The cleaning spray we were using came in a very pretty plastic spray bottle. But now it’s run out. Since one of our aims this year is “less plastic”, I found myself considering the empty bottle. Could I replace it with something that wasn’t plastic? Or… since I already had the bottle and the spray mechanism was really rather good… hey! I could reuse it!
So I did.
Clean out the old bottle really well. Make sure it is an appropriate container.
!Science in action!
Never use a bottle that contained bleach if you are making a vinegar mixture spray. This can create chlorine gas, which is hazardous.
Also, don’t mix your cleaning spray with bleach, ever. For the same reason.
Buy some white vinegar.
Why am I using white vinegar? Because it is awesome. Why is it awesome? It disinfects and cuts through grease. The Spruce has kindly done a great summative article about the properties of vinegar so I don’t feel the need to repeat it here – go read it over there, and then come back here. Still not convinced? Try this article as well, some great comments here.
I don’t usually make a big deal about the brands that I buy – this post is not sponsored in any way – but for this one I’ll make an exception. Buy your white vinegar from Sainsbury’s. Why? Because it was the third high street supermarket that I tried and the first where I found it in a glass bottle instead of plastic. Less plastic, remember?
Buy some essential oil.
Don’t be tempted to save a few pounds and a bit more fuss by skipping this step. The first time I made the cleaning spray it didn’t have any essential oil in it and frankly it stank of vinegar (duh!). No one could stand it.
So please, do yourself and everyone who lives with you a favour. Get the oil. Yes, it’s a tiny bottle and it will cost you several pounds. I got very lucky at Holland & Barratt who had all their spearmint essential oil half price.
Why did I choose spearmint? Several reasons.
For a start, it appears that spearmint can act as an antimicrobial and antifungal. Here is a link to an abstract from a scientific paper about it.
Secondly, I like the smell.
Thirdly, it was on special offer.
It isn’t any more complicated than that, to be honest.
The internet is absolutely full of suggested recipes for essential oil and vinegar cleaning sprays.
In your container, mix up one third of white vinegar with two thirds plain water. Add some essential oil. I used about 30 drops which is quite a strong spearmint smell. Add your oil in batches of 5 or 10 drops if you’re not certain.
Give it a good shake. Ta da! My spearmint cleaning spray.
Step 5 (really important)
Write on your container – record and celebrate what you’ve made.
Remember to write on the reminder about not mixing it with bleach, because science.
Shake and spray!
It works really well on my kitchen countertops and the hob of my oven, using nothing more than a cotton tea-towel to wipe it off with. Leave it to soak for a few minutes for ground on stains.
My spearmint cleaning spray also gets my glass and mirrors shining when sprayed directly on the glass and wiped down with a microfibre cleaning cloth.
I don’t use this spray on my toilets as we currently use bleach toilet cleaner (remember, no bleach and vinegar mixing, because science).
However I do use it on the wipe clean surfaces of my chicken coop.
My spearmint cleaning spray is not great for lifting ground in dirt. For that I need soap and a scrubbing brush. That’s right. Soap. Not another whizzy chemical cleaner with great adverts on TV. Soap. We’ll talk about soap another time though.