Tuesday, December 1, 2009

DIY Mom Makes All-Purpose Cleaner #2

This was the homemade cleaner recipe that started it all for me.

Vinegar, distilled water, essential oil. Period.

This simple concoction replaced my: window and glass cleaner, kitchen antibacterial countertop spray, and my bathroom tub and tile spray.

It also blew my mind. How could I have never known before about something so simple, so easy to make, and so effective?

All-Purpose Cleaner #2 Recipe

For Kitchen Countertops, Mirrors and Glass, Bathroom Sinks, Tubs, Showers, Toilets (except the toilet bowl--I simply sprinkle borax in, let it sit for a little while, and scrub with toilet brush)

1. Spray bottle ($1 from dollar store or reuse one of your old bottles that
a commercially made cleaner came in)
2. Distilled water ($1.29 a gallon from pharmacy or grocery)
3. Distilled white vinegar ($.79 from discount grocery store)
4. Essential oil of your choice (an average of 6.99 or so for 1 fl. oz. from my local health food store; you can also find plenty of essential oil options online as well if you don't have a health food store handy. I'm thinking this essential oil sample set might be a nice Christmas gift idea Essential Oil Basic Sampler Set- 6/10 ml)

The recipe:
1. Pour 12 oz. distilled water, 4 oz. white vinegar, and 10-20 drops of essential oil (I like to use a fresh-smelling combo of Lemon
and Tea Tree Oil, which is known for its antibacterial properties) into the spray bottle.

2. Shake. (Shake before each use, since essential oils tend to separate from water when they sit.)
3. Use.
4. Smile.

Now, to evaluate. Does it meet the DIY Mom Mantra?

It must be affordable, it must be simple, it must be good.

$$$: About 47 cents per 16 ounces (compared to commercial kitchen, bathroom or glass cleaners, which average 19 to 22 cents per one ounce, or over $3 for 16 ounces.)

TIME: Less than 2 minutes to measure and mix.

PAYOFF: I'm getting significant savings over commercial cleaners, while also eliminating unnecessary and potentially toxic chemicals from my home. (I'm planning a follow-up post where I do an under-the-kitchen-sink audit of chemicals commonly found in cleaners and their effects.)

I've personally also been cleaning my sinks and countertops more since making this because I don't feel icky about the chemicals on my hands, and because it smells nice! I also feel like I can let my kids help clean because the spray is all-natural.

If anyone out there is reading, I'd love to hear from you. Who else uses a cleaner like this, and has it stood the test of time for you? What's your favorite use for this type of cleaner, or your favorite essential oil combination for scenting the solution?

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