Friday, November 6, 2009

Homemade, chemical-free cleaner... on the cheap!

If you have vinegar in your pantry, you also have a multi-purpose, chemical-free cleaner on the cheap! Just use half vinegar and half water (or, you can do 3 parts water, 1 part vinegar) in a spray bottle and voila! It actually cleans and disinfects just as well as a traditional cleaner. BUT, this tried and true solution Grandma used to make doesn't have to smell like Easter eggs every time you clean... here's what I did to cut the vinegar smell!

I have a small herb garden in my front yard, as well as a TON of lavender plants! So, while walking down the path, the wind blew and I was like, "ahhhhhh" the herbal smell was so refreshing! So, I decided to experiment with how I can harness this smell. Since I use the vinegar solution everyday to clean my kitchen surfaces and dining table, I thought I'd try to dull that smell first... all I did was cut some of my fresh Tyme and Rosemary and tied them up tightly enclosed in a square of muslin fabric scrap I had in my craft supplies and let them soak in the spray bottle. WOW, it WORKED! I can still smell a hint of vinegar smell, but now it is more herbal than vinegar!

This is all you'll need:
Spray Bottle (you can rinse out and re-use one of your old Windex bottles, etc.)
Vinegar (I used distilled white, but you can try apple vinegar and I'm sure it smells slightly better!)
Muslin or cheesecloth (or other cotton fabric scraps you have - maybe from an old sock or t-shirt?)
Rubber band

SIMPLE and SAFE! I like to use this especially on all food surfaces to avoid contaminating them with the chemicals in household cleaners. (I have to admit though, that I do still use Lysol in the bathroom!)

Next, I want to try my Lavender, and then Lemon peels or Orange peels to see how that works!


Anonymous said...

This is a really fantastic idea. I've stayed away from vinegar because of the smell, but now I think I'll give it another try. I often have extra herbs and am not always sure how to use them, but this is a great option. Also, I typically put used citrus down the drain, but now I can skin it for the cleaning solution. Thanks so much for sharing.

tamaryn :) said...

It's an awesome way to clean, I agree! But here's what I do, it might save you some time. I buy the largest container of distilled white vinegar I can find and use enough to have room to add herbs (lavender and rosemary combined being my favorite) then seal it as tight as I can an put it in a cupboard. The loose herbs in my trials have infused the vinegar more. I also (when I remember) shake the bottle up every once in a while... So to get on with it, when I want to use the vinegar I strain it into a spray bottle and yay vinegar that has already been infusing for a month or more and smells pretty yummy!

Also great as a conditioner for hair :) Not kidding.

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