An Infused Vinegar Cleaning Spray That Actually Smells Great

(Image credit: Quentin Bacon)
(Image credit: Lindsay Ribe)

Vinegar is a safe and effective cleaner for pretty much any surface in your house (except marble). Its only downside is being really stinky. After scrubbing down toilets and sinks, I want my house to smell clean and fresh — not like a giant pickle.

Infusing vinegar is the perfect way to combine vinegar’s natural cleansing and disinfecting benefits with a much more pleasant aromatherapy experience.

(Image credit: Quentin Bacon)

This recipe calls for lemon and thyme for a natural way to clean counters and leave a fresh lemon scent.

But if lemons aren’t your thing, go wild and create your own blend. There are so many ingredients you can use: cinnamon sticks, whole cloves, orange peels, eucalyptus leaves, or whatever herbs you have on hand. I just made a batch of lavender-infused vinegar, and it turned out the prettiest shade of purple.

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How To Make Infused Vinegar Cleaning Spray



  • 1 to 2 cups distilled white vinegar
  • 2

    lemons, peel only

  • A few sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon Castile soap
  • 35 drops lemon essential oil (optional)


  • Peeler or paring knife
  • 16-ounce (or larger) glass jar with lid
  • Strainer
  • Measuring cups
  • 24-ounce spray bottle


  1. Peel the lemons and mix with the thyme: Use a peeler or knife to cut the peel from the lemons and scrape off as much of the inside white part as possible. Place the lemon peels and the thyme sprigs into a jar.

  2. Add the vinegar and steep for up to 2 weeks: Fill the jar with distilled white vinegar and replace the lid. Give the jar a good shake to move the vinegar around and coat the infusion ingredients. Here is where you need to be patient: Find a sunny spot and let the vinegar infuse for about 10 to 14 days.

  3. Strain the vinegar: After the infusion period is over, strain out the solids from the vinegar and discard them.

  4. Transfer vinegar to spray bottle. Pour 1/2 cup of the infused vinegar into a spray bottle. Return any leftover vinegar to your infusion jar until needed.

  5. Dilute the vinegar with water and soap: Add 2 cups of water, 1 tablespoon of Castile soap, and 35 drops of lemon essential oil (if using) to the spray bottle.

  6. Swirl and use: Swirl the ingredients together. To use, spray onto countertops, sinks, and toilets and wipe with a wet rag.

(Image credit: Lindsay Ribe)

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