80 Responses to “Homemade All-Purpose Cleaning Spray With Infused Vinegar”


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  1. kylieonwheels

    Yes! I’ve been hanging out for an excuse to go and rustle up the pine needles fallen behind my yard – this is perfect!

    (and how did you know that the first thing in my brain was “bottle…jar…how did she do that??!!”)

    • Lisanne

      Haha! That was my first thought as well!

    • Crunchy Betty

      That’s the next batch I’m doing! But it’ll be a couple of months until I’m ready for it, so you have to let me know how they work for you. Fingers crossed for a good report!

      • kylieonwheels


        I carried my shears and secateurs around the back into the reserve yesterday afternoon, hoping I didn’t look too much like I was about to chop someone up. Came back with a branch of pine tree, which once back in the confines of my kitchen suddenly seemed a whole lot more than I needed. I’ve shoved as many needles as would fit in a jar, and filled it up with vinegar.

        It is currently sitting on the window sill, getting a shake every time I’m in the area, and so far it still smells like vinegar, and hasn’t given any colour to the liquid yet either. It’s been all of half a day though…I’ll hold out for the rest of the fortnight and report back then :)

  2. Crunchy_Mama

    Nice! I use lemon infused vinegar for glass cleaning and dusting, and I use vinegar with tea tree oil, peppermint and rosemary EO’s plus some water and lavender castile soap as an all purpose disinfectant. It smells fantastic and works great. Gotta love vinegar!!

    Can’t wait for the “how to” on the glass spray jar!

    • Crunchy_Mama, how do you infuse with lemon? I have a very productive lemon tree in my backyard and would love to use the fruit/peels instead of essential oil.

      For now, I will make one with dry lavender as I have plenty left from last month harvest and set a Google event in my calendar for Sep 13th so I won’t forget about it.

      Cannot wait to see how you made this glass jar/bottle spray.

      • Crunchy_Mama

        I just soak lemon peels in white vinegar until the peels start to disintegrate and the vinegar smells nice and lemony. A week or so should do it!

      • Chrissy

        peel lemons and cram them in a glass jar with an air tight lid, fill with vinegar and let it steep for 3 weeks. I typically add a few sprigs of rosemary as well. Once steeped strain vinegar through a filter/sieve and store. In a spray bottle mix 1/3 of steeped vinegar to 2/3 water. The oil from the lemon really boosts the cleaning power of vinegar and leaves a faint scent once vinegar dries. LOVE
        I have also steeped lime/thyme though limes are much harder to peel but the scent is worth it. Experimenting with grapefruit/mint right now.

  3. Hm… you cut a hole in the lid large enough for the straw of the sprayer and then glued/taped the larger unit down to prevent leaks?

    This looks like so much fun. I would probably forget about it though, and end up with an atomic bomb after finding it again after six months, lmao.

    • Crunchy Betty

      Tee hee … Can’t wait for you to see what I actually did. (Yes, I tried glue first. And then ended up with a dropped jar. :(

    • noodle

      The vinegar simply pickles the ingredients so I think after 6 months it would be fine. I did mine for 4 months and they turned out great.

  4. Ooh, love Kylieonwheels pine needles idea! Crunchy Mamas lemon-infused scent sounds lovely… I’m getting straight to work on this.. now, which scent to choose? Ah, heck with it, I’m making both!

  5. Scarlet

    I can’t really be bothered to infuse my vinegar, though that does sound nice. I just use too darn much of it to keep my clear shower curtain clear to go to the trouble. I’ve been on a lavender eucalyptus kick lately but lemon eucalyptus sounds pretty nice. I am just so short on spray bottles! Guess I need to start pilfering through the trash.

    • Crunchy Betty

      Short on (empty) spray bottles is always my problem, too! After discovering how to make bottles from jars, though, I’m now asking a couple of friends/neighbors to give me their empty spray bottles when they’re done with ’em, so I can make a bunch of my own here to keep … forever!

  6. Julie

    Okay, I’m actually growing rosemary and lavendar this year. How do I dry it properly so that I can use it for this recipe? And can anyone living in cold weather climates give me some idea on how to winter these plants? I’d like them to survive through to spring if possible.


    • Ali

      i have found this site http://www.mountainvalleygrowers.com/lavendercareandtips.htm to be a really helpful lavender resource.

