Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Step 2: All-Purpose Cleaner

The second switch I made on my green journey was extremely easy. Instead of using a commercial cleanser for my countertops, I made a simple one out of vinegar and water - and it can be used for more than just countertops!

I took an old plastic perfume spray bottle and mixed 1 part white distilled vinegar with 2 parts water. Just make sure you shake it up before you use it.

Simple, right? And yes, there is a distinct smell of vinegar when I spray it, but it's gone as soon as it's dry. If you were really opposed to the vinegar smell, you could add some lemon juice to the mix. I haven't tried this, so I can't tell you how well it works, but supposedly it gives it a fresher scent.

And the amazing thing is this cleaner can be used for just about anything. I've found it works great on windows (no streaks!) and could be used on floors, walls, toilets, refrigerators...the possibilities are practically endless. As a side note, however, I have read that vinegar should not be used on marble. Just a heads up.

One last thing about cleaning countertops: if I have a particularly gross spot with stuck-on whatever, I'll make a paste with baking soda and water, rub it in, then let it sit for a little bit. Then I'll spray the vinegar/water mix on it and wipe up. Easy peasy!

Vinegar is a great cleanser because it's versatile, cheap, and a disinfectant. Now I know that the product I'm using to clean a surface I have been known to eat off of is completely safe and sanitary. And I get the added bonus of knowing I'm not polluting the environment - what more can a girl ask for?


Is Cleaning with Vinegar Hygienic?
How to Clean Your Home Naturally
3 Homemade Natural Cleaning Products
Green Cleaning This Spring


  1. I've been using vinegar with our laundry for a few months. It makes our freshly laundered whatever soft and fresh, and even seems to whiten whites. (It's also great your male counterpart seems to leave a disgusting body grease/oil/sweat stain on the bed sheets and pillowcases. Gross, I know, but vinegar does the trick!) I use this with laundry soap that I make at home.

    This past weekend, I had finally had enough with the water/mineral stains in the shower. Seriously, why does our water leave behind orange/rusty stains? Anyway, I've tried everything to get the stain off of the shower "shelves", and nothing has worked. So, I soaked a rag in vinegar, spread the rag over the stain, and left it for a few hours. I wish I would have taken before/after pictures, because it was amazing! I'd say that the stain is 99% gone, and I could probably get the rest out with a little more vinegar and some elbow grease. Mark that one a success!

    Inspired by that, I took our bathroom sink glass (for late night drinks, brushing teeth, taking medicine, etc.), which was also plagued by gross water stains, and poured a little vinegar in it last night. This morning, I swished around the vinegar, wiped the inside and outside of the glass, and viola! No more water stains! Vinegar is some amazing stuff.

    Oh, and you inspired me to mix up a bottle of all-purpose vinegar cleaner to keep on hand. :)

  2. I've heard about vinegar in laundry but was a bit scared to try it. Now I definitely will!

    And that's amazing about the shower and water glass stains! We have some black mildew stuff on the edges of our shower doors. I think I'm going to try a vinegar wash, with maybe some baking soda if I need to scrub it. Mental note to take before and after pictures.

    I hope you love the cleaner as much as I do. :-) I have a couple extra lemons and limes that I might try to use to make it smell a little nicer. We'll see.

  3. Great blog, very relevant to what we do thanks. LL