Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Citrus Infused Vinegar Cleaner

We've talked about ways to get money, like selling your books and clothes, and how to be more disciplined in saving spare change, but now I want to talk about ways we are trying to save money around the house.
So, The Mister and I care about the environment and this does affect the way we live. We also care about what goes in to our bodies. But, I don't think we are super gung-ho about all natural and organic and what not. We pick and choose things that really matter to us. I buy my produce following the dirty dozen and clean fifteen model and milk is ALWAYS purchased organically. I don't like cleaners that are ammonia based, and if I see an option in something that is packaged or created from recycled items, I choose it. But this post comes from something else - the desire to stop buying cleaning products to help out our wallet.
Going down the aisle at the super market with the cleaning supplies was always so overwhelming for me. I WANTED to get the ones that were natural and earth friendly, for the sake of the planet and our health, but the price tag was always daunting. Then, I would be stuck and unsure which to buy from the remaining choices as I read the labels. This led to infusing vinegar with lemon peels to add a citrus twist.


We had already stopped buying oven cleaner because it was so toxic and harsh (even the ones that claimed to have lower fumes and what not made me feel like I was killing my lung tissue, with the windows and doors open). Our apartment complex is stocked with updated appliances and our stove is stainless steel with a glass top. So, I have previously cleaned it with baking soda and vinegar. I would sprinkle the trouble some areas with baking soda, pour on the vinegar, let the bubbles do their magic, clean it off, and shine with some glass cleaner. But, I got sick of pouring and the vinegar smell is not my favorite.

My solution filling a jar 3/4 of the way with plain jane white vinegar. Then, as I used lemons to cook or bake, I would throw the peels in the jar. To top it off, I just cut a small lemon into  slices and threw that in there. This jar was sealed and stored in my jar cabinet for about 2 weeks (accumulating the lemon peels only took about a week).

The day came to strain and strain I did.

I threw my colander with the smallest holes over a bowl and dumped the jar into it (with all of these things nestled in my sink just in case of spillage).

To get out rind and seeds and floating things, I put a paper towel down and, with a new bowl underneath, emptied bowl numero uno again. I would have preferred to use cheesecloth, but alas, there was none in the house.

For one more good strain, I put a sifter in to my funnel (which fit quite nicely, may I add) before the cleaner went in to the empty spray bottle I saved.

I topped off the bottle with water and voila! Citrus infused vinegar cleaner. I love it. I love that it is in a spray bottle so I don't just pour vinegar on things to clean. I love that it has a slight lemony scent and has the additional cleaning power of the citrus. I also love that it was made from scraps of lemon peel that would have just been thrown in the garbage, vinegar I already had (a gallon I bought for like 2 bucks), and an empty spray bottle I would have just recycled in a different way. I clean almost everything with this and it works beautifully. You could use any citrus, too, which makes for fun scent combos.

Anyone else have panic attacks when shopping for cleaning supplies? What other natural cleaning products do you diy?

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