I grew up cleaning with Comet and Windex. A deadly combination, Ms. Martin, told us in 5th grade, but who hasn’t mixed them ever so slightly? Nothing smelled clean unless the burning odor of Bleach pervaded or the sickly smell of Lysol clung to the air. Sure we grew up knowing how to use baking soda and vinegar but those were for specialty cleaning and not every day.
Fast forward 35 years and my first encounter with a cleaning line that smelled like a spa. The price tag was absurd for my plebian sensibilities but I was compelled to try it and was quickly addicted to Caldrea Citrus Mint Ylang Ylang. If you have to clean, which apparently you do, why not inhale euphoria. It really did feel like the greatest luxury and after all, a manageable vice, right? Like any habit, there was a gateway which in my case was the All Purpose cleaner. Which was enough…for a while. Then I thought, I can’t wash my hands with the cleaner, I need the handsoap to get a fix more often. And I can’t wash my hands without a little lotion after, that smells equally divine and lingers. And then there was glass cleaner, scrub, laundry soap, stainless steel cleaner, countertop cleaner and fabric softener. Oh and lest I forget candles to fill the air with nirvana. I was a full on addict with no Caldrea recovery center available. And then they resolved my problem, turned off the spigot and discontinued the scent. Sure they introduced others but it wasn’t the same. I headed all over town scooping up all the 50% off product I could.
Last night I attended an essential oil party and was reminded that I must recreate the recipe for Citrus Mint Ylang Ylang. I’m not sure how many years it’s been, (at least 5) but surely it can be replicated. I have searched the internet intermittently for years hoping to stumble upon an effective recipe. If you can replicate Kentucky Fried Chicken then surely my little ‘ole cleaner should be a breeze.
Though the ingredients are clearly stated, how many parts of each? What type of citrus? What is the base beside water and/or vinegar? I’m intrigued with the Citrus Enzyme recipe on Dr Karen S Lee.
CITRUS ENZYME CLEANER RECIPE
- 2 Liter Wide Mouth Bottle
- 2 C or Enough citrus fruit peels to fit half the bottle. Oranges, Lemons, Lime,
- 1/2 C sugar
- 1 Tsp of active yeast
- 1 Liter of water
- Funnel – to add brown sugar
- Strainer or cheese cloth
- 1 C Apple Cider Vinegar AFTER the enzyme is done fermenting
Pick a bottle that has a wide mouth and make sure to follow the proportions in this recipe. Do NOT double the recipe in this bottle. Chop up any citrus fruit scraps into chunks that will fit into the opening of the bottle. Add water, sugar, yeast, and shake for about 30 seconds. Then, close the capLOOSELY so the trapped air can escape and not build up in the bottle.
According to Lintcoat, the stainless steel product uses olive oil. I’m sure the scrub should use a base of baking soda. The Whole New Mom, adds cornstarch to her window cleaner which I shall be trying.
Homemade Window Cleaner
- 1/4 cup white vinegar (apple cider vinegar will work as well)
- 1/4 cup isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol
- 1 Tbsp cornstarch (the cornstarch reduces streaking — anyone know why?)
- 2 cups water
- 8-10 drops essential oil of choice Lemon, orange, or another citrus would be my choice here, but lavender or others would be nice as well.
1. Combine everything in a spray bottle (You can reuse the container you already have from your store bought glass cleaner. I had to buy one at a dollar store since we haven’t used glass cleaner in years :-)!)
2. Shake well to mix.
3. Spray onto glass surface and wipe clean.
TIPS & NOTES:
– Shake well before using since the cornstarch might clog up your spray nozzle otherwise.
When you consider the cost of the essential oils, Caldrea seems more reasonably priced but since you can’t buy Citrus, Mint, Ylang Ylang my quest will continue. I welcome input and appreciate your indulgence in my weakness.