DIY All-Purpose Cleaner

I recently received a challenge that brought an issue to the front of my mind that I hadn’t really considered before – which was great, but I must admit I was a little embarrassed I hadn’t thought of it before… This issue was that what I wash my house with… will affect the fish and the environment… *slow clap*.

Seems obvious when you say it right? If I pour chemicals down my drain the water and the fish and all the plants and the bugs that live on or around it … aren’t going to love that. Their PH feels, or their PHeels, if you will (not sorry) are going to be a bit upset.

Cue my “oops” moment (but not like the Tena advert!!).

The challenge was to find an alternative to harmful cleaning products so, I thought, “oh I’ll buy one of those eco-friendly cleaning sprays” but then I was like “oh it’s £100… maybe not”. But the fish. THE FISH! So, I set out to find a cheaper alternative and stumbled across a few “make your own environmentally friendly all-purpose cleaner” recipes and to be honest that sounded perfect for my life. Me being me I mixed and matched a few recipes (because I’m fancy and who can deal with conversion of units), tried it out, and… it works!

You will need:
240ml / 1 cup white malt vinegar (also known as white distilled vinegar it’s the clear stuff)
480ml / 2 cups water
1 tablespoon bicarbonate of soda (also known as baking soda)
Juice of 1/2 a lemon (* if you’re feeling fancy you can also use what’s left of the juiced lemon -the peel etc.)
7-10 drops lemon essential oil (optional as this is mainly for the scent – can also use tea tree, orange, or a mix)
A spray bottle (*preferably a repurposed one – I used one that was used for plastering. Tried to use an old rinsed out flash bottle but the nozzle wouldn’t work! You can get nice glass ones if you need to buy though!)

The “How To”:
(* if you are feeling fancy you can sit your lemon peels in the vinegar in a glass jar for a week or two to pull out some of the lemon goodness and make the vinegar smell like lemon! Just compost the lemons when you want to use the vinegar for this recipe)

  1. In a plastic or glass bowl, stir the baking soda into the water until it’s completely dissolved.
    (please do this – I added the soda to the vinegar straight away the first time and a volcano happened)
  2. Add the vinegar to the soda and water mix SLOWLY and stir until the foaming stops.
  3. Add in the Lemon Juice again SLOWLY and stir until the foaming stops.
  4. Transfer to a spray-top bottle and swirl before each use.
  5. Dance because the planet is happy!

Things to Remember:

  1. Please do the steps in order, unlike I did the first time. Cleaning baking soda and vinegar fizz explosion off all your kitchen is not fun.
  2. Protect your hands when you clean! Some essential oils are not good for the skin or can react on the skin when exposed to the sun so please don’t get the mix on your hands.
  3. Do not use this cleaner on granite or marble.
  4. I found this to be streak-free if I swirled it before using – but if you experience a streak just buff it up with a rag. It’s probably just the essential oils having separated!

I would love to hear how you get on with this recipe, including any questions you have, so please comment below or let me know on any of my channels!


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