My everyday cleaning spray is a bottle of diluted vinegar. It's easy to make, safe to use around food and kids, and works effectively on just about every surface in the house. But to lift tough messes, something stronger is required. A few simple additions will add cleaning power to a basic vinegar spray. With just five natural ingredients this tough multi-purpose cleaner will tackle the toughest stains.

DIY Tough Multi-Purpose Cleaner

Things You’ll Need

  • 2 cups water

  • 1 teaspoon Borax

  • 1/4 cup Castile soap

  • 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar

  • 20 drops lavender essential oil

  • Spray bottle

Ingredients for Tough Multi-Purpose Cleaner

Step 1

In a measuring cup, combine one teaspoon of Borax with 2 cups of hot water. Borax helps dissolve stuck-on grease and dirt. Stir until well dissolved and pour into a spray bottle. You can also combine them right in your spray bottle and shake until well combined.


Borax is widely considered safe to use in homemade cleaners. However, it can be toxic at very high doses so keep it away from children. You can replace it with washing soda, if desired.

Step 2

Add 1/2 cup of distilled white vinegar to the spray bottle. Vinegar is a must-have natural ingredient in cleaning recipes for its ability to disinfect and deodorize.

Tough Multi-Purpose Cleaner with Vinegar


This recipe is based on a 1:4 ratio of vinegar to water. So scale the amounts up or down depending on how much cleaner you want to make.

Step 3

Add 1/4 cup of Castile soap. Castile adds a bit of sudsing action to the spray cleaner.

Tough Multi-Purpose Cleaner with Castile Soap

Step 4

Add 20 drops of lavender essential oil. Lavender is antibacterial and antifungal, and also adds a nice scent that makes tough cleaning jobs much more pleasant.

Tough Multi-Purpose Cleaner with Lavender Essential Oil

Step 5

Spray cleaner on surfaces that need cleaning — countertops, sinks, toilets — and wipe with a wet cloth. Messes won't stand a chance against your super DIY multi-purpose cleaner!

How to Make a Tough Multi-Purpose Cleaner


Avoid using vinegar on marble surfaces. It will leave marks and erode the stone.

Homemade cleaner


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