    • I just hung my lavender in bunch, upside down. Once dry, the flower fall off very easily. I don’t know about rosemary, I always use mine fresh year round – I am in CA, so no cold weather here.

    • Julie, dry your rosemary the same as Natalie suggests for the lavender. Hang it up somewhere until it’s very dry, preferably out of the sunlight, then strip the leaves off and keep them in a jar in the cupboard. If not absolutely dry, the herbs can mildew.

      You don’t specify about your how cold your climate is… frosts, freezes, or full-on sub-zero temps? Once they’re established, your lavenders will be quite hardy. Young ones though, you might want to cover when a freeze is predicted.

      • Julie

        Thanks for all the advice, everyone.

        As to my climate, yes, yes, and yes. It gets very cold and can stay that way for days/weeks at a time.

  7. I use vinegar with lavender essential oil and agree with you in that it cuts grease better than anything I’ve ever tried. When I have citrus – I infuse the empty rinds with vinegar for use in cleaning. That works really well, too. But, it never occurred to me to go snip some of the herbs from my yard and do the same thing. I even have lavender. Duh! Thanks for the idea. :0)

    • Pam, do you dry the peel first? Thanks.

    • Laura

      Maybe a weird question, but I have a lemon squeezer that takes the juice out but leaves most of the pulp in the lemon. I’ve been collecting enough lemon halves in a ziplock bag in my freezer for a month now, and finally have enough to fill a half gallon mason jar. My question is do I have to remove all of the pulp from the lemon peels??

  8. Karlita

    This looks great! You are the best ;)

  9. Ali

    if you have the fresh herbs, do you need to dry them before doing the vinegar infusion?

  10. I’m dying to know how you did that with the jar lid! I’ve been using 50/50 vinegar and water for cleaning, and adding EO to it to cut the vinegar odor. You’ve just saved me a step (and the expense of EO).

  11. Susan

    Hey Chickie! Last year during Apple season I made Apple Sauce, Spiced Apple Rings, Apple et al : including my own Apple cider Vinegar! I made several gallons and I still like to open my pantry and show off my preserves (peaches, pears, tomatoes) and say when pointing to the strange golden jars (urine samples – just in case – just kidding – they are my own cider vinegar). Not hard to make and the very best when used for stomach upset.

    • Crunchy Betty

      I must know how you made these spiced apple rings. I just found a recipe for baked apple chips, but I’m in the market for something a little more exciting than that particular recipe. Share!

  12. My lavender infused white vinegar has turned a pale pink, then pink, then a pretty raspberry color in a few hours. Is that normal? It is getting darker by the hour. Kids thought that was a science experiment!

    • Crunchy Betty

      Haha! I love how quick you are. Talk about immediate gratification. Yes, that’s normal (and SO pretty in your picture). Let me know how it turns out! I’m guessing by now, it’s stopped infusing so much color in, yeah?

      • It is more of a cherry color now. I hope it won’t stain… would defeat the purpose of a cleaner! 9 yo daughter suggested she could then use it for rinsing her hair – hoping it will give her red highlights. LOL

  13. KarinSDCA

    I have infused water, honey, and oil. Why not vinegar? Sounds like fun!

    I, too, am very curious about your spray jar…That was the first thing I noticed in the picture!!! LOL

  14. Maria

    Ditto to Ali’s comment above, I have a big ‘ole lemon balm plant and have been looking for ways to use it. Any estimates on how much fresh herb to use? I know in cooking the rule of thumb is to triple the amount when using fresh, but 1.5 cups herb in 1.5 cups vinegar seems like it would be too much. Thoughts?

  15. Gala

    Hmmm this could make a great toner recipe. Instead of white vinegar you can use apple cider vinegar.
    btw do you have a recipe for crunchy nail polish?

  16. Tashi

    What is the purpose of infusing the vinegar?
    You suggested using a ‘disinfecting’ herb, does the infusion process really transfer the disinfecting properties of the herb to the vinegar? Is vinegar not a disinfectant on its own? Or is the purpose of infusion just to add a nice smell?

    Also, for the essential oils, are they just added to give it a better smell?

    I’ve cleaned with vinegar and water before and it was really great at cleaning but left a terrible vinegar smell that my family couldn’t live with, so I’ve stopped. But does the addition of oils get rid of that vinegar smell? If so, I’m totally giving vinegar cleaning another try!

