How to make your own non toxic, natural, all purpose cleaner with this super easy recipe
After years of research and experimentation with a variety of homemade cleaner recipes, I finally came across an all natural recipe that really works! The basic recipe is called “Infused Cleaning Vinegar” which I found in Ashlee Piper’s awesome book Give A Sh*t (page 88).
Ashlee’s recipe is super simple, inexpensive and uses all natural ingredients. This is truly the first homemade cleaning solution that actually works. But, since we have very hard water here in Kentucky, I have made a few adjustments to her recipe.
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Like most of you, I have been getting increasingly more concerned about the many toxic chemicals we are exposed to on any given day. According to EnviroAlternatives, the average American household contains 62 toxic chemicals!
4 of the 5 top toxic household chemicals are Ammonia, Bleach, Drain Cleaners and Air Fresheners. Most of us have these items in our homes right now.
The past several years, we have been working hard to eliminate all toxic chemicals from our home. And while I have always been a big fan of using white vinegar, it didn’t always do the job. Our granite countertops were usually left with a film.
So, I was super excited to try Ashlee Piper’s eco-friendly, lemon and vinegar recipe and to my surprise, it works great. No more hazy film left on my counters.
Not only that, but this cleaner also does a great job in the bathroom sink and shower.
Check out the Give A Sh*t Book!
How to make this Homemade All Purpose Cleaner:
This recipe really couldn’t be any easier. I keep a gallon zip bag in the freezer at all times. As I use lemons, limes or oranges in my everyday cooking or baking, I simply toss the leftover rinds into my freezer bag.
When it is time to make the homemade cleaner, I place the fruits in a saucepan and add about 1/2 cup of water. This is then heated to a boil and simmered to bring out all of the natural oils.
When the lemons are done cooking, I place them in a quart size mason jar and cover and fill the jar with white vinegar.
To use the cleaner, all you have to do is strain the liquid (at least twice) through a fine mesh sieve or strainer. Then, just pour the strained liquid into a spray bottle and you’re good to go.
If you have hard water like we do, you may want to add a little castile soap to the mix (we like Dr. Bronners). This is completely optional. I recommend you try it with and without the soap to see which works best for you.
GREEN TIP: When buying vinegar, choose the largest, recyclable container available to help cut down on waste.
- 5 - 10 Lemons, Limes and/or Oranges (cut in chunks)
- White Vinegar
- 1/2 Cup Water
- 2 TB Castile Soap (optional)
- (Note: you can buy the fruit specifically for this recipe but I prefer to save my leftover citrus fruit from other recipes. Store them in the freezer until you have enough)
- 1 Quart Mason Jar
- Small Saucepan
- Fine Sieve or Strainer
- Spray Bottle
- Place your cut up citrus fruit in the saucepan. Add the water and bring to a boil. Simmer covered for about 30 minutes.
- Place the lemons and water mixture in your mason jar.
- Fill the jar to the top with white vinegar.
Optional: for added cleaning power, add the castile soap.
To keep from clogging the spray bottle, strain your liquid at least two times.
For super tough cleaning jobs, it helps to heat your vinegar, lemon cleaner on the stove before using.
About “Give A Sh*t”
This book was an absolute game changer for me! No exaggeration. I had been on a sustainability, eco friendly lifestyle quest for a while and Ashlee Piper’s book really helped me focus on what is important.
It is chock full of practical changes anybody can make in their daily lives to make a huge difference. Let’s face it … our planet is in trouble and we all need to pitch in to clean it up.
And as you can probably tell by the title, it is a super funny read as well! But be warned, if you are not a fan of cuss words, this might not be the book for you.
Oh, and you will definitely want to try the plant based Mac & Cheese recipe on Page 146! That was the one thing I truly missed since going vegan and this recipe is the bomb!
Also check out: Going Zero Waste in the Kitchen
More DIY Cleaner Recipes
Why buy toxic chemical cleaners when you can make much better cleaning solutions at home using simple, natural ingredients. For more homemade household cleaner recipes, make sure and check out this article from the Good Housekeeping website.