White vinegar is an excellent all natural house cleaning product. Not only is it non-toxic and inexpensive, it has a multitude of uses, and can be scented naturally with citrus peels. Classic and cheery, the scent of lemon is a favorite.
Occasionally I make lemon juice ice cubes; to be stored in Ziploc bags in the freezer for use later. This is a great time to make lemon vinegar, but you can also layer lemon peels and vinegar in a mason jar as you go.
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1: Remove all inner pulp from lemon (or any citrus) rind
2: Pack loosely into a 1 quart Mason Jar
3: Pour distilled white vinegar over rinds, leaving about 1/2 inch at top. Gently push rinds down to remove air bubbles if needed.
4: Let sit for 1-3 weeks.
5: Use to add a delicate scent of lemon to your house cleaning routine.
So far my favorite use for this bright yellow and mildly scented vinegar has been in a recipe for a DIY counter top cleanser and disinfectant spray, stay tuned for the recipe, coming soon!
For ideas and inspiration on other homemade cleaning recipes, check out our Pinterest Board:
Christmas is almost upon us yet again, and these last few days will no doubt be spent by many in the bustle of last minute shopping, wrapping, cooking, and visiting with family and friends.
Bringing some good holiday scents into your home can help create an atmosphere of warmth, comfort and cheer for you, your family, and guests. Whether you want to do this by using a diffuser or potpurri, who wouldn’t want their home smelling like Christmas?!
You will need:
- 3-4 Cinnamon sticks
- 2 Tbls. whole cloves
- 1 Tbls. allspice berries
- 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
Place all ingredients in a pot with water and simmer gently, taking care to add water as needed so the pot does not run dry. If you have a wood or gas stove for heat, this is ideal, but if not the kitchen range will do nicely for short simmer sessions. Another option is a crockpot; the very small ones are particularly nice. Make sure to remove from heat before leaving the house, whichever method you choose.
Other ingredients to try:
- Orange peel
- Ginger root
- Star anise
Another great option is to use packaged mulling spice mix and if you have a mini crock pot, even better.
Do you have a favorite recipe or idea for the holidays to share? We would love to hear from you!
Enjoy ideas we’re collecting about Natural Scents in the Home on our Pinterest Board:
We are always looking for the most eco-friendly house cleaning products possible and we have a wonderful new recipe to share!
Our latest homemade all natural cleaning product recipe is a bleach free version of Soft Scrub. We could not believe how quickly it cuts through soap scum and grime, and it rinses much quicker and cleaner than the store bought versions, which usually sticks to the surfaces and requires rinsing and wiping repeatedly, a huge waste of water and time.
I added tangerine essential oil, and it was like scrubbing my shower with a big juicy tangerine. So lovely I was sad when the job was over! You can use whatever essential oil you like, or none at all. Here is the recipe:
All Natural Soft Scrub
- 1 1/2 cups baking soda
- 1/2 cup BioKleen All Purpose Concentrated Cleaner (or liquid castile soap like Dr. Bronners)
- 2Tbls white vinegar
- 10-15 drops of essential oil
Mix the baking soda and BioKleen in a bowl until it is thoroughly blended. I found that a fork is the best option for this step. Do not add the vinegar until the soap and baking soda are thoroughly mixed, or it will explode with fizziness!
The next step is adding the white vinegar and mixing until you have a nice creamy paste.Finally, add the essential oil of your choice, but keep in mind the scent of the liquid soap you are using. Because BioKleen has a light citrus cent, a citrus oil like lemon, tangerine, orange, or grapefruit will blend nicely.
If you want a different type of scent like peppermint or tea tree, I would suggest using an unscented liquid castile soap. If you do decide to make this with BioKleen, make sure it is their concentrated all-purpose cleaner, not the all-purpose they sell in a spray bottle. Most health food stores carry it in the household supply section, but if you can’t find it a good liquid castille works great too.
This recipe does not create a lot of suds. This was a little strange when I first started cleaning my shower, but my misgivings were quickly laid to rest, as the built up grime came right off. (I had been saving it up for just this occasion;).
Almost all of the recipes that I found online also added 2 tablespoons of water; I opted not to do this because I like a thicker paste. Also, I like to store my scrub in a glass Mason jar, as essential oil will break down the polymers in plastic. Adding water does make the scrub looser which allows it to be stored in a plastic bottle with a squirt top, but I just scoop a bit out of the jar when I am ready to use it.
Many of recipes I have found for this stuff use liquid castile soap, but as I did not have any on hand I used one of our favorites, Bi-O-Kleen All Purpose Concentrated Cleaner. This stuff rocks! By far the best grease buster I have ever used that does not have nasty chemicals in it. Also has a nice light citrus scent, and this worked great paired with the tangerine essential oil. I made this recipe for the first time years ago with castile soap, but I don’t remember if there are any differences. Maybe the next batch I will try out the castille again, but I think it would be hard to beat the scrubby wonderfulness of this recipe.
If you decide to try this out, we would love to hear about your experiences! Also, if you would like to see a recipe or idea covered in our blog, let us know. Better yet, please feel free to share your favorite recipes or tips with us, we love to hear from our readers!
Update: We are learning that shelf life is limited by the interaction of baking soda and vinegar. The two ingredients counteract each other over time, making it less and less effective the longer it is stored.
Thank you, Ashland, Oregon!
It is with deep gratitude that we look back on 24 years of providing professional house cleaning services in Ashland and the surrounding areas.
A special thank you to those of you who placed us as #1 in the “Favorite House Cleaner” category in the “Best of Ashland” 2012 edition of the Sneak Preview.
As we move further into 2012, we look forward to another great year of providing professional and dependable house cleaning services in the Rogue Valley.
We have created the official The Cleaning Crew, LLC blog to provide an additional service to our clients; useful links and cleaning tips for the daily upkeep of your home or office.