Plant Therapy Essentials: All Purpose Cleaner DIY

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Everyday Essentials by Plant Therapy

Plant Therapy Essentials: All Purpose Cleaner DIY

Try out this amazing DIY recipe and feel good about cleaning with simple ingredients and amazing essential oils!

All Purpose Cleaner DIY

Plant Therapy DIY all-purpose cleaner What you’ll need:

What you’ll do:

Add everything to the bottle and shake to mix. Spray and wipe off to clean!

Disclaimer: Due to the water content, this product should be stored in the fridge and used within a week. Otherwise, add a preservative, such as Optiphen Plus or Germall Plus.

For more awesome video DIY’s, visit our Plant Therapy Essentials Video Page!


187 thoughts on “Plant Therapy Essentials: All Purpose Cleaner DIY”


  • Would using distilled water in this recipe eliminate the needs for a preservative and/or storing it in the fridge?

    1. No, it won’t. Any time you combine essential oils with water, you need a preservative to prevent the growth of mold and bacteria.

  • With regard to COVID-19 (as well as other transmittable illnesses such as the flu) is there any research/science to support that this recipe is effective to sanitize to prevent the spread? I am sure that this recipe is absolutely effective against germs but was just asking to ask because of the current state of our world. I just love Plant Therapy, so thank you for being the wonderful company you are.

    1. Hi Jessica, this DIY is only meant to clean dirt and other messes you might find on your surfaces. It is not intended to disinfect or sanitize. You can always use it to clean and then follow up with a disinfectant.

    1. You can use another citrus like Sweet Orange, Tangerine or Mandarin. Or you can leave it out and make up the difference with the other oils.

  • can i leave out the dish soap and add polysorbate to solobilize the spray 80 & germall plus as a preservative?
    If so at what percentages?

  • So excited to try the all purpose cleaner. I’ve experimented with using lemongrass only, but would like to try other scents. The vinegar, water and dish soap is an amazing combination that I use on EVERYTHING…including glass, our boat, and counters. I love being able to make my own cleaners without having to go to the store.

    1. Melissa, the essential oils used in this cleaner are full of antiseptic properties! Reach out to our team of aromatherapists at [email protected] if you would like to learn more ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. I don’t have Eucalyptus Globulus, Tea Tree, or Blood Orange. Can they be substituted? I have frankincense serrata, bergamont, black pepper, grapefruit pink, lemon, lime, orange sweet, tangerine, mandarin. Can I switch these out for the ones I don’t have and if so, which ones and how much of each?

  • I have my own DIY household cleanser by using vinegar and EOs – it works great!
    I will try this recipe for variation. Thanks PT!

  • The rest of the comments on this article aren’t loading for me right now so I’m just going to ask haha
    Are there any KidSafe alternative to the Eucalyptus in this recipe please? What are they?
    Thank you!

    1. Jess, you can change out the Eucalyptus Globulus for Eucalyptus Dives, which is KidSafe and offers many similar therapeutic benefits ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Lisa Bronner wrote an article explaining why it is not a good idea to combine castile soap and vinegar. She wrote “In great part itโ€™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), youโ€™ll be getting the worst of something entirely new. The vinegar โ€œunsaponifiesโ€ the soap, by which I mean that the vinegar takes the soap and reduces it back out to its original oils”

    1. Arnella, this is a fantastic inquiry. I’m sure our team of aromatherapists will be able to shed more light on our recipe choices and how it aligns with the article you are mentioning. Feel free to reach out to them at [email protected] ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. Could this be publicly displayed instead of having to contact the aromatherapists? I’d like to use castile soap as well but am curious to what will happen?

        1. Hi Haley, in this case, it’s simply a matter of getting in touch with the right department. Both you and Arnelia are welcome to share what the aromatherapists replied here in the comments.

