I’ve been making this all-surface cleaner for a while now, and I like it for a couple of reasons. It’s very mild, doesn’t leave a residue, and really is great on every surface I’ve used it on. It cleans stuck-on crud from stovetops and counters better than any other product I’ve used, but works quite well to dust, clean, and shine up wood surfaces, too. Simplification is good (especially in a small home), so the fewer cleaning products I own, the better. Between this and toilet bowl cleaner, I can clean pretty much everything in the apartment.
This recipe includes borax, which I know is controversial. I have done some research, and with what I know about its pros and cons, I am okay with this recipe, especially since the amount of borax included is pretty minimal.
All-surface lemon cleaner
2 T. white vinegar
1 T. borax
2 cups hot water (distilled is best, but tap works fine for me)
1/4 c. castile soap
10-15 drops lemon oil*
Combine ingredients one at a time (in the order listed) in a a spray bottle, shaking or stirring well after each addition.
*Note: you could use another oil, like tea tree or eucalyptus, depending on what you intend to clean. I use lemon because I like the smell and it works well on wood surfaces.