by erin stewart sm (1011 of 3)

How to Make Effective Cleaning Sprays with Herbs

Did you know that I keep a jar of vinegar filled with citrus peels under my kitchen counter? I use it to make an at-home cleaning spray that I taught you how to whip up two summers ago (recipe for that here).  It’s a popular recipe and I love using the spray to wipe down my kitchen and bathrooms, but did you know that you can use other herbs to make cleaning sprays too? I started experimenting with some recipe variations last year and found that there are a few things I really like to use.

Most of the herbs that I usually include in cleaning spray recipes are culinary herbs that are easy to grow or find at your local grocery. The properties you want to look for in the herbs you choose include:

  • antimicrobial
  • antibacterial
  • antiviral
  • antifungal
  • disinfectant

Most herb books will have a list of therapeutic effects or properties for the different herbs they include in the book. When you see these properties listed under an herb, that’s a pretty good indicator that the herb (or essential oil) will probably make a great contribution to a cleaning spray formula.

Some of my favorite herbs to include are:

  • rosemary
  • thyme
  • oregano
  • lemon balm
  • lavender (leaf and/or flower)
  • bee balm

To make your cleaning spray, you’ll want to start with freshly harvested herbs (if you can – if not, use purchased or even dried herbs). Fill your jar with your selections, then pour distilled vinegar over the herbs until they are completely submerged in the vinegar. Use a chopstick to work out any air bubbles, then cap the jar and leave it to infuse for 2-6 weeks. Once it reaches the strength you’d like, you can strain the plant material out of the vinegar and bottle the infused vinegar in a spray bottle. Use it like any other all purpose cleaning spray. It’s wonderful on counters and I even use it on my mirrors sometimes!

What do you like to include in your cleaning sprays? Leave a comment below to let me know – I’d love to hear!

Much love,


Erin Stewart is an herbalist, NAHA certified aromatherapist, organic gardener and urban homesteader. She grows over 150 kinds of aromatic and medicinal plants for her own apothecary and distills essential oils and hydrosols in her PNW garden. Erin is the founder of Floranella and of AromaCulture’s herbalism + aromatherapy magazine.

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4 thoughts on “How to Make Effective Cleaning Sprays with Herbs”

  1. Helena Oberg-Avola

    Do you have an option for granite counters? Use alcohol instead of vinegar..?

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