The thing is… once you start to really think about all the toxins we surround ourselves with and and how simple this infused vinegar cleaner is… its a no brainer.
Not only does the American Lung Association state in this article to us vinegar and water as a cleaner but it also says:
“Manufacturers are not obligated by U.S. law to list all ingredients in consumer products.4 Products that are labeled “green” do not necessarily mean they are safer. Do a little research on the product from a reliable source. For example, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has a list of products that meet its Safer Choice requirements for cleaning and other needs. They include cleaning products for home and vehicles.”
The thing is, commercial “cleaners” are chemicals and nothing else. Its meant to scorch the earth of that stain, smell, mold or build up. Speaking as a mom of 4, with constant guests, who farms, gardens and leads a life of adventure and outdoors… I’ve found its really not necessary for all those nasty cleaners.
Before bus life we had a smaller homestead on an older farmhouse. Of course with all of our kids and animals is got dirty so fast… and just like that old mostly hardwood house, we use Infused Distilled White Vinegar and dilute it with some water to clean basically all surfaces!
Yes… just that easy. I mean sometimes I get super wild and throw in a bunch of herbs, but for the most part its just a set it and forget it project.
Usually I use our orange peels and grapefruit peels that I collect through the week, but this week I had a surplus of lemons and limes from my Misfit Market. I like to add them to my order each week because I am either dehydrating the peels for powder & tea, using them in vinegar infusion and juicing them for fresh lemonade/using the juice in cooking!
We probably go through a gallon of white vinegar a month… which is fine its like $3 and because everything that is infused into it is technically scrap/grown in my garden, I consider that free.
Its important to know that you cannot mix vinegar with bleach/peroxide. This makes a dangerous chlorine gas that can be fatal. Although that link states you can’t mix it with baking soda, I do by using baking soda to pour over stuff on carpets/material and then spray straight vinegar on it to create the effervescent bubbling that I find lifts the dirt/oil out of the material.
There is also this handy list of items to NOT use the vinegar cleaner on. I will say with a bus full of wood surfaces for me it works great, but I am also not worried about it corroding the wood. I dilute it 1 part vinegar to 4 parts water and its served me well for over 5 years now.
As far as infusing items for smells… its a dealers choice really. Whatever you are feeling try it. I’ve only ever used citrus peels and herbs from my garden. I’d stay clear of using material that is high in sugar because it will make the spray sticky.
You can infuse it for as little or as long as you want. As long as the material stays under vinegar it should preserve it “indefinitely”. When you open it to strain, you will be able to smell/tell if something went wrong. I can never last more than 2-4 weeks of infusion. I am constantly cycling through the bottles and always adding new mixtures to infuse. I have left one for almost 5 months before and it smelled WONDERFUL. Grapefruit & Thyme… LOVED it.
Here are a couple of great articles on the effectiveness and use of vinegar as a disinfectant:
Let me know what combinations you’ve made and LOVE/HATED!