Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Tuesday Tip: Glass and Surface Cleaner

As many people expressed interest in homemade, all-natural cleaners, I'll be sharing what I use in my home.  Mainly because I am an advocate for making cleaners at home using simple, non-toxic ingredients.  Most of which can be found in the kitchen!!!  First, I'd like to share my back story!  (Don't worry--food tips will be still be happening!)

I've never been very fond of using chemicals to clean; they are noxious and toxic.  I have several chemical allergies so cleaning was like playing Russian roulette--will I get hives this time or not?  Not pleasant.  Plus, my cats learned how to open cabinet doors which presented a problem for me; I was constantly worrying about them ingesting something!  I've since moved my cleaners to a large tub that is stored in a closet (which they haven't figured out how to open...yet).  I also switched to more natural cleaners progressing from store bought all-natural cleaners like Green Works and Seventh Generation.  However, these are expensive, and so I took to the internet for recipes.  Most recipes use a combination of the following ingredients: vinegar, citrus, baking soda, castile soap, borax, washing soda, essential oils (lemon, lavendar, and tea tree), and water.

Glass/surface cleaner I picked up in culinary school.  Whenever we had a mirrored platter or glass container, you didn't want to see water spots!  We would dip a rag in vinegar and rub it on the platter and viola!  No spots, and it shined like you wouldn't believe!  Plus, it was ingestible so we didn't have to worry about someone eating off of the platter.  I found a more refined version which has vinegar, water and castile soap.

{I store my homemade glass/surface cleaner in an old Green Works bottle}

{Castile soap can be bought at any health food store or in the health food section of larger chain grocery stores.  It produces little to no suds and is plant based}

{Just like regular glass cleaner, you just spray it on and wipe with a 100% cotton towl or newspaper}

{So clean, shiny and pretty!}

Glass/Surface Cleaner

Makes 1 quart

2 cups white distilled vinegar
2 cups water
2 teaspoons castile soap
  1. Mix all ingredients in a spray bottle (castile soap will turn the solution milky--this is normal!).
  2. Spray on surface.*
  3. Wipe with clean cloth, paper towel, or newspaper.
*Please make sure to test a small, inconspicuous part before spraying the solution on the entire piece!

When you first start wiping the cleaner off, the surface will 'fog' up, but I PROMISE if you keep wiping, it will go away and leave the surface clean and shiny.  Yes, it will smell like vinegar for a few minutes after you first spray, but the smell does go away after about 5 minutes of spraying.  I am working on a method to make the vinegar smell better, but it's new to me so I want to put it through paces before I share it with you guys!  I can say that breathing in vinegar is much better for you than breathing in the chemicals and perfumes found in commercial sprays.  Just saying!

This bottle of cleaner (not including the price of the bottle) cost approx $0.90, and it lasts for quite a while.  It's environmentally, pet, kid, and physically friendly!  I use this on my mirrors, pictures, windows, and lacquered coffee table with no problems (and have for years). 

I'll be getting into linoleum floor cleaner, air freshners, garbage disposal cleaners, drain cleaning, all-purpose cleaners, mattress cleaning, dishwashing detergent, carpet cleaners, laundry detergent, foaming hand soap, and anything else I stumble across.  If you have any questions, or want to know about cleaning something outside of those areas, let me know!

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