All-purpose cleaners can be full of toxic chemicals – NOT the kind of thing you want to spray all over your kitchen counters! This cleaner uses the natural cleaning power of vinegar and the antibacterial properties of citrus and rosemary to get the job done.
Don’t worry that your kitchen will smell like vinegar. I promise it won’t! The cleaner does have a vinegar smell while you are cleaning, but it goes away quickly.
Why is vinegar used as a cleaner, you ask? Vinegar does a great job of removing inorganic soils and mineral deposits, which is why it is so popular for cleaning windows. This study even showed that vinegar was effective in reducing the amount of E. Coli from several different countertop surfaces. Add the power of citrus and rosemary and you’ve got an all natural, non-toxic cleaner that you can count on to disinfect as well.
Here is how I make my favorite kitchen countertop cleaner:
Put the peels of oranges, lemons, and/or limes in a large mason jar. You can use just one of those fruits or a combination. This time around I used the peels from a few clementines and half a lemon because that is what we had on hand.
Add three or four palms full of dried rosemary. You could also use fresh rosemary and this would probably yield an even better result. I use dried because it is less expensive.
Fill the jar with white vinegar and close the jar tightly. Let the jar sit in a cool, dry place (like your pantry cabinet) for 7 to 14 days. Every couple of days, give it a mix by turning the jar upside down a couple of times.
Pour the vinegar through a sieve to remove the peels and herbs. If there are still small bits left in the vinegar, pour it through a cheese cloth folded over several times. You want to get all of the small bits out because they can clog up your spray bottle.
Now pour the vinegar into a spray bottle and use it as you would all-purpose cleaner to clean your kitchen counters and stovetop. So easy!
A word of caution about reusing spray bottles that contained commercial cleaners: chemicals in commercial cleaners may react with the vinegar, citrus oils, and rosemary; especially bleach. When bleach and vinegar mix they release highly toxic chlorine gas that you do NOT want to breathe. You know how I love to reuse before before buying knew, but in this case I feel it is better to be safe than sorry. I have heard a recommendation that if you triple rinse the bottle – rinse it fully with water three times – that any remaining commercial cleaner in the bottle will be removed. I don’t practice this, however. I purchased the spray bottle you see here at Target.
Interested in more DIY eco-friendly and frugal cleaning recipes? Follow me on Pinterest!