Clean with Infused Vinegar

It's hard not to notice all the plastic in our homes, especially the plastic bottles in our bathrooms and under the sinks.  Not only does it create all that guilty waste, but they take up so much space!  Can you imagine all that extra room under the sink or in the laundry room if you didn't have to store all those bottles.  I started reducing in my shower first by switching to bar soap.  One bar can serve you body wash, shaving soap, face & even hair.  Next step- cleaning products.  You don't need many items to clean your home safely and effectively.  The magic ingredient?  Vinegar.  I'll explain more.
Vinegar is a great disinfectant, deodorizer & grease-fighter.  It's all-natural and non-toxic.  It's also super cheap!  The main reason I used to shy away from using this versatile product?  Because of it's strong scent.  But I have found a way to overcome the scent, enhance the cleaning abilities, make it pretty & fun.  We can infuse the vinegar with herbs.
How to make the beautiful vinegar infusion:
Take a mason jar, add ~1/2 dried flowers, herbs or dried citrus peel then fill the jar to the top with vinegar with about 2 cups (can be white or apple cider). 
The vinegar can corrode the metal lid, so place a piece of wax paper under the lid.  Let sit for 1-2 weeks, turning or swirling every now and again when you think of it.
Strain the herbs out using a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth, and store vinegar in mason jar or bottle cap jar for up to a year.
Common additives are lavender buds, rose petals, peppermint leaves, pine needle, rosemary, lemon or orange peel.
You can further enhance the infusion by adding a few drops of your favourite essential oil.  My favourite cleaning oils are lavender, tea tree, lemon & rosemary. You can use individually or in combination. Just make sure you swirl good before using as the essential oils won't dilute into the liquid.
This vinegar infusion can now be used as a fabric softener & laundry rinse (after our laundry soap, see here!) or a toilet bowl cleaner. 
To use as a multi purpose cleaner, dilute with 1:1 ratio of water and use in a spray bottle for surfaces, countertops, sinks, floors and sticky kid messes of any sort!
Have a high-quality microfibre cloth to clean with as this combination can't be beat.  I recommend Norwex's 'Envirocloth' as I've never had any other cloth meet their standard.
When you make something with plant material, you have a satisfaction that just can't be matched.  And you can feel good about using a safe product in your home.
Please note there are some surfaces that should not be cleaned with vinegar solutions and this is granite, stone & marble.  Raw wood finishes should also not be cleaned with vinegar.
Happy cleaning!

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