Homemade cleaning products, compiled in my kitchen using the kit from The Optimist Co. have been in regular use in my kitchen for nearly two years now. They are effective and, thanks to the clear instructions on the bottles, incredibly easy to make. Plus, I love the fact that instead of carting home new spray bottles from Target or CVS, I’m reusing the ones I’ve already got.
Recently, The Optimist Co. founder Devin Donaldson (who started the company after conventional cleaning products left her with a nasty asthma attack) got in touch and asked if I might like to try a second kit. At first, I was confused because I’ve been entirely pleased with the first kit and the two products they make.
But Devin reminded me that it’s possible to do more than just make Time to Shine and Bright Side with the goodies in the box. And so I started thinking about other cleaning products that might be useful in the kitchen.
The first thing that popped to mind was a bottle of pre-made produce rinse. With farmers market and CSA season rapidly approaching, I know that very soon I will have a lot of pretty dirty produce on my hands. Instead of regularly filling the sink with a little white vinegar and water, having something that I can spritz over lettuces, zucchini, and strawberries sounds pretty darned appealing.
For this one, I used 12 ounces of water, three tablespoons of white vinegar and ten drops of the lemon essential oil from the kit (for both the sunny scent and the extra boost of antiseptic that it provides). A quick shake before using and my produce has never been cleaner.
The second thing that occurred to me was something that would help out with cleaning the kitchen floor. As many of you know, my kitchen is pretty tiny. Because there’s so little floor real estate, I rarely pull out a mop to get the job done (to be honest, I don’t think I even have a mop anymore). Instead, I do a lot of after-dinner spot cleaning (supplemented by the occasional, all-out, hands and knees scrub with a sponge and bucket of soapy water).
For that cleaner, I used 14 ounces of water, 2 teaspoons of castile soap, and 7 drops of the eucalyptus essential oil. It’s powerful enough to help cut through splatters of cooking grease, but not so soapy that I have to follow up with several rounds of rinsing. And I love the earthiness of the eucalyptus (we had eucalyptus trees in our back yard when I was very young and as a result, their scent forever feels comforting and home-like to me).
In order to encourage the Food in Jars community to think DIY and explore what The Optimist Co. kit can do in your homes, Devin is offering up three of her Make Your Own Cleaning Products Kit for this week’s giveaway. Please use the widget below to enter!
I would try to make a cleaner for kitchen countertops. Maybe the surface cleaner idea is similar!
I would make a cleaner for my glass cooktop.
Floor cleaner for sure! Mine really need it with two little boys.
I, too, have been using just vinegar and water for my food wash and would like to step my game up!
I would make a general cleaner to deal with “kid grime” or “toddler fingers”. That stuff that is mostly banana or whatever else has not gotten wiped off toddler hands and gets on everything.
Thanks for doing this – I do very little of diy cleaners now and this might give me the push to get started.
Ugh, the stovetop. I always need something to clean the stovetop.
A veggie & fruit spray sounds like a great idea!
With two young kids in the house, I would definitively make some type of stain treatment for all the food and debris that land on my kids’ clothing!
I love the idea of homemade produce spray!
I like these ideas! Simple yet effective products.
I used to do more DIY cleaning products, but since I moved in with my husband and MIL, I can’t as much. They’re both super-sensitive to vinegar, so that lets out a lot of the easy and effective methods. I’m super interested in non-vinegar based DIY cleaning methods, so the castile-based cleaners are high on my list right now.
I would make something to clean my entry tile floor. Thank you!
I haven’t tried making my own cleaners, but I would like to try.
With teenagers, cleaning is constant. How nice it would be to have safer cleaners (and slate floors)
I love the idea of a produce spray (and reusable bottles!)
I’d make a countertop spray.
So far I have been very pleased with my Mighty Nest subscription. I love both the glass bottle of soap cleaner and the wool dryer balls.
This product looks just as nice.
I hope I win but even if I don’t, it’s something for me to check out.
All purpose! Or maybe a sink cleaner for our old yellowy sink!
I would make the all purpose cleaner. We use that the most in our house. Would be great to replace with a healthy alternative.
I would like to make a produce wash in a spray bottle…Convenience seems like it would help use it more.
I’d make one for the kitchen tops, floors in general, a scrubber for tub and sinks, and your produce cleaner. I grow alot of my own produce, but also purchase alot from our 99 cent store. I hadn’t thought about the cleanliness aspect, untill a fellow gardener told me that she cleaned all of her produce from the store with a vinegar and water bath. I started trying it, With some things, they tend to last a bit longer even. I like your idea of adding the lemon essential.
