Even if you don't believe in miracles, you probably believe in tiny miracles. They're the little things that, against all odds, happen and make a huge difference in our lives. A tiny miracle can be a recipe that gets dinner on the table during the most hectic weekday, the little hack that finally organizes your fridge, a newfound motto that helps you stay on top of kitchen messes, or anything else that seems like a gift from above. To help us all start the new year off right, we asked some influential bloggers and cooks to share their biggest tiny miracles.
Toni Hammersley, the blogger behind A Bowl Full of Lemons and the author of The Complete Book of Clean, is just about the expert when it comes to cleaning your home — using natural and homemade cleaning solutions. The book is encyclopedic, covering everything in your house that should be cleaned (read: everything in your house) and instructions on how to clean it.
So it comes as no surprise to learn that her favorite tiny miracle is the all-purpose kitchen cleaner she formulated.
The recipe is fairly simple: one part distilled vinegar, two parts water, and five drops of lavender essential oil.
"I keep it under my sink and use it to clean the stainless steel, my sink, the table, the trash can, the refrigerator, and the window — basically, everything!" says Hammersley. She uses it just like any other all-purpose cleaners: she sprays it on whatever she's cleaning and wipes it down with a damp cloth.
Hammersley started formulating her own recipes a few years ago, after having kids. "I wanted to detoxify my home. I never knew anything about toxic cleaners growing up, but something told me it wasn't right to use those ingredients. I had to change the thinking that I was taught growing up," says Hammersley.
So she started researching natural cleaning and trying out different combinations until she figured out this specific formula. "I absolutely love the smell of lavender," she says. "Plus, [the solution] just cleans well."
Another bonus: cost and time savings. "I was wasting money on multiple products that do the same job — having different cleaners for the windows and countertop, for example — and my under-sink area was getting cluttered," says Hammersley. Creating one formula that worked for multiple areas let her streamline her cleaning routing and eliminate a stress-inducing space. "It saves so much time and I love mixing up a new bottle when it's empty. Knowing that it's non-toxic and that I saved a lot of money is really rewarding!"