I started making my own homemade all-purpose cleaner a while back and I love it. Why make your own household cleaner? It's super cheap, really easy to make, there are also no toxic chemicals, and you don't have to buy more plastic to add to the landfills since you can reuse plastic spray bottles.
Best of all is the smell. I use essential oils — and it's nice because I can try different kinds. I've used orange, lavender, vetiver, lime, lemon, ylang ylang, and peppermint. Peppermint is my absolute favorite.
I used to use regular store bought cleaners like 409 — but I after I got pregnant, I couldn't stand the harsh and nasty smell. And I didn't like the idea of all those chemicals with a baby in the house. I also used to use Trader Joe's environmentally friendly cleaners, which are a lot cheaper, but I don't find that they work as well and I'm not very fond of the aroma.
This homemade cleaner achieves the same result as a store bought all-purpose cleaner at a fraction of the cost. Plus it smells a lot better. Now cleaning has become a sensual experience.
How much cheaper is it to make your own? Store bought all-purpose cleaners can cost anywhere from 20-30 cents per ounce. This homemade cleaner will run you anywhere from 1-3 cents per ounce (depending on what you pay for the vinegar).
You can use this cleaner on most surfaces. It even works well on glass. It also does a great job of cleaning wood floors. In fact, this is the very best solution for wood floors, according to Martha Stewart. And there is nothing like a freshly mopped hardwood floor that smells like peppermint. It makes your whole house feel like springtime.
Homemade All-Purpose Cleaner
Spray bottle – either rinse out an old one or buy a new one from a hardware store or restaurant supply store
Plain white vinegar (I buy mine in bulk at Costco)
Essential oil — where to buy essential oil
1. Fill a spray bottle halfway with vinegar and halfway with water.
2. Add drops of essential oil, cap, and shake the bottle. Keep adding drops until the aroma is strong enough. You can tell by spraying the bottle and smelling the air.
To use for wood floors, mix vinegar and hot water in a bucket and add essential oil.
For stainless steel, just use straight vinegar — no water or essential oil.
Photo credit: scmtngirl on Flickr