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I work for a janitorial supply company so I know more than I thought I ever would about cleaning chemicals. In an effort to be more environmentally friendly, I have tried to use effective, non-toxic cleaning materials and have mostly come up short. I used microfiber cloths because they are more effective than cotton and require a lot less chemicals to be effective (sometimes none at all), but there is still the impact of laundry and microfibers getting into the water supply.
One way I found to be more “green” is to use vinegar to clean instead of other multi-surface cleaners. The main issue I have with this is I hate the smell of vinegar and so does my husband. When we have to clean out the coffee maker and have to smell boiling vinegar we basically just leave the house for a couple hours or open all the windows to get that smell out. Luckily I’ve found an easy solution – citrus infused vinegar!
I took some limes and lemons from Aldi and put them in mason jars with some vinegar. I didn’t measure anything, I just got the jar ¾ of the way full with lemons/limes and then filled the rest of the way with vinegar. Then, I put it in a cupboard for 2 weeks to sit and infuse all the way.
After the two weeks of sitting in the cupboard, I opened it up to see if it worked. It does still smell a little like vinegar, but it is much better than regular straight vinegar.
I have seen this done before by Bren (Bren Did) and she has some great ideas for how to make the most of the citrus infused vinegar like putting the vinegar-soaked fruit into the garbage disposal to clean it up instead of just throwing it out. You should check out her post for other ideas.
Tell me in the comments below how you incorporate green cleaning – or if you hate the smell of vinegar as much as I do 🙂