DIY All Purpose Cleaner: A 3 Ingredient Switch
Updated: Jan 18, 2022
Making changes towards living a more sustainable life can be overwhelming. It is easy to spiral thinking about all the possibilities for change, and as we notice all the plastic that is used and wasted on the regular.
My number one advice. Stop spiraling, take a deep breath and change ONE thing. Implement that ONE thing until it feels ok and normal, and then you can think about adding one more.
For me, it was my household cleaner I switched first. Check on my previous article to learn why I started here.
Like so many people, the cabinet under my kitchen or bathroom sink was overflowing with brightly dyed, chemically fragranced toxic uni-tasker cleaners that were covered in warning labels. They all claimed specific areas of the house to clean and cleanse. Worst of all they came in single use plastic bottles that were difficult if not impossible to fully recycle. While this may look like a large problem or an overwhelming challenge, the solution was very simple.
I now have two glass spray bottles filled with a simple, but powerful all purpose cleaner. The one that says “Kitchen Cleaner” stays on my counter by the sink and stove , while the one that says “Bathroom Cleaner” lives...you guessed it. I’ve used these same bottles since 2017 and the house has never looked better. So how can you clear out your supply cabinet while keeping things clean?
It’s easy. The truth is you only need two key ingredients to make a simple and effective cleaner: white distilled vinegar and clean water. Vinegar is powerful at fighting bacteria because of its acidity. Vinegar is powerful enough to dissolve mineral deposits, dirt, grease and grime which is why it is essential in my kitchen. It can even kill 82% of mold, including black mold, which makes it perfect for a bathroom cleanser...
Yep—that’s it. My mom told me to clean with vinegar years ago and I thought “Nope. Definitely don’t want my house smelling like vinegar—no thank you.”
Enter essential oils. I was already using Lemon EO in a blend for my allergies and it just so happens that it is one of the top recommended oils for cleaning. I love this! One of the best ways to be thrifty and a great sustainable practice is to find products that have multiple uses. Saves on packaging (ie waste) and money, not to mention time.
Lemon EO is antibacterial, antifungal, it is a degreaser, removes stains, AND is a natural air freshener with its amazing scent.
So here’s how you make your new household cleaner:
Option 1- Fill a 16 oz spray bottle half way with White Distilled Vinegar and the other half with water. Optional add 8-15 drops of Lemon Essential Oil
Option 2- (better for granite countertops and stainless steel) Fill a spray bottle almost all the way to the top with water. Add 20-30 drops of Lemon Essential Oil. Optional add 1 T of Castile soap.
I get my spray bottles HERE.
I get my essential oils HERE.