DIY All Purpose Cleaner

Move over, bleach and ammonia – a new cleaning superhero is in town! May I introduce essential oils, nature’s affordable, eco-friendly, and just as effective (if not more) alternative to store bought cleaners.


For the last year, we’ve been featuring a free dishcloth pattern every week, so I thought it would be fun to explore natural cleaners to use with your dishcloths. Not only are conventional cleaners expensive, they can also be hazardous to your health and the environment. Using essential oils to create  your own cleaning spray is safe for your family’s health and phenomenal at eradicating salmonella, e.coli, MRSA, pneumonia and a slew of other insidious little nasties (source). This spray is perfect for cleaning hard surfaces in the kitchen, bathroom, etc.

Let’s get started!

All-Purpose Disinfecting Spray & Window Cleaner:

What You Need:

16 oz. Spray Bottle (Make sure you use glass, as essential oils will cause plastic to leach. Purchase one here.)

1/4 cup white vinegar

1 3/4 cups water

30 drops essential oil (use any of the suggestions below)


Add all ingredients to spray bottle. Shake thoroughly.

Some stellar oil combinations:

(I use the doTERRA brand)

15 drops each of Lavender and Lemon

10 drops each of Eucalyptus, Peppermint, and Orange

30 drops doTERRA’s On Guard blend (or you can make your own by combining orange, clove, cinnamon, eucalyptus, and rosemary)

15 drops each of Grapefruit and doTERRA’s On Guard blend

Other essential oil ideas:

  • For a body mist, add 20 drops of an essential oil you like to 40z water spray bottle
  • To prevent wool moths, add a few drops of lavender to the softener compartment of your washing machine or the final rinse of a hand wash. This will impregnate the fiber of your clothing with the scent of lavender, which the moths loathe. This is the single best way to prevent moths taking up residence in your wardrobe.
  • Sprinkle your Fair Isle Lavender Sachets with a few drops of lavender to keep your knits fresh and moth-free
  • Add a few drops of peppermint on a headband or scarf for a fresh, minty smell that will keep you awake and invigorated
  • For an even extra burst of essential oils in your clothing, place a wash cloth with a few drops of essential oil into your dryer. It comes out smelling beautiful!
  • Add a few drops of Lemon essential oil to your wash cycle to help remove grease and oil from fabrics.


  1. Marianne / June 17, 2015

    Thank you for the recipe! I love you dishcloth patterns and form time to time I sit and crochet or knit a new cloth. I have fifteen already. And now I’m going to use them in combination with this all purpose cleaner.

  2. Tina / March 13, 2015

    Can you use essential oils in the new HE Washers and not cause any problems. Our new one says to use HE washing detergent only,

    • Heidi / March 16, 2015

      Hey Tina! I am not sure about specific washers. Probably the safest approach would be to contact the manufacturer. Good luck! 🙂

  3. Deanna / March 13, 2015

    PLEASE be careful about using essential oils around animals – cats especially because many of the essential oils are harmful to cats.

  4. KB / March 13, 2015

    Adding tea tree oil to your laundry detergent will help eliminate odors and kill germs.

  5. Nicole Dominic / March 13, 2015

    So amazing idea! I am really impressed with that natural home made cleaner! I love using essential oils in my laundry so I will use them to make this cleaner too! Regards! Eastcote Carpet Cleaners Ltd.

  6. Anna / March 13, 2015

    Somehow I cannot imagine using oil as a window cleaning agent.

  7. Karen / March 12, 2015

    Great tips! Thank you!

  8. Mary M. / March 12, 2015

    Thanks for this post! I have been interested in making my own cleaners for a while, but I had not heard the tip about using a glass bottle. And I like that you included different oil blends to try. Thanks again! =)