Easy DIY Cleaners

Abigail Blank - The Upside Blog | Vitacost.com/blog

by | Updated: December 3rd, 2016 | Read time: 3 minutes

I’m not a cook. Don’t get me wrong, I make plenty of healthy and tasty meals for my family, but I don’t particularly get fancy with seasonings and spices in my pantry. I’m more of a back to basics, enjoy the natural flavor of the food type of Bombshell. That’s not to say I don’t enjoy the talents of others, I just don’t have the knack myself. What I am fabulous at, though, is discovering completely out-of-the-box ideas on how I can use all of those exotic herbs, savory seeds and spectacular spices.

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A few months ago, I vowed to start cutting out all of the chemical-heavy cleaning supplies in our home. My go-to cleaning agent is, of course, white vinegar. I use it to clean my stove top, my counters, my floors and even my mirrors. Now, Mr. Bombshell, he’s NOT a fan of vinegar. In fact, he hates it, so I had to figure out how to mask the smell. Even though the sharp odor dissipates, leaving behind nothing but unidentifiable clean, vinegar can still be a little tough on the olfactory senses.

Letting my creative genius run through my house with wild abandon, I realized the organic orange peel  in my pantry that melded deliciously in my citrus chicken marinade, would be a fantastic way to cut the pungent smell of my new favorite all-purpose cleaner. I decided to steep the orange peels in vinegar (in a glass jar) for a few days. And, voila! Citrus scented organic, safe, chemical-free cleaning solution. Mr. Bombshell has even conceded that the orange steeped vinegar is, hands down, the best cleaning agent we’ve ever used.

I’m also completely obsessed with the way my house smells. I have three dogs, and though they may be small, they drag their dog stink through the house. Add in three children who carry with them all of the various kid-smells and let’s just say, I have a minor break down when I think about the scents that great people when they first cross the threshold of my humble abode.

Instead of buying air fresheners made out of who-knows-what, I’ve taken to simmering a cinnamon stick  and a few whole cloves  in a small pot of apple cider on the stove. This is also a great way to add warmth to your home, and is safe for those with multiple chemical sensitivities.

The one place vinegar does me no good, though, is my tubs. Baking soda is a fantastic natural and mildly abrasive scrubbing agent which is great at washing away soap scum and residue, but it doesn’t leave behind that fresh smell so many of us desire in our shower-space. Again, utilizing a little trial and error, I found that I could add a tablespoon of cut and sifted peppermint leaves  or  lemongrass to my baking soda, leaving behind a light, fresh scent.

I’m still experimenting and enjoying the organic nature of my explorations. Spices and seasonings are much more versatile then we think. Let your imagination run wild and you may find the next great natural household product!