I whipped up this simple all-purpose enzyme cleaning spray a couple months ago and it’s quickly become a household staple for me. It gently cleans and deodorizes, leaving my counter tops gleaming, and I think it’s easier to make than a cup of tea! I like to pair it with a microfiber cloth for wiping down counters, cleaning paw prints off windowsills and the back door, and deodorizing the bathroom. I highly recommend having a bottle on hand!
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There’s just a handful of ingredients; the first is white (or distilled) vinegar. White vinegar is typically a 5% dilution of acetic acid (higher concentrations are also available—check your bottle!), and is a very easy-to-make mild acid, with a pH of approximately 2.6. It’s a brilliant multi-purpose kitchen ingredient, used in everything from pickling to cleaning. In cleaning it’s a great de-greaser, window cleaner, hard-water-build-up-remover, and deodorizer, with the added benefit of making your bathroom smell briefly like potato chips (American with salt or British with fish!).
Ingredient #2 is a fantastic green liquid I picked up from Voyageur Soap & Candle—liquid enzyme concentrate. According to Voyaguer enzymes are “proteins, composed of hundreds of amino-acids, which are produced by living organisms. Enzymes catalyze the breakdown of soils and stain materials, are very effective working at low temperatures, and are a great addition to laundry detergents, spray cleaners, deodorizers etc.” It’s biodegradable, and freshens and cleans brilliantly. It’s also pretty inexpensive—a litre is just under $13 CAD!
As a new puppy owner I’ve been using lots of enzymatic cleaners for pet messes as the enzymes get straight to the source of the scent so your pup can’t still smell their previous accident and think that particular part of your floor is their new potty. I’ve been adding a glug or two of the concentrate to my washing machine after it’s filled and then leaving the enzyme-y laundry to soak for an hour or two before washing. It’s proven to be a fantastically effective way to tackle grass stains and funky smells in workout gear as the enzymes go straight to work on biological stains and stinks. The concentrate itself is perfumed (I confirmed with Voyageur; the manufacturer says the concentrate has “a unique, proprietary fragrance freshens the air and lingers”). I find the scent to be fairly mild and not terribly persistent; I notice it while I’m using it, but it doesn’t carry through to clean laundry or linger in the kitchen (to my nose, at least). If you’re very fragrance sensitive, however, you might want to give this one a miss.
The rest of the spray is simply water and a touch of preservative since washing your counters with a mouldy cleaning spray seems rather silly! If you’d like to add some essential oils you’ll need to include a solubilizer of some kind; for this spray I’d recommend using high proof clear grain or isopropyl alcohol. You can dissolve twenty or so drops of an essential oil or essential oil blend of your choice (Bandits Oil would be a great choice!) in approximately twice as much high proof (70%+) alcohol, and then add that to the spray, removing that from the water. If you let it stand for weeks before use you’ll likely need to shake before use, but given the chance of tackiness from the polysorbates (erg, sticky counters!), I’d skip those—the alcohol will boost the cleansing power of the spray, too.
I skipped adding any essential oils, so if you’re doing that, all you’ll have to do is pour everything into a spray bottle and shake to combine. Voila!
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All-Purpose Enzyme Cleaning Spray
25g | 0.88oz liquid enzyme concentrate
75g | 2.65oz white vinegar
398g | 14.04oz distilled water
2.5g | 0.088oz Liquid Germall Plus™ (USA / Canada) (or other broad spectrum preservative of choice at recommended usage rate [why?])
Weigh the ingredients into a 500mL (16 fl oz) trigger spray bottle, cap, and shake to combine. That’s it!
If you want to add some essential oils, follow the instructions detailed in the preamble.
The pH of this cleaning spray is approximately 4. Because it’s acidic, don’t use it on uncoated marble or other basic surfaces.
This sounds fantastic! Now I have another ingredient to add to my shopping list….. I really want to place an order with Voyageur since I’ve never tried them before. I just need to plan it when I know my husband will be out of town for a couple of weeks. Haha!
put the rose water on your list, it smells amazing…
Yes, I definitely want some of that too!
