DIY Scented Cleaning Vinegars
Spring has arrived in San Diego, bringing with it lots of spring flowers and, unfortunately, pollen. I tend to clean more during this season to minimize the pollen inside the house for my poor pollen-allergic husband.
How do I avoid chemical-laden, toxic cleaners? Vinegar! Vinegar is one of nature’s best cleaning solutions. It’s cheap, effective, and safe for our families and the environment.
Cleaning with vinegar has been a trend in recent years, but ultimately, chemical cleaners with overpowering artificial scents still take center stage. Some residents and cleaning crews dislike the smell of vinegar; however, it’s easy to mask vinegar’s sour scent by infusing it with fruit peelings, pine needles, or rosemary. Bonus! Adding plant ingredients boosts your cleaning routine by transforming the solutions into antibacterial, disinfecting, and degreasing agents.
My favorite way to use vinegar is as a scented spray for quick clean-up around the house. Simply spray it on and allow it to sit for a minute; then, rinse or wipe it away with a damp sponge or cloth. Vinegar spray also works great as a window and mirror cleaner!
· 2 cups filtered water
· 2 tbsp distilled vinegar
· 10 drops lemon essential oil
Combine all the ingredients in a spray bottle. Shake before using.
I like to make up larger batches of different scented cleaning vinegars. Here are some of my favorites:
Orange-scented vinegar cuts through grease and helps to remove stains. For this, you will need one cup of peelings per quart jar.
Lemon-scented vinegar also takes one cup of peelings. This recipe becomes a hard-working disinfectant that is especially good for bathroom tiles, sinks, and toilet bowls.
Rosemary-scented vinegar includes an antibacterial that is excellent for wiping tabletops and counter spaces. Add 4 to 8 sprigs of fresh rosemary to infuse your cleaning spray with an earthy rosemary scent.
Pine-scented vinegar works its magic on wood surfaces, including cutting boards. A few clippings from a nearby pine tree will suffice. Pine may be harmful to pets so you might skip pine for the sake of your fur babies.
If you have a selection of essential oils or wish to purchase some, you can substitute 20 drops in place of fresh plants. Cinnamon sticks also create a lovely effect.
Four simple steps to follow:
- Deposit either fruit peelings or herb sprigs into a large Mason Jar or recycled jar (an old pickle jar works great!).
- Add distilled white vinegar to fill the jar almost to the top. Seal with a lid.
- Let the mixture sit for 12 to 24 hours.
- Pour the scented vinegar into a spray dispenser with some peelings or herbs. It will look attractive on your counter as well. Side note: you can also use a few squirts as a fabric softener!
Happy Spring cleaning!