Raising My Twins

It's what's on my mind.

All-Purpose Cleaning Spray

on February 20, 2012

Today I ran out of my all-purpose cleaner, which by the way is the new trend in cleaning products, allegedly: reduce the number of products you buy to clean your house down to just a few, if not one (as if we needed trendy to make this happen). This makes finding a good all-purpose cleaner that also does glass a top priority, because it will clean most everything in your house but the laundry and the dishes (and it might do those too, I haven’t tried).

Kiwi magazine did a survey of 1000 readers of their top “green” cleaners, and I was pleased to find that those GreenWorks products by Clorox really are “green”— I had my doubts. On closer inspection, it seems the Sierra Club likes them too—their logo is on the bottle. The reason this is cool is that they are in every store, so buying green cleaning spray is officially accessible now. And it does work very well, I might add.

That said, my favorite cleaner is BabyGanics—both the all-purpose and the glass cleaner (Why are they separate though? Just buy the glass cleaner and use it for everything.) I love it because the lavender scent is super yummy, and the 4 chamber sprayer is, like, awesome! Sprays a good volume in one spritz and gets the job done.

But today, I’m out of my cleaner. So I made my own. And I thought I’d share my recipe:

2 tablespoon Dr. Bronner’s magic soap: lavender castille soap
1/2 teaspoon glycerin (there is also vegetable glycerin)
1 tablespoon rubbing alcohol
1-1/2 cups water
12 extra drops lavender essential oil (optional)

I just gave it a try on the babies’ mirror—a  good test as it’s a baby-height mirror in the play area of the living room, covered in baby fingerprints and snot (oh yeah!) It worked great. I figure glass is the ultimate test.

By the way, I use Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soap for lots of stuff—there is a huge pump bottle of diluted (~ 4:1) Dr. Bronner’s in the shower, which is our body soap. I use it for hand soap, and as backup dish soap too. It comes in other scents, of course, peppermint being the most popular. It’s fully biodegradable so you can use it camping, and super concentrated, so a big bottle will last you many months.

Note 9 months later: In the above recipe, the glycerin helps to keep the alcohol mixed into the water solution. Some people don’t like using rubbing alcohol, which is fine. I make it more often now with vinegar (although I use up to a half cup). But the alcohol mixture above works much better on glass!

Current recipe:

2 tablespoons Dr. Bronner’s
2 teaspoons washing soda
1 teaspoon baking soda
Fill rest of spray bottle with hot tap water, then add:
1/2 cup vinegar (add slowly to avoid froth-over)
10-12 drops lavender essential oil (I just love this stuff!)

I’ve been loving this recipe lately because I’m cleaning a lot more bodily fluids off of things (I know! Ew! Potty training is grand.) and the high vinegar content makes me secure with the disinfectant qualities of the spray. Borax has disinfectant properties too, but the store was out. (I was surprised too.) If I have it, I add a tablespoon or so.

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