Doooooo it 😛 Get the squeezy bottles, too, they’re wonderful!
Yes! I’ve been admiring your squeezy bottles in your pictures and videos! I can always use more bottles! (This from the woman who has 7 large storage bins full of various containers….)
Well, it’s important to have the proper vehicles with which to deliver our concoctions to the world… 😛
Where do you get the “squeezy bottles”(Canada)? Thanks!
Voyageur Soap & Candle! It’s the supplier we’re discussing in the comment thread 🙂 Happy making!
Huh, sounds amazing! Any idea where to source a substitute for Voyageur’s enzyme stuff though? It says they don’t ship overseas (and it probably wouldn’t practicable with shipping costs anyway.)
Perhaps an enyzme thing from somewhere else? Voyageur told me the product is called “PrismEnvironmental® Enzymatic Cleaner & Deodorizer”, so perhaps look for that?
Thank you, Marie! I haven’t been able to spot quite the same thing, but I’ll keep an eye on the comments section to see if somebody else in Europe might have a shopping tip for me. 🙂
In the meantime, I’ve stumbled upon a receipe for fermenting an enzyme cleaner from citrus peels… not quite the same thing, to be sure (nor nearly so convenient!), but I might make use of the rest of the lemonade season to try that. 😉
Sounds like a fun thing to play with! Good luck 🙂
Hello! Can I use soap with the rest of the ingredients as well?
I don’t love soap in things like this—I find it gets tacky and can make things dirtier in the end as the stickiness attracts dirt. You can certainly try it, though!
Sorry, Marie, I have to pick you up on something, here. I’m British, and we don’t have fish with potato chips (we call those crisps) – we have fish with chips (what you call French fries). Easily confusing, I know, but that’s how it is! (Fish & chips… not crisps!)
I know, lol—I specifically chose the word “chips” so I could play on both meanings. Fish and chips (superior to fries in my opinion—chips are much more substantial!), or American chips (crisps), knowing they are different things to each country, but both dressed with vinegar despite being different things 🙂
Ha, OK. I did think you probably knew that, but it just didn’t feel right when I read that bit 🙂 To be fair, I think it’s because you specifically said ‘potato chips’ – which we in the UK know as the crispy things that come in bags! Just ‘chips’ and I would hardly even have noticed 🙂
I thought I might lose the Americans if I dropped the potato bit as there are so many types of chips! Tortilla/corn, rice, wood, ice, etc. 😛
You know, one day, I shall make it to your neck of the woods and go shopping in your stock room. I’ll even bring my own basket.
You might also want to bring some archaeology equipment and pack a few shelf-stable meals 😛
No way. That bad? I’d be in heaven! I’m an organisational fiend. I love having everything just right and I complain bitterly (I try not to) when someone doesn’t put something back where it belongs. If I ever go shopping at your place, I’d be in heaven!
I’m waiting for one more shelving unit to arrive, then my house will be set up where it’s perfect and organised and still the same amount of work space!
Well, if you’re volunteering to organize it for me… 😛 It’s a disaster, lol. I’m jealous of your organization!
Nice post – no doubt enzyme solutions are a wonderful thing. Just so everyone is aware, however, the green enzyme solution that is linked to in the post has food coloring in it which is what makes it that, em, rather bright color. I, for one, would not want to use something with food coloring in it to wipe my counters, stove top, etc., when I can purchase a purer form to use around my home without unnecessary synthetic ingredients. YMMV.
For sure, that green definitely isn’t “natural”—no pigments are, even oxides are synthesized. I guess I just have a hard time caring about the presence a safe (though synthetic) ingredient that’s used a very low percentage in something I’m not even using on my skin. If I could find one that doesn’t smell like laundry detergent that would be a higher priority for me 🙂
I have everything to make this! But was thinking, I have cleaning vinegar….. The jug says double strength. Can I substitute it in place of the regular white vinegar? I figure it would be more cleaning power…. Or may be too much?
