Wednesday, August 29, 2012

All-Purpose Cleaner - Better than Windex!!

Lately I've been on a homemade cleaners kick. :) It's fun, plus I feel better about the things I'm using when I clean my home, even if my house DOES smell faintly like vinegar. :) I have two toddlers, one of which puts EVERYTHING in her mouth....she has tried drinking toilet bowl cleaner not once, but TWICE. : \  Oh dear. So, not only are homemade cleaners cheaper than the overpriced, store bought ones, but in my case, if my daughter somehow scales the shelves to get to the cleaners (NOT unimaginable for her...), drinking this mixture would be vastly preferable to her downing TOILET BOWL CLEANER. ::SHUDDER:: This cleaner is cheap, easy, and made with things pretty much everyone has around their house anyway!

An added benefit to this cleaner is it cleans windows. It cleans windows WELL. It cleans windows BETTER than WINDEX!!!! I know, that's hard to imagine...I never would have believed it either. :) But it does. And that's pretty awesome. 

I first found this recipe on this blog and I originally wanted to try it as a floor cleaner (we have a LOT of laminate wood flooring, in case you hadn't noticed from all my pictures). However, I STILL haven't used it for that...but I did clean my whole bathroom with it a couple days ago. :) 

Here's what you'll need:

- 1 cup water
- 1 cup vinegar
- 1 cup rubbing alcohol
- 2-3 drops of dish soap
- 10-20 drops essential oil 
(optional...I used Aura Cacia Sweet Orange Oil).
In my last batch of this cleaner I decided to try something different and used Aura Cacia Lime Oil. I REALLLLLLY like it in this cleaner!!! It has such a fresh, clean, energizing scent, and I think it works really well with the vinegar smell.
- Fine mist spray bottle

Now this part is complicated so pay attention: add all the above ingredients to the spray bottle and shake to combine. :) Vary the amount of oil based on your preference...I can't remember how much I used for sure. It will still smell like vinegar, but the oil takes the edge off. It smelled so weird to me at first (after being so used to store-bought cleaners) but it doesn't bother me anymore. :) If you use essential oil it will float to the top, so shake it gently before each use. 

As I mentioned, I used this to clean the bathroom the other day...countertop, sink, toilet, mirrors...yes, mirrors. Which bring me to the claim that it's better than Windex.

When I first sprayed it on the mirrors and made the first swipe with my paper towel, I felt my heart sink. It left this huge, greasy looking mess all over the mirror! Imagine my surprise when, after a couple seconds, the whole mess had vanished, leaving a perfectly clean, perfectly STREAK FREE surface!!! Streak free!!!! :) Yay! Maybe I'm just doing it wrong, but cleaning windows is NOT my favorite chore. It takes forever to get BOTH sides of the glass clean, without leaving streaks. I hate it, quite honestly. : P And with two toddlers and a sliding glass door, there is ALWAYS an abundance of sticky handprints on the windows...

Exhibit A: Very sticky sliding glass patio door. It's very hard to take pictures of glass, so look at all the smudges in the picture and then imagine about 3x that many. :) It was BAD.

Exhibit B: Very clean and streak-free sliding glass patio door. :) I'm sorry for the glare in a few spots...believe me, it really IS clean!! :) The thing I love about this cleaner is you don't have to try get the streaks off! When you use it, just spray it on, rub off the dirty, sticky spots, and voila. You're done! The cleaner evaporates within seconds and leaves a beautifully clean surface. :)

My mom was over last night and I gave her a demonstration...the first thing she said was "Wow, it's BETTER than Windex!" :) It really is! Give it a try and I think you'll love it. ;)