Sometime last year, I decided to get rid of the harsh cleaning solutions I’d been using around the house. I remember someone telling me that vinegar was a good alternative to the chemical filled cleansers I’d been buying. So I went online and found a cool website called 1001 Uses For White Distilled Vinegar. They had a lot of good tips on how much and what to use to clean using vinegar.
After going through a bunch of different ratios, I found the following formula works best for me, in terms of an all purpose cleaner.
16 oz water (about 2 cups)
16 oz white distilled vinegar (about 2 cups)
40 drops of lavender essential oil (optional)
40 drops of lemon essential oil or sweet orange essential oil (optional). Quick word of caution – lemon & lime essential oils can be dangerous for cats and dogs. You can omit this EO or use sweet orange EO.
And for those of us who need directions, here you go.
1. Fill a spray bottle about half way with vinegar. For my spray bottle, 16 ounces is exactly half.
2. Then fill up the other half with water.
3. Add 40 drops of lavender essential oil. Lavender EO has anti-septic properties and helps cut down on the smell of the vinegar. In this picture I use a pipette, but you don’t need one if you can count out 40 drops using an eye dropper.
4. Add 40 drops of lemon essential oil. Lemon EO cuts through grease and grime and it also smells great.
5. Shake to blend everything together.
And voila! Easy peasy all purpose vinegar cleanser. Because this is an all natural cleanser, sometimes you may have to spray and wipe down your surface twice to get it as clean as you want. If I’m cleaning something extra nasty, I usually have a cup of baking soda on hand to sprinkle onto to the surface. The other thing you can do is let the vinegar mix sit on the surface for a few minutes to let it penetrate the dirt. Usually that’s all it takes for me. The only thing I have not been able to clean with this solution are windows and mirrors. I find that it streaks, (probably due to the essential oils) so I just use water & vinegar alone.
What I love about this formula is that it’s all natural and dirt cheap to make. I don’t have to worry about my pets accidentally ingesting harsh chemicals, nor do I have to worry about breathing the stuff in as I clean. The cost is also very nice. I bought the gallon of vinegar from Smart & Final for $0.99 and the spray bottle from the local dollar store for (*gasp*) $1. The cost of the water is negligible. The cost of essentials oils is about $11 for both, but they are optional. I haven’t calculated how much I’ve saved by using formula, but I know it’s already paid for itself.
Check it out and let me know what you think.
Love vinegar style,