Using healthy and green cleaning solutions has always been an important priority to me, and I try to limit my family's exposure to harsh chemicals as much as possible. As my sons have gotten older and started "helping" more with the household chores, I find myself constantly having to refill bottle upon bottle of expensive non-toxic cleaners. There had to be a better natural cleaning solution that didn't cost so much! I remembered back to my college days where penny pinching had driven me to experiment with vinegar and baking soda cleaners, and I wondered why I wasn't still using this inexpensive and chemical-free cleaning option.
Honestly, I was worried that cleaning with vinegar was going to leave a lingering and unmistakable vinegar odor, and I certainly didn't want my house smelling like that. Little did I know that vinegar is incredibly easy to infuse with other fragrances that can help mask that strong smell. The initial vinegar scent actually dissipates rather quickly, and you're left with the lovely aroma that you've infused into it. I wanted to try making lemon and lavender cleaners, so armed with my new-found fragrance knowledge, I headed out to Walmart to pick up some new Heinz Cleaning Vinegar!
I hit up Walmart at 7:00 a.m. and was totally amazed to find the store practically empty! No kids in my cart, empty aisles, and fully stocked shelves...am I in the Twillight Zone?
After looking through all of the cleaning aisles, I quickly realized that the Heinz Cleaning Vinegar is shelved next to the other vinegars. I thought it was a little strange to see something clearly marked for cleaning sitting on the shelf next to the salad dressings, but at least now I know where to look for it next time! The difference between cleaning vinegar and standard white vinegar is that the cleaning vinegar is more acidic which gives it better cleaning properties (6% vs. 5%).
At home I peeled two lemons and added the rinds to a mason jar. I topped the lemon peels with the cleaning vinegar and allowed it to sit for about a week to infuse the lemon fragrance. The vinegar will turn a light yellow color during the process as well.
Lemon Degreaser & All-Purpose Cleaner:
In a spray bottle, mix 14 ounces of lemon infused vinegar with 10 ounces of water. Shake well. Spray on to surface and wipe with a soft cloth. Polish with a dry cloth if necessary.
My boys love this lavender all-purpose cleaner that mimicks the fragrance and cleaning power of their favorite name brand all-natural cleaner. I knew that I could stop worrying about the vinegar aroma once my 5-year-old sprayed this homemade version and declared, "Mom, this smells SO good!" Success!
Lavender All-Purpose Cleaner:
In a spray bottle, mix equal parts of vinegar and water. Add 70-80 drops of lavender essential oil and shake well to combine. Add 2 small drops of purple food coloring if desired. Spray on to surface and wipe with a soft cloth. Polish with a dry cloth if necessary. This is my new go-to spray for polishing countertops!
The first place I wanted to test my homemade all-purpose vinegar cleaner was on my stainless steel refrigerator since it's always covered in sticky little handprints. I haven't found a natural and chemical-free cleaner that worked very well on stainless steel before (many cleaned well, but left streaks), so I was anxious to see how well it would work. I let Sutton add a few extra handprints to the fridge so we could really give it a good test!
He was also eager to help with the clean up process, and I didn't hesitate at all since everything he's using is non-toxic and all natural! He sprayed the lavender cleaner directly on to the fridge, wiped with a rag and then polished with a dry cloth.
It worked amazingly well! This has become our new favorite kitchen cleaner because it works wonders on all the different surfaces in the room - granite, tile, stainless steel and glass all look fabulous, not to mention stove tops, kitchen sinks and microwaves. Wow!
The next test took place in the boys' bathroom where the chrome fixtures are always dull with water spots and sticky fingerprints. A quick spray of the lemon all-purpose cleaner and wipe with a dry cloth restored it to a mirror-like shine - awesome!
That old faucet seriously looks like new!
I have to say that I have been blown away by the power of Heinz Cleaning Vinegar. It truly stands up to the needs of my household, and with three messy boys, that's saying a lot! I can't wait to try more of the cleaning, sanitizing and deodorizing tips that I found on the Heinz Vinegar website including a trick for keeping my car windows ice-free this winter!
If you want to check out more pictures from my Walmart shopping trip, take a peek at my Google+ album. #HeinzVinegar
I am a member of the Collective Bias™ Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias™ and HEINZ #CBias #SocialFabric; however, all opinions expressed are 100% mine.