Vinegar is an all-purpose cleaner. It will kill most molds, bacteria and viruses. It’s safe and gentle enough for home-cleaning purposes. While this will not kill every germ, I’ll take the risk to avoid the harmful chemicals that most cleaners contain. Don’t forget that soap and hot water are STILL well-documented for the preventing the spread of pathogens, like salmonella. Studies are suggesting that allergies are due to a lack of exposure to parasites by creating a sterile home environment. Other studies indicate that prevalence of toxic fumes from cleaning products and flame-retardants are contributing to childhood asthma. Raise your hand if you’ve cleaned a tiny bathroom with bleach? Ack! Unlike these toxic cleaners, vinegar cleaners will not aggravate your skin and lungs. Vinegar is a weak acetic acid. It kills germs by denaturing (chemically changing) their structure.
Citrus oils not only smell refreshing and uplifting, but they help mask the vinegar smell. Citrus oils also disinfect and sanitize from viruses and bacteria.
If you live in a hospital (and I hope you don’t… I hear the food is terrible) or someone in your family has a compromised immune system, maybe you should use something stronger than vinegar. Otherwise, enjoy this toxin-free DIY citrus cleaner!
- The peels from 4 citrus fruits
- White or apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp salt
- 1 cup water
- 5-10 drops of essential oil (rosemary, lavender, sage, pine, etc)
In a quart sized mason jar, fill with several citrus peels. I used lemons and mikans (mandarin orange). Roughly chop the peels from 4 fruits, toss into the mason jar and top with the salt. Shake this around and let the citrus peels marinate with the salt for about an hour to help pull the oils out. Top this with your vinegar and let it sit for about a month. Strain, then dilute with the water and put into a spray bottle. You can add a few drops of an essential oil that you like. I used rosemary.
You should start a new batch right away… You know, since it takes a month or so.
Also, don’t forget to spot test on the back of great-grandma’s china cabinet before using.