I know that January, what with its obligatory resolutions and self-improvement, is supposed to be a time of balance. But whenever this time of year rolls around, I find myself conflicted between two decidedly unbalanced impulses. On one hand, I want to practice mindfulness—eradicating waste, excess consumption, and unnecessary chemicals from my life. On the other hand, I also want to abolish dirt and unsightly dust from my life, oftentimes resorting to what is considered the apex of non-mindful, hazardous living by twenty-first century health standards: spraying a thick mist of chemical-laden anti-bacterial disinfectant spray onto every surface imaginable, followed by a swift wipe with a generous pile of paper towels. Never mind the fact that my paper towel usage is probably contributing to the deforestation of an entire rain forest—my reliance upon mass-market household cleaners with ingredient lists longer than Tolstoy’s collected works is no good for my health, the environment, or the continued proliferation of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
So. It’s quite clear that, every January, I find myself in a little bit of a predicament. How do I balance my desire to live healthfully and mindfully with my obsessive desire for wildly premature spring cleaning? Well— using a handmade all-natural household cleaner is a good start. Over the past several months, I’ve largely tossed aside my chemical and fragrance-riddled cleaning sprays in exchange for a homemade concoction that is just as effective as what’s available on store shelves. The real kicker? It’s über cheap and beyond easy to make.
We recently teamed up with Common Good to share the simple steps that will have you on your way to creating a healthier, greener household cleaner. Simply fill a spray bottle 1/3 to 1/2 with white vinegar (available at pretty much every grocery store) and fill the rest with water. If you want to add a little bit of fragrance, add a few tiny drops of your favorite essential oil to the mix. Spray away! The scent of vinegar might take some getting used to, but rest assured—the smell goes away as soon as your surface is dry! Presto—the perfect way to practice mindfulness and cleanliness in the New Year! —Max