I have been slowly and methodically ridding my home of chemicals over the years. One of the things that has been hard to work with in this fight is my husband’s supreme dislike of vinegar. Vinegar is a great household cleaning supply, but he hates the way it smells (and tastes, but that’s a different story). So I decided to try using alcohol instead, and it’s been great. One of my favorite things to make is a citrus vodka cleaner which can be used on just about everything in the house, including windows (though essential oils on windows can be a bit streaky, so just leave those out of your window cleaning version). You can use any citrus fruit you want, and even get a little creative by adding herbs (pine needles work well) or essential oils like lavender, basil, or mint to spice it up a bit.
A Quick Word on Ingredients
Citrus Fruit makes great medicine, tasty food, and awesome cleaning products. Plus the scent of citrus leaves everything smelling clean.
Vodka is an amazing disinfectant and cleaning agent and leaves surfaces virtually streak free.
All essential oils are also antibacterial, so to an extent you can feel free to vary the essential oils in my recipes, but tea tree and lavender essential oils are typically considered the best antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal oils. Also consider aromatherapy benefits when choosing essential oils, lavender helps to maintain calm and mint helps to energize so adding these could help create the energy you want in your home. Essential oils are really strong medicine and should be treated with respect. Rosemary, eucalyptus, camphor and certain kinds of lavender essential oils have been known to trigger seizures in epileptic patients, please use caution when using these oils.
Citrus peels of your choice
Fill a mason jar (or other jar that seals tightly) ¾ of the way full with citrus peels like lemon, grapefruit, orange, or lime. Pour in vodka, leaving a little space at the top of the jar, but covering the peels. Let sit for 2-6 weeks. Once it has set, strain it for use. If you want to add fresh herbs to this recipe, add them in with the peels. This will last for a very long time and if you want to have fun, you can add simple syrup (sugar and water) to turn it into a cordial, but if you don’t want to sweeten it you can use it to clean your house.
Citrus Multi Surface Cleaner
Citrus Vodka (see previous recipe)
Purified or Filtered Water
15-20 drops of Essential Oil(s) of your choice
I use equal parts vodka and water, but you can mix it up however you want. Combine ingredients in a spray bottle, shake it up and use it!
Like all of my recipes (both edible and non-edible), you can feel free to play around with it. I rarely use the exact same recipe twice for my own purposes. I hope you enjoy making your own household cleaner and let me know what you think in the comments below!
Apartment Therapy: http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/how-to-make-homemade-citrus-cleaner-apartment-therapy-tutorials-185527
Clean Mama: http://www.cleanmama.net/2014/04/lavender-lemon-bathroom-disinfecting-spray.html
Do It Yourself: http://www.doityourself.com/stry/homemade-cleaners
Green Cleaning: http://greencleaning.about.com/od/DIYGreenCleaningRecipes/r/Diy-Disinfecting-Aromatic-Vodka-Cleaning-Spray.htm
Organic Authority: http://www.organicauthority.com/sanctuary/5-ways-that-vodka-can-clean-your-house.html