Friday, April 26, 2013

Weekend Project - Homemade All-Purpose Cleaner

I have been brewing (literally) a non-toxic all purpose cleaner.  This process has lasted about a month and I have mixed feelings.

Earlier we had a commenter ask if we have found something that was non-toxic, worth the money, worth the time, effort, and actually cleaned well.  My homemade cleaner is all of those things.  Let me break it down:

  • The stuff was fun to make - I checked on it like a science experiment!
  • As my family back home would say, it was "easy as all get-out."
  • Cheap - used bits and scraps
  • It really works

  • It takes a long time for a batch to be ready
  •  It has a strong vinegar smell

The process is fairly simple.  Any time I ate or used a citrus fruit (grapefruit, clementine, orange, lemon) I saved the peel in a quart sized mason jar and poured in enough white vinegar to cover the peels.

Eat, save peel, cover with vinegar, shake, repeat.  Do this for 2-4 weeks.

Every day or so I'd shake the jar.  It took a month to fill the jar, for the vinegar to turn orange from the oils in the peels, and for it to smell strongly of fruit.

When I was ready to use it I added the juice of 1/2 a lemon.  Then I strained the mix through a dishtowel lined sieve into a spray bottle.

I added 5 drops of tea tree oil and 25 drops of lemon oil for more anti-germ properties.

It works well on counters.  It's gentle on wood, tough on grease, and even helps dissolve soap scum in the shower.  But I am a "super smeller!" I'm struggling with how long it smells of vinegar in my house.  My husband came home the other day and asked, "Oh, smells good, what are you cooking?!"  And, I wasn't.  Eventually the vinegar fades and you are left with a pleasant citrus-y smell.

Verdict: For now I am LOVING the Glass Spray recipe and using that almost everywhere.  This citrus cleaner, it works well, it's non-toxic, but I'm not in love.  I might have to revisit this issue.  In the  meantime, check out Crunchy Betty's vinegar / herb all purpose cleaner.

Next week - another purge...


1 comment:

  1. I love that you are doing this series! I have used a version of this for years, but I cut the vinegar with water. Around 1 part vinegar to 3 parts water. The vinegar smell dissipates in about 10 minutes or less. I just started doing the orange peel brew about a month ago. Now there is very little vinegar smell. I use it all over, and especially love that it is safe to use in food prep and eating areas. It works great on my hardwood floors too!