  17. Tanis

    Be careful about using vinegar on natural stone surface (counters and tiles), as the acids will break down some minerals. I would love to find a natural cleaner to use on my granite counter tops!

  18. mary beth

    Hi Thanks for the great idea. I have quite a few green pinecones on the lawn. I used these and some green pine needles in the infusion today. The green ones had a much stronger pine scent than the brown dried cones. Do you think this will work out ok???
    Also I love citrus, and hearing everyone’s citrus infusions gave me more ideas. Thanks so much.

  19. Ahh yes, Vinegar…my favorite all-time cleaner…I’ve never added the herbs to it, but now I will…great idea!! It’s so easy the I think it scares people..otherwise everyone would make their own cleaners and all those nasty chemical ones would be OFF the shelves in the stores…aahhh a girl can dream :)

  20. Amy

    Quick question: do the herbs have to be dried? I have a rosemary plant so I never buy dried…& I have some fresh lemons in my kitchen. Can I use fresh lemon peel?

    Just found your blog today & am loving all the helpful cleaning recipes, will have to browse somemore. Thanks!!

  21. Christina

    I finally finished making my DIY cleaner today and I love it!! I let it infuse for about 3 weeks because I was away and even after adding the fresh vinegar it smells delish!! I used rosemary, thyme and lemon peels and then added tea tree oil (the only EO I currently have. I just sprayed down almost every conceivable surface in my house because I was so excited. Thanks Crunchy Betty!!

    • Hannah Schneider

      I came across this blog post as I had a random thought at three in the morning – ‘I wonder if you could make a cleaning spray with vinegar, lemon rind and herbs? Thyme and rosemary might be nice…’  And here you are with the same idea! I’ll be making it tomorrow first thing!

  22. Leah

    I have just started infusing vinegar for cleaning. I LOVE IT! I have been using assorted citrus (lemons, limes, oranges and grapefruit), but I am wanting to add something else… like a herb or an essential oil. What could I use? What would go great with grapefruit? I’m stumped. Please help! =] Thanks!!

    • Shannon

      Try Sage!  I made some citrus/sage infused vinegar and loved it.  It reminded me of my favorite Yankee Candle scent :). I have also used lavender, rosemary, mint (all fresh not dried) Alas I no longer live in Cali so i don’t have my plants anymore :( I’m stuck with citrus for now. They wanted WAY to Much$$ for fresh Sage in the grocery!!  One of these days I’m going to try Just lime.  Has anyone tried that???   

  23. Hi Crunchy Betty, just found your web site and I’m loving it!!
    I want to try and make this cleaner and i have a question.
    I would like to use lemon and orange peel to infuse my vinegar with. Do I need to dry them out first or do I use them fresh?

  24. I’ve used vinegar as a glass cleaner alone in the past but my husband complained about the smell so I switched back to Windex.  I recently discovered a recipe on Pinterest that I tweaked the preparation method slightly.  It has vinegar that has been infused with orange peels and water.  I can honestly say that I am thrilled with it!  It smells pretty good and really works on glass and surfaces.  Plus, it’s completely non-toxic!  (my 12 year daughter tasted it – weird, I know…)  You can see how  I made it here http://poppyjuice-poppy.blogspot.com/2012/03/vinegar-orange-peel-homemade-cleaning.html

    As always, I love your articles!  Great information!

  25. Can you use fresh herbs to infuse or must they be dried first?

    • Guest

      Its best to used dried herbs, the moisture in the plants can cause the tincture to spoil. It is possible to use fresh herbs, but its a bit more work

  26. KawaiiWriting

    This stuff is AMAZING. I used lemon thyme for my infusion and lemon essential oil. My kitchen is the cleanest it has probably ever been. You need to put a disclaimer on this recipe though… “Warning: May induce pickle cravings.”

    Thanks for the awesome idea!

  27. I have tons of lemon verbena growing in my garden. Can I use fresh lemon verbena leaves instead of the dry herbs to infuse the vinegar?

  28. I wish my husband didn’t hate the smell of vinegar or I would try this.  I love your glass jar spray bottle!  I make my all-purpose cleaner with tea tree castile soap.  It would be a great alternative for granite or marble since vinegar shouldn’t be used on those surfaces. 