    1. Leslie, the dish soap emulsifies the essential oils. You are also welcome to use Castile Soap ๐Ÿ™‚

  • I’m excited to try this. Also, could I use different oils than what is listed here? I’d like to use different oils in certain rooms in my home especially something like cinnamon or germ fighter.

  • I have Thyme essential oil that I would like to use. I also have orange, lemon, eucalyptus, Peppermint. Any suggestions of how much Thyme I can use in this recipe?

    1. Maggie, try adding 4 drops of Thyme into this recipe and see how you like it ๐Ÿ™‚ Thyme is an excellent cleaning agent!

      1. Here is an update on this recipe. I doubled the recipe and used all the original ingredients, but subbed 4 drops of Thyme for Eucalyptus. The Thyme is very strong, even adding only 4 drops, in the future I will only add 2 at a time!

    1. Maty, we have a blog on preservatives that should help you make the best choice for this cleaner. If you still have questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our aromatherapists at [email protected] and they may be able to point you in a good direction ๐Ÿ™‚

  • I love cleaning now, and in particular, I really like the orange! It cuts grease, and I can feel confident that things will really be clean. It has inspired me to do more cleaning. Thanks, Plant Therapy.

  • Cleaning has become my new therapy (shopping has become my 2nd therapy) and using EO makes me feel so much better when I clean. Not only does my house smell amazing, it also has no harsh chemicals in the air. I LOVE CLEANING TIPS & TRICKS!!!

  • I’ve always used germ fighter in my DIY cleaners, but I’m very excited to try this blend! I absolutely love cleaning with oils, as it helps me to eliminate toxic products in my home! Thank you Plant Therapy!

  • Great DIY all purpose cleaner! Would it be ok to switch out the Blood Orange with Orange sweet? Thank you!

      1. I was wondering the same thing about switching out the Blood Orange. Thanks! This seems sooooo easy and a no-brainer. I’m doin’ it!

  • I can’t wait to try this! I’ve been slowly replacing our “toxic cleaners” with more natural options but I’d love to start making my own. How much preservative do you recommend adding to this spray? And should we use a glass bottle or is a plastic one ok? Thank you!

    1. Jessica, check out this blog to learn more about preservatives:, which includes the percentage of how much you should use depending on the preservative you are using. As for using glass or plastic, that is your own personal choice. Glass is a great choice because it contains no chemicals, doesn’t leak, and can usually be cleaned in the dishwasher. Other people prefer the cost effectiveness of plastic, though, which is also fine to use. It’s your choice ๐Ÿ™‚

  • I LOVE this idea! My hubby & I are both believers in doing things the natural way as much as possible. It seems pretty much everything nowadays has chemicals galore added into the mix.

    Essential oils are heavenly and potent. Just recently I’ve been learning more about their uses. Your article is helpful, straight forward and a brilliant idea. Thank you so much for sharing!

  • I’ve been searching for a microfiber-safe essential oil cleaner to boost cleaning power in my bathroom and kitchen sink specifically. I’ll definitely be whipping this one up!

  • Using this but with Zombie blood to get my house ready for Thanksgiving guests! The smell of the all natural cleaner is a great motivator for me to keep cleaning!

  • I love this recipe! I’ve been using it since I saw this blog post. I did make a few adjustments to mine though. I substituted castille soap in place of the dish soap and I add just Lemon essential oil to make it kidsafe. It is Heavenly!!

    1. Thank you, I was wondering about the castille soap as I try to stay away from the toxic dish soaps.

  • I LOVE this all purpose cleaner! It cleans well, freshens the air, and doesn’t leave any residue! Thank you!!

  • Made this tonight and it works fantastically! Super impressed how well it cut the grease on my glass top stove. So happy to have a natural alternative that actually works! Thanks for the recipe!

  • I have been using EOs for beauty and mental. I am now learning and working to incorporate into cleaning. I have everything I need to make this all purpose cleaner, however, I do not have, Blood Orange. But I have Sweet Orange, Mandarin, Tangerine, and Kumquat. Can I use either one of those 4 instead?

