel says:

    I read the article in support of using essential oils to kill gram + and gram – bacteria. This article only studied the use of the oils in a vaporous state and a closed system.

  9. How to Make Homemade All-Purpose Cleaner - Plant Care Today says:

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  10. DIY Household | Pearltrees says:

    […] How to Make Homemade All-Purpose Cleaner and Spray Bottles That Won’t Leach | The Mommypotamus | o… […]

  11. TH says:

    I love this recipe, love essential oils, and love the whole idea of DIY cleaning products, but the references to ingesting essential oils concern me. Given that many readers won’t know much about essential oils — how highly concentrated they are and that they’re categorically different from other types of oils — I think it’s important to include safety information when referencing ingesting any essential oil. While the asterisked essential oils may indeed be safe when ingested in small amounts, some essential oils can be highly toxic or fatal if ingested in large amounts, as you know (and “large amounts” are actually fairly small amounts). A child who tastes a few drops of peppermint oil from an essential oil bottle may see the same type of bottle — but this time it’s pennyroyal oil. Of course, the child’s parents are responsible for the child — which is why I think it’s really important to give those parents (your readers) the basic safety lowdown…and maybe also toning down the edible aspect of the recipe. Thanks for considering.

  12. Stacy McCall via FB says:

    I never would have thought to re-use glass bottles like that, great idea. I typically just use vinegar/water for most cleaning, lemon oil or orange oil for some yummy smell is all I’ve tried adding so far.

  13. Saleha Seedat via FB says:

    Isn’t the spray tube plastic? It doesn’t leech? Jus askin

    • Heather says:

      Yes, it is plastic.Though not ideal, I consider the amount in the tube to be a minimal issue comparatively :)

      • Krystal Wight Armstrong says:

        I’ve been using the glass vinegar bottles for sprayers for a while now, and have been wondering about the plastic nozzle and tube too. I wish they made something like metal nozzles, with glass tubes! Please let us know if you ever find anything like that! : )

  14. Angela Haynes via FB says:

    I can’t get to load at ALL! I’ve tried several times.

  15. Top 10 DIY Cleaning Tips and Products - Top Inspired says:

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  16. Ellen says:

    Is this a good essential oil for cleaning? Or could someone recommend a good one?

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  20. Sah says:

    Hi everyone – just a question about spray bottles to use for this recipe. Could you use an aluminium spray bottle? I have little ones and would be worried about myself accidentally dropping it lol :)

  21. 50 Uses for Essential Oils | The Coconut Mama says:

    […] Homemade All-Purpose Cleaner […]

  22. Jerny says:

    I need a little troubleshooting lol
    I’m using the castil soap formula but my tea tree oil keeps separating? Help?

  23. DaAun says:

    Thanks for the post! Do you have any trouble with the plastic straw that is attached to the spray nozzle? I’m wondering how that will hold up since it is plastic and will be sitting in the cleaning solution.

  24. 3 Simple Steps to a Toxic Free Bathroom says:

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  25. Amanda says:

    So I have been using the castile soap version of your recipe (using lavender Dr. Bronner) and love it for cleaning up potty training “accidents” and such…but I have a terrible time with it streaking my granite counters. :( Any ideas or thoughts? Thank you!

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  28. 11 Household Products That You’re Probably Buying But Should Be MAKING - says:

    […] Make all purpose cleaner for pennies and cleaning will never be expensive again.  Don’t throw money at the supermarkets to buy all purpose cleaner.  You can make it yourself with water, cider vinegar and 20 drops of essential oil (lemongrass, grapefruit and rosemary are amongst my favourites but the choice is yours).  See the full recipe HERE. […]

  29. ticamom says:

    Any suggestions on combinations of the essential oils you listed? Since I don’t know what each is more effective at treating I wasn’t sure where to start with combining them, or to just put like 3 drops of every one! LOL Thanks!

  30. Leslie says:

    Why have you put a star beside clove essential oil ?

  31. Heather says:

    I can’t seem to find in your book where it explains why my homemade detergent leaves a filmy residue. Could you tell me what page that is on? Also, I have granite and natural stone throughout my house, so many of your recipes are out because of the vinegar. I’m wondering what I could use in place of the vinegar to get the same germ killing benefits. Would grain alcohol be a good substitution? Thank you for any help!

    • Heather says:

      Hi Heather, I think what you’re looking for is on page 37. Rubbing or grain alcohol are typically what’s used for granite . . . I’m not sure about natural stone.

  32. web site says:

    To clean my windows I use a mixture of white vinegar and water and it works so well. You should try it! Thanks for this article! Barkingside Carpet Cleaners Ltd.

  33. Jamie says:

    I’m looking for a disinfectant cleaner to spray on my granite countertop after I have cut up raw chicken. Vinegar isn’t good for granite. Do you have a recipe?

  34. Libby says:

    I just discovered you on the Internet and would love to purchase your book in print. Do you plan to make it available in print any time soon?

  35. Jessica says:

    Here’s a thought… Save the bottle lid so when you’re done cleaning you can take out the sprayer nozzle and rinse and store it, but keep a lid on the cleaning solution. Just put the sprayer in when you’re going to use it.

  36. Daily House Cleaning Schedule for Homes with Children - Christy's Cozy CornersChristy's Cozy Corners says:

    […] down the sink. Spray with an all-purpose cleaner and scrub for a while. Rinse […]

  37. zainab says:

    HI, can i spray this solution on my carpet and couches as well before vaccuum. AND can i clean my kitcjen counter and wooden tables with this as well.

  38. Kandi says:

    hit reply on the wrong post, sorry!

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