My Mom Finally Shared Her Secret Miracle Spray Recipe With Me — and It’s a Game-Changer

published Jan 8, 2024
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
women spraying cleaner on kitchen counter
Credit: Joe Lingeman

You know how in “My Big Fat Greek Wedding,” Toula’s dad Kostas Portokalos walks around with Windex to cure everything? Well, that’s how my mom acts with her DIY miracle spray. 

Over the holidays, I returned home to Australia after two years away. A lot had changed: my local cafe shut down, the neighbor’s home had been knocked down and rebuilt, and my mom was suddenly obsessed with cleaning everything. Within the first five minutes of my arrival, she had taken out her clear spray bottle for a little show-and-tell. It was as simple as mentioning a few scuff marks on my suitcase that piqued her attention. “My miracle spray will get those out so easily,” she said. And it didn’t stop there. “Look, look at it! How good is it! Isn’t it incredible?” she’d repeatedly exclaim throughout my stay. 

Considering she got the recipe from a sales associate at the grocery store while in the cleaning aisle, you can imagine how shocked I was when she wouldn’t pass it on — rather, treating the concoction like a precious family heirloom I wasn’t yet ready to honor. But after much persistence, I finally have the recipe and I’m excited to share it with all of you. 

To make my mom’s miracle spray, you’ll need:

  • 3 cups of water (half a cup will be boiled)
  • 1 ½ heaping tablespoons of washing soda
  • ⅔ cup of vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons dishwashing liquid
  • ½ or 1 tablespoon of pure essential oil

Use a measuring cup and spoons to measure out the ingredients. Boil half a cup of water and mix it with the washing soda until it’s dissolved. Add the remaining ingredients. Pour it all into a 30 or 32 ounce spray bottle — and there you have it! 

The vinegar and dishwashing liquid help to dissolve dirt, grease, and grime. For the essential oil, I used eucalyptus, but you can play around with the scent and amount used based on how strong you want it to be. What surprised me the most about this miracle spray was the hero ingredient: washing soda, not to be confused with baking soda

Washing soda has a higher pH than baking soda — it’s at an 11 and the latter is at an eight — resulting in more cleaning power behind it. It’s also a natural cleaner and water softener. Washing soda is typically found and used in the laundry to remove tough stains, but it’s actually an incredibly versatile product. You can use it in the kids bathroom to unclog drains and remove grout and scum, on an outdoor grill with blackened caked-on grease and food, and even to clean garden tools. 

Studies say you start turning into your mom in your thirties. Well, I seem to be getting a head start because I too am now obsessed with this natural all-purpose miracle spray. Mom was right, it really is as good as it gets. 

This post was originally published on Apartment Therapy. Read it there: My Mom Finally Shared Her Secret Miracle Spray Recipe With Me — and It’s a Game-Changer