We keep our kitchen and bathroom clean out of necessity (and, yes, my profound hatred of cockroaches… which, as it turns out, come in three our four distinct sizes in Texas, and also FLY. A clean kitchen is my first line of defense). Otherwise, honestly, we let the mess of toys, clothes, books—and whatever else finds its way to where it shouldn’t be in the course of daily life-- slowly escalate elsewhere until we can’t take it anymore. Then, every few weeks, we set a morning aside for a thorough “deep cleaning” endeavor: pile-purging, floor-mopping, rug-beating, surface cleaning… the works. I always wonder afterward why we don’t make a more regular routine of this exercise. It’s satisfying! I far prefer our clean, organized home to a messy one. It makes for a more uplifting, inspiring environment, and for a less cluttered state of mind.

That being said, this routine is yet to make its way into a weekly timeslot. This month has been particularly full, and while we’ve done some maintenance-sorting along the way, I decided today that it was time, if not for floor-to-ceiling scrubbing action, then at least for an all-around wipe-down. I discovered soon afterward that our trusty all-purpose cleaner, which we go through at about the same rate as we do coffee, or diapers (awesome made-from-corn, biodegradable diapers, of course), was gone. Empty spray bottle. No more cleaner.

Rather than drop ten bucks on another, I decided to refill the empty bottle with all-purpose cleaner that I made myself. That way, I know it’s natural and effective-- baking soda and vinegar, natural cleaning standby’s, can do anything. And Tea Tree oil has natural antiseptic properties. To sweeten the deal, it’s custom scented with pure essential oils (I seriously might make an OCD about-face, this stuff smells so good. I want to clean everything. Throw that food, Kaspar! Track that mud! Bring it!). And, yes, it’s way cheaper than the pricey—albeit pretty-labeled— store-bought stuff. Which means I have money left over for lotto tickets and beer.

Just kidding. More like coffee and diapers.

And my label’s pretty fly.

Want to make some Greener Cleaner, too? It takes five minutes. Ready? Go!

Click Read More for the what and the how.

What You’ll Need
  • 1 spray bottle (rinse well if it’s used, and do NOT use one that contained bleach in any form. If you do, you will die).
  • 1 mixing bowl or bucket, medium to large sized
  • 1 funnell
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda (or a good several shakes… I didn’t measure this)
  • 4 Tablespoons white vinegar
  • 10 drops essential oil, your choice (I used clove)
  • 2 to 3 herbal teabags (optional); choose a flavor/scent that’ll compliment your essential oil (I used ginger tea)
  • Hot water (enough to fill your spray bottle)
  • ½ tsp. Tea Tree oil (optional. This has a strong scent, which I think is a good scent, but you might want to omit if you want your essential oils front and center)
What You’ll Do

  1. Steep the teabags in your hot water. Let ‘em hang out for a few minutes.
  2. Mix the baking soda, vinegar, essential oil and tea tree oil in the bucket or bowl. This will be a fizzy mix… useful for fascinating kids for a good thirty seconds or so.
  3. Remove the tea bags from the water, and add the water to the vinegar and baking soda mixture.
  4. Using the funnel, pour the liquid into the spray bottle (let it cool for several minutes if you think it’s hot enough to melt plastic… Common sense, mamas).
  5. Shake.
  6. Spray, wipe, bliss out.
06/29/2011 18:48

I just did this (fast projects= all my mommy brain can handle), and it's amazing! I used chamomile tea and lavender oil because that's all I had, and it smells fresh and clean. The vinegar is not too strong either. I also buy green cleaning products but they still have a lot of ingredients, and this is simple. Works too. I wiped supper mess straight off the stove.

06/30/2011 07:53

This looks awesome! I always use castile soap mixed with mint oil, but I love the idea of just baking soda, vinegar and tea. I'll have to try clove next time!


i am fully satisfy with this equipment and its very simple to keep clean the carpet. thanks for your great effort. and i also prefer your next update.


i like this type of content. i am fully satisfy with this equipment and its very simple to keep clean the carpet. thanks for your great effort. and i also prefer your next update. its very nice for me

05/02/2012 04:32

There’s a different product for everything in our house that needs to be cleaned… one product to clean countertops, another for the floor, the toilet, the windows and so on…

01/11/2014 06:31

thanks for the information. great post


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