Distilled white vinegar is an eco-friendly and non-toxic cleaning agent. Because it’s non-toxic, you can safely use white vinegar around your home without the worry of harming your family.
** Heads up! There are some affiliate links in this post. You can check out my disclosure HERE. Thanks for your support!! **
I love using vinegar in our home and around The Inspired Prairie for cleaning.
Years ago I gave up my chemical cleaners and swapped them out for natural and homemade cleaning products. Sometimes I’m lazy or want to splurge and will buy store-bought natural cleaners such as this, but more times than not, I like to mix up my own homemade cleaning products.
There’s always been so much hype about using distilled white vinegar as a cleaning agent, but I hated the smell, as I’m sure you do also!
I mean, come on, I don’t want my house smelling like pickles.
Thankfully, when cleaning with vinegar alone, that sour smell does dissipate after a while, insert *praise hands*, however, during the cleaning process, that sour vinegar smell can make a person want to gag.
This is why I LOVE infused vinegar!
Using herbs or citrus peels takes away from that pungent vinegar smell, leaving you with a slightly herbal or citrus smell to your vinegar that is a lot easier on the nostrils when cleaning your home.
How to prepare your herbs for infusing in vinegar
I have an overabundance of mint in my garden, and also lemon balm, so I chose to infuse those two herbs this time around.
What you want to do is make sure you wash all the dirt and bugs off of your herbs, especially if you are grabbing them from your garden. I just rinsed my fresh-cut herbs in a strainer in the sink with cool water.
The next thing you want to do is let them dry before starting the infusing process. And when I say dry, I mean, dry from being washed, not necessarily dried herbs, per se.
To dry off my herbs from their washing, I used my salad spinner first and then laid the herbs on a paper towel to finish drying. I don’t use anything fancy here, just my kitchen countertop lined with paper towels.
Once the herbs were dried off, I started tearing apart the herbs (mint and lemon balm) into smaller pieces to get them ready for infusing.
By tearing or cutting apart the fresh herbs, you are able to release more of the herbal scent, as opposed to keeping the herb leaves whole.
After your herbs are chopped or torn apart, you are ready to go ahead and grab a recycled mason jar and start putting the herbs in the jar so you can begin the infusing process.
Here are two ways you can make your own infused vinegar:
It’s simple really…
Option #1 – Grab citrus peels. Lemon, lime, orange, or grapefruit work well. You can also mix different citrus peels together.
Option #2 – Grab herbs. Mint, lemon balm, lavender, pine needles, or anything else that smells lovely work well. Make sure the herbs are clean from dirt and debris by rinsing them gently in water if needed.
#2 – Place citrus peels or herbs (or both), in a clean mason jar. About halfway or a bit more is fine.
#3 – Fill the rest of the jar with white vinegar. Make sure you completely cover whatever your infusing with the vinegar.
#4 – Let it infuse. Place a plastic lid on the jar and let it sit for a few weeks in a cool, dark place. Under your kitchen sink is a great place!
#5 – Strain and use! Strain out the citrus peels or herbs out of the vinegar and place the vinegar in a clean jar. Store until ready to be used!
These are the amber glass spray bottles I have (here).
Ready to get started using your infused vinegar around your home?
Here are 5 Easy Ways to Use Infused (and plain) Vinegar for Non-Toxic Cleaning
#1 – Fabric Softener
Use infused white vinegar for fabric softener in your washing machine. Use the same amount as you would normal liquid fabric softener.
#2 – Cloth Diaper Pre- Soak
If you use cloth diapers, soak them in plain white vinegar before washing them. Mix 1/2 cup of white vinegar to 2 quarts of water. This will help balance out the pH, neutralizing urine and keeping the diapers from staining.
#3 – Glass Rinse
If you have drinking glasses or any other glass starting to look cloudy and filmy, soak them in plain vinegar water before their next washing, or add white vinegar to your dishwasher as a frugal rinse-aid.
#4 – All- Purpose Cleaning Spray
This is what I mostly use my infused vinegar for! Fill a glass bottle with 1/3 of the infused vinegar, and the rest of the way with water. Shake and use on your surfaces for cleaning.
This all-purpose spray works great for cleaning counters, showers, windows, glass, sinks, bathrooms and more!
TIP — You can also add a drop or two of essential oils to your infused vinegar before using it for cleaning, for a stronger smell. My favorites are Lemon Essential oil, Orange Essential Oil, Grapefruit Essential Oil, Purify™ Blend, On Guard ™ Blend, Peppermint Essential Oil, and Tea Tree Essential Oil.
#5 – Floor Cleaner
The next time you go to give your floors a nice scrubbing, use your infused vinegar! Fill up your bucket with 1 cup of the infused vinegar and the rest with HOT water.
I hope you’ve been inspired by this Herb and Citrus Infused Vinegar for Non-Toxic Cleaning blog post. Happy non-toxic and frugal cleaning my friend!