Tuesday, December 8, 2009

DIY Household Cleaner

I don't understand why anyone would spend $5.00 on chic, organic good-for-you house cleaning sprays. First - they smell bad. Second - they're expensive! Third - organic? really?

Make it yourself!

The Tools:

- A dark, plastic bottle (not white or clear - you could use a finished Hydrogen peroxide bottle - that's what I do)
- A spray nozzle that fits your dark bottle (I found a regular household spray bottle in a friend's recycling bin, took out the spray attachment, and cut the end so it fit into my hydrogen peroxide bottle.
- A funnel (unless you have very steady hands)
- Hydrogen Peroxide (this can be found in the pharmacy section of any store. look for a boring brown bottle)
- White vinegar (I generally have 2 gallons of the cheap kind on hand for cleaning at any moment - but you'll only need about 1/2 a cup to a cup depending on your bottle)
- Water (easy 'nuff)
- Essential Oils (once again - I use my old favorites - lavender and tea tree)

The Method:

I'm going to give you a grandma-style recipe. Which means - you can't mess this one up. Seriously.

put your dark bottle on a table. Get a funnel into it, and pour about an inch of hydrogen peroxide into the bottom. If this is going to be a bathroom spray, feel free to be a bit more generous. Hydrogen peroxide is your main antibacterial tool. You can also use your hydrogen peroxide to clean wounds, gargle (use a tiny drop in a cup of warm water), and as a general sanitizer.

Now fill the bottle about 1/4 of the way with white vinegar. Vinegar is anti-fungal. I soak anything that's moldy in a bucket of vinegar and water (1-to-4 vinegar-to-water ratio, once again), my friends soak their cloth diapers in vinegar (same ratio), and after this summer of mold attacks, I am very liberal with my use of vinegar around the house.

Finally, top off you bottle with water (leave enough room to get the spritzer in without overflowing) and add essential oils until you have the smell you want.

And tah-dah! a $0.50 household cleaner that's easy to top-off as needed. Use as a regular household spray. It's really tough stuff that works great. I use mine in the kitchen and the bathroom as well as a final touch on the kitty litter (it's great in cutting smell), and I have no complaints. Just remember - spray cleaners do not replace the scrub power of baking soda or bon ami ever, which work best on anything enamel.

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