Whole Home Detox: All-Purpose and Glass Cleaner

For a few months now I’ve been poring over homemade cleaner recipes trying to find the perfect replacements for my commercial ones. First, I cannot live without a multi-surface, all-purpose cleaner! I have a lot of Ikea faux-wood furniture, so I even dust my house with a cloth dampened a little bit of all-purpose cleaner.

I first used this homemade miracle recipe as it was intended:  a glass cleaner.  I have french doors in my living room and a 17-month-old who volunteered to lick and “blow raspberries” on the bottom eight panes for me last week. I decided to break in my new cleaner on those doors. I used it and it did the trick.  I could not tell the difference between my homemade version and my old glass cleaner.

After this, I then discovered it is also the best multi-surface cleaner on the planet.  Yesterday I was wiping down my kitchen appliances using a new homemade recipe, but it was leaving a white film over everything it touched.  Boo!  So I kept grabbing my homemade glass cleaner to remove the film, when I realized, “Wait.  This junk is miraculous.  Why am I not just using THIS?.”

All Purpose and glass

I  ended up using it over my entire house, including the high chair, my black refrigerator, my stainless steel trash can, base boards, bedroom furniture, and bathroom.  I was especially pleased with how it cleaned my black refrigerator and stainless finishes.  The finish of my fridge is very shiny and high-maintenance.  (I wanted a photo, but his area of my kitchen is too small to get a decent angle!)

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If you have stainless steel I don’t have to tell you how high-maintenance that stuff is!  It used to take me two or three tries with a couple different cleaners to get a non-streaky result.  Until now, I have never succeeded in getting that perfect, finger-print free gleam on those surfaces.

Here are the magic ingredients:

1.) Dish soap.  If this stuff wrong, then I don’t want to be right.   All of my new favorite homemade cleaners contain it.   It cuts grease and makes everything shiny. What can’t a sink of hot, soapy water fix?  I can’t think of much.

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(Make sure your dishwasher is toxin-free!  For the best eco-friendly dish soaps, check out this post!)

2.) Vinegar.  When you switch over your cleaners, you’ll use this for everything. I mean, almost everything.  It’s amazing.  Vinegar is especially great for cleaning off limescale, since it’s acidic and therefore reacts with the limescale.  It also kills mold, bacteria, and germs.

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Glass Cleaner/All Purpose Cleaner

  • 1 cup Water
  • 1/4 cup White Vinegar
  • 2 to 3 drops Dish Soap
  • Combine water, white vinegar, and dawn dish soap in an empty spray bottle

-The Frugal Girls


My cost breakdown?  I don’t know.  Twenty-five cents?

I can clean 85% of all surfaces in my house with this, including mirrors.  Not only did I find my new go-to cleaner, but I found out that by replacing vinegar with rubbing alcohol, I can magically change it into a solution that is safe for granite.   AND, did you know that by omitting the water from this recipe, you can make a magical shower cleaner? Vinegar and dish soap, people.

Now go clean!  (Here is some motivation for you.)

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  • Monica

    Out of curiosity, have you tried castile soap in place of the dish soap? I haven’t myself and I’m curious how it might work.

    • http://www.frugalfaye.com Rachael

      Not yet, but I just bought some for hand soap/body wash and I thought I’d try some for my dishes! I heard it takes a lot of scrubbing, but a lot of the natural things I have tried have actually worked a lot better than people claim! I’ll state the findings my dish soap post in a few weeks!

  • http://www.findingourfeet.com Catherine Lamb

    Another option MIGHT be just some bar soap grated. That’s what I used for my new face wash. At first it was pretty watery but in a few days it thickened up to get more of that liquidy soap texture. You’d have to research or test it though! My all purpose is just 50/50 vinegar & water. I have been meaning to test it on my glass but haven’t gotten around to it yet, as I’m still using up my Method Best in Glass bottle. But maybe I’ll test it today and follow up with you :)

    • http://www.frugalfaye.com Rachael

      Yes let me know! I have been doing dish soap research and I think I need to ditch it and make my own, in which case I’m not sure if I could use it in my miracle cleaner anymore! (SAD) I just found out….almost ALL the dish soaps have SLS, even the ones that say “coconut derived surfactants.” It’s the SAME thing as SLS, just different wording! AGH!

