Video Note: This recipe was recently updated (on November 9, 2015) to include a video. Find the video post, here.
Has my plan worked yet?
Are you convinced that cleaning is the coolest activity in the world? Did I just date myself by using the word “coolest?” The nineties can really stick with a gal.
Over the past month we’ve poured vinegar into jars filled with brightly-colored towels for cleaning dirty surfaces. We’ve given new life to the Swiffer sitting in the lonesome corner of the garage by making homemade wipes. Our bathrooms now smell amazing, and are actually enjoyable to clean thanks to the absence of mystery smells and liquids (potty-training also sticks with a gal and bathroom).
Oh the magic of homemade cleaning.
Homemade DIY cleaning is not only empowering and even a tiny bit magical (or maybe the word is “motivating?”), it’s also incredibly simple. And if you’re new around here, I love simple. Simple enough that every single homemade cleaner I make only requires a few ingredients that cost little when compared to the price I used to pay for a massive number of individual cleaners from the store.
Since the cleaning bug bit me with its magical (okay, I’ll try “motivating” next time) powers, I’ve been on a blog frenzy sharing my homemade cleaners. Let’s recap the simple ingredients needed to make every single cleaner for a house that sparkles and shines:
Vinegar: Costing only a couple of dollars for a quart, vinegar can clean just about anything. A big bottle of vinegar can easily be stretched to make anything from homemade cleaning wipes, Swiffer wipes, surface spray cleaner, or a natural fabric softener.
Essential Oils: I use essential oils (particularly orange, tea tree, and lavender) in my homemade surface spray, cleaning wipes, Swiffer wipes, bathroom cleaner, laundry soap, hand soap, and even homemade beauty products.
Water: If you turn over a bottle of store-bought cleaner I guarantee the first ingredient will be water. I use water in many of my homemade products. Water can aid in bacteria growth (not something you want when cleaning your counter). If you’re planning to use homemade products within a few weeks, tap water is just fine, but for a long-term use I suggest boiling water or using distilled water.
Castile Soap: Castile soap is an incredible cleaner that’s made from 100% plant oils. It’s known as a “true” soap due to its biodegradable properties. Castile soap is concentrated and highly effective which means one bottle can create multiple homemade products such as: hand soap, laundry soap, and bathroom cleaner.
Baking Soda: Baking soda absorbs odors (hello amazing bathroom cleaner!) and can remove the toughest of stains.
Rubbing Alcohol: I’m sure many of us have torturous memories of this product as kids. Ever have a cut? Yep, painful!
Rubbing alcohol is actually good for much more than torturing (I mean “cleaning”) boo-boos. This ingredient is used as a disinfectant and also works to dissolve dirt and oil. Rubbing alcohol dries quickly which makes it the perfect ingredient for DIY glass and stainless steel cleaner or homemade Swiffer wipes.
Today, let’s kick up the cleaning motivation (I got it right that time) to a new level and sparkle some windows. Using the vinegar and rubbing alcohol already found in our homemade cleaning arsenal, this cleaner can be made in just five seconds (really! I promise…five seconds) and costs just pennies for an entire bottle. Homemade glass and stainless steel cleaner will leave your windows and fridge streak-free and sparkly without the overwhelming toxic smell of store cleaners.
Ready to get started? I knew you would be.
DIY All-In-One Glass and Stainless Steel Cleaner
- 1 16-ounce glass spray bottle
- 1/2 cup rubbing/isopropyl alcohol
- 1/3 cup white distilled vinegar
- 12 ounces distilled water or filtered water if used within a few days
- Add the alcohol and vinegar to a 16-ounce glass spray bottle. Add water until the bottle is full (use a funnel, if needed).
- If you don't care for a vinegar scent (although it goes away once the surface dries), add a few drops of your favorite cleaning essential oil. This cleaner may be stored at room temperature.
- Spray the cleaner on windows and mirrors, then wipe with a microfiber cloth. A cotton towel may be used, but I highly recommend microfiber to achieve a streak and lint-free appearance. I've also used this cleaner on some of our stainless steel appliances with good success. Before using this cleaner on stainless steel always check your appliance manual since some appliances recommend using plain water for wiping the surface (like our new fridge). And always do a small spot test before using any cleaner on a surface.
Hi, I always use vinegar and soda for cleaning my bathroom. What do you think is it enough for this or should I need to use more cleaners? Thanks in advance for giving me the clarification.
Kristin is on vacation with her family until the new year. She will respond once she returns! 🙂
For me, that’s good, Harmon.
Once again, you rock! Thanks for a fabulous inexpensive multipurpose cleaner!
I’m trying to move away from plastic, and I love you glass spray bottles! Where did you buy those?
Hey Beth, They are from Sally’s Organics on Amazon: http://amzn.to/2zc3oyY
Thank you for sharing and it helps alotIs the solution also works on Winshield and windows of the car?
Hey Romeo, Yes, it should. Always test a small area first.
I tried this recipe and it worked really well! Thank you!
I’ve been interested in testing out home-made cleaners for a while now. For the purpose of stainless steel cleaner, I did end up needing to do the follow up oil trick as per another posters suggestion, but our appliances now look brand-spanking new! For the glass, it does look a little streaky but I’m wondering if it’s due to my water (I am on city water, but I’ve always thought it seemed like hard water). Perhaps using distilled or boiled water would have helped – I may try this after I’ve used up my current mixture. They kitchen however has been left smelling fresh without that ‘chemically’ smell. Overall, I’m pretty happy with the cleaner and I think with some minor adjustments I can avoid the streaks 🙂
Hey Natasha, Yes, definitely try the distilled water. The minerals in tap water can leave behind spots, similar to what happens when you do the dishes. I think that will definitely help!
Help, my appliances look Terri let after using the stainlets recipe. Don’t do it, it will be worse, does anyone have suggestions to fix the damage?
Very nice and very easy method.
And Thank You Very Much.
Where did you find the aqua tinted bottle with a swing cap that is in the pictures??
Hey KNgo, It’s from HomeGoods.
This works great as a glass cleaner!! As for using tap water, I’m wondering if it would be okay even if you didn’t use it within a couple of weeks because of all of the alcohol in there? Alcohol is a preservative right? Anyway, thanks for finally helping me find a glass cleaner that works!
Hey Sara, I’m so glad you’re enjoying it! That’s a great question. I’ve personally kept it a bit longer, and haven’t had issues. I don’t have any studies to show how much longer it might last though.
Please add this to my “olive oil” post above as it’s an edit, and please delete this one, if possible. If that’s not possible, then let this one stand too. My apologies for not getting it all in one post. I not only meant streaks but fingerprints as well. The olive oil should be put on after the vinegar solution has air dried, and you need to rub it in back and forth a few to several times (whatever is needed);”buffing” the stainless steel. This is truly “a little dab will do you”. You don’t need to use a lot. a dime to nickel size amount should go quite a long way, but use whatever you feel necessary. Just try not to use too much as you don’t want your appliances glazed with it.
For everyone who’s having a problem with streaks being left after cleaning your stainless with vinegar, please try this as the second step and fix for the other types of stainless finishes mentioned above. Pour some olive oil onto a microfibre cloth and wipe with the grain of your appliance. The grain should be either vertical or horizontal. I have a mix of the two in my appliances. You can tell very easily. The olive oil polishes the stainless steel and gets rid of any other prints the vinegar left behind. Hope this helps.
Thanks for sharing, Verna!