  29. noodle

    Even though this is an old post, I found it a few months ago and tried it with a batch of orange peels and a batch of lavender. I only made a small amount since I didn’t have big Mason jars, but I did have some working glasses with lids from Crate and Barrel and they worked well.

    Even with adding essential oils and diluting it with distilled water, it still had a strong smell. The lavender retained its vinegar smell a lot more than the oranges, so If I do this again, I think I’ll stick to oranges. Besides, orange peels are a lot easier to come by!

    I was surprised to see how great vinegar is as a glass cleaner. I just squeegee it off and it streaks at first, but becomes crystal clear after a few moments. Not as fast as Windex but so much safer. Also, it’s been doing great as a daily shower spray. I was coughing up the dough for Method daily shower spray but the vinegar spray ends up being cheaper AND more effective.

  30. Hannah

    Is it OK to use white vinegar, not distilled? No one seems to sell distilled vinegar around my ways! Anyway, I read somewhere that white vinegar is better to use for cleaning than distilled, something to do with acidity levels…would appreciate any ones advice :)

  31. Margaretta Felicia

    Its always good to use vinegar for mold removal. We use vinegar. It’s good stuff. You’ll want to spray vinegar in all the places where mold grows most easily. This includes places like the sealing underneath your faucets, on your shower curtains, in the grout of your tile floor, or near the edges of the linoleum, if that’s what you have for flooring.

    http://www.damagewaterny.info/index.php/services emergency sewer backup cleaning hicksville ny

  32. Carolee

    i love this infused vinegar! I infuse a gallon with dried lavender for a couple weeks and use it straight like that as fabric softener!

  33. i am tryin this out today. gettin it started with what i had. but i think i wanna try to make this glass jar spray bottle!! :-)

  34. Marlene

    Can you mix an essential oil with equal parts vinegar and water to clean streak-free glass? and what scent would be the best mixed with the awful smelling vinegar? Thanks!!

  35. mandi

    HI! I am wanting to use my lemon thyme from my herb garden, do I need to let the thyme dry out first before using it in the vinegar?


  36. Joy

    Can you do this without the essential oils? Will the scent from the infused vinegar be enough to scent the cleaner and remove the harsh smell of vinegar, or do you need the essential oils as well?

  37. Sarah

    Does this just clean or does it also sanitize and disinfect?

  38. Beth

    I’ve had trouble with my spray bottles clogging- the first time I just ran it thru a metal mesh strainer, and then after my first bottle clogged, tried straining the solution also through cheesecloth which definitely caught some additional little particles. But still having trouble breaking my spray nozzles! I bought just some cheap plastic bottles at Safeway for like $1.99. Any other ideas? Continue to strain strain strain? The stuff smells great and is such a good cleaner, I definitely want to keep using it. Thanks!

  39. In keeping our house clean and neat we need to consider the chemicals that we use. Sometimes the most effective are the one that can be found in our Kitchen. Vinegar is indeed helpful in many ways. Thanks for sharing this. Great Idea! Post some more of this.

  40. Asking questions are in fact good thing if you arre not understanding anything completely, except this
    post provides good understanding even.

  41. Spot on with this write-up, I honestly believe this site needs a lot more attention. I’ll probably be returning tto read more,
    thanks for the info!

  42. Jon

    Can the cleaner handle beeswax and Silicon candle molds.

  43. Ginny

    Oh, my. This is the kind of all purpose spray I’ve been wanting to make, but I wasn’t sure if I should use dry or fresh herbs. Just so I do this thing right, I can use the the dried herbs I use for seasoning food? I hope so because I plan on using 1/4 cup of rosemary and thyme, then add a combination of tea tree (or eucalyptus), sweet orange, and something else.

    BTW, I’m loving this site. There’s so much valuable info here on cleaning everything naturally. I’ve been “green cleaning” since last year and I’m loving every minute. Keep up the great work and please keep those recipes coming.

  44. Sarah Wong

    Is there any reason for the herbal infusion other than making it smell nice? Or perhaps benefiting from any properties of the herbs chosen?


  1. […] or grapefruit peels from my garden, but those of you with pine trees can use needles. Here’s a nice post to help you make your […]

  2. […] I got lazy. It does work great but now I just have my spray bottle of vinegar. I really like the herbal infused all-purpose cleaner from Crunchy Betty. I spray it on my counters and stove or what ever else. stuck on stuff comes right off! I also use […]

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