Introduction: Natural Lemon Dusting Cloths

An easy homemade and chemical free way to clean and dust your home. 

Dust is everywhere, sometimes most noticeably in our own homes. This can be especially tricky for people with allergies or respiratory problems. The cleaning product market is saturated with sprays, soaps, and tools to help you clean dust from your home in a jiffy. However, those same products often have a long list of chemicals that you may not want to bring into your home or into your lungs. This Instructable contains an easy method for creating your own natural and effective dusting cloths at home. Thankfully, they are made with simple and natural ingredients you most likely already have in your kitchen. 

Step 1: Materials

You'll need the following for your DIY Dusting Cloths:
  • Glass Jar with a Lid
  • Old cotton T-shirt
  • Scissors
  • 1 Cup White Vinegar
  • 1 Cup Warm Water
  • 1 Tablespoon of Olive Oil
  • Juice from 1 Lemon
  • Rinds from 1 Lemon

Step 2: Cut Cloths

Using your scissors cut your old cotton t-shirt into your desired dusting cloth size. I usually like to cut them into 6" x 8" rectangles but your size can vary by preference or by the original size of your t-shirt. You'll only want to make a couple, or just enough to get your dusting done. Remember they also don't have to be perfect, they're for cleaning. 

NOTE: I prefer 100% cotton t-shirts for this project since they seem to absorb the cleaning/dusting solution really well and and they tend to be fairly cheap. If you don't have an old t-shirt to donate, try purchasing one at your local thrift store. Old cotton rags will also work if you have those laying around. 

Step 3: Water & Vinegar

Pour 1 cup of warm water (from your tap is fine) into your glass jar. Next, add 1 cup of white vinegar to your water and jar. 

Step 4: Oil

Add 1 Tablespoon of Olive Oil to your liquid mixture. 

Step 5: Lemons

Cut your lemon in half and squeeze the juice from your lemon halves into your cleaning mixture.

Cut your juiced lemon halves into slices. Add them to your cleaning mixture as well. I've also seen people wrap the lemon slices in their dusting cloths before soaking them, but I prefer them to be loose in the solution. 

Step 6: Soak

Add your desired number of precut cotton dusting cloths to your mixture. Screw on your jar lid and shake vigorously to mix. Let your dust cloths sit for at least two hours.

Step 7: Dry

Wring your dust cloths. You'll want to make sure you remove as much moisture as possible as it will result in a faster drying time. They should be just damp.

Hang your damp dust cloths out and allow them to dry. 

You can save your cleaning solution and use it to clean other surfaces in your house, or save it to make another batch of fresh dusting cloths.

Step 8: Start Dusting

Once dry your can start dusting! Your living space will be dust free and lemon scented in no time!

After you've dusted you can wash your dirty cloths in warm or boiling water to clean them. Then simply repeat the soaking and drying process to renew your dusting cloths. 

Comments

author
cmbarr55 (author)2016-07-25

I made this with the lemon oil that I had on hand and it works great! Just 1 Cup each Water and White Vinegar and 1 Tblsp. Orange or Lemon Oil. I put it in a pickle jar and heated in the microwave for 1:20 and it works so well. Thank you!

author
AwesomeA (author)2015-05-09

Love this! Thank you for sharing!

author
cathy.dubec.5 (author)2014-12-14

Thanks for sharing! Love this!

author
SparkySolar (author)2014-10-19

Thank you for your Instructable

Nice job.

Rima

author
SparkySolar (author)2014-10-16

you could uses

jojoba oil it never goes bad. i will make it as soon as

i get my kitten off the key board

author
paula.antunes (author)2014-10-01

can you use the cloth while it's wet?

author
angelleah1981 (author)2014-04-27

What is the purpose of the olive oil?

author
bfry (author)2014-04-17

Thanks for posting, I love home made cleaning solutions!

I'm curious what benefit the Olive Oil brings to this mixture? That's something I would worry could go bad...?

author
icual (author)bfry2014-04-20

I'm also intrigued by the inclusion of oil, but my guess is that the cloths will remain "wet" by the use of oil, so that they will pick up dust better than being completely dry.

author
Tarun Upadhyaya (author)2014-04-18

Wow... this is so usefully Awesome :)

author
yogunny (author)2014-04-17

Very nice - I’m all for ’natural’ cleaners. But be careful - lemon can turn some woods black - such as Koa and Teak. It’ll take a while, but don’t be surprised when you see it happen. Sorry to spoil what looks like a great homespun product. But on the upside and depending on how often you dust, it’s possible that you will have bought replacement furniture before the black sets in.

author
wisepig (author)yogunny2014-04-17

Have you tried using mineral oil instead of olive oil? Would that reduce the risk of staining wood?

author
yogunny (author)wisepig2014-04-18

I think you have a good/better choice in mineral oil, and it probably least stains the wood. As for olive and vegetable oils, probably not a good idea as they have a tendency to turn rancid. It’s amazing just how many homespun products are out there - guess a lot of us are tired of the commercial products that can release all manner of nasty chemicals into the air (and into our lungs, eyes, nose, etc. etc.) Almost need a biohazard suit to use them). :-) Hats off to those who come up with safe alternatives!

author
MrCafe (author)wisepig2014-04-17

It is the acids in the lemon, not the olive oil that is the issue with these woods. However mineral oil would be much better for woods then olive oil as it is commonly used as a water seal for non stained woods such as cutting boards.

author
snoopindaweb (author)2014-04-17

You don't even need Lazer or anything, way to go.. Voted. ~(:- })={>--- ]

author
haruspex (author)2014-04-17

Sorry, just a quick edit:

"You're living space" -> "Your living space"

author
pmeador (author)2014-04-17

Excellent! I already use lemon/vinegar for cleaning, but never would have thought to add the oil and use it for dusting. Orange works well as well (for those worried about bleaching, etc) and makes a perfect non toxic degreaser/cleaner ...again, minus the olive oil.

Thanks for sharing!

author
gthomas18 (author)2014-04-13

Great idea. Saves so much money!

author
kelleymarie (author)gthomas182014-04-14

Thanks gthomas18! I totally agree, and I love that it's chemical free!

author
Klsimm (author)2014-04-13

Thanks! These look great. I can't wait to try them, but I was wondering if it is a teaspoon or a tablespoon of oil that you add to the mixture? Your measuring spoon looks like a tablespoon measure (and that's what it looks like it says on it but can't quite make it out). Thanks for the clarification!

author
kelleymarie (author)Klsimm2014-04-14

Hey Klsimm! Good eye! I did use a Tablespoon of Olive Oil, I think I just missed the teaspoon typo while double checking it. Thank you! I used to use a teaspoon of olive oil, but upped it to a Tablespoon since my wood furniture really seems to appreicate the extra. :D

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