All Purpose Cleaner

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Annie37 Annie37
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All Purpose Cleaner

The first time I tried mixing up the all purpose cleaner I got a lot of white gunk that didn't look like it would clean anything.
Then I got smart and mixed the soap first with warm water and then added the vinegar. Everything went into suspension perfectly! This is a really cheap way to have all purpose cleaner and you don't have to inhale all those fumes! Try it!
Bea's Recipe
Multi Purpose Cleaner:
1 ½ ts. castile soap
3 ts. white vinegar
4 c. water
In a glass bottle (I use an empty Whole Foods white vinegar bottle)
Mau Mau
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Re: All Purpose Cleaner

That's a good observation about the order of ingredients!

On a related note, 'Clean House, Clean Planet' by Karen Logan is a good resource for homemade cleaner recipes... it explains the right order in which to add ingredients, easy variations, and the best types of containers to store each cleaner in - except it suggests just buying plastic ones, I ignore that part ;-). Some of the recipes I've used from it include: wood furniture polish, all purpose cleaner or scrub, tile scrubber. They've all worked great.
Sandra Sandra
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Re: All Purpose Cleaner

In reply to this post by Annie37
Annie37, I think I know why you got that white gunk the first time you mixed up a batch of all-purpose cleaner.

I recently saw this post ( http://lisa.drbronner.com/?p=292 ) by Lisa Bronner (Dr. Bronner's granddaughter) on her blog, Going Green with a Bronner Mom. In the post, she cautions against mixing castile soap directly with vinegar or any acid because the vinegar "unsaponifies" the soap, reducing it back to its original oils and producing a curdled, whitish gunk. She also mentions that the vinegar is acidic and the castile soap a base, so the two together will cancel each other out. Instead of mixing them together, she recommends you use the castile soap first and then rinse with the vinegar.
Jay Jay
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Re: All Purpose Cleaner

I've always wondered about homemade cleaning solutions because of the issue of mixing acid and base together, thus canceling each other out. Pretty basic chemistry! ...
Also, have a problem with soaps vs detergents, because soaps can easily leave a film behind. This is part of what makes showers, tubs, etc.,  scummy. Can have the same problem if you use soap instead of detergent for your laundry.
To each their own, though.
Nice explanation at  http://chemistry.about.com/od/howthingswork/f/detergentfaq.htm
Thanks for the info & link, Sandra
Annie37 Annie37
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Re: All Purpose Cleaner

In reply to this post by Sandra
Sandra and Jay,
Thanks for the chemistry lesson. I was pretty sure something like that was happening but wasn't quite sure.
Bea and Scott I hope you are listening.
Jay Jay
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Re: All Purpose Cleaner

FWIW:

I was rereading Béa's recipes ( http://zerowastehome.blogspot.com/2010/03/zero-waste-recipes.html ) and she clearly states the castile soap in the all purpose cleaner is for scent only, it does glob, and that you can leave out. So she was a step ahead of us:-))
Karin Karin
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Re: All Purpose Cleaner

I just use white vinegar and water. The vinegar smell goes away as soon as it dries and everything just smells fresh. :)
Anon in MA Anon in MA
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Re: All Purpose Cleaner

I know this is an ooolld thread but I have an alternative all-purpose cleaner that works really well for us.  We mix 6 oz. vodka (yes, vodka!) and 18 oz. of tap water along with JUST a drop of soap, in that order, into our 24 oz. spray bottle; then we give it a good shake.  For some reason, vinegar was leaving a funny - almost sticky - film on all of our surfaces (anyone else?) but our mixture leaves everything shiny and clean.  This, and baking soda, is the ONLY cleaning solution we use in our house, from windows to wood floors to bathrooms.
Marihelenv Marihelenv
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Re: All Purpose Cleaner

In reply to this post by Annie37
I have solved the yucky vinegar smell problem by making & using a citrus vinegar. Whenever we eat grapefruit, orange or lemon I save the peel only (cut off all pulp & most pith) and place in a wide mouth jar in the fridge. When it's full, usually before the end of the week, I make candied peel (yummy),  or pour water over it to make citrus water (soak overnight in fridge) or pour vinegar over it and let it sit for 1-3 weeks under my sink. When it's done it makes a fresh citrus smelling vinegar for salads or cleaning! I use it diluted for all my cleaning, especially to clear out the mineral build up in my coffee pot and tea kettle.
Divya Divya
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Re: All Purpose Cleaner

In reply to this post by Annie37
I am excited about making this simple, all-purpose, and nontoxic cleaner. However, I'm confused about the ratio of vinegar to water. Bea has two different recipes. Online she says a couple teaspoons of vinegar to 4 cups of water, but in her book she says 1/4 cup vinegar to 4 cups of water! So which is it? Which recipe do you use?
Aimee Aimee
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Re: All Purpose Cleaner

Divya, I never use exact measurements when making my cleaner. If I'm making a full spray bottle, I aim for about 1/4 of the bottle to be vinegar, add a squirt of dish soap, and filled the rest of the way with warm water. Shake vigorously and clean.
Marihelenv Marihelenv
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Re: All Purpose Cleaner

In reply to this post by Divya

I don't even measure. I put a little of citrus vinegar in my spray bottle and fill the rest with water. I am closer to the 1/4 cup recipe ratio. Let me know what you think. Did I mention that the citrus vinegar becomes a golden color? I think of it as my earth friendly "Mr. Clean".

On Mar 21, 2014 9:20 PM, "Divya [via Forum]" <[hidden email]> wrote:
I am excited about making this simple, all-purpose, and nontoxic cleaner. However, I'm confused about the ratio of vinegar to water. Bea has two different recipes. Online she says a couple teaspoons of vinegar to 4 cups of water, but in her book she says 1/4 cup vinegar to 4 cups of water! So which is it? Which recipe do you use?


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