As we all become more aware of our impact on the environment, a growing number of us are looking for ways to become increasingly eco-friendly in our everyday lives — including making our own non-toxic, natural household cleaners.
One green cleaning switch that I’ve made is to make my own kitchen cleaner using a mix of vinegar, water and essential oil. The vinegar is great at breaking down grease, bacteria, dissolving mineral-based deposits and soap scum. The low pH and acid content of the vinegar helps 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.
While vinegar has anti-bacterial properties, the household variety we use (and used in this recipe) won’t act as a broad-spectrum disinfectant — so 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 — but for general kitchen cleaning that aims to get rid of grease, soap scum and nasty odours, this homemade cleaner is great!
How To Make
3/4 cup distilled, white vinegar
3/4 cup water
10-20* drops grapefruit essential oil (or other preferred scents)
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.
How To Use
Spray on the area you want to clean (it’s great on windows and mirrors too), 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 any natural stones such as marble and granite or use it on hardwood flooring as this 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 store out of direct sunlight.
Do not use on surfaces that have had bleach on them or use it with any bleach/bleach-based products because when vinegar and bleach are mixed together, it creates 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 the irritation gets worse or you’re concerned.
Becoming environmentally conscious and understanding the damage our everyday choices can make on climate (and personal) health is a good place to start … but, of course, the best way to protect the environment and fight climate change is to demand governmental action and mandated, widespread industrial and corporate change that puts eco-friendly, sustainable practices and products at the forefront of how we move forward.
Our individual actions and environmentally responsible choices won’t stop the continued polluting of our Earth if Big Money, Big Business corporations continue as they have — so 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 made.
11 Natural & Eco-Friendly Cleaning Products For the Conscious Home – The Good Trade