The Stench Of Success

Green cleaning products

OK, so it’s been about 6 months now since I started using mostly natural, home-made cleaning products in my home. My almost-all-purpose cleaner is a spray bottle filled with half water and half white vinegar. It is amazing, cleans fantastically well – better than anything else I’ve ever used – and leaves me satisfied that I can allow Squish to eat straight off the highchair tray after just a quick wipe.

For the kitchen floor, I just dump some vinegar in with some hot water in a bucket, chuck in some bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) and get mopping. Again, it works brilliantly. Hardly any elbow grease required.

I’m really struggling with it, though. I want to use it, I really do, but the smell…. I just can’t bear it! I know so many people who say that vinegar is what clean smells like to them now, and I’ve really tried to get used to it, but I just… can’t. My kitchen smells like a fish & chip shop. I am not going to give up on my cleaning spray, because the benefits far outweigh the stink, but I have found myself using bleach on the kitchen floor again recently because even that, with its toilet cleaner-esque chemical aroma, is better than the vinegar :( For some reason it smells extra gross in the bucket.

Granted, the smell is pretty much completely gone once it’s dried, but that takes quite a while especially in the bathrooms.

I’ve tried using tea tree oil, lavender oil and eucalyptus oil but none of them seem to mask it enough. What am I doing wrong? Am I not putting enough oil in? Do I need to pour a whole freaking bottle of the stuff in there, or am I expecting too much? HELP!


  1. Erica says


    My name is Erica Polzin, I’m a military spouse from the U.S. I am pregnant with my first child so when I saw you on my friends facebook page, you caught my attention! Have you tried to lessen the amount of vinegar and add lemon or orange too it. They have similar properties to vinegar and can offset the smell.

    • says

      Hi! Thanks for stopping by, and for your suggestions! I honestly hadn’t thought of putting lemon juice in there, I’ll get one today and try it! Thanks!

      • says

        I was going to suggest lemon as well. Also, half a lemon works really well in a waste disposer too, to, well, make it lemony fresh. :)

        I recently came upon the wonders of baking soda. I bought a second hand jogging stroller a few months ago that came from a family who owned a dog, and the thing smelled like dog. I did NOT want to put my kid in it. A little soap and water, and a sprinkling of baking soda worked wonders. Not even a whiff of doggie now!

        It’s good to know that the vinegar and water solution works so well. I may have to put together a squirt bottle for the high chair and table. I feel like I’m CONSTANTLY cleaning the high chair, carrying it back and forth to the sink.

        Thanks for the ideas!

        • says

          No worries! It really is great, it cleans so well, it even took all the dried on weetabix off my table that I hadnt been able to shift for weeks, and I’d tried everything! Bleach sprays, Method spray, soaking with water/fairy liquid… Vinegar rocks! It’s just the smell :( I can’t wait to try the lemon.

  2. says

    We use BioD Orange Cleaner which is basically coconut oil and orange extract, and it is WONDERFUL. It’s the only cleaner we use, everywhere (except we do use BioD washing up liquid for the dishes). Also, you only need a tiny amount so it last for ages and ages and ages. I honestly don’t understand why most people have different bottles of prodcuts for different areas of the house… it’s total overkill. If something is extra smelly or has had things like poo/wee on it, they will get a bit of extra antibac from some tea tree/lavender. But that’s it. It works for us :)

  3. Evie says

    I use sweet orange EO and it masks it quite well – I use the vinegar as fabric softener too especially as it works great on CN and towels! I really have gotten used to the smell though as well, I even have Chris in on it making the washing powder!!

  4. says

    I love Young Living Essential Oil cleaning products. “Thieves” has a Christmas fragrance/ to me( cinnamon, cloves), and it is such a great disinfectant and cleaner. A tiny bit goes a LONG way. I am a distributor, but I share because I care.

    BTW: I found this by accident in a detox bath:
    Fiberglass tub scum is GONE with….. da da dada
    Epsom salt/ Grated Ginger. I don’t know why, but my tubs are ABSOLUTELY shiny!
    I get a detox bath/ with hot water, and my tub is Shiny !. I do not ‘wash’ It is a ‘spa treatment for ME’. Let me know if this works for anyone else.

  5. Juliana says

    If you fill a mason jar with citrus peels and them pour vinegar over them and let it steep for a few weeks on a cupboard, it’ll just smell like citrus after you cut it with water.

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