Make your own eco-friendly cleaner and reduce your family’s exposure to toxic chemicals in many store-bought cleaners. It’s easy… all you need is vinegar, water and a squeeze of soap.
I prefer to clean with natural castile soap which is safe, antibacterial and environmentally friendly. White vinegar is an effective and inexpensive disinfectant, but I don’t like the smell. When I discovered how easy it is to make lemon vinegar out of lemon rinds, everything changed for me. Now I regularly make my own lemon household cleaner.
How to make lemon vinegar:
I use lemon juice every day. First thing in the morning, I juice one lemon, add it to my water in a quart mason jar and add a bit of honey, like Hawthorn honey. I also make my own salad dressings and Garlic Cashew Aioli regularly both use lemon juice. With all these lemon rinds around, I keep a mason jar of white vinegar under my sink and add in lemon rinds as I use them. The rinds should sit in the vinegar for 1 to 2 weeks, but this is an on-going process for me. I am constantly adding lemon rinds and straining off lemon vinegar for cleaning, then adding more vinegar.
Here is what I would suggest: Fill a quart size jar half full of white vinegar and start adding lemon (or orange) peels as you use them. As the jar begins to fill up with rinds, you may need to add more vinegar. The rinds should be covered with vinegar. After 1 to 2 weeks your lemon vinegar is ready. Discard all the lemon rinds, and strain the vinegar through a fine mesh sieve or a nutbag. Rinse out the quart sized jar and store your vinegar in the same jar. It’s now ready for use.
Here is a video on making lemon vinegar.
Here are some of the ways I use my lemon vinegar:
- Cleaning the Sink.
Pour lemon vinegar in your sink. Add some baking soda and wipe clean. A chemical reaction between the vinegar and soda will create a lot of bubbles. This not only cleans the sink, but will also clean out your pipes as the mixture is washed away.
- Cleaning the Floor.
In my home, some family members have an allergic reaction to the pre-made floor cleaning solutions, so I clean my floor with a bucket and mop combination I bought from Costco. This O-Cedar product has a foot operated mop wringer that makes the job easy. I add about a cup of lemon vinegar to about a gallon of water and a squirt of castile soap, and wash away.
- Extra-strength Cleaner.
I also use undiluted lemon vinegar when I prefer extra strength cleaning like on my cutting boards or shower curtain.
- General Household Cleaner.
Lemon Vinegar Cleaner is one of my standard kitchen cleaners. Below is the recipe and a video for making this easy lemon- scented disinfectant.
My local DollarTree sells plastic spray bottles for $1, so I have them ready for my homemade cleaners and sprays. You can label your spray bottles with masking tape or purchase your own labels. I would highly recommend labeling and dating your containers so you know exactly what is in them.
Please note that the vinegar is very acidic and not recommended for granite countertops. In the recipe below you can substitute Isopropyl alcohol commonly known as rubbing alcohol instead of the vinegar.
Lemon Vinegar Cleaner
Ingredients1 cup water
1/2 cup vinegar, can use lemon vinegar or substitute isopropyl alcohol
1 squirt castile soap
10 drop tea tree oil
10 drops citrus oil, lemon, grapefruit or citrus blend is ok
DirectionsPour into a spray bottle. Label bottle and enjoy cleaning!
Here is my video on making Lemon Household Cleaner.