The Visiting Vet - Natural Cleaning Recipes

All Purpose Cleaners:

Vinegar & Water

Put 1/2 vinegar and 1/2 water in a spray bottle. Spray surface, then wipe with a clean rag. Vinegar is a natural disinfectant. Add essential oils if you wish.

All Purpose Household Cleaner

2 Tablespoons vinegar
1 teaspoon Borax
Hot Purified water
1/4 cup liquid soap (such as castile soap)
10-15 drops essential oil (such as lavender or lemon, if using unscented castile soap)

In a 16 ounce trigger spray bottle, mix vinegar and borax. Fill rest of bottle with hot water. Shake until borax is dissolved. Add liquid soap and essential oils.


Antiseptic Soap Spray

Fill a 16 ounce spray bottle with purified water. Add 3 Tablespoons liquid soap (castile soap - use unscented or eucalyptus). Add 20-30 drops tea tree oil. Shake to mix.


Regular cleaning with plain soap and hot water will kill some bacteria. Keep things dry. Mold, mildew, and bacteria cannot live without moisture.

Furniture (wood):

Dusting/Wood Furniture Cleaner

Combine in a small bowl:

1/2 cup vinegar
1/2 cup warm water
1 teaspoon castile soap
A few drops olive oil

Wash furniture with a sponge or rag soaked and wrung out with this solution. Rinse rag in a separate bucket of hot water before re-moistening with the cleaning solution.

Laundry Products:

White Vinegar

Eliminate soap residue by adding 1 cup of white vinegar to the washers final rinse. Vinegar is too mild to harm fabrics but strong enough to dissolve alkalis in soaps and detergents. DO NOT USE VINEGAR IF YOU ADD CHLORINE BLEACH TO YOUR RINSE WATER. IT WILL PRODUCE HARMFUL VAPORS.

Baking Soda

1/4 to 1/2 cup baking soda per wash load makes clothes feel soft and smell fresh.

Multi-Use Spray:

Tea Tree Spray

Combine 2 teaspoons tea tree oil with 2 cups water in a spray bottle. USES:

Mold & mildew - spray on area, do not rinse
Antimildew antiseptic - add 1/2 teaspoon soap to spray and allow to set for a few days
Toilet bowl cleaner - spray along inside rim of bowl. Leave for 30 minutes before scrubbing.
Carpet antifungal spray - spritz into carpet, don't rinse. Helps with musty carpets. Test first for colorfastness.


Tub Stain Remover

1 Tablespoon cream of tartar
Enough 3% hydrogen peroxide to make a paste.
Cover stained area and let rest for a few hours. Scrub clean, then rinse.

Chrome Faucet Shiner

Pour white vinegar onto a soft cloth and rub faucet clean.

Scouring Bathroom Cleanser (for sink, tub, and shower)

1/4 cup liquid castile soap
1 teaspoon borax
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 3/4 cups warm water
4 drops essential oil (if using unscented castle soap)

Pour water into a stainless steel mixing bowl and add soap. Stir and add dry ingredients, then essential oil. Store in a squeeze bottle(such as a shampoo or ketchup bottle). Add a few drops hydrogen peroxide for stubborn stains.


CAUTION: NEVER MIX BLEACH WITH VINEGAR, TOILET BOWL CLEANER, OR AMMONIA.The combination of bleach with any of these substances produces a toxic gas, which can be hazardous.

Easy Toilet Bowl Cleaner

Sprinkle baking soda into the bowl; add a squirt of castile soap, then drizzle with vinegar and scour with a toilet brush. This combination both cleans and deodorizes.

Toilet Bowl Cleaner

1/2 cup liquid castile soap (preferably peppermint or eucalyptus)
2 cups baking soda
1/4 cup water
2 Tablespoons vinegar
1/2 teaspoon tea tree oil

Mix castile soap and baking soda and work out any lumps with a fork. Dilute with water and add vinegar and tea tree oil. Mix and pour final solution into a 22 ounce squirt bottle (an empty dish soap bottle works great). Shake bottle well before using (you may have to add a little water at each use). Rinse with vinegar if you like.

Windows and Mirrors:

Vinegar and Water

Put 1/2 vinegar and 1/2 warm water in a spray bottle. Spray window or mirror, then wipe with a clean rag. To remove stubborn hard water spots and streaks, use undi-luted vinegar. NOTE: It may take a few washings with vinegar to get rid of the chemicals from Windex on your windows.

Club Soda

Put club soda in a spray bottle. Spray window or mirror, then wipe with a clean rag.

Air Fresheners:

Natural Air Freshener Spray

1 cup witch hazel
1/2 teaspoon tea tree oil
1 teaspoon essential oil of choice

Pour into a spritz bottle and use as an air freshener.


Place pure vanilla on a cotton ball in a small saucer. Place saucer in car or refrigerator to remove orders. Keep the cotton ball out of reach of children; vanilla has a high alcohol content.

Quick Guide to Essential Oils:

Toilets/kitchen floors: cinnamon, orange,wintergreen
Glass/shiny surfaces: peppermint, lavender
Strong smells: vanilla, pineapple
Disinfecting: rosemary, juniper, sage, teatree, eucalyptus, thyme, lemon, lavender.


1. Safer Alternatives: Reducing The Risk: Homemade Cleaners
2. Better Basics for the Home, by Annie Berthold-Bond Siegel-Maier