Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Citrus (and more!) Vinegar

After a month of using straight white vinegar in my laundry as a softener, and on my windows/counter as a cleaner, and mixed with castile soap as an all-purpose cleaner, I have become a vinegar junkie. But, I needed more, something better than just plain vinegar.

Once vinegar dries you are left with nothing - not even the faint smell of vinegar, nothing. Not that vinegar has an appealing smell to begin with. For some people its all well and good to be left without a scent, but when you are used to cleaning with scented cleaners like I used to use (Method's Lavender or Grapefruit sprays were may favorite) you need a little smell in your life!

Vinegar is pretty easy to scent, and you can use it instantly, with the exception of the homemade citrus vinegar. That takes 4 weeks to work its magic. Citrus in itself is a great cleaner, but, by adding it to vinegar you're giving it super hero powers. Not only will it smell nice, its a great grease cutter too!
All the other scents listed below are ready to use once you mix them together. 

What you will need...
  • Pick One of the following scents:
    Essential Oils (Lavender, etc.)
    Citrus Fruit Peels (I save mine in a mason jar in the fridge. Grapefruit, lime, lemon, orange!)
    Fresh Herbs or Flowers - chopped or whole, be sure to tear and bruise some of the leaves/petals to
    release more scent.

  • Gallon of White Vinegar
  • Glass Jar if you want the finished product to look nice, if not leave it in the vinegar container.

What you need to do.....

Citrus Vinegar - Fill your container with peels (takes us about 1 week to fill a large mason jar with the peels from fruit we have consumed).  Be sure to clean the peels before using - we scrub them in water/baking soda and rinse well before peeling the fruit to remove chemicals. I make this by the pint or quart since a 1 gallon container of citrus peels would take up too much room in the fridge. After the container is filled add vinegar until the peels are covered. Tightly cover and store in a cool, dry place for 4 weeks. Be sure to shake the container once or twice a week. After the 4 weeks are up strain the vinegar to remove any little pieces and the peels. 

Essential Oil Vinegar - Using 1 gallon of white vinegar add 25 - 35 drops of the essential oil fragrance of your choice. Shake before using.

Herbal Vinegar - Using 1 gallon of white vinegar add the fresh herbs of your choice - basil, lavender, thyme, mint, etc. A large bunch of herbs (at least a large handful) is needed - the more you use the more scented your vinegar. Be sure to crumble the leaves slightly before adding them to the vinegar. No need to chop if you don't want to, you can add the stems in their entirety. This is best if you let it sit for 2 to 3 days or more before using. Be sure to shake first. Herbs may be removed from vinegar after a few days, or leave them if you like, just be sure to strain the vinegar before using. Store in a cool, dry place.

  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup in the rinse of your laundry as a softener (helps keep washer clean as well)
  • 1/4 cup in the rinse cycle of your dishwasher, helps remove residue (again keeping washer clean)
  • Mixed 1/2 and 1/2 with water as a glass/surface cleaner. Caution: If using a lot of oil to scent it may leave streaks!
  • Mixed with castile soap, borax, water to make this degreasing spray.
  • Deoderize a room/fridge/etc by adding vinegar to a bowl and letting sit over night. It will soak up the odor.
  • The uses are endless!


Tiffany said...

Thank you so much for sharing this! I am a vinegar junkie! Sometimes I use an essential oil to scent it, but that gets pricey. I just love, love, love your citrus idea!
Be Blessed.

Multi-Testing Mommy said...

I use vinegar quite a bit too! Thanks for this great tip :) Thanks also for your wonderful welcome to Mom Bloggers Club :)

Evie, Topher, Ally's Mommy said...

Found you through the blog hop. Thanks for this post Ive been looking for easy instructions on cleaning w vinegar glad I foud you. Following you now. check out my blog as well.

Mommy LaDy Club said...

Hi Katie! Thank you so much for following Mommy LaDy Club, and what a great tip. I'm going to try this with the fruit:)

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