  • Lindsi Gross

    I’ve been adding a bit of Mrs. Meyers concentrate, because it smells good! And, it works :) And, a little olive oil, vinegar, and Mrs. Meyers is good for dusting, and shining wood :)

    • http://www.frugalfaye.com Rachael

      Mrs. Meyers smells sooooo yummy!

  • http://www.avegetablesavedmylife.blogspot.com Jen Antoniou

    Fabulous! I’ve used alcohol as a disinfectant since Audrey was burned at 13 months. She’ll be 8 in one week, exactly!

    Another trick we learned is spray bottle with hydrogen peroxide and a few drops of dish soap has made a wonderfully effective carpet stain remover. Cool!

    Great post, thanks!

    • http://www.frugalfaye.com Rachael

      Yeah I’ve been using that as a stain remover on clothes, only with more dish soap.

  • Alex Corbin

    If you add baking soda to the peroxide and dish soap, you also have a remedy for “skunk”!!… Tested on the dog a couple of times!! It’s great!

  • Erin McGown

    Do you use this to clean toilets too or do you use something a little more “stout”? I’ve been using it in my kitchen and love it so far!

    • frugalfaye

      I haven’t done a post on this yet, but I use a paste of vinegar and baking soda for my toilet bowl! Or sometimes when I’m lazy, I just dump a little of both in there and scrub!

      • Erin McGown

        Awesome! Thanks!

  • Roxanne

    I made this about a week ago and have been using it on any and all messes in the house. So far its been working like a charm, thank you for the recipe! I use it on everyday cleaning and messes, not sure how it would work with heavy duty cleaning jobs.

    • http://www.fromfaye.com/ fromfaye

      Yes I think it’s best for every day messes too. We moved into a home with original bathrooms from the 1980’s and I’ve had to break out the chemicals a few times to really make a dent in the grime!

  • Ochie

    Hi Faye.. I want to know if I can use your all purpose cleaner for stainless fridge?

  • Cheryl

    Hi just read your solution for cleaning my new(used) ceramic top stove.you are talking about natural. Have you ever investigated young living essential oils? They are natural and have been distilled slow to get to the purest form. They have a lot of oils for a lot of reasons. Pana way is good for pain.lavender helps calm, cuts bruises burns. ………..anyway I cleaned my new stove with thieves cleaner and a green scruby sorry no before and after pictures it’s a disinfectant with’ bacteria -killing power ‘. I’ve acutely cleaned a lot of stuff that are hard to clean.the side of the fridge, kitchen walls,I could go on.I do love your remedy s. I so agree with vinegar and the dish soap remedies.just wanted to add to your thoughts.check it out. my sister is smarter than myself about this product but. . . . . . . here are a few ways to seek information. Her site ‘s
    http://Www.cricketscents.com http://www.Facebook.com/CricketYLEO
    CricketLott @Gmail. Com. TELL HER THAT HER SITTER SENT YOU TO HER enjoy Cheryl

  • Teri Skinner Chadwick

    Does this work well on car windows? … one great product I’ve used for home windows makes my car windows streak. Or perhaps I need new wiper blades?? 😉

  • Jean Tierney

    Question we have,a septic tank so is using baking soda and vinegar safe to use in regards to keepung our our septic tank in ‘balance’?

  • Arlene Hollis

    what was I thinking? bought a white glass stove top to go with the existing white appliances. (I know, ol school). I hate it! Gets dirty just looking at it. thought is was the pots, but it doesn’t matter which one I use. Always scortched residue. I bought the recommended cleaner and still, not clean. I don’t have the “man power” to scour that hard. Please, any recommendations? I will definitely try the baking power, and home-made cleaner solution. Thank you. Just bought it so I am stuck with it for a few years.