  • Just curious, doesn’t the dish soap defeat the purpose of it being all natural? Will it will be as effective without it?

  • So Iโ€™m curious, this doesnโ€™t need a preservative? Iโ€™m interested in trying it, just donโ€™t have preservatives.

    1. If you do not have a preservative, this product should be stored in the fridge and used within a week, due to the water content.

  • I had a different recipe for a household cleaner I was using, but did not really like the scent. I am excited to try this now!!

    1. Corey, I would recommend trying it out and seeing what happens or to do further research into the ingredients in the cleaner you choose.

  • Sounds wonderful. I really want to make it, but can this be used on marble counter tops? Iโ€™ve heard that vinegar(acidity) is bad for marble….

    Thank you

    1. Nancy, I would recommend reaching out to the manufacturer of the counter tops to be sure it will not be of harm to them.

  • What is the purpose of the vinegar, and is there something else that would serve the same purpose? I made this, and I just can’t stand the scent of vinegar in it.

    1. Bonnie, vinegar is a great disinfectant! However, if Hydrogen peroxide can be used in place of the water+vinegar portion of this recipe. Please keep in mind, if you do use hydrogen peroxide, you will want to store the mixture in the brown bottle because light will break it down so the disinfectant property wouldn’t be active.

    1. The water helps dilute the vinegar so it isn’t so harsh on some surfaces. If you choose to remove the vinegar, please be aware that the mix will be harsher before applying to some surfaces.

  • Love this and can’t wait to try it! I have been using just a diluted vinegar mixture to clean with but want to start incorporating essential oils for added benefit!

  • I love the idea of this, but how do we know it actually is killing the germs/bacteria that we need it to kill?

  • I have been using water/vinegar/essential oil in a spray bottle as a cleaner for years. I have never before heard that it needs to be refrigerated and used within a week, or have a preservative added! Aren’t the vinegar and the essential oils anti-microbial themselves??

    1. Yes, but not nearly enough to help preserve the added water. I would encourage you to do some research however, and make the best choice for your family. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Pingback: Cleaning | Hope
  • I love this cleaner recipe but hate that is doesn’t last long. Others EO’s I’ve used for cleaning are Lemon, Germ Fighter and Deodorizing. Is it possible to also incorporate alcohol to emulsify the essential oils before adding the vinegar and water?

  • I love this recipe! Iโ€™ve been making cleaners but this looks so much better than what Iโ€™ve made. Is this recipe safe to use on Granite Counters?

  • I think a list of the best oils to clean with would be helpful for me…I have both Germ Destroyer & Germ Fighter but sometimes I want to make my own combinations! If I knew I which oils had the best germ fighting power I could go from there maybe?

      1. Why is that? Distilled water contains no bacteria and a very little amount of contaminants; with a PPM of about 1, it can be classified as purified water!

        1. Or instead of water, wouldn’t using rubbing alcohol or vodka (as mentioned earlier for vinegar) be something of a preservative?

          1. A high proof grain alcohol can be used as an emulsifier/preservative if it is 20% of the total recipe.

        2. Bacteria can and will show up eventually, especially when introducing other ingredients or packaging. While distilled water is a great choice, a preservative is still necessary.

  • I usually use germ fighter to clean my house but this is great too. Love the smell after using it. Thanks for sharing so much good stuff with us Plant Therapy! I appreciate the recipes.

  • Pumped for this!! Iโ€™ve been slowly trying to switch to safer cleaning alternatives and this looks so simple and easy to make and use! Iโ€™m excited to give it a try!!

  • Thanks for the recipe–I like that this is a small enough batch that I know I will be able to use up before get to the point where I would need to add a preservative.

    1. That’s exactly the idea, Susan! We really like to keep our DIYs as all-natural as possible. Using small batches encourages them to be used up quickly, rather than having to add preservatives. Thank you for your comment!

