My Favorite Homemade Green Household Cleaners

Making your own green cleaning supplies is surprisingly easy, cheap and totally non-toxic! Here are my favorite cleaners with free printable labels so you can save the trouble of looking up the recipe again!
Back in March, I posted about the green household cleaners I’ve been making and using around the house, complete with a guide on how to get started making your own at home. Now that I’ve been using them consistently for a few months, I thought I’d pare down the list and share with you my favorites, as well as a free printable for each, which you can print out and use as a label on the bottle! (I find they stay on best with packing tape, covering it completely with it so the label doesn’t get wet.)

All-Purpose Household Cleaner

This bad boy really is ALL purpose. I use it to clean practically every surface in the house except for upholstery, including the bathtub, toilets, counter tops, sink, messes on the floor, car dashboard, and more!

Why I Love It:

  • It takes less than five minutes to make and really works.
  • I love how it leaves my bathroom smelling like a health food store because of the tea tree oil!
  • It’s non-toxic so I can actually clean my bathroom when the kids are awake and I don’t have to freak out if they get some of the cleaner on their hands!
  • It’s green so when it eventually comes out of my septic tank, it doesn’t pollute the ground and make it’s way into streams, harming wildlife.

Recipe (for 32 ounces)

UPDATE – DO NOT MIX VINEGAR AND CASTILE SOAP: Some of my followers have informed me that mixing vinegar and Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap renders the both of the ingredients powerless. I wrote the Dr. Bronner’s company and asked if this was true – here is their response:

It is true, it is not good to mix vinegar and castile soap because it will unsaponify the soap. As Lisa states in her blog, “In great part it’s due to the fact that vinegar is an acid and the castile soap is a base. They will directly react with each other and cancel each other out. So, instead of getting the best of both (the scum cutting ability of the vinegar and the dirt transporting ability of the soap), you’ll be getting the worst of something entirely new. The vinegar “unsaponifies” the soap, by which I mean that the vinegar takes the soap and reduces it back out to its original oils. So you end up with an oily, curdled, whitish mess. And this would be all over whatever it was you were trying to clean – your laundry or counters or dishes or whatever.”

My Solution is to make this cleaner is to remove the vinegar. After cleaning, I spray the surface with my disinfecting spray and wipe down or leave to disinfect. Recipe at the bottom of this post.
  • (NOW REMOVED – see above) 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. of baking soda (I buy this 13 lb bag since I use baking soda so much!)
  • 1/4 cup Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap (green, fair-trade & organic soap!) (this one in Citrus is perfect for cleaning)
  • 1/4 cup hydrogen peroxide
  • 20 drops of any of the following essential oils: Lavender, Tea Tree, Lemon, Eucalyptus, Purification (a blended oil of Lemongrass, Rosemary, Melaleuca, Myrtle, Citronella, and Lavandin) or Thieves (a blended oil of  Clove, Cinnamon Bark, Rosemary, Lemon, Eucalyptus) (where to buy high quality essential oils)

Mix the baking soda and some hot water and lightly shake to dissolve the baking soda. Then, add the remaining ingredients and slowly fill the rest of the bottle (slowly because of the soap – it will get bubbly!) with filtered water (especially if you have hard tap water).

Get Your Free Printable Label Here – this is the old label, so it does not reflect the new recipe above!

Baking Soda Freshener

This is my favorite upholstery and fabric freshener, as well as extra scrubbing power in the bathroom. It’s just baking soda and essential oils – can’t get easier or cheaper than that! And if you’ve been potty training for six long excruciating months like us (not a success story over here!), then you’ll definitely want this around. We couldn’t live without it!

Why I Love It:

  • Easy to make
  • Super duper cheap
  • Smells amazing and really works to remove stank nasty smells from upholstery and carpet
  • Great to use in the bathtub and toilet bowl to remove yucky scum


  • Baking Soda (enough to fill whatever container you’re using – for me, it was about 2 cups) (where to buy)
  • 20 to 30 drops of any of the following essential oils: Lavender, Tea Tree, Lemon, Eucalyptus, Purification (a blended oil of Lemongrass, Rosemary, Melaleuca, Myrtle, Citronella, and Lavandin) or Thieves (a blended oil of  Clove, Cinnamon Bark, Rosemary, Lemon, Eucalyptus) (where to buy high quality essential oils)

Save your Parmesan cheese container the next time you empty it on a plate of spaghetti (anyone guilty out there?) because it makes a perfect shaker container for our Baking Soda Freshener. Fill it halfway with baking soda, drop in 10 drops of each oil (unless your container is bigger than my 16 oz. one) and shake. Then, fill the rest up with baking soda and lightly shake again. Done!

Baking Soda Freshener – Free Printable Download

Green Disinfectant

A non-toxic and green disinfectant – who knew it could be done? If you’ve read anything about hand sanitizers and the antibacterial chemicals in soaps and other products like I have, you’re probably searching for a non-toxic alternative. Well, here it is and it’s WAY cheaper than what you’ll buy in the store!

Use this to spray on counter tops (and you don’t have to wipe off!), all over the bathroom, cutting boards and any other non-porous surface that needs some germ smothering. It also works very well on mold and mildew. I sprayed it on some mildewed window casings and the mildew wiped right out. I was amazed!

Why I Love It:

  • Yep, you guessed it, CHEAP!
  • Also easy to make and use
  • Cruelty-free cleaner – and that includes humans!


Depending on what you have in your cabinet or want to buy, you can use both hydrogen peroxide and vinegar, or one of each. Both have powerful antibacterial properties that won’t harm ecosystems or your organs.

  • White Distilled Vinegar (where to buy) and/or Peroxide (where to buy)
  • 20 to 30 drops of any of the following essential oils: Lavender, Tea Tree, Lemon, Eucalyptus, Purification (a blended oil of Lemongrass, Rosemary, Melaleuca, Myrtle, Citronella, and Lavandin) or Thieves (a blended oil of  Clove, Cinnamon Bark, Rosemary, Lemon, Eucalyptus) (where to buy high quality essential oils)

Note: Tea Tree has a very strong scent and if I use too much of it in a cleaner, it really irritates my lungs. So, start with less as you can always add more!
*10 drops for an 8 oz. bottle, 15 drops for a 16 oz. bottle, 20 drops for a 20 oz. bottle
In a 16 oz. container, fill it with either vinegar or peroxide or half of both for the most power. Then add your essential oils. Lightly shake and done!
Green Disinfectant – Free Printable Download

Click here to see ALL of my green and natural homemade cleaning recipes!

How to Purchase High Quality Essential Oils through My Merry Messy Life

About Sara McFall

Sara is the owner and founder of My Merry Messy Life, which started in 2011 as a way to chronicle her journey to a natural, chemical-free lifestyle and to share her passions of mothering, real food, homeschooling and crochet. She is a mama to three precious and energetic little boys and wife to a university professor who loves to sing, dance ballet and ballroom, and live simply and naturally.


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