top of page

DIY All-Purpose Cleaner

This is my go-to cleaner! I use this cleaner on just about everything in our home. It’s safe, non-toxic, all-natural, and only has 3 ingredients, with only two being necessary…water + vinegar! Essential oils and/or fresh citrus peel help to add a sweet scent (some even have helpful cleaning properties) for the third ingredient, but they aren’t a must!

I contemplated even posting this DIY cleaner because it is silly-simple. However, I thought this would be a great opportunity to tell you about my passion for non-toxic cleaning. I believe switching out chemical-laden cleaners to non-toxic ones is a must for the health of you and your family!

I’ll be the first to admit that it’s not easy changing habits that you’ve known all your life. For me, there were even emotional connections to some products because of the familiarity. It hasn’t been until recently that I’ve learned how toxic and dangerous those chemicals are. I also have to admit that I’ve known for a while that they weren’t good but chose to ignore it because I thought, “ it can’t be that bad”! Well, let me tell you…they are that bad!

Chemical cleaners may look innocent enough because they must be…they sell them at the grocery store, right? Did you know that they don’t have to enclose all the ingredients on the label? Even some of the more natural products out there can contain toxic ingredients. And those “bleach wipes” I used to love state on the label to wash your hands after use and to wipe the counter after you use them…who does that?! When bleach is mixed with other ingredients, such as ammonia (which is in urine…i.e. cleaning the toilet) and even soap, VOC’s (volatile organic compounds) can be emitted. VOC’s can cause anything from throat irritations to cancer. In an article published by PubMed about VOC’s found in chlorine bleach it stated…

One of the most surprising results was the presence of carbon tetrachloride (a probable human carcinogen and a powerful greenhouse gas that was banned for household use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration) in very high concentrations (up to 101 mg m(-3)). By mixing surfactants or soap with NaOCI {Sodium hypochlorite found in bleach}, it was shown that the formation of carbon tetrachloride and several other halogenated VOCs is possible.

I’ll admit that bleach has been the hardest for me to rid of in our home. I’m still tempted to go buy a bottle to clean that grout in the shower. It sure does do a good job of keeping mold and stains away in the shower. I still have more experimenting to do with natural cleaners but it is tempting to just take the easy road. It also does a great job of cleaning the toilets and keeping our kitchen sink white. Even though it may be a bit more work to keep things clean without bleach, I know its worth it. I just think of all the times cleaning with bleach in the shower and walking in it. Not only that, if you have small children in the house, risking that they may get their sweet hands into bleach or other harmful chemicals is not a good thought.

It’s not just bleach…many cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting products can irritate the lungs, trigger or cause asthma, disrupt hormones that can lead to fertility problems, and even cause cancer. The more I learn and study about health improvement, the more I have come to realize it’s all about going back to the way I believe God intended it to be. Getting back to the basics and living without all these chemicals seems like a good idea to me. If you think about it, what we are breathing, touching, stepping in is going straight into our bloodstream!

I am certainly not writing this to scare you, but to help you see there is a better, more natural way. Truly, I believe we don’t even realize the role that chemicals have in our lives or the symptoms we are suffering from that could be related to the chemicals in our home/environment. I also believe that a lot of the health issues that seem to be more prevalent today are related to chemicals in our environments, along with unhealthy and/or un-natural changes to our food sources.

I feel so much better knowing, and the house even feels a little more “airy” and “light”, I’m not exposing my husband and myself to toxic chemicals. It actually makes cleaning more fun (if that’s possible;)) being able to test and try out new natural methods of cleaning! And it ’s great knowing exactly what’s in the products I make myself…like this vinegar spray:).

I don’t recommend throwing all your products out the door at once, but doing what feels right and starting somewhere.

Along this road of healthy living, I believe God has opened my eyes to different things at different times. It hasn’t been all at once. I do admit that if I had my way I’d flip this house inside out and make it a green-home, but I know that is not possible, especially financially, so in the meantime I need work on trusting in Him (work being key work:)) that God has my back and He’ll help me along the way!

If you’re looking for an inexpensive place to start this vinegar all-purpose spray is great! I use it in my kitchen (sink, counters, cabinet, appliances), to clean my washer and dryer, in the bathroom (toilet, shower, counter, sinks), floors (slate, tile, and laminate), leather furniture, cleaning door handles and light switches and even for dusting! Vinegar contains acetic acid which is able to kill some pathogens. According to one website…80%. According to the Ohio State University Extension, Vinegar will kill Salmonella if left on a surface for 10 min if vinegar is at room temp or Listeria, E. Coli and Salmonella if left sitting on the surface for 1 min when it is heated to 130 degrees Fahrenheit. The acid in vinegar also helps cleaning up grease and grime!

As for everyday cleaning one website suggests 50:50, water-vinegar. I have been using about 1 part vinegar to 3 parts water and it works for me! The acetic acid in vinegar can eat away your stone counters, wood surfaces, leather, and grout. However, I have not seemed to have issues with this. I think the 1-3 dilution may help this as well. I recommend you test an area before using it. Also, if you doing some heavier-duty cleaning, like killing mold you will want to use full strength or may even need to combine it with other cleaners like baking soda for your toilet.

Essential oils definitely add an extra touch. You could also add some fresh citrus peel for an added scent boost! Vinegar doesn’t exactly smell the best but the good news is the smell dissipates soon after you spray.

For the longest time, I have been using just vinegar and water, until recently I started adding some essential oils. When I very first started making this a couple of years ago I added essential oils but I must have added too much because the spray was leaving streaks on our counters and in the sink. I have not had this recently with about 10 drops. My favorite so far has been peppermint oil. Peppermint has been known to lift your mood, which is much needed on cleaning day if you’re anything like me. It also has antibacterial and antifungal properties which are added perks! Tea tree oil is another great one because it has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties (it’s actually good for you to inhale!).

The possibilities are endless! I would highly advise you to choose the scent that makes you happy and then do a little research to see all of that scent’s great properties!

For more great tips on how and where to use vinegar to clean visit:

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight. -Proverbs 3: 5-6

Sources:


DIY All-Purpose Cleaner

Safe, non-toxic, all-natural cleaner and it only has 3 ingredients, with only two being necessary…water + vinegar! Essential oils help add a sweet scent (some even have helpful cleaning properties) for the third ingredient, but they aren’t a must! Use this cleaner in the bathroom, kitchen, laundry room, even in your car! Just be careful on stone surfaces, wood and leather as the acid in vinegar can eat away at these surfaces. Recommend to test before use.

Total Time5 minutes mins

Keyword: cleaner, DIY, essential oils, vinegar

Ingredients

  1. 1 part distilled white vinegar or apple cider vinegar

  2. 3 parts water

  3. 10 drops essential oil of choice (recommend peppermint and tea tree) optional

  4. fresh citrus peels (lemon, lime, orange, grapefruit) optional

  5. 1 dark colored glass spray bottle (plastic would work as well)*

Instructions


Mix vinegar and water in a glass bottle. Drop in essential oils and citrus peels, if using. Give it a good shake and it’s ready to use!

Notes

*Dark colored (amber, cobalt blue) glass work great w/ essential oils so they don’t spoil or lose potency. Also, plastics may contain harmful chemicals.  

0 views0 comments

Comments


bottom of page