Doing my part to help save the environment and live a healthier life on my homestead led me to choose a “greener” lifestyle. I already made the switch from traditional paper towels to Unpaper Towels. Next, it was on to removing those nasty chemical-filled cleaners that I was using and replacing them with greener, and therefore safer products. The answer was DIY vinegar cleaners I make myself. The next step was to create a solid cleaning schedule.

Vinegar cuts grease deodorizes and disinfects. It is cheap, it is natural and it works on destroying bacteria, mildew, and dirt. It can be combined with baking soda, lemon juice, essential oils, olive oil, and Castille soap to make excellent cleaners around the home. Baking soda will cut through grease, deodorizes, whitens, and lifts dirt.

Lemon juice will not only disinfect, but it will whiten also. Olive oil lifts dirt and Castille soap cuts grease and lifts dirt also. Essential oils will freshen the air and help reduce odors in and around the home. Now that you know the ingredients, let’s look at the cleaners that can be made for your home.

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Vinegar, baking soda, and a lemon

DIY Vinegar Cleaners: The Kitchen

Non-Abrasive Cleaner:

Mix in a spray bottle for use on tiled surfaces and sinks.

Oven Cleaner:

  • 1 cup or more baking soda
  • Filtered water
  • a squirt of Castille soap

Sprinkle water over the bottom of the oven generously. Cover with baking soda until the bottom of the oven is covered. Let sit overnight. Wipe with a wet sponge or rag.

Cleaning the oven

Stainless Steel Cleaner:

  • 1 Tbsp oil
  • 1 Tbsp white vinegar

Put the oil on a cloth and rub it on the surface to get rid of any smudges. Place a dab of vinegar on the other side of the cloth and wipe.

Drain Cleaner:

  • 1/2 box of baking soda
  • white vinegar

Pour 1/2 a box of baking soda down the drain. Pour vinegar until a foaming action happens. Allow the foam to settle then repeat until all the baking soda is gone.

Refrigerator/Microwave Cleaner:

  • Vinegar
  • Water

Mix equal parts of water and vinegar in a spray bottle. Just spray and wipe. It can be kept in the fridge.

Cleaning the microwave

Cutting Boards:

Spray white vinegar directly on the cutting board. Let sit for 2 minutes and rinse.

DIY Vinegar Cleaners: The Bathroom

Glass/Mirrors:

  • 1/2 cup vinegar
  • 1/2 cup filtered water

Mix the vinegar and filtered water in a spray bottle. Spray-on glass or mirrors and wipe.

Toilet:

  • 1 cup vinegar
  • baking soda

Pour vinegar into the bowl. Let sit overnight. In the morning, sprinkle with baking soda, scrub, and flush.

Cleaning the toilet

Shower/Tub:

  • 3 cups vinegar
  • baking soda

Boil the vinegar. While hot, wipe the shower walls and tub. Repeat the process every 8 to 10 minutes for 30 minutes.  After 30 minutes, sprinkle baking soda on a scrubby sponge that has been dampened with vinegar and scrub all surfaces. Rinse completely.

Showerhead:

  • vinegar
  • plastic freezer bag
  • twist tie

Place some vinegar into a freezer bag and tie it to the showerhead. Make sure the part of the showerhead that sprays is completely submerged. Leave on overnight. Remove the next morning before showering.

DIY Vinegar Cleaners: The Laundry

Fabric Softener:

Add 1 cup of vinegar to the final rinse cycle for softer clothes, sheets, blankets,  and towels.

Also, you can add 2 to 3 cups and run just a rinse cycle to get rid of nasty odors that may be trapped in the drain.

Fabric softener

DIY Vinegar Cleaners: The Living Room

Wood Furniture:

  • 1/4 cup vinegar
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • lemon essential oil

Combine all three ingredients to clean and condition wood furniture

Wood Floors:

  • 1/2 cup vinegar
  • 1-gallon water

Mix the two together and wash wood and laminate floors.

Mopping wooden floors

Carpet Pet Odor Remover:

  • vinegar
  • baking soda

Wet spot with vinegar. Sprinkle baking soda over the wet area. Use a brush to combine the two over the spot. Let dry completely. Vacuum.

DIY Vinegar Cleaners: General Cleaning

Air Freshener:

  • 1/2 tsp vinegar
  • distilled water
  • 4 to 5 drops of essential oil

Combine ingredients into a 4 or 6-oz. spray bottle. Add essential oil if desired. Spray randomly to freshen the air in your home.

Window Cleaner:

  • 1/4 cup rubbing alcohol
  • 1/3 cup vinegar
  • 32 oz. spray bottle

Mix the alcohol and vinegar into a spray bottle then fill it with water. Spray on a lint-free cloth to clean windows.

Cleaning the windows

All-Purpose Cleaner:

  • 1 cup vinegar
  • 2 tsp. Borax
  • 4 cups hot water
  • 5 drops of liquid soap
  • 10 drops of Tea Tree oil
  • 10 drops of other chosen essential oil

Mix all ingredients together in a bucket. Use a sponge or a mop to wash.

Disinfectant:

Use a 50/50 mix of vinegar and water in a spray bottle to wipe doorknobs, faucet handles, telephones, refrigerator handles, and other touchable surfaces during cold and flu season.

Changing my home over to a greener home meant changing my cleaning products.  Using vinegar assures me that my home is safe from unwanted chemicals.

Do you use your own DIY cleaners in your home? Please share your recipes here with other readers.

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