I have used this recipe for years as an all-purpose cleaner but have gone to another one.
OLD RECIPE - that is quite good and a nice place to start if you are just going green or trying to do natural cleaners for the first time.
1/2 cup vinegar
1/2 tsp liquid dish soap or something like Dr. Bonner's liquid soap
10 drops of essential oil (citrus, peppermint, or tea tree - I use tea tree and lemon)
water - to fill spray bottle
Mix ingredients in a spray bottle. Shake before use.
Heat about 28 ounces of water to boiling (enough to fill your spray bottle), turn off heat and add 2 tbsp BORAX powder, 3/4 tsp of liquid soap, 18 drops of essential oils - usually a mixture of 2 or 3. Stir until the Borax is disolved and won't clog your spray bottle.
Essential oils I use - I always use tea tree oil - in any homemade cleaner - as it has antibacterial, antifungal, and antiseptic properties. I then add in lemon or a citrus scented one, and maybe rosemary - which all of these ones have disinfecting properties. But for Christmas I have just done tea-tree oil and peppermint so that it smells more like Christmas around the house as I clean. Peppermint essential oil has disinfecting properties too.
Basically these are the things I have moved towards when cleaning now:
Baking Soda - It is really good natural abrasive with mild alkaline properties. It is affordable, rinses easily and is completely non-toxic - no dangers for kids and pets.
Vinegar - It is an all natural and known disinfectant. It is affordable as well because you can get a pretty big jug of it at Walmart inexpensively. Only surface that you can't really use it on is marble as the acid discolors marble.
Hydrogen Peroxide - is also non-toxic and is known to be a disinfectant. Also very affordable.
Essential Oils - All natural and many have disinfecting properties. A little goes a long way so when looking at prices they do seem like they can be expensive but often you are using 6 to 10 little drops of it. I have had a bottle of tea tree oil for over 3 years and not even near being empty. Natural food grocers will have them, sometimes health food stores, Whole Food or Trader Joes I believe sell them too. But you can also get them online.
Liquid Soap/Liquid Castile Soap - You can use any liquid soap but to be green and more natural - Liquid Castile Soap is best. It isn't inexpensive but again a little goes a long way. Dr. Bronner’s sells liquid castile soap and I have found that at Target but Trader Joes and Whole Foods I am sure would have it too. Castile soap is a vegetable based soap where most others are petroleum based. So that makes Castile soap completely non-toxic so it can be used on your face and body but will also work well when it comes to cleaning your home.
Just a few little things I do to clean:
* Liquid soap and Baking soda make a great soft scrub (add in essential oil for a nice scent).
* Microwave vinegar and water in a little bowl and it steams all the cooked on food - and makes it easy to wipe clean.
* Clean fruit with 1 tablespoon baking soda, 1 cup vinegar, 1 cup water. Spray on produce and then rinse after 3 to 5 minutes.