The ratio of this recipe is one cup of water to one tablespoon of castile soap, and then add any essential oils for scent and/or cleaning benefits. My spray bottle can hold three cups of water, so I usually triple the recipe. The spray bottle is a recycled cleaning bottle, and I simply took off the old label and replaced it with my own.
The main ingredient in this cleaner is castile soap. Pure castile soap is a non toxic soap made from vegetable oils. It can be found at health food stores and in some grocery stores. I usually buy the Dr. Bronner's brand, as that seems to be popular in stores. You can read about its benefits of castile soap here.
Castile soap is not an inexpensive soap. A 32 oz. bottle will cost around $15 or more. The nice thing is that a 32 oz bottle will last a long time. Even with the cost of the soap, this DIY cleaner is still cheaper than most store bought cleaners, because it doesn't take much castile soap to make a batch. I usually buy a large bottle, but I wanted to try the lavender soap, so I bought a small sample from GNC. I actually loved the lavender sample that I bought, and will probably buy a big bottle of it on Amazon. Because the lavender soap was already scented, I didn't even need to use essential oils for this batch. I did end up adding about 20 drops of lemon oil to this batch to give it a lovely lemon lavender scent!
I suppose any liquid soap would work for this recipe, but I will stick with the castile soap. A water/vinegar combination would clean just as well too. However, for an all purpose cleaner that I use on a daily basis, I prefer this recipe to one with vinegar as an ingredient, simply because of the smell.
This cleaner can be used on just about anything. I use it a lot on my tables and counters to wipe messes that my little guys have left behind. I like it because it is easy to make, it smells great, and it's a safe multi-surface cleaner to use around my growing toddlers.