Intentional Living: All-Purpose Cleaning Spray

And your castile soap
*a modified HAIKU, I now realize. Whoops!

I started off strong there, didn’t I? Yes, this silly issue bothers me enough to bring me back after an unintentional leave of absence to raise the cutest little stuffed animal pupper that we adopted into our family. (Other updates include deleting (not just deactivating) my facebook account/s, planting like a million laurels in our yard, and taking family photos for the first time since January 2012.)

I’m currently reading yet another minimalism/intentional living book that recommends mixing Vinegar and Castile Soap to make the perfect all-purpose cleaning spray for your home. I don’t expect those of us trying to clean our home more naturally to be chemists, but upon using these two ingredients together a few years ago, I noticed that the combination creates a very strange consistency. A quick google search led me to a Bronner herself, explaining why her family's Castile Soap should not be mixed with vinegar, or any acid. Lisa Bronner writes,

“In great part it’s due to the fact that vinegar is an acid and the castile soap is a base. They will directly react with each other and cancel each other out. So, instead of getting the best of both (the scum cutting ability of the vinegar and the dirt transporting ability of the soap), you’ll be getting the worst of something entirely new. The vinegar “unsaponifies” the soap, by which I mean that the vinegar takes the soap and reduces it back out to its original oils. So you end up with an oily, curdled, whitish mess. And this would be all over whatever it was you were trying to clean – your laundry or counters or dishes or whatever.”

So please stop mixing vinegar and castile soap together. And authors, please stop recommending it in your books.

For a much better DIY all-purpose cleaning spray, I recommend:

In an 8 ounce spray bottle, add:
¼ cup vinegar (use infused vinegar if you like*)
5 drops GSE (grapefruit seed extract)
10 drops tea tree essential oil
10 drops lemon essential oil
Fill bottle to top with water
*I infuse mine with rosemary cuttings from the yard and leftover lemon or orange rinds.

Give it a little shake every time you use it. I find that the light mist from these spray bottles does a perfect job covering our kitchen counter tops with the right amount of cleanser. Then I wipe with a slightly damp rag.

In case you'd like to old-school label yours as well, this is the label maker I used.

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