Writer’s Workshop for 10.10.2019

The prompt I chose for this week’s Mama Kat’s Pretty Much World Famous Writer’s Workshop is “Write about the last thing you made…”

I was so excited to see this on the list of prompts, because it just so happens that I spent the weekend making two things: homemade dog food, and MY FIRST BATCH OF CLEANING VINEGAR FOR THE FALL! Obviously, I’m going to talk about the cleaning vinegar, and the dog food may find its way into another post someday.

If you just want the cleaning vinegar recipe (it’s very simple, I promise!), it’s in the next paragraph! And if you want to read the hows and whys of my cleaning vinegar, feel free to keep reading past the recipe.

INGREDIENTS/SUPPLIES:

  • Large, wide-mouthed Mason jar(s) with lid(s) (I re-used a large Ragu jar)
  • 1 quart Apple Cider Vinegar (I got mine for under $2 at Walmart)
  • 60 drops of an immunity blend essential oil (I used the $6 Guru Nanda brand I found at Walmart. Thieves Oil from Young Living, On Guard from DoTerra, or your own blend will also work. It just needs to be a blend of clove, cinnamon, lemon, eucalyptus, and rosemary oils, or the appropriate parts of the plants themselves.)

DIRECTIONS:

  • Pour the vinegar into the Mason jar(s).
  • Add the essential oil.
  • Tightly close the lid, give it a good shake, and let it steep in a cool, dark place for 4-5 days, giving it a shake every day or so.

(For suggested uses, scroll to the end of the post.)

For years now, I’ve been making most of my household cleaners because I’m trying to go as natural and chemical free as I can in housecleaning. One of the most economical and strongest all-purpose cleaners you can use is vinegar – straight up, diluted, infused with favorite or special flowers, herbs, essential oils, etc. And making my first batch of cleaning vinegar for the fall is one of my favorite things to do!

The above recipe was a cheap and simple version of Four Thieves Vinegar. I am on a pretty non-existent budget, so I opted for inexpensive, but it can be made as extravagant and organic as you want. I love it for housecleaning, but the ingredients also have some amazing medicinal properties as well as magickal properties if that interests you!

I added about 20 drops of lavender and 5 drops of cedarwood oils, 3 cinnamon sticks (my oil didn’t have cinnamon in it), and about 1/4 cup black peppercorns. I also added quite a bit more immunity blend oil to mine, because I wanted to make a super-strong, super-concentrated batch.

You can keep it in the Mason jar (though I would strain it if you use anything solid), but I strained mine and poured it into a repurposed liquor bottle. My oldest son is a barback, and I love re-using the beautiful and unusual bottles and decanters he sometimes brings home to add to my collection!

SUGGESTED USES:

  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup full strength in laundry, especially if there’s a bug/cold going around in your house!
  • 1/4 cup full strength mixed with 1/2 cup salt and 1/2 cup baking soda for a scouring powder (or just the salt – there will be a reaction with the baking soda and I’m not sure if that cancels its cleaning power out, but I use it because it makes the texture of the powder much finer, and I can’t tell that it negates any cleaning power).
  • 1 cup full strength to one gallon warm water and a squirt of dishwashing liquid to mop surfaces such as tile and vinyl. Not sure about hardwoods.
  • Fill one half of a 32-oz spray bottle with the vinegar, 1 tablespoon dishwashing liquid, and fill the rest of the way with warm water – shake prior to use as an all-purpose cleaner.
  • Spray the diluted all-purpose mix into the air to use as a disinfectant – when the vinegar smell dries down, it’ll smell like a warm, sunny autumn afternoon in your home!

What is the last thing YOU made?

16 comments

  1. John Holton says:

    I swear, you can clean almost everything in your house with baking soda, vinegar, and/or Dawn dishwashing liquid. And microfiber cloths. And a gallon of vinegar is less than $2. Good idea adding something to it to make it smell a little better.

    • Kim says:

      So true! Dawn dishwashing liquid is the best stuff, but I fell in love with Mrs. Meyer’s in Basil. It doesn’t have the ammonia that makes Dawn such a gentle powerhouse, but I’m okay with not having it. I can always add a tablespoon to my cleaner if I feel I need it.

      The vinegar smell isn’t the best, especially if you’re not used to it. But when it dries down, you can smell the EOs and a hint of apple cider, so it doesn’t “stink” for too long!

  2. Liz A. says:

    I have heard of vinegar as a cleaner, but I’ve never used it. This sounds really easy to do (and would help with the smell, which is what bothers me).

    The last thing I made? Well, I knit, so my last completed project was a beanie. Although I have several WIPs.

    • Kim says:

      Not gonna lie, the smell of vinegar is STRONG, and while I don’t mind it so much anymore, it’s not all that pleasant if you’re not used to it. However, it does eventually dry down, and you’re left with the spicy, apple-y smell.

      I never took up knitting, but I’ve heard it’s an amazing stress-buster. So maybe I should. I do love beanies! I’ll be sure to come by to see your WIPs.

    • Kim says:

      I don’t think one is better than the other; I just chose the Apple Cider Vinegar for the apple cider smell when it dries down – that smell works so well with the other warm, spicy scents of autumn. White vinegar is great; my winter cleaning vinegar uses it, and I usually use it in the warmer months in my cleaning vinegars.

    • Kim says:

      Wow, I am surprised the cat wasn’t interested. That actually sounds like the tuna burger recipe I use, and I can confirm that those are delicious. Your cat doesn’t know what he or she is missing!

  3. thanks for visiting my blog. About the Kobalt v80 electric mower–it’s rated to cut a flat 1/3 acre on one charge and my yard is far less then that. Electric riding mowers are rated to 1/2 acre. But by the time you’re in the market for an electric mower, the technology will have improved, so who knows what will be available!

    • Kim says:

      Thanks for that info! Yes, technology is improving all the time. I will probably continue to have someone come cut it for me for as long as I can, though!

  4. Kat says:

    I love your idea to repurpose cool looking liquor bottles for this! I add vinegar to the water in my steam cleaner, but I’ve never thought to make my own actual household cleaner before. I love it!

    • Kim says:

      I am glad you love the idea! Have you tried ACV in your steam cleaner, or just white vinegar? I’m not sure how this would do as a spot cleaner or steam cleaner fluid because the ACV is darker, and had cinnamon and pepper in it. But white vinegar for sure is a great solution, and I don’t think adding EOs to it would stain carpet. Again, not sure about with added cinnamon and pepper.

      I love cleaning with both kinds of vinegar, but chose ACV specifically for this time of year.

Leave a Reply (your comment may be held for moderation)