A Green Living Tip from
Do you have spray bottles full of various cleaning chemical concoctions – a liquid for this, a potion for that?
Here’s a recipe contributed by a Green Living Tips reader for an all purpose environmentally friendly cleaning fluid that’s very easy to make and costs well under a dollar a bottle! Thanks to Maureen R. for sharing this!
Tip: Always spot test any cleaning fluid.
Ingredients and supplies
– 32 oz. (around 950ml) spray bottle – try to use a bottle made from recycled materials, or is recyclable. Maureen recommends #2 plastic.
– White distilled vinegar. It should be vinegar made from grain or plant material. Believe it or not, some vinegar is synthesized from petroleum..Yes, crude oil! It gives a whole new meaning to fuel as food.
– Genuine lemongrass essential oil. Aside from helping to mask the vinegar odor (which dissipates naturally), Lemongrass has anti-bacterial properties. For increased disinfecting power, you can use Tea Tree oil which also has anti-viral and anti-fungal properties, or even Lavender oil, which will leave everything smelling fresh and comforting, while cleaning.
Note: While we tend to get a little paranoid about bacteria these days thanks to marketing messages that basically paint the presence of any bacteria as being ‘A Bad Thing’, if it’s an important issue to you, lemongrass, tea tree or lavendar are a far more environmentally friendly option than chemicals like triclosan. These synthetic chemicals should really only be used in professional health care settings due to issues relating to bacteria becoming resistant.
– Earth friendly dishwashing liquid. This can be found in just about any supermarket. 7th Generation or any “Free and Clear” type noting on the package.
The dishwashing liquid is necessary to clean mirrors and glass streak-free where commercial glass cleaners have been used previous. Many commercial window/glass cleaners have chemicals of a waxy nature in them; so when you switch to vinegar/water, there will be streaking unless you have the dish detergent in your cleaner. Once that build-up is gone, dishwashing liquid isn’t necessary. Cool, right?
Method / Directions
1. Fill bottle half with water
2. Top it up with white distilled vinegar, but leave a little room for the additional ingredients and for shaking (1-2 drops of dishwashing soap)
3. 10-14+ drops lemongrass oil, and/or whichever combo you prefer. Just make sure that it is an oil well know for its disinfecting properties, such as Tea Tree, Lemon, Lemongrass or Lavender. If you find that you don’t like the smell of one (smell before buying), then try another. Lavender is a common oil used because it leaves a pleasant fresh scent that also is used to help create a calm atmosphere.
Use to clean hard surfaces, and enjoy your nice smelling, non-toxic cleaner!! ☺