Chemical-free cleaning products are surprisingly hard to come by. When we can find them, they usually come with a suspiciously high price tag or a ton of unnecessary ingredients.
I consider myself pretty tidy; I clean up after myself, I do the dishes after I’m done eating, I wipe down the counters. Despite this, and despite my household only consisting of myself and my pet cat, there is always more cleaning to be done! I wanted a natural, effective, and versatile cleaner to grab and go for all my little coffee cup rings and fingerprint marks, but I couldn’t stand the smell of harsh ingredients.
Another thing I wanted to do was to set simple, realistic New Year’s Resolutions that I’m likely to stick with. If nothing else, 2020 has been a constant reminder that life… is… unpredictable. That’s how I know that the “do 50 sit ups a day” or “spend an hour each day learning a new language” won’t work – every day is different, so I can’t expect to have a schedule that leaves me an uninterrupted hour (or hour of mental energy) to power through a language course. My new New Year’s resolutions are simple: 1) Shop more sustainably 2) Cook one new thing a week 3) Clean as you go instead of leaving a disaster for Sunday mornings.
That’s why I decided to whip up this simple, gentle, and sweet smelling multipurpose chemical-free cleaner to help make my resolution something I will happily stick to! For good measure, I’ve also included some tips on how to make cleaning less of a chore to help YOU stick to your resolutions too!
DIY Chemical-Free Lavender Cleaner
What You Need:
- 1 cup white vinegar
- 1 cup distilled water
- 10 drops organic lavender essential oil (organic, pesticide free)
- An empty spray bottle (or this reusable glass bottle)
How to Mix:
- Simply add all the ingredients to your spray bottle, shake, and get cleaning!
What to Use It On:
- Counter tops (avoid spraying on marble or granite surfaces as the acid can eat away at the sealant)
- Table tops
- Door handles
Tips & Tricks:
- To disinfect surfaces, allow the mixture to sit for about 60 seconds before wiping it with a microfiber cloth or rag
- Side note: vinegar is effective at killing and reducing certain germs, but not all of them. This cleaner should not be used as a disinfectant against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. For a more powerful lavender-scented disinfectant, try our hand sanitizing spray.
- It will smell like vinegar at first and might seem a bit strong, but this quickly goes away and leaves the calming scent of lavender in its place
- For using on mirrors or windows, wipe it down using a microfiber cloth or t-shirt
- You can also add in a couple drops of lemon essential oil for more traditional “cleaning product” scent that’s chemical-free
- For tough messes, allow the mixture to sit for a few minutes to permeate any dried matter
How to Stick to your Cleaning Routine
Cleaning feels like a chore when you make it one! Personally, I know that the more the laundry pile grows, the less and less I want to do it. I know that it would be much less difficult to start my laundry if I just put my clean clothes back in the dresser and tossed my dirty laundry in the hamper at the end of the day, but I just can’t bring myself to do it! Well, I’ve been doing some research and have found simple ways to make cleaning easier, more fun, and less of a chore!
- Imagine your future self: If there’s one thing I know for sure, it’s that future me does not want to spend the last moments of her weekend cleaning up laundry and mopping the floors. It’s easy to think “I’ll do it tomorrow” and sweep it under the rug (literally and figuratively) but next time you hear those thoughts popping into your head, try to think about what tomorrow might look like. It’s almost like you’re giving yourself a bit of peace tomorrow by just folding your laundry tonight!
- Promise Yourself 5 Minutes: Most of the time, cleaning really doesn’t take very long. If you say you’ll clean for the bare minimum, just 5 minutes, you’ll be surprised at how much you can actually get done! Cleaning a set of plates or putting your clothes neatly into your dresser does trigger our rewards system in some strange little way, so you might even find yourself exceeding your time limit without any griping!
- Distractions, distractions, distractions: Nothing helps to take your mind off of the mess you’re cleaning like a podcast, audiobook, or good song. This is a time-tested tip that really works. Plus, you can “reward” yourself by saving a new episode of your favorite show or podcast for your nightly clean up/wind down routine!
Most importantly, remember that you are human! Messes happen, some days we don’t have the energy to clean up right away – and that’s ok. Luckily, with an easy-to-use, versatile, chemical-free cleaner, your job just got easier. As a bonus, your home will smell even cleaner and more soothing to help you get all the rest and relaxation you need when you’re done!
MEET THE AUTHOR / ELIZA TALVOLA is a writer from Pittsburgh, PA who considers herself to be a conscious consumer and traveler, slow fashion advocate, and devoted foodie. She is a firm believer in creative reuse and putting people over profits, and is a long time lavender enthusiast. Her favorite product: Lavender Hand Sanitizer Spray