Sunday, December 16, 2012

Homemade All-Purpose Cleaner

Yet another idea to file under frugal ideas.

This is a simple recipe using common inexpensive ingredients you'll likely always have an hand. The most expensive part of the solution is buying a spray bottle.  This is assuming you have the same issue we have around here.  You see, I bought some all-purpose cleaner in a sturdy spray bottle from the store.  The same basic recipe I make here.  But when the kids finished up the cleaner, they forgot to save the bottle and given that I was still under the weather a bit, I did not notice until several days later. So we gave up on that idea and bought a package of 6 commercial quality spray bottles at SAMS Club.  The awesome thing about these bottles is that the sides are labeled with the markings to tell you how much water to add to dilute your cleaning solutions to the strength you desire.

So here are the simple directions for an orange based all-purpose cleaner.  First you need to collect a bunch of orange peels in a clean container with a lid.  I do believe that we actually used tangerine peels this time and used all of the peels from snack one day.  Put the peels into your container and cover them  with plain white vinegar.  Put the lid on and shake everything up a bit. Make sure when you are done that all of the peels are completely under the liquid, then store the container away from the light.  (I just stuck the peels in a quart sized canning jar, put on one of the reusable plastic lids, and stuck the container in the snack cupboard.)  Leave it to sit for at least a couple weeks.  You can add more peels over time if you desire.

After a few weeks, pour off the vinegar into a clean spray bottle.  Strain if necessary.  Add water to the bottle to dilute as desired. Shake to mix it all together.  You can add some dishwashing liquid if you want more scrubbing power.

The best part of this cleaner (aside from the cost) is that you can leave bottles easily accessible to your children and not have to worry if a toddler should grab one.  So you end up with a cleaner that is both affordable and non-toxic and adding the orange peels to the solution prevents the smells that is left behind from using straight vinegar to clean.


Dirtdartwife said...

I will have to try this!!!! I wonder if it'll work using rosemary or lemon verbena leaves.

Ashley M. said...

I have a quart jar of clementine peels steeping in my pantry right now and I'm eager to try it out. I usually just use vinegar and water, but the husband told me that he is sick of the smell and politely asked if I could try something that smelled a little less like salad

ekasayka said...

Thanks for sharing your recipe. So excited to try it!