The internet is a wonderful thing with its vast resource of free information. But have you found sometimes that all this wonderful information can be just so overwhelming? And now we have added Pinterest to the mix so we are even more overwhelmed!
Case in point – if you’ve ever searched for a homemade all purpose cleaner recipe you’ve probably discovered that there are a lot of recipes out there, all of which have slightly different ingredients in slightly different measurements. They all sound pretty much the same and yet none of them are alike. Which one is best? You keep reading and clicking, and clicking and reading, until finally your eyes glaze over and you are still wondering which recipe to try.
Well I’m here to tell you that I have looked at a lot of these recipes and tried some of them too, but I have found that my most favorite all purpose cleaners is really a very simple mixture – just combine equal amounts of vinegar and water in a spray bottle. An essential oil for fragrance and/or antibacterial help can be a nice addition, but is not absolutely necessary.
I have been using this mixture for at least two years now and it works great! It has become my go-to cleaner for so many areas of the house. It can be used on counters (* but not granite – see note below), on sinks, windows, mirrors, floors, or toilets. It is truly a versatile cleaner!
Even though this is a simple 50/50 mixture, here is the recipe measurement I seem to use the most often.
Combine all ingredients in a clean spray bottle of at least a 16 oz size. Shake gently to combine ingredients. To use, spray on surfaces and wipe with a soft absorbent cloth.
FOUR REASONS WHY THIS RECIPE IS A KEEPER
This homemade all purpose cleaner has found a permanent place in my home because it meets all of the following criteria that I look for in a homemade recipe:
+ Saves Money
If I’m going to go to the work of making a homemade cleaner or other recipe, I like to be able to save a few bucks in the process too. I buy my vinegar in the gallon containers and the price nets down to only 2 cents per ounce. For the above recipe which uses a cup of vinegar, I would only spend 16 cents! The essential oils will add a few more cents to the mixture, but the oils are an optional ingredient.
+ Natural and Non-Toxic
While I do not have any allergies and am not super zealous about using non-toxic items, I do like to eliminate chemicals where possible. This cleaner uses all natural ingredients, is safe to keep anywhere around the house, and has no nasty fumes.
+ Easy, Convenient, and Resourceful
If a homemade cleaner takes too much time and energy, I give serious thought to if it’s really worth it. Because this mixture is an equal parts “50/50” mixture, I can simply use the measurement guides on the outside of my spray bottle and mix this up quickly without getting out any measuring cups or spoons. I can also make as little or as much as I want at any given time without having to struggle over any math to double or triple the recipe. I always have vinegar in the house too so I can mix up a batch whenever its needed.
+ Performs Well
The bottom line with any homemade cleaner is it had better do the job. If it cleans poorly, then one of the other reasons above has to become a really motivating factor. However I have always been satisfied with the performance of this vinegar and water mixture and it leaves a clean smooth feeling on surfaces. For some dirty or greasy jobs soap can be necessary, however the vinegar and water mixture makes a great follow up as vinegar does an excellent job of cutting through any residual cloudy soap scum or film. Vinegar and water also makes a great follow up rinse to a homemade baking soda sink scrub as it also cuts through any powdery residue left behind.
(* Note – Vinegar is said to be too harsh for granite surfaces. Instead you can substitute rubbing alcohol in a 25/75 mixture ratio of 1/2 cup of rubbing alcohol with 1-1/2 cups of water.)
So there you have it . . . my favorite all purpose homemade cleaner! In the next post we’ll look at my favorite absorbent cleaning cloths to use with homemade cleaning mixtures.
Can you tell what it is?