Although I could never be convinced to fold up the laundry before it gets back to the hamper, I do consider my housekeeping skills to be pretty commendable when relating to cleanliness.
Believing that the harshest chemicals would do the best job, I have scrubbed away many floors and breathed in gallons of the strongest all purpose cleaners.
Until I was pregnant with my eldest…
The paranoid mommy features kicked in almost immediately and with the help of trusty Google, learnt of the toxic nature of the fumes I previously associated with cleanliness.
Turns out, cleanliness does NOT have a smell.
We have been taught to believe that the sharp smell of disinfectant is a sign of cleanliness but at what price?
After hunting through couple of stores, switched to organic fragrance free products. Turns out, old habits definitely die hard. I missed having a smell; switched to naturally fragranced cleaning products.
As beneficial as it was to the family and environmental health, including chemical free cleaners in our shopping list was eating into our budget more vociferously than we liked.
Since I already had a few toes dipped in the grand ocean of DIYing , began experimenting and researching on possible alternatives.
After several failed attempts, one that nearly blew up my test lab, sometimes known as my kitchen, I found the perfect solution that ticked all the boxes: easy to make, cost-effective, naturally fragranced and most importantly, a very powerful cleaner.
A few squirts of this on my oil-steeped stove top, and it shone with merely a wipe; this solution that needs minimum elbow-grease is made from just 2 ingredients, one of which would otherwise end up in the trash.
So what were those ingredients?
White vinegar and orange peels
That was it.
I popped orange peels (make sure they are pulp free) into a large bottle and filled it with white vinegar that I buy by the gallon. I let this steep for a week or two and strain it into a spray bottle. If I had forgotten to steep a new batch, I would use the mix with a few drops of citrus based essential oil in the spray bottle.
A glass spray bottle would be ideal and be completely chemical free but being a gifted klutz made me resort to plastic.
I have been using this product for over an year and use it all over the kitchen, the floors and amazingly, on windows and glass tables. It works much better than any commercial glass cleaner I have tried. The only product we purchase to make this is the vinegar and half a bottle of this is enough for an entire month’s supply of the product; the remaining is used in my DIY Nearly Natural Fabric softener.
Here’s to toxin free cleaning on a budget!