If you are considering using simple basic cleaners for your household cleaning, you can easily add a nice smell by infusing with herbs or other aromatics.
My children and I have been making and using herbal cleaning solutions as chemistry lessons. Yes, very sneaky! The cleaning is part of the lesson as we figure out which solutions work on which problems.
We started out by adding herbs to a quart of white vinegar. We have been learning about the properties of herbs, so everyone got to choose one herb and say why they chose it. We used fennel seeds from our own garden, and a few other herbs. It smelled OK, but now it just smells like food when we use it. It’s a very muddy smell. No one is excited to wipe this all over our kitchen.
So, we made a new vinegar cleaner. This time we wanted a fresh scent. We chose orange and grapefruit.
Rather than cutting up peels, we zested every piece of citrus in the house and added to a pint of vinegar. We learned our lesson, and we’re making smaller amounts at a time until we know we love the scent.
It’s easy to make your own scented cleaning vinegar. Add ½ cup to 1 cup of dried herbs or whatever you have. We ended up with about a 1/4 cup of citrus zest. We’ll let it sit for a couple of days then strain it before we use it. Combine. Sit. Strain. Easy.
Zesting an orange releases the essential oil. Orange oil is mostly limonene, which gives oranges their characteristic aroma and is an effective natural solvent. The more you learn about the natural properties of herbs, foods, and other ingredients you already have in your house, the more you can tailor your homemade cleaning products for specific uses.
For now, we have a new, fresh-scented all-purpose cleaner.