Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Homemade Lavender Lemon All Purpose Cleaner


With a two year old and a 10 month old, we are always pulling out the windex and cleaning up some spill or another.  Besides the fact that we were spending lots of money on cleaner, I really wanted a more environmentally and kid friendly cleaner around.  So I did some research (read "google") and decided that a vinegar solution was what we needed.  But I didn't want to smell vinegar all of the time, so I decided to use up some of that lavender and scent our cleaner.

Click on "read more" to get the how to.

Ingredients and Materials:
Lemon zest
White vinegar
Dried Lavender
Dried Eucalyptus
Jar for storage
Spray bottle for dispensing

I didn't want the cleaner to feel greasy, so I didn't use any oils in it.  Instead, in a little bit of water, I simmered some of my dried lavender and eucalyptus from the herb garden. 

I also added lemon zest.  I really love the smell of lemon, but didn't want to add lemon juice because I was worried the solution would be sticky.  And I'm trying to fight sticky here.  So I was hoping if I just put the zest in, it would just add lemon scent, not juice.  Now, I don't have a zester, so I just used a vegetable peeler to peel away the zest and add it to the pot.

The kitchen smelled great.  I think when I do this again, I'll leave out the eucalyptus and just do lavender and lemon.  Or maybe I'll do one lavender and one lemon.

Once the water absorbed the scents from the herbs and lemon, I strained it into a jar partly filled with equal parts water and white vinegar.  If I had cheesecloth or a coffee filter, I would have used that.  As it was, I used a colander and lined it with a paper towel.

Because the herbs were steeped in the water, it is tea colored.  Which I didn't think about happening before I saw it.  It's not dirty, but it doesn't look clean in the traditional sense of what I was expecting. I kind of had to get used to it.  Then again, does the weird blue color that is Windex look clean? 

I poured some of the solution into an empty spray bottle.  I added the lemon zest back to the part that I'm storing in the jar.  I'm hoping the vinegar will sort of pickle the lemon zest and it won't spoil.  I'll let you know how that goes.  The jar does look like a weird science experiment...
However, I've used the spray, and I love it!  It cleans really well, and smells nice.  Still vinegary, but also lemony and lavendary, too.  Certainly it smells far better than the ammonia smelling Windex.

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