As we all become more aware of our impact on the environment, a growing number of us are seeking ways to become increasingly eco-friendly in our everyday lives — including making our own non-toxic, natural household cleaners.
One green cleaning switch I’ve made is using my own kitchen cleaner made from vinegar, water and essential oil. The vinegar breaks down grease and bacteria and dissolves mineral-based deposits/soap scum. The mildly acidic and low pH nature of vinegar also helps to hinder micro-organism growth and because it’s non-toxic; it’s ideal for cleaning items around/near food like your oven, refrigerator and microwave.
Despite vinegar having anti-bacterial properties, the household variety we use (and in this recipe) won’t act as a broad-spectrum disinfectant. If you’re looking to thoroughly disinfect an area, using neat, double strength vinegar is more suitable; but as this is hard to find you may have to stick with a store-bought product. However, for general kitchen cleaning that gets rid of grease, soap scum and nasty odours; this homemade cleaner is a great choice!
How To Make Your Own All-Natural Kitchen Cleaner
- 3/4 cup distilled, white vinegar
- 3/4 cup water
- 10-20* drops grapefruit essential oil (or other preferred scents)
- spray bottle
Pour the vinegar and water into the spray bottle; add the essential oil (*you can use more or less, depending on your own preference), screw the top on securely then shake a little to mix.
Spray on the area you want to clean — it’s equally useful when cleaning windows and mirrors — leave for 10-30 seconds (depending on how tough the issue is) then wipe away with a clean, damp cloth.
Do not use this cleaner on wood or natural stone; like marble and granite, or on hardwood flooring — it can cause the shine or look of the stone/wood to dull.
Always label your homemade cleaning products, so they are used in the correct way and remember to store out of direct sunlight.
Do not use on surfaces that have had bleach on them or use with any bleach/bleach-based products; vinegar and bleach mixed together create a toxic chlorine gas that would require immediate medical help if exposed to.
Rinse your eyes immediately if the cleaner gets in them — redness and irritation are common — and seek medical care if symptoms do not improve or get worse.
Becoming environmentally conscious and acknowledging the damage our everyday choices can have on the climate (and our personal health) represents a positive first step. The best way we can defend the environment and fight climate change is to demand governmental action and mandated, widespread industrial/corporate change; putting eco-friendly, sustainable practices/products at the forefront of how we move forward.
Our individual environmentally responsible actions and choices won’t halt continued destruction of the climate; there will be no change if Big Money corporations keep polluting unencumbered like they have done for decades. While I fully advocate making personal decisions that protect our planet; it has to be done alongside organized pressure for a complete mindset shift in how we consume products AND a complete industrial shift in how those products are manufactured.
What eco-friendly cleaning products do you recommend? Have you made any sustainable swaps in your household?
11 Natural & Eco-Friendly Cleaning Products For the Conscious Home – The Good Trade