  • This was such an informative blog post! I have been wanting to switch out all of my cleaning products that use harsh chemicals with natural homemade cleaning products made from PlantTherapy essential oils! Im so excited ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. That’s great you’re going to make the switch, Meagan! I think you’ll love how easy and cost-effective it really is to make and use DIY cleaning products ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Thanks for the recipe! I used this as a floor cleaner on my laminate floors. I replaced most of the water with lavender and peppermint hydrosols and omitted the eos since Iโ€™ve got fur babies. Worked great!

    1. Great idea to use hydrosols! Personally, I love the smell of lavender and peppermint hydrosols mixed ๐Ÿ™‚ Thank you for sharing!

  • I love switching over from harmful chemicals to quality PT oils for my everyday cleaning.
    However it would be worth checking out the sciences that go against the use of certain oils in pet homes. I was using thyme and other oils in my cleaner and found out that it is harmful for cats!

  • Weโ€™ve been using this and combination for years and Iโ€™ll never go back! I also use a similar spray for just freshening up the house but, Iโ€™ll have to see if you have a post (ie: more possible recipes) for that too. Thanks so much for the helpful hints!

  • Thank you for this recipe! Will this still be as effective if I substitute Tangerine for Blood Orange?

  • Thank you so much for this recipe! I immediately tried it and it really removes the stains and grimes. Thank you so much no more chemicals at home

  • It says it is not kid safe. So would you not use it in a house with kids? Or do I just need to keep it out of reach?

    1. Some of the essential oils in it aren’t suitable for kiddos. You could use it while they are not in the house, perhaps when they are at school. ๐Ÿ™‚

        1. No, it does not mean Pet Safe. Unfortunately at this time none of Plant Therapy’s certified aromatherapists are trained in animal aromatherapy.

  • If I used all kidsafe oils would this recipe be safe for kids? Could rubbing alcohol or vodka replace the vinegar?

    1. Yes, that would make it KidSafe, though you should still keep out of reach. You could sub out for vodka if you wanted to.

  • I can’t wait to try this. Cleaning is what first sparked interest in essential oils. I have asthma, so lots of issues with general household chemicals, but using essential oils properly works great for me!

    1. Hope you love it, Samantha! This DIY is a great place to start if you’re looking to switch to natural cleaning products ๐Ÿ™‚

  • I’m very happy I stumbled upon this recipe. I love the smells of all of those oils so I look forward to trying the combination out to not only clean but to also provide a wonderful smell for the room in which it’s used.

    1. Generally a quick google search will send you in the right direction. Often times I purchase mine from Amazon.

    1. Sweet Orange, Lemon, Mandarin, or Tangerine would be great substitutes. Let us know how it turns out!

  • I would love to switch to this! I would also love to do one of those bacteria growth tests with this against other โ€œnaturalโ€ cleaners!

  • Perfect timing! This recipe was just what I was looking for! Couple of questions. If I wanted this kid safe, which oils would you recommend? Do you need to rinse the surface with water after using this DIY All Purpose Cleaner? Thank you!

    1. Great questions! If you wanted to make this recipe KidSafe, replace the Eucalyptus Globulus with Eucalyptus Dives. Or, if you would prefer a premade blend, our KidSafe Germ Destroyer would be wonderful for this spray! Just replace the total number of drops from the recipe entirely with Germ Destroyer. After using this DIY, there is no need to rinse the surface afterward! Just wipe away like you would do with any other all purpose cleaner ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Iโ€™m always interested in less toxic cleaners. Do you recommend a particular low toxicity dish detergent in this recipe?

    1. Absolutely! You can use any of our KidSafe Synergies. KidSafe Germ Destroyer would be a great choice or substitute the Eucalyptus Globulus with Eucalyptus Dives. I hope this helps!

  • I love adding a few drops of Mountain Air to my Branch Basics cleaner. I’ll have to try this oil combination sometime.

  • I love this! I’ll have to figure out a different oil to use other than Eucalyptus as my husband is epileptic. Any suggestions?

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