“If your house is really a mess and a stranger comes to the door, greet him with, ‘Who could have done this? We have no enemies.”‘ – Phyllis Diller- That’s my Plan B.
Plan A, of course, is to stay on top of the thousand fingerprints that appear on my fridge and the thin layer of who-knows-what on bathroom counter with this all-purpose cleaner. Mood lifting, stress-busting essential oils are the superstars of this recipe, but the cheap-yet-effective white vinegar is a close second. Contrary to its humble reputation, vinegar has been found to be effective against a variety of bacteria, viruses and mold. (source 1, source 2)
Quick note: Almost any cleaning project can be tackled with either vinegar or baking soda, which has 20+ cleaning, personal care, and natural remedy applications. However, this dynamic duo needs to be used separately, because they cancel each other out.
Vinegar is an acid, while baking soda is a base, so when you mix them together they neutralize each other. They do fizz up when mixed which kids tend to think is pretty cool, but it’s not so great if you actually want to clean things. So, when using this recipe to clean counters, don’t use a powdered scrubbing powder that contains baking soda along with it.
What to buy if you don’t want to DIY
When life gets busy and you don’t want to DIY, here are two of the best store-bought options I know of:
Meliora All-Purpose Cleaner uses the absolute purest ingredients. When you buy the glass spray bottle found here it comes pre-loaded with one batch of powder, so all you have to do is add warm water and shake until dissolved. You can order 18 refills on the same page for the cost of about $0.71 per 16 ounce bottle including shipping.
Aunt Fannie’s Cleaning Vinegar – like Meliora, this cleaner earns an A from the Environmental Working Group. It’s made from food-based ingredients and comes in four scents: Sweet Mandarin, Lavender, Fresh Lime Mint, and Eucalyptus
DIY All-Purpose Cleaner With Lemon & Lavender
- 1 cup vinegar
- 1 cup distilled water
- 30 drops lemon essential oil (where to buy lemon essential oil)
- 10 drops lavender essential oil (where to buy lavender essential oil)
Add essential oils and vinegar to a glass spray bottle and shake well. Add water and shake again.
Shake before using, then spray on surface and wipe clean with a soft cloth.
Dark amber or cobalt blue glass spray bottles are ideal because they filter out UV light, which can damage essential oils.