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Although we’re not yet quite out of the winter season, you might be getting that Spring cleaning bug while you’re organizing and packing up your holiday decorations. As you’re gearing up for Spring, and the fresh start we often strive for during this time, it’s the perfect time to ditch those toxic expensive cleaners and take a stab at making your own all purpose cleaners and disinfectants. They’re more effective, safer for you and our planet, easier on your wallet and take up less space in your closet. That’s a win-win-win-win in our book! Happy cleaning!
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WHAT TO DO
Measure out 2 ounces of inexpensive vodka into an amber glass spray bottle.
Blend 15 drops of tea tree oil with 30 drops of lavender oil.
Add the tea tree and lavender essential oil blend to the vodka in the spray bottle, close and shake well.
Add 2 ounces of white distilled vinegar* and 3 ounces of distilled water to the spray bottle, close and shake well.
Store in a cool, dark place away from sunlight not to deteriorate the efficacy of the essential oils.
*Acids such as vinegar or lemon can damage granite and marble stone surfaces.
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WHy We Believe it Works
Alcohol: Alcohol is an excellent disinfectant, and for those who don’t like the smell of vinegar, a great substitute for it in homemade cleaning recipes. Vodka and ethanol (grain alcohol) are the safest choices when using alcohol as cleaners, with vodka also being a highly effective odor. Mildew, and mold remover, and excellent for shining fixtures.
Vinegar: Due to its acidity (it contains 5-10% acetic acid), vinegar is excellent and surprisingly gentle cleaner, tackling grease, soap residue and grime.
Organic Tea Tree Oil: The most versatile of essential oils for cleaning, tea tree oil can be used for a variety of applications due to its antimicrobial, antifungal, antiseptic and antibacterial properties. It’s additionally a great insecticide — more on that in an upcoming post!
Organic Lavender Oil: Often referred to the as the “swiss army knife” of essential oils, lavender oil is no exception when it comes to cleaning. It has antiviral, antibacterial, disinfectant, and antifungal properties, and combines nicely with most other oils. Lavender oil compliments tea tree oil perfectly since its pleasant scent masks the slightly less pleasant smell of vinegar and tea tree oil that are included in most homemade cleaning recipes.
CAUTION: Be very careful when making home cleaners — take time to do your research. Mixing what may seem like incredibly safe ingredients could cause toxic chemical reactions. As an additional safety tip, always designate a specific glass spray bottle and spray top for each homemade cleaner, and label it clearly to avoid mixing cleaning ingredients together that are dangerous. Some of these toxic combinations are hydrogen peroxide and vinegar, and bleach and vinegar (which creates toxic chlorine gas when combined).
Use cellulose sponges, they absorb more and are biodegradable. The majority of household sponges are made of polyester or plastic, making them slow to breakdown in landfills.
Always spot check with new cleaners on surfaces prior to using broadly.
Stick with soap and water for granite and marble, which can get damaged by acids like lemon and vinegar.