When it comes to cleaning the home, vinegar is a mighty force to have at your disposal. Anti-bacterial, anti-microbial, and antifungal, vinegar is a perfectly safe, natural and eco-friendly multi-purpose cleaner. It also is comparable to most commercial cleansers. When diluted with water it can be used on a variety of surfaces including wood, chrome, glass, and more. Although great for most kitchens and bathrooms, please note that due to its acidity, vinegar is not recommended to use on marble or granite. It will dull and etch the stone.
I started exploring the possibility of cleaning with vinegar because I wanted a nontoxic cleanser for my son to use. At the ripe age of three, it’s a perfect time for him to learn how to participate in simple household chores—fixing his bed, setting the table, wiping the table clean after meals, etc., etc.—in three-year-old fashion. We made this vinegar solution together and since then he’s been quite excited to have a chance to spray and wipe tables clean.
I’ve been experimenting with lavender-vinegar because both work well together to help disinfect the home. Not only does the lavender help quell the smell of vinegar, but it is also anti-bacterial and is a cleansing herb that leaves behind a subtle fragrance after the vinegar evaporates. Now I’ve never been one who enjoys the scent of lavender. I love the look of it and adore the photos of fields of lavender in the South of France, but the scent? Non merci! To my chagrin, my son seems to love the scent of lavender. When given the opportunity to choose a scent of hand soap, he invariably chooses lavender. Sigh. I must say, the scent now seems to have grown on me a bit, especially when combined with another scent. For example, the other day I came across a Geranium Lavender candle. When I took a whiff of it I was surprised that I didn’t find the scent of lavender offensive. The geranium helped tone it down and the scent was actually pleasant. That gave me the idea to mix geranium and lavender essential oils in my multipurpose cleanser. I also like the combination of lemon and lavender in vinegar. I’m sure there are other scents to explore and appreciate. I know I’d love to try jasmine, one of my favorite floral scents, if I can find the essential oil. Please let me know if you have any ideas on refreshingly clean smelling scents.
Lavender Vinegar Multipurpose Cleaner
1 cup distilled white vinegar
1 cup water
30-40 drops of essential oil (feel free to combine complimentary scents)
There are several ways to make lavender vinegar. The simplest and fastest way is to combine a 1:1 solution of white vinegar and water, then add 30-40 drops of lavender essential oil to the solution. Put it in a spray bottle and use almost anywhere. Feel free to experiment with different essential oils or try combining oils to come up with complimentary scents.
Lavender Infused Vinegar
Another way to make lavender vinegar is to infuse vinegar with lavender buds.
Combine ½ cup dried lavender (or 1 cup fresh) with a cup of distilled white vinegar. Store in a sealed jar and allow the vinegar to infuse for up to three weeks, shaking it occasionally. The vinegar will turn rose in color. When the mixture is ready, strain it before putting it in a spray bottle.