DIY All Purpose Cleaner
Are you ready for the cheapest, easiest cleaning solution for almost every surface in your home? You only need 2 ingredients: white vinegar and water. If you are sensitive to the smell of vinegar then you could also include essential oils or citrus peels in the list of ingredients, but it won’t affect the cleaning power of the solution. If you don’t have essential oils don’t worry! The vinegar smell is gone once the solution dries. So it really isn’t that bad.
Another item I suggest you have on hand is a glass bottle with a spray top. You could use any old plastic cleaning bottle just fine, but I prefer glass because I can see how much solution I’m using without the need for measurements. If you can afford to purchase glass bottles specifically for cleaning, go for it! If not, just keep your eyes peeled when grocery shopping or check your fridge. There could already be an item that comes packaged in a perfectly reusable glass bottle. For example, I used a the top of an old spray bottle and an empty cleaned out Bragg’s 16oz apple cider vinegar bottle. I also have one made from a 16oz Bragg’s liquid aminos bottle. Be creative!
First I thoroughly clean and dry the bottles. To remove a label I soak the bottle in soapy water for about 1/2 hour. If it’s a difficult label I add some vinegar or baking soda to the water and try again. I scrub off any left over remnants of the label, then wash and dry.
The good news is: vinegar is cheap! I purchased a gallon of white vinegar for about two dollars. All you need for your cleaner is equal parts vinegar and water. A funnel could be useful but it’s certainly not necessary. If you‘re using essential oils I suggest lemon or orange for the kitchen. For the bathroom I like a mix of tea tree (also naturally antibacterial and gets rid of mold) and lavender. Whatever scent you choose, you only need to add about 10 - 15 drops.
If you want to try an even more natural approach, save some lemon or orange peels and store them in a jar with vinegar for a week or two. Then strain the vinegar and voila! It is now citrus-scented vinegar. I also did this with pine trimmings from my Christmas tree to make a pine scented cleaner and it worked well. The scent is not as powerful as essential oils, but it definitely cuts down on the vinegar smell.
When all your chosen ingredients are in the bottle, put on the top, give it a shake, and you’re ready to clean!
Helpful Cleaning Tips:
For stubborn food stains on counters or greasy areas on ovens let the cleaner sit a few minutes before wiping it up.
To get an extra shiny deep clean on a sink, faucet or tub spray the cleaner and dust with baking soda. Then go to town scrubbing.
To clean the inside of the microwave pour about a cup of cleaner into a microwave safe dish and microwave for one minute, then wipe the grime away!
For mold or dirty tile and grout in the bathroom spray a tea tree/vinegar solution and let it sit until dry. Then make another pass with the cleaner and wipe away the yuck.
If you can’t get your hands on a spray bottle, cut up some old towels into wipe-sized pieces. Place them in a container and let them soak in the mixed solution. Use them (and reuse them!) like you would regular cleaning wipes. Rinse and wash the towels afterwards and do it all over again.
I hope this helps anyone looking to clean more consciously. I wish you all an easily cleaned, sparkly-shiny home.
1 part white vinegar
1 part water
10 - 15 drops of essential oil
Mix all ingredients into a spray bottle. Shake before use.