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So, if you’ve read my “About” page, you’ll know that I’m trying to replace all my personal care products with homemade versions.  What I didn’t mention is that I’ve already replaced all my cleaning products with homemade versions.

I started making cleaning products when Will and I moved in together in 2003.  He’s allergic to most perfumes and scented products, so I went looking for an alternative.  I’ve found you can clean and disinfect almost everything with five ingredients:  white distilled vinegar, baking soda, borax, washing soda, and tea tree oil.  I clean windows and mirrors with vinegar, I clean the bathroom with vinegar and baking soda, and I make an all-purpose spray with vinegar (1/2 c) borax (1 tsp) , washing soda (1 tsp), and tea tree oil (15 drops) that I use in the kitchen.  I even make laundry detergent with ivory soap (1 bar – grated), borax (1/2 c) and washing soda (1/2 c).

I love that I can get the house clean without using harsh chemicals or making Will sneeze his face off.  The only downside is that vinegar doesn’t exactly have a pleasant aroma.  I’ve tried to hide it with essential oils, but that just creates lavender-scented vinegar.  It’s not fooling anyone.

Today, I learned a new trick.  Take citrus fruit peel (from four fruits – I’m going to try two oranges and two lemons), scrape off all the pulp, put it in a mason jar, and fill the jar with white distilled vinegar.  Let it sit for two weeks.  Apparently, the vinegar retains its disinfecting properties, but now smells like citrus fruit, with the added cleansing benefits of the fruit oils.  Then you mix 1 part of the vinegar brew with 3 parts water for an all-purpose spray that will also clean mirrors and windows.  Sounds amazing.  I’ll keep you posted.