I would use your recipe for produce cleaner…great idea!
Floor cleaner and pet wash!
My daughter has been complaining about the vinegar solution cleaners I use. She wants products she perceives as more effective and with a nice scent. Could this kit win her over? (Kids of “alternative” or “all natural” parents want scrubbing bubbles, aluminum deoderant, and McDonald’s in my experience!
They all sound super. The floor and pet cleaner would certainly be handy.
This is awesome! I think I’d start with the two basic guys – Time to Shine and Bright Side! I am in the process of throwing away all of my “traditional” household cleaning products and would love to replace them with this awesome set!
I like using simple homemade cleaners. Plus, I’ve read that the lemon and eucalyptus oils are great for spraying on dogs to repel ticks. That would really help us!
Something homemade that would really clean toilet bowls would be lovely.
What room in my house wouldn’t I find a use for this kit! I once had a wood polish made from essential oils that I’d like to recreate. I still have the bottle in hopes I could find it again, but just might make my own now!
I’d love to try this product; it’s new to me. Thanks for the opportunity. I have had to be very careful about produce washing with a family member in chemo. Got in the habit of really washing all produce and am very interested in your recipe.
My husband also has asthma and doesn’t tolerate cleaning sprays. Would love to try to make a non-asthma inducing cleaning spray!
I am also a borderline asthmatic maybe this would help
I have really been wanting to try out these types of cleaning products!
I would make the window wash and the floor cleaner.
I would love to make a window wash. I already make soap for my floors!
Bathroom cleaner and floor cleaner!
I would make an all purpose kitchen cleaner
I would make an All Purpose cleaner for or 8-month-old son’s toys, highchair, stroller, car seat and other things he uses.
I need a good floor cleaner.
I love the idea of the produce wash!
The floor cleaner sounds wonderful.
Like most, counter top cleaners are the most common I would make. But produce cleaner sounds pretty interesting. Thanks for the idea.
Ohhhhhhhh super excited about this! The pet wash sound lovely-not to mention the floor cleaner!
I would make a hand soap and a floor cleaner. This kit is inspiring!!!!
The floor cleaner is my first interest. We used to get a great one from our local co-op, but they stopped carrying the brand
The floor cleaner would be lovely.
I’ll make anything that will win my constant battle with a enamel stovetop spattered with cooking grease!
A soft scrub for my tub!
The window and surface cleaner look great!
I would love to make a produce cleaner for my garden treasures
I’d love some produce rinse because in the summer we have so much fresh fruit and veggies.
I would make them all,but an especially intrigued by the window cleaner!
i’d love to make some all-purpose cleaner!
The first one I’d make would be the general cleaner but truly, I have the same problem as the owner, asthma that is seriously affected by cleaners. I haven’t been the one scrubbing the bathroom since mid childhood because I couldn’t breath in the noxious fumes of the potent cleaners. I’d be thrilled to make every single cleaner and spray they promote and sell.
Would love to have this just to learn the basics–I feel like having the kit would empower me to branch out once I was comfortable making my own!
I would probably make the produce wash first. After all, my lettuce is coming in beautifully.
I would make something for my laminate floors that need a little shine, but I don’t want to use strong chemicals on it.
I’ve been so curious about these! I would love to win.
I would like to try the produce cleaner.
This looks very interesting! I would make the general cleaner first for my small floors!
would love to try out the floor cleaner – it’s always a battle to keep our ivory kitchen floor clean. did i see that the company is based on the cape? love that – that’s where i grew up!
I would like a good all surface cleaner.
I would love to try the produce cleaner and the all surface cleaner!
Anything for my kitchen or bathroom
The surface cleaner would get used everyday! And the veggie one too.
The produce rinse/cleaner!
I’d make a cleaner for my kitchen countertops!
I use baking soda to clean my sink in the kitchen because it kills all germs and disinfects the surface. It is very economical for everyone on a budget. I have bad allergies so natural cleaners are a must for me and my family.
All surface cleaner
Produce rinse! I definitely need one with the farmer’s market opening.
I would make a produce rinse and also something to de-gunk and de-stink my dishwasher.
Definitely produce wash
I just started making my own cleaners and this would be a fabulous way to try making more!
I’d try them all, lol! The produce wash would be the first one I’d mix up.
I am always looking for a good glass and surface cleaner!
an all purpose cleanser
A good all-purpose cleanser would come in handy numerous times a day.
Would love to try a window cleaner that works.