After doing quite a bit of research online, I have found so many different recipes for DIY spray cleaners for the kitchen and around the house. Most of them, however, use 3 main ingredients as their “secret” weapon: Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soap, Apple Cider Vinegar, or White Vinegar.
Today, I decided to make all 3 and put them to the test to see which cleaner is going to become a part of my own cleaning regimen. I decided to score my findings on a 1-5 scale and based on 3 factors: Cleaning power, Smell, and Cost.
First up, the Dr. Bronner’s Recipe:
1/4 Cup Dr. Bronner’s Liquid Soap
2 Tbs. Baking Soda
7 Drops Tea Tree Oil (for antibacterial properties)
Fill the rest of the bottle with Water
Cleaning Power- 4
My Notes: The Dr. Bronner’s cleaning spray by far smelled the best of the 3. The combination of the peppermint scent of the Dr. Bronner’s itself and the tea tree oil was amazing! It also cleaned my counters really well. It was so nice to spray the counters with something that cleaned them yet didn’t have that gross chemical smell of most store-bought cleaners. The Dr. Bronner’s costs about 63 cents per 1/4 cup, the baking soda was about 5 cents per 2 tbs., and the tea tree oil is probably about 25 cents per 10 drops of liquid. At less than a dollar a bottle, it’s certainly an inexpensive option!
Next up, Apple Cider Vinegar:
2 Cups Apple Cider Vinegar
Fill the rest of the bottle with water
Cleaning power- 4
My Notes: This solution cleaned very well. As good, if not better than the Dr. Bronners. But the smell is more than I can handle on a daily basis. If you have never smelled apple cider vinegar before, let me tell you it is quite intense! I know that many of the natural/ organic bloggers that I follow just love this stuff but I have a really hard time getting over the smell. It doesn’t dissipate very quickly either. I still feel like my counters have a bit of a lingering scent. I was not very impressed by the cost of this DIY cleaner either. The organic apple cider vinegar is about $5.50 for a small bottle and the 2 cups that the recipe calls for is about half of that bottle. Therefore the final cost is a whopping $2.50 for 1 bottle of solution! To me, although it did clean well, this option did not seem worth it when I took into consideration the smell and the cost.
And lastly, the White Vinegar
Fill up an old jar with Orange or Lemon Peels (about a 12-16 oz Jar)
Pour white distilled vinegar (About a 1 1/2 cups) over peels and let sit for at least 24 hours
Cleaning Power: 4/5
My Notes: This solution cleaned really well. Perhaps the best of the 3. I think it was the combination of the vinegar and the acidity of the orange peels. Yet, the vinegar smell still overpowers the scent of the oranges when sprayed on the counter. Although the smell is less intense to me than the apple cider vinegar, it still had an unpleasant odor to me overall. Also, the cost was more expensive than the Dr. Bronner’s solution yet less than the apple cider vinegar. Organic vinegar sells for about $6.00 for a 32 oz bottle. That makes the solution about $2.25.
To me, the choice was clear as soon as I tested all 3 solutions. The Dr. Bronner’s cleaned well even if it didn’t clean the best of the 3 and it also smelled the best and cost the least. When I first bought the Dr. Bronner’s, I was concerned about the cost since it was $10 for a 32 oz bottle. But, it is concentrated so you don’t have to use very much to get the job done! Overall, I definitely think this is the best option for me. I have also found a ton of recipes for other uses for this stuff and I can’t wait to test out Dr. Bronner’s in the laundry detergent, dish soap, shampoo, and body wash that are on my “to do” DIY list:)