I don’t know about you all, but I’m constantly wiping off my counters. The damn things don’t stay clean. And as soon as I do clean them, I’ve started cooking again, which means they are dirty again. I go through a whole lot of spray cleaner.
I generally make my own cleaner. It doesn’t take long and it’s super easy on the pocket book. I figure the $3.00 I would spend on some all purpose chemical laden cleaner at the store could be more well used buying something else like kitchen gadgets. Or beer. Or ammo. Or the new Conan The Barbarian. (Ok, TERRIBLE movie, but who cares when Jason Momoa looks like that?!?)
Every once in awhile I’ve been known to splurge on a store bought cleaner. Yeah, it’s pretty pathetic. But I’m a scent person. It’s what I do for a living. So I’m constantly in search of new smells and when I run across a cleaner that smells great, I’ll pick it up. About once a year I do this. Most of the time though, I just make my own and make it smell like whatever I want. Within reason.
The recipe I have calls for castile soap of the liquid variety. Now, I’m a soapmaker by trade (I’ll spare you the shameless plug) but I’m not a fan of making liquid soaps. I like making bar soap and although you CAN make liquid cleaner out of bar soap it’s far more a pain in the ass than just using liquid. And the liquid works better for this purpose.
So I’ve got a tiny bottle of Dr. Bronners Castile Soap. Lavender scented. Beautiful. They also make Peppermint which is awesome. It works great in the shower too. Makes you feel clean especially in summer when you’re all sweaty. Course, I think Mr Super said it best when he used it for the first time. He said to me
“I don’t think I like that peppermint liquid soap in the shower. Can I have more of your soap instead? That peppermint soap feels like someone blew me with an altoid.”
Classy. But kinda true.
ANYWAY, vulgar side notes aside, this recipe is super easy and it works really well. You can always opt for unscented liquid castile soap and add some essential oils to make your own favorite scent.
So first you need your liquid castile
Like I said, I opted for lavender. But you can do any scent you want, or no scent at all, or add scent later. So versatile!
Now you are going to measure about 1 tsp of this stuff into a bowl.
Once you’ve done that you want to add 3 TB of lemon juice. Man, Lemon Lavender. That smells sooooo good.
Mix that up a bit. It’ll look a bit funky, that’s ok, don’t worry. It’ll incorporate. If you want to scent your cleaner, do it now by adding 10 drops of essential oils like lavender, orange, or time. Edible essential oils are best (if you are going to be cleaning counters), and stir that up a bit too.
Don’t worry about the funky consistency. Just stir it up a bit. Now add 1/4 cup of white vinegar and 2 cups of warm water. And stir that too.
Once that’s nice and mixed up, go ahead and pour it into a spray bottle. I just reuse an old sprayer bottle from some natural cleaner I bought awhile ago. Whatever works for you.
And you’ve got yourself a bunch of all purpose cleaner!
When you do the math on this it’s really super cheap. When you figure a 4oz bottle of that liquid castile soap is about $5 and will last you FOREVER considering this stuff only uses 1 tsp of it, vinegar is cheap, lemon juice is cheap, etc, it’s a great deal. It’s also totally customizable.
And don’t worry. You’re kitchen won’t smell like vinegar. The scent dissipates. Truth be told you could use straight vinegar and water and have the same effect, but this is fancier. It has a nicer smell. And I just like it more damnit!
Here’s the recipe
All Purpose Spray Cleaner
1 tsp liquid castile soap, scented or unscented
3 TB lemon or grapefruit juice
10 drops of lavender, thyme, orange or peppermint essential oils–optional
1/4 cup of white vinegar
2 cups warm water
Combine soap and juice. Mix well, consistency will be a little cloudy. Add essential oils and stir. Add vinegar and water, stir well, pour into spray bottle. Shake before using. Label the bottle well.