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Saturday, July 12, 2008

Homemade Antibacterial Lavender Surface Cleaner

A few posts ago I mentioned how excited I was to try "homemade" cleaners. I posted three versions of dishwasher soap, and tested one, only to find (sadly) that I really didn't like it's performance at all.

I decided to table that plan for a while, and went back to the drawing board to create an antibacterial spray cleaner. I had been using a 1:1 mixture of vinegar and water, but wasn't satisfied with it for a couple of reasons. The smell was awful, and it took a long time to dry - even after wiping it off with a towel.


Armed with just a few common household ingredients, I created a spray cleaner that is perfect for surface cleansing. The ingredients kill bacteria, and the final product is superior to commercial cleaner (in my humble opinion) and it also smells GREAT too! I consider this one a huge success, and I'm eager to share it here with anyone who is interested. Give it a try - and be sure to check back here and let me know how you made out!
Antibacterial Lavender Surface Cleaner2 Cups of warm water in a measuring cup
2 teaspoons of Dr. Bronner's liquid Lavender castile soap
1 teaspoon vinegar
2 teaspoons rubbing alcohol
8-10 drops of lavender essential oil - optional
Mix well, add to your favorite spray bottle.

Here are the reasons it works so well:
  • Dr. Bronner's contains essential oils that also kill bacteria
  • The vinegar also kills bacteria
  • The rubbing alcohol makes the solution evaporate quicker by reducing the surface tension of the water and it kills germs too!
I estimate that with one bottle of Dr. Bronner's, one bottle of vinegar, and one bottle of rubbing alcohol will cost roughly $7, and can yield approximately 40 bottles of prepared cleaner. That brings the per unit cost down to $0.18 per bottle, compared to $3 to $5 for a comparable commercial cleaner.
The best part of this cleaner is that you can change the castile soap you add, which changes the scent of the cleaner you make. Dr. Bronner's has some wonderful smelling soaps! My personal favorites (after lavender, of course) are the peppermint soap and the Almond soap.

8 comments:

sue said...

Thanks for this recipe. I just made it and thought, maybe this would make nice Xmas gifts for my girlfriends?

It smells so good in my apt. now. I made it because I had to clean a cabinet that I had outside that had bird dropppings on it and was looking for a healthy, environmentally safe way to sanitize the piece. I think your cleaner will do the trick. Thanks!! I also follow FlyLady which means you are always using a spray cleaner. Thanks so much!

been there, done that said...

Hello! I've been looking for a natural cleaning product and found your post. How did you decide what amounts to put into your solution?

I use full strength vinegar and sometimes peroxide, but with my extreme OCD that kicked in 2 years ago, I've been using the 'bad' stuff, 409, bleach (diluted), wipes and anti-bacterial soaps, even on my body, which I KNOW is extremely BAD!

But, OCD rules my 'cleaning life' and I can't help but think anything 'natural' isn't doing the job.

Although, I did purchase Dr Bonners Tea tree soap and used it for a while, I switched back to the 'bad' stuff.

Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks!

Moopsy said...

I love this stuff. I'm cleaning everything! For stubborn stains I sprinkle some bicarb soda on stain, squirt a little cleaner on and rud with a non-scratch scrubbing pad or scotch brite. Brilliant! and the smell devine.Thankyou.

Shari said...

ok, i have been looking for a recipe like this. I also, like Sue, follow flylady, and i love how well vinegar works, but my DH does Not care for the smell. I don't love it but, hey, I love that it works! I would love to hear if it 'still' works for you, or if you have updated. I am also a mommy-blogger and I am trying to reach out to this community, because we all find ways to lift each other up. I am very excited to try this!

Christine @ Mama Papa Barn said...

Hi. Would you mind if I posted and cited the recipe on my blog?

Anonymous said...

I have been using Trader Joe's Next To Godliness spray because it's not full of chemicals, but wasn't happy with the fact that it doesn't disinfect. Your recipe is the BEST spray cleaner I've ever used. I tend to up everything except the water, because I like it a bit stronger, but it's good as-is. I mix Dr. B's peppermint and lavender essential oil so it's a minty lavender. LOVE it.Thanks so much for sharing your excellent recipe.

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for this great recipe. I too am a fan of TJ's Next To Godliness spray--smells good and cleans well, but no disinfecting. I also upped all ingredients except the water--and add lavender and tea tree w/Dr. B's peppermint soap. I added a titch of blue food color because it looked kind of murky and unappealing in my clear spray bottle. LOVE this stuff. Great combo! Thanks again.

Rhonda Elliott said...

Hello...thank you for the antibacterial surface spray recipe. I made and used it yesterday and it is the BEST! Do you have other recipes for cleaning eg carpet, deodorisers etc and if so, where can I access them. Thank you again....Merry Christmas...Rhonda