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what's in amish cleaning tonic

What's in Amish Cleaning Tonic

The Amish Ordnung avoid using most modern-day products, such as soap and detergent, to separate themselves from the world and worldly things.  How do the Amish clean without using soap and detergent? 

The Amish created a cleaning tonic - an all-natural solution - that they've used for generations. What's in Amish cleaning tonic? 

The Amish have combined ingredients to create an effective and safe cleaning solution that’s gentle enough to use daily without damaging surfaces or skin. 

If you're curious to try an Amish cleaning tonic, read on to find out what's in it and how it works.

What this article covers:

Amish Cleaning Tonic Ingredients

The Amish cleaning solution is an all-purpose cleaner that you can use to clean various surfaces, including countertops, toilets, and floors. The tonic is tough on stains, making it ideal for cleaning your laundry.

The Amish cleaning tonics have been the cornerstone of Amish hygiene, especially in conservative orders where interaction with the outside world is limited. One of the Amish hygiene habits is bathing at least once a week using this tonic.

amish cleaning tonic ingredients

If you're wondering what's in a homemade Amish cleaning tonic, here's a list of the ingredients and their role in making it effective.

  • Vinegar: This is a primary ingredient in every Amish cleaning tonic and does a great job of sanitizing surfaces, cutting through dirt and grease, and deodorizing. It's tough on stains and great for removing odor from kitchen countertops.
  • Lemon Juice: Adds an extra layer of protection against germs and bacteria as it contains citric acid, which can help kill germs Moreover, it helps keep your home smelling fresh and inviting.
  • Baking Soda: Some Amish cleaning tonics have baking soda, a natural deodorizer that helps absorb odors in the air and on surfaces. It's also great for scrubbing away tough stains and grime.
  • Alcohol (tetrahydro furfuryl): This type of alcohol acts as a surfactant in the tonic, helping reduce surface tension so that the cleaning agents can penetrate and clean surfaces more effectively.
  • Essential Oils: Lavender, eucalyptus, and tea tree oil add a pleasant smell to your home and contain antifungal and antibacterial properties.
  • Salt: Acts as a mild abrasive, helping scrub dirt and grime away.

The Amish dilute their homemade cleaning solution with water for maximum effectiveness. Although most commercial Amish cleaning solutions don't reveal their ingredients, these are common in Amish homes. Mostly, the Amish just mix two or three of these ingredients with water, depending on the surfaces they want to clean.

does amish cleaning tonic work

Does Amish Cleaning Tonic Work?

Amish tonic recipes have been passed down and perfected for generations, along with other traditions such as making picnic baskets, Easter baskets, and bread baskets.

When you dilute it correctly, the Amish cleaning solution works great on most surfaces, from kitchen counters to laundry. It's safe for use on tile, porcelain, and even glass. However, it shouldn’t be used on hardwood floors as the vinegar could damage them over time.

What Does A Tonic Do?

A cleaning tonic is excellent for general household cleaning for the following reasons:

  • Removing Contaminants: Cleaning tonics help remove germs, soil, dirt, and grime from surfaces.
  • Deodorizing: The natural ingredients in the tonic, like lemon juice, alcohol, and essential oils, help to deodorize your home.
  • Sanitation: Vinegar is a great natural sanitizer that can kill bacteria, fungus, and mold spores.
  • Preventing the spread of infectious diseases: Tonics eliminate allergens such as mold and dander, which can cause respiratory problems that make Amish swimming difficult.
  • Dissolving grease and oils: A build-up of grease and oil on surfaces can be difficult to remove. The Amish cleaning tonic helps dissolve these deposits easily.

what's in amish people cleaning tonic

Is It Safe To Use?

The Amish cleaning tonic is made of all-natural ingredients. It’s an eco-friendly solution and is safe for you and your family.

Amish cleaning recipes do not use harsh chemicals and have kept Amish families safe for generations. Besides, this solution doesn't make tiles slippery, making it safe for cleaning floors around children and the elderly. When using the Amish tonic to clean upholstery and laundry, dilute it to avoid damaging the fabric.

That said, always test a new cleaning product on a small surface before using it on a larger area. This way, you'll avoid damaging large surfaces that might be difficult to repair.

amish people cleaning tonic ingredients

Why Use Amish Cleaning Tonic?

Do Amish have running water? While most conservative Amish don't have running water, they still keep their homes clean with well-drawn water and tonics. Here are some reasons to consider using the Amish cleaning tonic in your household.

  • Non-toxic: Most cleaning solutions today have toxic fumes that can harm your health. The Amish cleaning tonic is non-toxic, and no harsh smells are associated with it.
  • Biodegradable: All the ingredients in the tonic are biodegradable, meaning they break down naturally without causing any harm to the environment. This makes it a greener choice than traditional chemical cleaners.
  • Safe for children and pets: As the tonic is non-toxic, it's safe to use around kids and pets. There are no harsh chemicals that can harm them if ingested or inhaled.
  • Non-abrasive: If you have easily damaged surfaces with tough stains, the mild abrasiveness of the ingredients won't scratch your surfaces.
  • Non-caustic: The Amish cleaning tonic eliminates the risk of corrosion, making it safe for use on delicate surfaces.
  • Repellent: Most ingredients used in Amish cleaning tonics are natural repellents to insects and pests, including ants, mosquitoes, and cockroaches. So, aside from helping you clean your home, this tonic will also help keep pests and insects out.
does amish people cleaning tonic work

How To Use Amish Cleaning Tonic?

If you're about to buy or make your own Amish cleaning tonic, here are some tips on how to use it correctly.


To make the most of the cleaning tonic, always dilute it with water before using it. If you buy a tonic from a local Amish shop nearby, remember that the recipe varies from region to region, so check with a local Amish family for their recipe.

Add 15 ounces of water to one ounce of this cleaning solution and use a spray bottle for easy application.

amish cleaning tonic


Before using the tonic on a large surface, try it out on a small spot first. This will help you determine how strong it is and if it's safe to use on that particular surface.


Make sure to rinse surfaces thoroughly after cleaning with the tonic. Rinsing helps to remove excess residue which might cause spots or streaks.


Store the tonic in a cool, dark place away from kids and pets. Always keep it tightly sealed to avoid spills.

Use A Toothbrush Or Rag

When removing tough spots or stains, use a soft-bristled toothbrush or a rag with the cleaning tonic solution. This will help you scrub off dirt and grime more effectively. Also, use more tonic on tougher stains, but don’t rub too hard, as this may cause scratches.

amish cleaning tonic work

Cleaning Utensils

This tonic instantly cleans pots with burned food. As long as you give them a good scrub down, the tough stains will come right off. It can also help you remove stubborn hard water spots on glass and even make stainless steel shine like new again.


Overall, the Amish cleaning tonic is an effective and safe solution for cleaning tough spots and stains around your home. The all-natural ingredients make it a greener choice than traditional chemical cleaners and are non-toxic.

You can use this versatile tonic on different surfaces and enjoy an insect and pest-free home as it contains repellent ingredients. When using the tonic, dilute it properly, test it on a small surface first, rinse after cleaning, and store it correctly.

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