I feel like plain old white vinegar sometimes gets a bad rep. I mean lets face it, its not the most appealing scent. But in the last couple years, I have found so many uses for white vinegar around the house, that I go through a jug every couple of months. One of my favorite uses for vinegar lately is cleaning. But I was having a hard time getting past the smell. So I want to share with you how to make infused vinegar for cleaning, that helps eliminate that harsh smell of plain vinegar.
I used to HATE vinegar. My mom would often put it on fish and even veggies and I could not sit near her. I mean the smell is just horrible! But in the past 10 years or so, I have learned about all of the benefits and uses that vinegar has to offer.
I have not always cleaned with vinegar. If you had looked under our sink just a few years ago, you would have seen it stocked with all of the chemical based products. I can remember an instance when my girls had hand foot and mouth, and I think I literally went through a whole aerosol can of lysol in one day. But the more and more I adopted a simple living lifestyle, the more I learned about how horrible some of these cleaning products actually are.
I started switching over to natural, chemical free cleaning products a couple years ago. I have found some really awesome cleaning products that I love, but they are sometimes not the cheapest when you are on a budget.
After doing some research, I decided to try out vinegar for cleaning. There are so many benefits of using vinegar as a cleaner. First and foremost, it is completely non-toxic. It is safe to use around my girls. That was the number one reason that I switched to vinegar for cleaning.
My girls love to “help” and we love that they love to help. Cleaning off the table after meals is one of their “chores”. But when it came to wiping down the table, I did not want them using the chemical based cleaning products. Knowing that they can safely use our vinegar spray to help wipe down the table sets my mind at ease.
Vinegar is a natural disinfectant because of the acetic acid its made from. So not only is it cleaning off my surfaces but it is disinfecting and taking care of the left over food and germs that are just hanging out on the surfaces.
It is also very cheap and great on my budget. I can get a 64 oz jug of white vinegar for only $1.62 at my local Walmart. I don’t know about you, but I don’t think there is one cleaning product out there that you can buy for $1.62. This was the kicker for me. Because I am so frugal, I love that I can get so many uses out of this one jug of white vinegar and not feel like its breaking the bank.
You can check out more benefits and uses of vinegar here.
How To Make Infused Vinegar For Cleaning
As I mentioned earlier, I am not a fan of the smell of vinegar. So I knew that in order to clean with it, I would have to make it smell better. I had heard of infused vinegar, so I figured I would give it a shot.
What You Need
- White distilled vinegar
- Citrus peels
- A glass jar
- A glass spray bottle
- Essential Oils (optional)
Making homemade citrus vinegar is so easy, but it does take some time. You will need enough citrus peels to fill up your glass jar. You will need to use a glass jar because of the acetic acid. I used a quart sized mason jar and it took a few days to get enough peels to fill it. My girls love oranges, so we always have mandarin oranges in the house. Instead of throwing them in our compost bin, we would just put the peels in the jar instead. It took a whole bag of mandarin oranges to fill the jar.
You could use any kind of citrus peels for this. I think lemon infused vinegar would be awesome. Or even a lemon lime mix. We just chose orange because we always have oranges in the house and did not have to buy anything extra.
After you have enough peels to fill up your glass jar, its time to pour in the vinegar.
You want to fill up your jar almost to the top and then put the lid on.
After your jar is filled with citrus peels and vinegar, you will want to let it sit for a few weeks. The longer it sits, the more infused it will be. I let mine sit for 4 weeks because I wanted more orange scent.
Make The Cleaner
Once your vinegar is infused to your preference, it is time to make the cleaner. For this you will need the infused vinegar, glass spray bottle, water, large bowl, strainer and essential oils if using.
First you need to strain your vinegar. Place your strainer over the bowl and dump out your orange peels and vinegar.
Just look at that orange color of the vinegar!
While cleaning with straight vinegar is fine, it is recommended to dilute it. It also makes your cleaning vinegar go farther. My glass spray bottle holds about 2 cups of liquid or 16 oz. So I did half water mixed with half infused vinegar.
Carefully pour a cup of water into your glass spray bottle. You can use a funnel, but I do not have one. So I used this liquid measuring cup and it worked great. Once the water is poured in, measure out 1 cup of the citrus infused vinegar. Pour that into your spray bottle.
If you are not using essential oils, then you are all done! Just put on the spray cap and shake your spray bottle up and you are ready to clean! However, I think adding essential oils not only helps disguise the vinegar smell even more, some essential oils are also great for cleaning!
I used this Citrus Burst essential oil by Plant Therapy. After pouring in the water and vinegar, I put about 20-30 drops of oil in. The addition of this citrus blend essential oil took my cleaner to the next level! It smells AMAZING and I love that citrus smell it leaves after cleaning.
Store any leftover infused vinegar in a glass jar. That way when you run out, you can make more cleaning spray without having to wait weeks for it to be infused. This quart jar made a little over 2 cups of infused vinegar, so I will get 2 of these spray bottles worth of cleaning out of one batch of this infused vinegar.
How To Use Infused Vinegar For Cleaning
You can use this citrus infused vinegar just like a multi-purpose cleaner. You can use it on almost all surfaces. However, you do not want to use this on marble, granite or hard wood. Because it is made from acetic acid, I have heard it can take off the finishing of these surfaces.
My favorite uses for this vinegar are cleaning my stainless steel appliances. It works great taking off the smudges and leaves them shining like new. It leaves my window so clear and streak-free. I use it to wipe down my countertops that are not marble or granite. It also does an amazing job cleaning the soap scum and residue left in my showers and sinks. I seriously use this cleaner for cleaning almost everything in my house!
Let me know in the comments if you love this citrus vinegar cleaner as much as I do. I would love to hear any variations that you have done! And don’t forget to sign up to join our Simple Living Community for more inspiration on going chemical free.