All-Purpose Cleaner

This all-purpose cleaner is a really easy recipe that can also be adapted quickly to accommodate your needs and favourite scents. I use this cleaner for basically everything. If I was Gus Portokalos from My Big Fat Greek wedding, then this would be my “windex” when it comes to cleaning, it might not be the best cure for poison ivy, or so I don’t think. This all-purpose cleaner cleans anything from glass, kitchen benchtops, wooden outdoor table, shower, fridge. Basically, any regular cleaning needs a wipe.  If there is something that it does not remove immediately, I would then rather call in the big guns “hard water remover or my scrubbing paste” and that gets the job done.  

If you love a zesty lemony fragrance then I would recommend creating a zesty vinegar and use that for the recipe, instead of the essential oils. You can always play around with your mix too, if you feel you want it to be stronger, maybe add less water to your mix.  


Ingredients for zesty vinegar:

  • 250ml White vinegar 
  • Citrus peels from 3-4 citrus fruits 


Method for zesty vinegar:

  • In a mason jar or anything similar, pour your white vinegar.  
  • Before adding your citrus peels, make sure that you just have the peels and that it does not contain any fruity bits. Now cut the peels into large chunks and add to your vinegar.  
  • Close the container and leave for 2-3 weeks. You might have to burp your container every other day by opening it, give the peels a stir and close again.  
  • After 2-3 weeks your vinegar will have a yellow or orange tint to it. Strain the vinegar to remove all the peels and if you want you can add the peels to a muslin cloth or milk bag and squeeze them even more to get every drop.  
  • Store the vinegar in a container and use it as needed. You can use the mixture as is for a kitchen cleaner but I prefer to dilute it a bit like in the instructions below.  



  • 125 ml white vinegar or zesty vinegar 
  • 125ml filtered water 
  • 10-15 drops of essential oil (If you have used zesty vinegar and like the citrus smell you do not have to add any essential oil. My favourite essential oils to use are tea tree oil, basil or grapefruit 


  • Mix your vinegar and water together in a container. I like to mix it directly into my glass bottle with a trigger spray.  
  • Once the mixture is mixed well add your essential oil. I love for mine to smell fresh and the tea tree oil also has some antibacterial and antifungal properties and I like to add a second scent to make it smell amazing.  
  • Now you can start using it and cleaning up a storm. I would recommend that if you have shinny surfaces where you will use the spray, maybe just wipe it down with a microfibre cleaning cloth and make sure to give your bottle a good shake before you use it.  

About the author, Mariska

Hi and welcome! My name is Mariska. I am originally from South Africa, but now call the world my home. I am an artist, designer, environmentalist, podcast host and speaker.

I started the Mama Earth Talk podcast in 2018 to share some of the things that I learned about just how easy it can be to reduce your impact on the environment. This then quickly grew into a forum that showcases the amazing things that many people are doing to make the planet better, and further into a source of hope and inspiration for many. A few of the amazing guests include Zero Waste Queen, Bea Johnson, Claude Silver, Kathryn Kellogg and zero waste chef Max La Manna.

If you do not already I urge you to follow me and my journey on social media (@designbymariska), and to refuse, reduce, reuse, recycle and rot your own waste using the handy tips I post!

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