Friday 8 November 2019

Make Your Own - Cleaning Spray

My Make Your Own Section

Below is a look at how I make my own orange scented kitchen or bathroom cleaning spray which also works well as a fabric conditioner, dish washer rinse aid and so on.

I have been working my way through the challenge to reduce single use plastics in my daily life and found making my own products can help. I hope these help to inspire you to have a go too!

Home Made Orange Cleaning Spray

Out of all the new Make Your Own projects I have done (home made liquid soap, bath salts, bath and toilet bombs, almond milk etc) I have found this one to be the most satisfying. 

I purchased a 5 litre bottle of white vinegar. It came in a plastic bottle, but 5 litres of vinegar provides me with 15 litres of cleaning spray, or 10 litres of fabric conditioner.

Here is a recipe to make your own citrus scented vinegar.

1. Collect skins from oranges, mandarins, lemons or whatever fruit you use regularly.

I place the peel in a brown paper sandwich bag to keep them semi fresh in the fridge, until I have enough (say 4 mandarin skins roughly).

2. Pour 1 cup white vinegar into a small pan and bring to a simmer. 

3. Remove from the heat and pour over the citrus peel in a Kilner jar or old jam jar.

4. Seal the lid and leave peel to steep in vinegar overnight. Give it a good shake occasionally the next morning.

5. Strain vinegar into glass spray bottle using a funnel and cheesecloth to leave the skins behind (if you have pulp make sure these are strained out so as not to block your spray!)

5. For fabric conditioner I add 1 cup of water (to make 50/50 mixture of vinegar to water) and for cleaning spray add 2 cups of water (to make 1/3 vinegar to 2/3 water solution).

6. Please note, vinegar can cause damage to marble surfaces so check before using.

Homemade Household Vinegar Cleaning Spray

Vinegar is usually about 5% acidic so already watered down but by adding more water helps make it less acidic. You can add stronger vinegar to some surfaces but will need to look up which items to avoid spraying neat vinegar onto. 

I think orange scented watered down vinegar is a bit gentler, and smells more yummy. 

Other Uses for Vinegar

Vinegar solution is great for other surfaces such as windows and mirrors too so your home made cleaning spray can go a long way. I even use mine for cleaning the toilet together with loo fizz bombs which I'll cover in a future article.

I have used neat unscented vinegar as a weed killer in the garden which does seem to work well. 

For those who have been trying out the natural laundry soap nuts I reviewed last week - when adding the home made fabric conditioner, place it in the conditioner drawer and it will run through during a cold rinse cycle. 

The soap nuts work when warm during the main wash and the vinegar can then come through at the end. Vinegar can help clean the machine, soften the clothes and you get a subtle orange scent too (add a few drops of essential oil to the soap nut bag to help add a stronger scent if preferred). 

If you don't fancy making your own orange scent then drops of essential oils can be used and you wouldn't need to heat the vinegar first. A recipe for an All Purpose Vinegar Spray made from essential oils can be found in the link above.

Where to get the Bottles?

I bought my re-usable glass bottle sprays from Amazon store online. You can also get them direct from Nomara Organics.

The top is plastic but BPA free (I'll cover what this means in a future post). I bought a pair so I have one with neat vinegar as a weed killer and one for my home made orange spray. You can of course re-purpose an old spray if you didn't want to use the glass ones.

Home made orange scented vinegar cleaning spray