Just use half as much and make up the difference with water 😉
.When I first opened the email to this post, I thought it may contain the recipe to make the citrus enzyme. I recently purchased a beautiful batch of very aromatic, sweet meyer lemons. I’ve been using them for cooking , lemonade, and tea. My homemade scrub includes dehydrated lemon peel but I recently came across a face scrub with lemon enzymes and probiotics, and I became interested in how it’s made or fermented. I’ve only been able to find recipes for household citrus enzyme cleaner. I’d love to have a solid recipe for making the enzyme ! I’ve started a batch of lemon enzyme cleaner, it’s currently fermenting,(but I’ll be using it for the countertops, not my skin lol!)The recipe is very simple with only three ingredients , sugar, citrus peels, and water. Do you have an enzyme recipe you can share? ~jade
I’m afraid not—as noted, what I used was puchased. I will warn that the recipe you’re making sounds very hard to preserve, but having never worked with it that’s just from looking at the ingredients 🙂
Its fermented :), so no preservative is used.It’s kind of like saying pickles need preservation.
Yes, but once you use it in something, the dilution of the fermented ingredient means it is no longer self-preserving and instead becomes difficult to preserve in other things.
This is really a great cleaner. I’m fortunate to live close to Voyageur, where the Enzyme concentrate is readily available. Thanks Marie!
Woohoo! I’m so glad to hear it 😀 I still use mine all the time, too!
I just came across an article for Branch Basics – a natural all purpose cleaning concentrate. It contains chamomile extract. It is quite expensive and I was wondering if you heard of it or if you had tried to make a DIY substitute?
I’d never heard of it, but from the ingredients list it is basically just a concentrated detergent made from non-ionic glucoside surfactants. It looks to be self preserving due to a high pH—between coco glucoside (ph~11.5–12.5), Decyl Glucoside (pH 11–12), Lauryl Glucoside (pH 11.5-12.5), and baking soda (pH 9), I’d guess the pH of this stuff is higher than the pH of soap. I do worry, though, that diluting it so much would lead to it no longer being self-preserving as that will obviously lower the pH. It does look very DIY-able; I will add it to my list! I think the trick will be creating something that isn’t super sticky when left on surfaces—something they say you can do.
Thank you so much! That would be great 🙂
Yes, I am DYING for more house cleaning recipes from you!!
Hi there! I’ve been making the enzyme cleaner and love it so far! However, I’m not fond of the vinegar smell. Is it possible to leave the vinegar out of the recipe?
You certainly can, but I haven’t tried it so I can’t speak for how it will perform 🙂 Happy making!
Hi Marie, a question for you:
I’m wanting to make a stain remover liquid. Do you think the voyageur enzyme concentrate (probably in combination with something surfactant-y) could be effective? It seems like it would be worth a try, but I figured I’d ask someone with more expertise first haha 🙂
It’s worth a try! It would likely be most effective on biological type stains—the sorts of things enzymes can work on. Let me know how it goes and happy making!
In Europe it’s not possible to find the enzymatic cleaner you suggested.
But, I found this:
It’s a cleaning solution for dental, tattooist and surgery’s instruments.
The good news: it has no frangrances!
I made this today, ugh… I hate the smell of vinegar, can I just use the enzymes and water?
Probably! That’ll definitely impact the end product, but it will also not smell like vinegar, and it sounds like that’s what you want 🙂
Hi Marie! Meet up yesterday was great! I have a question – i don’t have enzymes but i do have d-limonene, vinegar and alcohol. Do you think I can make a cleaner with that???
Hi Marie, another commenter (on the video) stated you posted a link to an article in regards to concentrations but I can’t it anywhere, would you have that handy?
I’m afraid I have no idea, it looks like the original interaction was deleted by the original commenter and it would’ve been 3+ years ago. Sorry!