Make Your Own Pine Scented Vinegar For Cleaning
The scent of fresh pine is a smell that is often associated with a clean house, the holiday season or perhaps your childhood when your mother used to use Pine-Sol to scrub the floors. Regardless of your pine-related memories, the scent is lovely and certainly has a place in cleaning products. Since traditional pine scented cleaners are incredibly toxic wouldn’t it be great if you could easily make your own pine cleaner at home using readily accessible and affordable ingredients – well you can!
You only need two ingredients – vinegar and fresh evergreens and you are in business. Learn how to craft your own eco-friendly, safe cleaner that is easy on the budget and will keep your house smelling wonderful!
You might ask yourself, why is vinegar often the go to ingredient in home cleaning products? White vinegar (also known as acetic acid) is a great disinfectant. It also acts as a deodorizer and cuts grease. Vinegar can help reduce and eliminate bacteria. The acid in vinegar crosses into the bacteria’s cell releases protons and causes the cell to die. The white vinegar found on most store shelves is a 5% concentration of acetic acid which kills about 80% of germs. Stronger concentrations can be found in specialty stores if required.
Some people love the smell of vinegar, others don’t, regardless, isn’t it more fun to add in some other ingredients and scents to create your own customized cleaning product – of course it is!
Pine-Sol was the original pine-oil based cleaner invented in 1929. The active ingredient, pine oil, is made by using steam distillation to extract the oil from fresh pine needles. Pine oil has been known for centuries for its versatile uses including cleaning, air freshener, disinfectant and insect repellant. In 2014 the pine oil was eliminated from the commercially sold Pine-Sol and is now petrochemical based with an artificial fragrance. If you are a pine scent fan who is not into chemicals and artificial additives, then this DIY recipe is right up your alley.
You only need two simple ingredients to make your own pine scented vinegar for cleaning. However, a little thought and consideration into the selection of those ingredients can take your cleaner to the next level!
There are a variety of pine trees out there and they do not all smell the same. There are spruce pines, dwarf pines, longleaf pines, Scotch pines, Norway pines and on and on it goes. The best thing you can do is experiment with different pine needles that you can source over time and see which scent you are most fond of. Some are stronger than others and some take longer to fully steep.
If you wander down the vinegar aisle in your local supermarket you will find an overwhelming assortment of vinegars. There is white distilled vinegar, specialty vinegar, apple cider vinegar, wine vinegar, rice vinegar, malt vinegar and the list continues. Typically, white distilled vinegar works the best for DIY cleaning products and is certainly the most cost-effective choice. This type of vinegar is also biodegradable making it an eco-friendly selection as well. To be even more sustainable you can purchase your vinegar from a refill store and avoid another plastic container ending up in our landfills.
How to Make Pine Scented Vinegar for Cleaning
Only two simple ingredients are required, evergreen clippings and white vinegar.
- Place evergreen clippings into a clean glass jar with a lid, the more the better.
- Fill the rest of the jar up with white vinegar.
- Allow the jar to steep for at least 3 to 6 weeks in a cool, dark location.
- Strain out the clippings so you are left with only the infused vinegar.
- Transfer the vinegar into a spray bottle for easy use when cleaning.
*By heating the vinegar before pouring it into the jar of evergreen clippings you can speed up the steeping process.
*The longer you allow the mixture to steep the stronger the scent, cater your cleaner to your personal preferences.
How to Make an Express Version of Pine Scented Cleaner
Combine 5-10 drops of pine essential oil, 1 cup of vinegar and 1 cup of water in the glass spray bottle and you are ready to roll!
These simple recipes make it easy and affordable to create your own cleaning products at home. It is also a great way to reuse old jars and spray bottles, lessening your impact on the planet. A homemade cleaner also makes a thoughtful gift for your eco-conscious friends and family. Tie some festive ribbon or décor to the spray bottle or glass jar and you will have some super cute handmade gifts on your hands. If you get really good at making cleaning vinegar and are enjoying yourself, you might want to consider offering a variety of scents, strengths and sizes at your local farmers market.
Additional Scented Vinegars to Experiment With
Any citrus will work! Oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruits or tangerines, it’s totally up to you and your personal preferences. Repeat the same process as the above recipe substituting evergreen clippings for citrus peels. Your citrus infused vinegar will likely only need to steep for 2-4 weeks and will leave your home smelling beautifully fresh!
Same process as the other variations. The more mint you add to the jar the stronger the smell will be. You can use a coffee filter or cheesecloth to strain the mixture before use, this will help to separate any residual sediment from making its way into your cleaner.
Add the peel from one grapefruit to a jar, a half cup of dried thyme and a half cup of dried lavender. Let the mixture steep and then strain with cheesecloth. This one smells amazing!
All of these recipes can be diluted by adding distilled water according to your cleaning needs and scent preferences.