This is a fantastic degreasing all-purpose cleaner and I enjoy the lemony fragrance it leaves behind. We use it mostly in the kitchen. You can easily customize it by using your favorite essential oils. What I love about it most, though, is that it cuts through the greasy messes that so frequently pop up in the kitchen. I use it on counter tops, appliances and have even used it on my walls, though you may want to test a small hidden area to see how it works on your own paint. I also use this spray to wipe down my wood kitchen cupboard doors and drawer fronts, though I take some extra steps to keep the wood well conditioned.
When I make cleaners at home, the first ingredient I almost always reach for is white vinegar. In this instance, it is not the best choice, though. Believe it or not, both oil (grease) and vinegar are acidic . To neutralize acids, we need something alkaline, so I chose the baking soda and Borax. Borax also helps to boost the effectiveness of soap, allowing it to clean better. Soap molecules will pick up the grease and oil that the baking soda and Borax cut through and help to wash it away. Citrus acids can also be helpful in cutting grease, so lemon essential oil works hard, as well as smells great.
You’ll want to give your spray bottle a good shake before each use to make sure nothing has settled to the bottom and the essential oil is evenly distributed throughout the bottle. Label the bottle clearly so family members will know exactly what it is and how to make a new batch when you’re running low. Print this free label, if you like.
Usually, rinsing my cloth with clear, cool water after wiping down counters and appliances, and giving the surface a final “rinse” is all I do. However, if you feel like the soap is leaving a residue, you can do a simple rinse by spraying and wiping the surface with a solution of equal parts water and white vinegar. You can even use essential oil to scent the mixture if you don’t care for the vinegar smell. I actually have come to associate the smell of white vinegar with “clean”, so it doesn’t really bother me. It also dissipates very quickly.
I use that vinegar and water rinse on my wood cabinets, after washing with the all-purpose cleaner. Then I use my mineral oil polish to shine them up and protect the wood. The polish is 1 cup of mineral oil and 20 drops of lemon essential oil.
- Add the baking soda, Borax and castile soap in the hot water. Resist the temptation to add extra soap. Dr. Bronner's Castile Soap is VERY concentrated and a little goes a long way.
- Stir until baking soda and Borax are completely dissolved.
- Add the 10 drops of lemon essential oil.
- Pour the solution into a one-quart spray bottle.
- Spray the solution on counters and appliances to cut grease and wash away everyday grime. Scrub with a damp cloth. If necessary, run the cloth under cold water and wipe again, to rinse.
- You can also rinse by spraying and wiping cleaned surfaces with a solution of equal parts water and white vinegar.