Apple cider vinegar, or short ACV,  has become more and more popular these days. You might have heard of using ACV to aid weight loss, but have you heard of using it for cleaning as well? I’ve been reading about it, but I’ve never actually done it before. (Because you know it’s vinegar so BLEGH).

I’ve always thought that the “stronger” my cleaning agents smell, the better they clean. You know what I mean right? Like the house HAS to smell like bleach for it to be “clean”. Or the laundry HAS to smell like detergent/softener for it to be “clean”. But as I’m digging into the world of sustainable, low waste living, I realise that most of my behavioural patterns are just imprinted. I saw my parents do it, so that’s what I do as well. So each time I notice a certain behaviour, I ask myself WHY I do it. Is it because I chose to do so or is it because it’s the only way I know?

I was totally convinced of trying ACV for cleaning when I was cleaning my bathroom the other day. I had my gloves on and I even covered my nose with a face mask. I was ready for battle and ready for my bathroom to smell all bleachy. I don’t know what went wrong but 2 different cleaning agents got all mixed up. The smell was so strong that I had to stop for a while. I even lost my sense of taste for a few hours. According to my friend google, sometimes the toxic smell tends to affect the delicate lining and sensory cells in the nose which causes loss of taste.

So to me that was my cue to try something else, hence this post. This all-purpose cleaner is safer and way more affordable than store bought ones. But how can ACV be used as a cleaner you might ask? The main substance in vinegar — acetic acid — can kill harmful bacteria or prevent them from multiplying. Some studies shows that vinegar can help kill pathogens, including bacteria. Combine it with antiseptic essential oils and your home will be squeaky-clean.

Disclaimer: I am using this recipe to clean tables, countertops and windows. You might need to change the recipe (adding baking soda for example) for more hard core stains/dirt/grease. I will make another cleaner for the harder to clean areas (coming soon). Also, the acidity of ACV can ruin countertops made of natural stone such as granite/marble. It can make them lose their shine. Kitchen knives are also a big no no.

Solid wood furniture can be cleaned with acv but never undiluted. Last but not least, I’ve been reading about ACV and egg-based messes.  Vinegar will cause the proteins in the egg to coagulate, creating a gluey substance that is even more impossible to clean up. It hasn’t happen to me but I’m just informing you.

Ok, and now to the recipe. An easy and inexpensive way to freshen the smell of vinegar is by infusing it with citrus peels. I used orange peel because that’s what I had at home. You can use lemon peel or grapefruit as well, any citrus peel will do. I also added dried thyme. It adds a delicious smell and has natural anti-bacterial properties which makes it a perfect cleaner.

To make orange-thyme ACV for cleaning you’ll need a glass container, orange peels, dried thyme, ACV, strainer and a glass bottle with spray cap

  1. Fill your glass container with peels
  2. Pour ACV to cover the peels (I used around a cup)
  3. Close container tightly and place in dark place for 1 to 2 weeks.
  4. Strain out the peels and thyme after 1-2 weeks
  5. Dilute with 1 cup of water
  6. Add essential oils (This step is optional but highly recommended. Combining your infusion with antiseptic essential oils will only increase its cleaning properties. I used 10 drops of lavender essential oil (EO), 15 drops of lemon EO, 5 drops of tea tree EO and 10 drops of orange EO)
  7. Use an old bottle and a spray cap and use each time you want to clean (The EO doesn’t mix with water so always shake before use)

I hope you love it as much as I do. It will take maybe a few times using it before getting used to the smell. Even though it was infused and contains essential oils, it still smells like vinegar because, well, it’s vinegar after all. I kind of love it now and would choose it anytime over bleach. I only need to convince my husband now but I’ll take it one day at the time xD

Feel free to share, tag us and use #TheFQWay if you tried it. I love to see your take on this one and if you have any other tips please feel free to share <3

Shirley xx

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