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In a house of boys there are LOTS of messes. Especially now that they are starting to cook and bake and the fact that they are in charge of dishes. Their idea of cleaning up and mine are still a little different. We go through lots of sponges and cleaners around here so I thought I’d share my favorite all purpose cleaner/sponge combo along with a printable if you decide to make your own!

DIY all purpose cleaner

I have been buying ocelo™ No-Scratch Scrub Sponges since I first saw them at Target several years ago. They are my “go to” cleaning sponge because they work on all sorts of delicate surfaces in my kitchen and bathroom and they are always in such great colors. I noticed these new gorgeous colors (teal, lemon, mango and lime) and had to pick up a few.

DIY all purpose cleaner

We use these for everything! Having sponges that work well but are no-scratch is important around here because there’s no getting the boys to use certain sponges on certain surfaces. We can use these ocelo scrub sponges on the sink, counters, non-stick cookware, glassware, china, stainless steel and even the bathroom tile.

ocelo™ scrub sponges

I think we use them the most in the kitchen. They are perfect for scrubbing the sink, counters, our flat top stove and even my wipeable kitchen chairs! Since I love to keep a clean (and great smelling) kitchen I make my own all purpose cleaner that smells amazing and works just as well. It’s super easy to make and works GREAT with the ocelo no-scratch scrub sponges.

DIY all purpose cleaner

To make you’ll need to re-use a spray bottle (or buy a new one). Glass works great if you decide to add essential oils to your cleaner, but plastic works too!

First, add 2 cups distilled water to the bottle using a funnel. If you want to use small bottles just mix up your cleaner in a larger jar.

DIY all purpose cleaner

Next, add 1/8 – 1/4 cup (2-4 TBSP) of liquid castile soap.

DIY all purpose cleaner

Castile soap sometimes comes with peppermint or lavender (we love peppermint) but if you’re using just straight castile soap you can add 20 drops of essential oils. Oils like orange, lavender and peppermint are my favorites for cleaning.

DIY all purpose cleaner

Mix it well!

DIY all purpose cleaner

Add one of these printable labels (this makes a fun gift too)!

DIY all purpose cleaner DIY all purpose cleaner

This works great on our counters using the scrub part of the ocelo scrub sponge for tough messes and the soft part for everyday clean up.

DIY all purpose cleaner DIY all purpose cleaner

And it works GREAT for the sink as well. I love that I can use the cleaner/ocelo scrub sponge combo in the sink (and it won’t scratch) and then up on the counter as well.

DIY all purpose cleaner DIY all purpose cleaner DIY all purpose cleaner DIY all purpose cleaner

I keep a set in the bathroom for everyday cleaning and tough (deep cleaning) jobs. Peppermint is my favorite cleaner scent for the bathroom!

DIY all purpose cleaner DIY all purpose cleaner DIY all purpose cleaner

The best part about the cleaner is that it’s cheaper to make than buying already made, and it’s so easy to make up more when you run out!

You can get everything you need to make your own cleaner including the ocelo no-scratch scrub sponges at Target. Even better, right now you can save $0.50 off one ocelo Scrub Sponge Multi-pack.

DIY all purpose cleaner

Happy cleaning!

DIY all purpose cleaner




Allison Waken is the founder, writer, photographer, and content creator of All for the Memories and All for the Boys.


  1. I can’t use chemical cleaners at all for several reasons. I may have to try this one. With the castile soap, do you end up with any issues of it needing to be wiped down again with water? #client

    • AllisonWaken

      It depends on how much of the castile soap you use, with a couple TBSP not as much, but if I’m scrubbing a good spot, I’ll usually go over it again with a damp sponge to make sure there isn’t any residue. My counters show off quite a bit of streaking and this cleaner works really well with it!