Most store bought household cleaners are a chemical concoction of questionable ingredients such as:
Colorant/Pigment/Dye(s) and much more.
The US Department of Health and Human Services website has a Household Products Database which has information about common household products and their ingredients. If you go to the site and click on the Ingredients tab you will see a list of chemicals. Click on a few them and you will see a list of products which have that chemical in them. There is also a link to T0XNET, click on it and it will reveal a slew of toxic warnings and advisories about these chemicals.
A quick search will raise the hairs on the back of your neck when you discover what you have been using around your home, your children and your pets. That database was one more reason I decided to start making my own safer cleaning products.
Another reason I decided to make my own was because organic or all natural "green," cleaning products usually cost more than the regular household cleaners. As it turned out, it is very easy and cheap to make safe cleaning products myself. As a result, my family hasn't bought a household cleaning product in years.
The following Instructable will show you how you can make your own all natural household cleaner in spray form too. It is so simple, cheap and easy (and safe) to make, a child could do it. Once you make this little gem, you will find dozens of uses for it. We use it all around our house. We spray it on the counter tops, the table, the floor and use it to wipe the fridge (inside and out). It is also good for cleaning up puppy "accidents" and spraying the inside of an empty trash can to neutralize the smell.
We use it so much we have given it a name. We call it Pick-A-Peel.
Step 1: Assemble Ingredients
White vinegar (the cheaper the better)
Grapefruit peels (washed and all pulp removed)
Wide mouthed jar (recycle an old mason, mayo or pickle jar) with lid(s) **
Masking tape or clear tape OR a simple label
Later (in about 3 weeks) you will need the following:
Clean spray bottle
**I usually use 2 jars so I can make 2 batches at once.
Step 2: Eat Grapefruit
Cut up and eat a grapefruit or two and save the peels.*
*I have an Instructable on how to cut a grapefruit HERE.
Scrape all the pulp from inside the peels.
Wash peels in cold water and let air dry or pat dry.
Step 3: Fill Jar(s)
Fill clean, dry jar with peels.
Pour white vinegar into jar until peels are covered.
Screw lid on tightly.
Write date on piece of tape, put on front of jar or on lid.
Store in cool dark place for about 3 weeks, turning jar upside down or right side up every other day to make sure all the peels get a good soaking.
Step 4: Bottle Up!
At the end of three weeks, use the funnel and strainer to pour Pick-A-Peel into a spray bottle.
As you pour you will notice the grapefruit has mellowed the vinegar smell. Nice.
Make sure to properly label your spray bottle.
All done and ready to use.
You can use Pick-A-Peel to spray on counter tops, then wipe off with a dry cloth. Also, it is good for cleaning up puppy "accidents." Other uses for Pick-A-Peel are cleaning up food spills, wiping out the inside of your fridge or oven, wiping off smudges from the outside of the fridge, light switch plates and door knobs.
Keep a second bottle for cleaning the bathroom. Spray and wipe shower, toilet seat, sink, counter, even the mirror.
The only thing I don't recommend Pick-A-Peel for--using on grout between tiles. It is very acidic and may degrade the grout.
Finalist in the
Spring Cleaning Contest