Growing up, my little brother was the king of science experiments. When he wasn’t digging holes in the field next door, setting things on fire in the street, or doing something else so very boyish, he was taking samples of various household products – mostly from my collection of everything Bath and Body Works – mixing them in an old shampoo bottle, and letting them ferment for an indeterminate amount of time. He called these shampoo bottles of doom his “science experiments” and he littered our shared bathroom counter with them for years.
I can only assume he was hoping he would concoct something that would accidentally react explosively but nothing exciting ever came of these experiments. Mostly they just smelled bad and looked like some terrible brown Gak spawn. I was at least thankful that he only took the caps off the bottles to test their progress occasionally, and that the bottles were opaque so I was not subjected to the sight of slowly growing mold while brushing my teeth twice daily.
Regardless of odor or appearance, my reaction to my brother’s “experiments” was always over-the-top disgust… much like the reactions from The Guy I Married to this week’s Pinventure…
My little glass bottles of disintegrating orange peels and basil leaves were so terrifying, TGIM made me hide them in our pantry. I guess I don’t blame him… if you stare at it long enough it does look like something that could grow legs and smother you while you sleep.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. I had been wanting to make my own cleaner for some time, and thanks to the abundance of Cuties floating around my house and my office, I figured it was the perfect time to attempt an orange cleaner. I brought up a donation bucket for my coworker’s peels and collected enough to fill half of an old pasta sauce jar. Add vinegar, and wait… two to four weeks, depending on which tutorial you read. There are many, many links to this method to be found on Pinterest – I’m linking the Tipnut one because it lists several different ways to brew and use infused vinegars, including as a deodorizer.
Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day basil soaps are absolutely divine – we use them at work and I liked them so much I got some for home too. I wanted to capture a little of that yummy basil scent using the basil I picked up from a home gardener on Freecycle. I put it in a smaller jar and left it for three weeks before adding it to a travel-sized spritzer, diluting with water, and spraying it on all my curtains. The rest is still sitting in the jar… I think I need a bigger sprayer.
And the citrus cleaner result? Despite looking like bottled cat pee, it works pretty well. No stickiness, and enough of an citrusy smell that the vinegar isn’t overpowering. Still more vinegar smell than I’d like, but for practically free I’ll take it. We use it on the counters, on Squirrel’s spot at the table, and occasionally on the carpets when the cats have a yack attack.
I’ve made a second batch since this first one, so now I have enough cleaner to share with the girls at work who donated their orange peels to my efforts.
Moral of the Tutorial – Stop buying Febreeze, because even with a vinegar base this smells WAY better than that shizz.
I’ve decided that my next homemade smelly-good project will involve reed diffusers… and vodka. Looking forward to that one later this year! Thanks as always for reading along!