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Orange Scented All-Purpose Cleaner

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I’m not sure when I stopped buying chemical cleaners and made the switch to vinegar.  A few years at least.  I’d like to say the initial reason was to keep toxic chemicals out of my home, to be more environmentally friendly, and “green”  but it really wasn’t.  Vinegar is non-toxic and eco-friendly so those reasons are just really awesome bonuses.  The main reason I switched to vinegar as a cleaning agent was because of its huge economical value.  I can buy a huge jug of white vinegar for a couple of dollars vs. the more expensive store-bought chemical cleaners.  Multiply that number a few times to cover the cost of all the specialty cleaners you would buy to cover all areas and surfaces of your home and it quickly becomes VERY expensive.  Vinegar can be used in a myriad of ways all around the home, making it  (almost) the only cleaner you’ll need.  Vinegar is acidic and because of that it kills germs, bacteria, and most mold.  It can be used to cut through grease, in laundry as a rinse and softening agent, loosens mineral deposits from hard water, dissolves soap scum, and removes coffee and tea stains from counters, cups, and coffee makers to name a few.

Here’s the downside to vinegar.  Until it dries after you use it your house will smell like a pickle.  Not a big deal to me personally, but I know that reason alone has scared many people away from using it.  It’s REALLY easy to cover that scent though and at the same time boost the cleaning power of that magic little liquid.  All it takes is one thing that you probably just throw away mindlessly.  Orange peels, or any citrus peels at that. I use orange because that’s what I have around all of the time. So if the smell has been a reason you haven’t switched to vinegar based cleaners, give this a try.

Infuse vinegar with oranges to make a powerful, great smelling all-purpose cleaner that is eco-friendly, non-toxic, and CHEAP!

Infuse vinegar with oranges to make a powerful, great smelling all-purpose cleaner that is eco-friendly, non-toxic, and CHEAP!

This is what I use as my everyday, all-purpose cleaner.  Counter and stove tops, sinks, door handles, spots on the floor or walls, even glass, it’s my go-to.  Try  it out and let me know what you think! Already a vinegar fan? Let me know how you use it in the comments or on Facebook at Taking Babysteps.  Don’t forget to like, pin, and share!

Orange Infused All-Purpose Vinegar Cleaner

What you need:

  • Orange peels
  • White vinegar
  • water
  • mason jar (or any re-closeable container)
  • spray bottle

What you’ll do:

  • Peel oranges, eat the insides, save the peels and pith.
  • Put peels and pith in a jar with a lid.  You can pack as many as you have in there.
  • Add vinegar to cover.
  • Shake it around
  • Let it sit for 2 weeks.
  • Strain peels and pour citrus vinegar into spray bottle.
  • Add water.  I use a 1/1 mix of water and citrus vinegar.Orange peels in vinegar

    Strained orange infused vinegar. Use as 1/1 mix with water for a great  all purpose cleaner!

    Strained orange infused vinegar. Use as 1/1 mix with water for a great all purpose cleaner!

Orange infused all purpose vinegar cleanerThat’s it.  Super easy, environmentally friendly, and will save you money!


Oat flour…whaaat?

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In my Soft Onion Sandwich roll post I mentioned oat flour. Who? Huh? What the heck is oat flour?  When I first saw it in a recipe I was completely clueless.  I hadn’t heard of it either.  Turns out, it’s really stupid easy to make.  PLUS you get all of the nutritional benefits of oats.  Good to know! Right?! Follow along…

Take some old fashioned rolled oats…

Making oat flour

Put oats into food processor.   I used my blender because I already had it out and didn’t mind a more coarse texture for the recipe I was using it for.  You can get a fine grind with a blender, it will just take a few seconds more.

Trusty blender

Trusty blender

Pulse until it’s powdery/flour like.
1 cup of oats generally makes 1 cup of oat flour.

That’s it.  Seriously.  Oat flour. Don’t spend money on fancy store-bought oat flour. It only takes a minute to do yourself.

Coarse oat flour

Coarse oat flour

Don’t dump that down the drain! Recycle your cooking water

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Yep.  You read that right.  Recycle your cooking water. With the hot, dry summer months coming this could be a life-saver (plant-saver?) if you live in an area that gets frequently plagued by droughts and water restrictions.

I’m not saying bathe in it, but don’t just dump it down the drain either! Do this instead.

Water from cooking veggies, pasta, and eggs can be used to water your garden.

Water from cooking veggies, pasta, and eggs can be used to water your garden.

When you boil/steam veggies (corn on the cob season is near!), cook pasta,  or hard boil eggs place a large bowl or container under your colander to collect the used cooking water.  Let it cool COMPLETELY.  That step is VERY important,  scalding hot water will kill your plants.  Their root systems cannot handle the extreme temperatures. Once cooled, use it to water your garden.   Not only is it eco-friendly but your plants benefit from the nutrients left behind in the water, plus you’ll save some money too by reducing your water usage – bonus!

Recycle your cooking water

My mini veggie garden starting to bloom.

Don’t have a garden to water? Have weeds in the cracks of your driveway or sidewalk?  Pour the water directly onto them while still boiling hot.  The temperature of the water will cause the cells in the leaves to burst and kill whatever is growing.

Reuse your cooking water? Let me know how you use it, or just tell me I’m not crazy, in the comments!

Get the word out! Like, pin, and share!

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