Across the country, homeowners are moving away from harsh chemicals in the products they use to clean their homes. Old-fashioned cleaning ingredients like ammonia, bleach, and solvents can aggravate the respiratory system, especially in people with asthma or other breathing conditions. The harsh chemicals can also irritate the skin, the eyes, and mucous membranes of the mouth and nose. No one likes that! A great alternative to using traditional household cleaners is to make your own. This DIY all-purpose household cleaner is environmentally-friendly, chemical-free, and safe to use around children and pets. Best of all, it costs a fraction of the price of so-called “green” cleaners available in stores. Read on for the recipe – a simple, safe household cleaner that cleans the toughest grime and dirt in and around your home.
Ingredients and Tools Needed
To get started making your own all-purpose household cleaner, you’ll need:
32 oz. pump spray bottle (available in any home improvement store)
Masking tape or label
Ingredients for the cleaner itself are:
2 cups white vinegar
2 cups water
10-15 drops of essential oils like lemon, lime, lavender, eucalyptus, or peppermint
The process of making the cleaner couldn’t be easier. Simply combine the ingredients in the spray bottle. The essential oil is added to help mask the vinegar smell, which some people don’t care for. Essential oils also add a great fragrance to the interior of the home as you clean. Some essential oils even have natural antibacterial properties, giving your cleaner some extra firepower for tackling tough chores in and around the home. Anywhere between 10 and 15 drops of the essential oil should be enough to create a great fragrance. You can even mix and match oils for a one-of-a-kind scent!
Once the ingredients are in the spray bottle, cap it tightly and give the bottle a good shake. You’re done and ready to use the cleaner in your home.
Using the All-Purpose Cleaner
To use the cleaner, many homeowners prefer a microfiber cloth. Spritz the cleaner onto the cloth or onto the surface to be cleaned. Scrub gently with the cloth, lifting the dirt and grime without leaving lint behind. The cleaner is great for all household surfaces, including:
- Kitchen counters, including stone and laminate surfaces
- Windows and mirrors
- Refrigerators and freezers, both inside and outside
- Tubs, toilets, sinks, and tiles in the bathroom
It can even be used to de-scale home coffeemakers. Pour a small amount in the water tank and brew as you would a regular pot of coffee. Discard the water once it has had a chance to run through the machine, and rinse the carafe with clear water. The vinegar dissolves mineral deposits and scale, and your coffeemaker will operate like new!