If you’re all about making your own cleaning products, do I have the workhorse for you! Here’s how to make the best homemade degreaser using products you already have laying around your house. And if you’re popping over here after checking out our zero-waste juicing ideas, you’re really going to feel like a sustainable superstar, because we’re using that homemade orange-infused vinegar we concocted. Click that link to see what the fuss is about, or just use regular white vinegar.
Please tell me I’m not the only person obsessed with cleaning videos on Instagram. When we were locked down in 2020, I was inspired to clean things I didn’t even know you could clean after watching accounts like GoCleanCo transform filth into fantasy. (Seriously. Their work is mesmerizing.)
The problem was, cleaning products weren’t all that accessible at the time. Not to mention that I didn’t want to buy a bunch of new stuff for one moment of mania. Enter: my quest for the best homemade degreaser.
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How Do You Make the Best Homemade Degreaser?
- 16 oz jar with spray nozzle
- 1/2 cup orange vinegar (white vinegar also works, but that link takes you to our recipe)
- 1/2 Tablespoon baking soda
- warm water
- drop Castile Soap
In a 16 oz bottle or jar with spray nozzle attached, add vinegar and baking soda, and wait for the fizz to come down. Fill the rest of the jar with warm water, add a drop of Castile Soap, and shake. (This order matters – if you put the soap in before the water, you’ll have to contend with the suds, although there are greater problems in the world. Just a tip.)
Get the recipe for DIY Orange Peel Vinegar here!
Viola! The best homemade degreaser!
What Is the Best Homemade Degreaser?
This mixture is simply the easiest, cheapest, best homemade degreaser. While my version suggests using orange peel-infused white vinegar, you could also use regular white vinegar. Also, a few drops of essential oils will cut the vinegar scent way down, and make this cleaner pleasing to your olfactory. Citrus scents work great for this – check out sweet orange, lemon, or grapefruit oils – though there’s no wrong essential oil to add.
If you’re using the spray as described above, it already smells great. I used Dr. Bronner’s Peppermint Castile Soap, and the mint/orange combo is divine. Especially for something as unsexy as a degreaser! For maximum efficacy, spray onto the surface you’re cleaning, let sit for a few minutes, and wipe off before it dries.
What Can You Clean With Degreaser?
Stovetops, range hoods, backsplashes, and any surface in your kitchen that’s in the splash zone of your stove can be cleaned with a degreaser. And you may be surprised to know the top of your cabinets are likely included in this zone. (Or maybe you’re just way cleaner than I am, and this doesn’t shock you at all.) I learned this tidbit from my quarantine cleaning lessons.
Anyway, behold. I’m showing this for the good of the internet, and because we are without judgment around here. Please remember that as you gaze the tops of my kitchen cabinets.
These are located over the stove. I don’t have a range hood, and while I use the fan under the microwave while I’m cooking smoky, greasy things, there was still a very nasty layer of grease (and then a bonus layer of
shame dust) on top of the cabinets.
This is the before and after on a very quick wipe down. As I moved on with my cleaning, I let the degreaser sit for a few minutes before wiping it off, and it worked even better. I also hit the wall behind these cabinets, because who knew that got so gross? But who cleans this kind of mess, perched precariously on the countertop with their phone in their hand? I was one and done with the evidence. All this to say: this stuff works.
Outside the kitchen, a degreaser can be used to remove greasy stains on laundry (blood too), dust from blinds, and grime from windowsills. Here is the disclaimer, though: don’t use this on anything you can’t clean with vinegar and/or baking soda. I’ve mentioned in other green cleaning posts that I don’t often use cleaners with vinegar on my bathroom tile, even though many people swear by it. This is because vinegar degrades unsealed grout, and I cannot tell you when the last time our grout was sealed. I also wouldn’t use this on stone counters. For tile and stone, I use this simple all-purpose cleaner – another easy DIY.
No matter what, always test new products on inconspicuous places before using.
Aren’t DIY cleaners the best? Learn how to turn that baking soda to washing soda here!
Does Vinegar Dissolve Grease?
Yes! The acidity of vinegar breaks up grease. That’s the magic of this concoction. At the simplest, you could spray some plain vinegar on a greasy stovetop, let it sit for 5-10 minutes, and wipe it off with a wet cloth. Adding a smidge of baking soda and soap (as in our spray) and you get a cleaning powerhouse that dislodges stuck-on grime and leaves a shine.
What Will You Clean First?
Seriously, it’s cheap, easy to make, and works like a charm. What’s not to love about the best homemade degreaser? What will you clean first? Don’t be shy – I showed you the tops of my (formerly) grimy cabinets. Did you find a particularly nasty spot in your home to de-grease? Let us know about it!