cleaning supply basket

Make Your Own Household Cleaner with Vinegar and Baking Soda

The ingredients in your pantry and kitchen can be used for more than just whipping up delicious meals. Hiding in your cupboards is an arsenal of non-toxic, yet efficient cleaning ingredients you can combine to make your own all-purpose cleaner. Distilled white vinegar is a safe and powerful cleaner that you can use on almost any surface in your home. Plus, vinegar is a powerful disinfectant. Another strong cleaning agent is baking soda. You may remember making a baking soda and vinegar volcano for your elementary school science fair, but this combo does more than cause a foamy reaction. Baking soda is an alkali, which means it can cut through tough dirt and grease in your kitchen and allow it to dissolve when met with water.

To make an effective cleaner you’ll need a clean, empty spray bottle, ½ cup of vinegar, ½ cup of water, and 2 tablespoons of baking soda. Pour all these ingredients into your spray bottle, and you’re ready to go. The water dilutes the vinegar and allows the baking soda to effectively lift tough messes. There are a lot of things you can clean with vinegar in your home, but keep in mind that there are some surfaces and materials you shouldn’t use a vinegar-based cleaner on. Vinegar should never be used on natural stone surfaces, stainless steel, cast iron, unfinished floors, or unsealed grout.

How to mask the vinegar smell

orange infused vinegar cleaner

If you’re worried about a vinegar cleaner creating an overwhelming smell, you can infuse your cleaners with all of your favorite scents. Start by adding your vinegar to a clean glass jar. From there, you can add ingredients to create a custom scent. Be warned that making the cleaner is a quick affair, but giving the vinegar a pleasant scent takes far, far longer. You’ll need to let your vinegar infuse with the ingredients for around two weeks to take on a strong scent. Then, simply strain the scented vinegar into the rest of your cleaning solution.

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Popular scents include lemon, mint, and cinnamon. For a bright lemon-and-thyme scent, add lemon peels and a sprig of thyme to your vinegar, and be sure to agitate the jar every few days while it infuses to ensure even distribution. If you want a refreshing, cool mint scent, you can use a few springs of mint paired with the peel of a cucumber. Or, perhaps you prefer a spiced, warm aroma. In that case, you can infuse a few sticks of cinnamon and whole cloves into your vinegar to give your cleaner the comforting scents of fall.

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