The amazing friend/mom/cleaning help I have come once a month to dig me out of the depths of dust I always leave on top of my piano uses vinegar and water to clean most everything. She used to use other cleaners, but started to notice that they made her lungs feel tight and weren't good for her skin. That's all I needed to know and was happy she used natural stuff around our house. Her natural methods started to rub off on me, which is probably good. :) The only problem is....I think vinegar stinks. My boys think so too. I saw, on a blog I read, this super cool method of soaking citrus in the vinegar. So here is my honest review of the process.
I saved some glass yogurt jars (because Luke loves it when I randomly fill our cabinets with empty jars...he just loves it) and jammed peels from fruit we had eaten that day inside and then dumped the vinegar in to steep. On the left: fig and grapefruit - on the right: orange, clove & cinnamon.
I left them out on the counter because I thought they looked so pretty at the start. Sadly...the vinegar starts to take on a brown hue after a week and the fruit peels loose there vibrant colors.
Like so. The figs swelled up too...wasn't sure if they would come out of the jar, but I managed. ;) I saved a spray bottle (okay fine...I dumped a tiny bit down the drain because I was so stinken' excited to put my homemade cleaner in it-so much for conservation ;).
A strainer makes it easier to separate the vinegar from the peels etc....especially if you are pulling out figs that expanded like those dinosaur eggs from Cracker Barrel (if you have no idea what those are-good.for.you...seriously). haha
I don't know why I took this picture...it's a little redundant. Hey look! The vinegar without the stuff in it and that same spray bottle! :D
I put 6 or so drops of orange oil and hyssop oil in to the mix of one part vinegar to four parts water. I think it smells AMAZING compared to plain vinegar water mix. But. I had my sister smell it and she still wasn't all that impressed. If you like the smell of essential oils, I think you will like this mild but sharp fragrance. It's clean and very earthly smelling, but I prefer it to a chemical smell. The vinegar needs to sit for about two weeks to pull out the oil from the stuff you soak it with-so it's kind of a non instant gratification kind of thing. but like I said...great counter decor...for a few days at least before it starts looking putrid. ;)
Oh, and does it work? Yes indeed. I've used it on the table top, counters and windows with happy results. And I can even attest that it works on food that has petrified itself to the table. Spray it on, let it sit for a minute or so and then go at it. The reason I know this reveals the fact that at times...instead of cleaning off the table after dinner I sit on the couch instead...but anyway...I do, so may as well admit it to the world at large.