By Larraine Roulston:
The movement for using natural, allergy free, and child- and pet-friendly cleaning agents has been growing over the years. The cleaning power of good old-fashioned vinegar by itself does not include disinfection; but it can kill some bacteria and, if allowed to sit for 30 minutes on a surface, will reduce the number of bacteria.
Vinegar is just one of nature’s natural solutions; however, despite this modern trend, the overly-scented chemical cleaners still appear to be taking center stage in many homes. If it’s the smell of vinegar that residents as well as cleaning crews dislike, they can transform it into a favorable aroma by adding fruit peelings or herbs. Fruit peelings, pine needles and rosemary are wonderful scents that you can add to jars of vinegar. This DIY revelation has taken vinegar to a new level. Besides the fresh aroma you choose, this blend also offers other amazing benefits such as helping vinegar become an antibacterial, a disinfectant, anda degreaser.
Orange-scented vinegar will cut through grease and help remove any stains. For this, you will require just one cup of peelings per jar.
Lemon-scented vinegar also takes one cup of peelings. This recipe becomes a great disinfectant that is especially good for bathroom tiles, sinks and toilet bowls.
Rosemary Scented Vinegar includes an antibacterial that is good for wiping tabletops and counter spaces. To create the rosemary scent, add 4 to 8 sprigs of fresh rosemary.
Pine Scented Vinegar works its magic on wood surfaces, including cutting boards. A few clippings from a nearby pine tree will suffice.
If you have a selection of essential oils or wish to purchase some, you can substitute 20 drops to provide the scent you prefer. Cinnamon sticks also create a lovely effect.
Just four steps to follow:
- Deposit either fruit peelings or herb sprigs into a large Mason Jar or glass jar of a size that will hold dill pickles (for example).
- Add distilled white vinegar to fill the jar almost to the top. Seal with a lid.
- Let the mixture sit for 12 to 24 hours.
- Pour the scented vinegar into a spray dispenser with some peelings or herbs. This will look very attractive on your counter. In your laundry room, a few squirts in the wash will serve as a softener.
Another benefit of vinegar is decalcification. Tracy Cummings, founder and owner of The Green Boutique Cleaning Company states, “It’s ideal for cleaning things like your coffeemaker, tea kettle, faucets and shower walls. Make a 50/50 solution of vinegar and water, and leave overnight in appliances or spray onto the shower walls and allow to sit for at least 30 minutes.”
On the negative side, vinegar is an acid and over time will erode granite, marble and natural stone. Cummings noted, “You also should NOT use it on raw wood floors because it could leave water damage.” Another warning is that vinegar should NOT be added to commercial cleaners.
Whether selecting fruits for your vitamin C, planting a rosemary bush or taking a nature hike to pick pine needles, what better way to gather ingredients that will clean your home and help keep our waterways healthier!
Larraine writes children’s adventure books on composting and pollinating. To view, visit www.castlecompost.com