For a long time I had my go to all-purpose store bought cleaning solution that I grabbed for every little cleaning task imaginable. I wiped down my counters with it, cleaned the bookshelves, the walls, and had it handy for any little sticky grimy spot that popped up. When I finally came to my senses about the chemicals I was spraying around my home, I knew I needed my own solution (one that wouldn’t make me hold my breath when I sprayed it!) Does this cleaner kill 99.99% of bacteria or germs? No. And I am very much ok with that.
I don’t think eliminating that stuff entirely does us any favors. It does, however, do just fine cleaning what I need it to clean without going overboard, and contains the commonest components in home-made cleaning products.
Why white vinegar: White vinegar cuts through grease and grime, dissolves mineral deposits, helps lift stains, and breaks down odors. While it does smell when wet, I find it the smell goes away when it dries. I also just don’t mind the smell of vinegar.
Why essential oils: Some essential oils, like tea-tree or eucalyptus, have anti-microbial properties, which means they help inhibit the growth of disease causing microorganisms. They also add a nice scent.
Why baking soda: A powerful deodorizer and stain remover with anti-bacterial properties (that aren’t over the top) baking soda is, like white vinegar, a staple in household cleaning.
You will need…
-1/4-1/2 cup of white vinegar
-2 tablespoons of baking soda
-Several drops of tea tree or eucalyptus essential oil
-Enough water to fill the bottle
Pour ¼ to a ½ cup white vinegar in a spray bottle and add 2 tablespoons of baking soda. Put in a few drops of your chosen essential oil and then fill the bottle to the top with water.
Give it a good shake and let it settle before using. Test for color-fastness if you are using it on fabrics.
We got by for a long, long, time without hardcore cleaners, and I personally don’t think they are good or necessary. I think a home should be clean, but I don’t think it should be sterile. Otherwise we’re just ending up short term spraying nasty chemicals into our environment, and long-term weakening out immune systems and creating resistant strains of bacteria. Not to mention making your own cleaner is cheaper, easy, and incredibly satisfying.
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