Updated: Sep 21, 2020
This DIY all purpose cleaner costs little to nothing and is safe and effective for most types of surfaces. Many people have started to clean with vinegar as a healthier and less costly cleaning method.
If we are honest, most of us bear with the vinegar smell for the peace of mind of knowing that we are doing a service to our household. At times, I would miss the lovely smells of some of the cleaners I would buy from the store or online. I began adding essentials oils to my vinegar cleaners, which would help, but the oils would often separate from the vinegar and water, and I found myself going through my essential oils much faster (not a budget friendly maneuver!) Sometimes I will still add a few drops of oils to the DIY cleaner that I am showing you today, but I use far less, If any, than I used to. The wonderful thing about this recipe is that you can mix and match scents and use what you have. Sometimes I will use rosemary or thyme, and I will trade back and forth between orange and lemon peels. Cloves and cinnamon sticks can add a nice touch in the cooler months. I will buy the large size white vinegar container to save money and on waste. Vinegar is very shelf stable, and so you don't have to worry about extra hanging around in the pantry. One thing that I think is a great long term investment, are good quality glass cleaning bottles that you can continue to use over and over again. Because this cleaner takes weeks to be ready for use, I always have some brewing on the shelf, so that I can replace that solution in my bottles as I need it. I have found that 1 quart size mason jar of this cleaner concentrate, will give me two bottles of cleaner in my reusable glass spray bottles. (approx. 17oz.)
What you will need:
A combo of your ingredient options of choice
Water when concentrate has set 4-8 weeks
Cheese cloth or fine mesh strainer
Rubber band or twine
My "recipe" is for a quart size mason jar, which fills two of my spray bottles. If you want to make more at a time to stock away, simply double or triple the amounts, and use a larger jar. There is no exact science to this, and as my grandma used to say, a great cook can measure with their eyes.
Simply take your ingredients of choice and stuff your jar, giving yourself 2 inches of head room at the top. I will usually put a larger citrus peel aside to use to weight down my other ingredients. Add your white vinegar to your jar covering over all the items inside. This is when I will use my large citrus peel to weight down the other ingredients so that they are submerged beneath the vinegar. Put your lid onto the jar (I avoid the metal lids as the vinegar can cause them to corrode) and place into the pantry for "brewing" for 4-8 weeks. The longer you leave it, the less vinegar smell there will be. When the brewing time is up, simply strain the concentrate with a cheese cloth or fine mesh into your spray bottle using a funnel. I can not tell you what an investment a funnel has been for someone like me who apparently like spilling everything they pour. I secure the cheese cloth to the top of my mason jar with a rubber band and then I pour away. I will typically fill my spray bottle a bit more then halfway with the concentrate, and then fill the rest with water. If you want to add a few drops of essential oil, this is your big moment! Simply shake and your cleaning can commence! I would love to hear what ingredients you used and how this worked for you, so please let me know in the comments below, and check out our video on youtube of the making of this cleaner. Instead of going to the store for cleaner, we walked through the woods. Shalom on your home friends.