Whether you are hosting friends and family at home, or bringing a dish to pot-luck, cleaning is in high gear at this time of year. Especially in the kitchen.
I used to worry about how safe my household cleaners were. The more I learned about their ingredients, the more concerned I was about what was spraying all over the house. And what residue was left behind whenever I “cleaned”.
This non-toxic, all-purpose cleaner is simple to make. Plus, it kills bacteria and viruses, molds and microbes! It’s perfect for just about every job in the house.
In the kitchen, it rules. It kills the little beasties and it’s safe for your food prep area! In the shower, my husband tells me it works as well as scrubbing bubbles (only non-poisonous). Sticky messes, fingerprints on doors and lightswitches, unknown somethings dried on the floor… all clean up easily. That’s why we use it as our everyday and special job, all-purpose cleaner.
Why are these ingredients so great at cleaning?
For one thing, they’re all non-toxic and earth friendly. And then there are their other useful properties.
• Vinegar has antimicrobial properties. Studies have found that it inhibits the growth of some strains of E. coli (usually in combination with table salt or hydrogen peroxide. Let’s talk about that another time.) It also kills molds.
• Baking soda helps remove odors.
• Liquid castile soap is made from all vegetable ingredients. It’s a cleanser (of course), and helps keep essential oils suspended in liquid.
• Tea tree oil, also called Melaleuca, has a plethora of “anti’s”. It is antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal. If you’ve got it, it will clean it.
• Lemon essential oil is a great degreaser and natural disinfectant.
• Peppermint essential oil is another powerful antibacterial agent. And it leaves behind a fresh scent.
Although I don’t intentionally spray directly on food, this cleaning spray is non-toxic and safe to use in food-prep areas.
I usually make a double batch. One for the spray bottle and enough to store as a refill.
What’s in it …
2/3 cup white vinegar* or citrus vinegar*
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
2 cups water (I use filtered water)
1 teaspoon liquid castile soap
15 drops tea tree essential oil
5 drops lemon essential oil
5 drops peppermint essential oil
1 repurposed cleaning spray bottle or something like this
*For granite counters, use rubbing alcohol instead of vinegar. Vinegar can etch or dull the surface of granite.
How to pull it together …
Using a funnel, carefully add baking soda and vinegar to the bottle. Let it fizz , swirling occasionally, until foaming subsides.
Pour liquid castile soap in and swirl gently until mixed, then add the essential oils and cover. Gently shake until everything is dispersed evenly. Add water, cover and again gently shake and swirl the contents until they are mixed.
To use …
Give the spray bottle a few brisk shakes to remix the ingredients.
Spray and wipe with a No Fuss NOT-Paper Towel.
As an extra endorsement: Mr. Nest, who has been doing some of the heavier-duty cleaning lately, is Ka-RAZY for this cleaning spray. He comes in raving to me about how many types of dirty it melts away.
Yeah, honey. I know. That’s why I make it!
Do you have favorite cleaners that are safe and natural like this? We’d love to learn from you in the comments below!
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