(Says the Mommy who’s actually pretty horrible at maintaining a clean home). Ha!
In all seriousness, if you have been following my blog you know that I am on a mission. This mission is to eliminate as many pesticides, chemicals, and other artificial ingredients from my household as possible. I’ve endured horrific eczema my entire life, yet I had never really given this stuff much thought.
When my now 17 mth old son started going through the same skin issues as me (pretty much from birth), I started doing research. Things I’ve found are disgusting, so that is why I am on this mission to rid our home of things that certainly aren’t helping our eczema, but are also just plain horrible for us. I mean, my son licks our windows and I don’t want him licking nasty chemicals! Sorry, I digress…
What I am sharing today is ridiculously easy. How could something so easy be so effective? This is nature at its finest, friends! You really will be shocked at how simple and effective this homemade cleaning solution is…you can totally do this! Let me introduce you to the two ingredients (yes, only two).
These days, I’ve been looking at everything differently. I now save and reuse glass jars and bottles (I use them for loads of things around the house), pistachio shells (I’ll use them in planters this spring; do you have any other ideas for me, readers??), and I recently started saving orange peels. I have made candied orange peels, used them in my garbage cans (under the bags) to help with yucky trash smells, I will be using them in my garden this summer for composting, and now I’ve used them to make a general cleaner for my home.
Why orange peels? Multiple studies (here’s one, for example) have detailed the antibacterial properties found in orange oil, which is extracted from orange peels. Fun fact- Most fruits that are high in Vitamin C have natural antibacterial properties. Cool!
Side note- Please try to purchase organic oranges when you are making this cleaner. The peels of conventional oranges contain LOADS of pesticides and we want those chemicals out of our homes!
Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)
Oh, ACV…thank you for coming into my life! Okay, that may be a bit dramatic, but it’s truly how I feel. I splash ACV and olive oil on my salads, I put it in my toilets overnight and wake up to clean toilets, I’ve used a mix for eczema skin relief, and much more. My two favorites are: Braggs and Eden Organic. I will definitely advocate for an organic, raw, unfiltered, unpasteurized ACV with the only ingredient being ACV (check your labels).
ACV is a wonder tonic. A tbsp or so each day and it’ll cure what ails ya! You can do a quick Google search and find a plethora of research supporting the healthy effects ACV, for example…
- Skin troubles (eczema, psoriasis, inflammation, maintains proper skin and body pH, wart treatment, sunburn)
- Sore throats (add some lemon and honey and you’ve got a wonderful soother)
- Hair (adds a ton of shine)
- Helps with weight loss
- Maintains inner body balance and is a fabulous detox agent
- Candida overgrowth (I’m doing more research on this one…more soon)
Not to mention, it’s great for cleaning. Here’s my super easy recipe!
Homemade, Non-Toxic Household Cleaner
- Mason jar
- Orange peels
- Spray bottle (not completely necessary, but super helpful so you don’t risk spilling your new cleaning solution)
Instead of tossing orange peels in the garbage, save them. Simply toss them in a Ziplock bag and put them in the fridge (if you’ll use them within a few days) or freeze them.
Next, shove them down into a mason jar. I am currently out of large mason jars, so I just used a small pint jar to make enough to get by. I managed to fit the peels from three oranges in this pint, but now I’m thinking that two would’ve been sufficient.
Fill your mason jar to the top with ACV (making sure to completely cover the orange peels), screw on lid, and place it somewhere on your counter where you’ll see it each day.
Finally (and here’s the hardest part of this recipe), shake your jar up everyday and wait for at least a week, 10 days is better. You need to let the oil from the orange peels come out naturally into the ACV. After 10 days has passed, strain your liquid into a pump bottle and you are ready to clean!
I thought I should share a picture (sorry for the poor quality; I’m still figuring out my husband’s camera). I purposefully spilled some roasted chicory root/dandelion greens coffee on my counter to show you how my cleaner compares to two others you may have in your cabinet under the sink right now.
- Left is my Homemade, Non-Toxic Household Cleaner
- Kroger brand All-Purpose Cleaner (with vinegar) is in the middle
- 409 All-Purpose Cleaner is on the right
I used a separate, saturated Q-tip and made one swipe with each cleaner. The 409 actually did the worst job, followed by the Kroger brand, and the homemade cleaner coming in first (albeit, close to the Kroger brand). The 409 left a lot of crusted on coffee, while the Kroger brand seems to have left a tint of the coffee there (it might have come more clean with two swipes, of course). Both vinegar cleaners did the best and contain the least amount of toxic chemicals (although, please don’t get me started on white vinegar…that’s for another post).
Yay for Homemade, Non-Toxic Household Cleaner!
Let me know when you try this smell-good, effective cleaner. Also, please share with me some of your favorite do-it-at-home methods of cleaning! I’ll be sharing more with you soon. In fact, I’m currently using homemade toothpaste, with great results! 🙂
Jess, aka Scratch Mommy
A reader recently wrote to me and said that she has been using this ACV cleaner and LOVES it, too. Yay! She said that she “stretched it” by adding water to the mixture in her spray bottle and it is working just as well. GREAT TIP! Thanks for sharing!
My readers are just the best. 🙂
I do have another cleaning recipe on my blog HERE that you might want to check out.
It works equally as well and I use it all over my home…smells delish, too, especially if you like using essential oils. It packs a powerful antibacterial punch, too!
This blog post was featured by Oily Mint as one of their Top 7 Amazing Uses for Apple Cider Vinegar. Thanks Oily Mint…I’m honored and flattered. I hope that your readers love it as much as I do. 🙂
This post was shared at– Domestically Devine Tuesday, Tuesday Confessional, How To Tuesday, Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways, Pity Party, Wildcrafting Wednesday, Farm Girl Blog Fest, Small Footprint Fridays, Eco-Kids Tuesday.