If ever there is a time when a simple, kid-friendly cleaning solution is in order, it’s summertime. We’ve been dribbling peach and watermelon juice all over my parents’ back porch for weeks now. Silas’s stomach has been perpetually stained with streams of cherry juice that also leave inky splatters on floors and countertops and arm rests. With the help of bubble baths, we’ve mostly been able to get the children clean, and for just about everything else we’ve been using this simple lavender cleaning spray.
Making your own cleaning spray can sound either twee or laborious. But in most cases, it’s not much more complicated than putting inexpensive household ingredients to good work. In this case, a few cents’ worth of plain white vinegar and a little more than a dollar’s worth of dried lavender flowers. The resulting spray is excellent for quick wipe downs of walls or floors or an other surface that small grandchildren have made sticky. The lavender itself is touted for its antibacterial properties and in this application, it has the added benefit of mitigating any strong odor from the white vinegar. (For bottle and sprayer, I used an old glass bottle with a one-inch screw top and snipped the bottom of the plastic tube off a spray nozzle my mom had saved from an old spray bottle.)
+ 1/2 cup dried lavender flowers
+ 1 cup white vinegar
+ 12-ounce mason jar with lid (if metal, consider using with parchment paper or cloth to avoid rust)
+ A glass bottle with a one-inch screw top (eg.: small vinegar bottles, kombucha bottles, large condiment bottles, maple syrup bottles, etc.)
+ A plastic spray bottle nozzle (with the plastic tube snipped to fit in your bottle if need be)
+ Cover lavender flowers with vinegar and stir gently. You’ll see the color from the lavender almost immediately.
+ Cover the jar with parchment paper or lid and leave in a sunny spot to soak for three to five days.
+ Pour steeped vinegar through a small sieve or cheesecloth, straining the lavender flowers as your pour. (I used a small funnel and tiny sieve to pour my vinegar directly into a bottle with a one-inch top.)
+ Dilute the steeped vinegar in a ratio of approximately 1:2 vinegar to water.
+ Pour into a bottle, attach a spray nozzle (and hand it off to your kids to clean up their own mess!)
For the curious:
+ If you’re hoping to rid yourself of your paper towel habit once and for all, you can get a whole stack of cloth-alternatives for just $3.
+ I’ve mentioned before that I’m finding both kids are needing a little more coaxing into the bath lately and bubble baths have been doing the trick. We’ve been loving this Bubble Bath sent for us to try.
+ If you don’t have any bottles or sprayers in your own household stash, this is the perfect kind of thing to put in a request for on your local Buy Nothing Group. One person’s trash is another’s treasure!
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