Monday, August 24, 2009

Meet my new best friend...the spray bottle

An under-valued household item has become highly valued in our home lately. Here are a few of the ways we've learned to appreciate a good old spray bottle:

# 1) Vinegar & Water: I've attached a list from a magazine article entitled "Cheap Cleaner" about all the practical uses for vinegar (Stain remover, furniture polish, bug spray, dishwasher rinse). I keep this at the kitchen sink and use it for everything.

Let me digress about vinegar since it really is a Wonder Product...
I'm amazed at the many tips available for vinegar. Here's a handy bookmark (there's also one for baking soda uses. Think I'll try the homemade playdough suggestion.) You can print and keep handy or tape to your spray bottle: Vinegar Uses

Additional helpful vinegar tips:
Heinz Vinegar
The Vinegar Institute

Here's a tip from The Vinegar Institute (I just love that there's a Vinegar Institute!) that I'll be trying the next time I have cut flowers in the house:
Keep Flowers Longer
Keep flowers fresh longer. Add 2 tablespoons sugar and 2 tablespoons white vinegar in a 1-quart vase of water. Trim stems and change water every five days.

# 2) Veggie Wash: I buy fruit & veggie wash at Trader Joe's but the flip top makes me feel like I'm wasting so much of it if only cleaning one produce item at a time. So instead, I've diluted it with water (to make it last longer) and added to a medium spray bottle. It's labeled and stored on the kitchen windowsill for easy access—fortunately, my kids love fruits and veggies so this one is used many times a day.

Although, after my day of researching vinegar, I might just have to switch to washing the fruits and veggies with the same vinegar and water solution I clean the counters with.

# 3) Kitchen Table: After dinner, my daughters love to take a spray bottle filled with water and clean off the kitchen table as well as the hardwood floors. Talk about killing two birds with one stone! Who knew spraying water could be so fun?!

# 4) Bathtub: I've purchased two (matching, of course!) travel-sized spray bottles (found them in the travel section at Target) that I then add a little baby shampoo/body wash and fill with water. It's now the only bath toy in the tub. In order to distract my toddler from spraying her big sister in the face, I ask her to spritz various body parts: "Can you spray your toes?" Entertainment, education, housecleaning, kid cleaning...this is by far my favorite!

On a recent trip to a farm with family, I was reminded of another great use for spraying water—as a mister on a hot day. And to think they charge a fortune for them at amusement parks!


  1. Ha ha ha! Love it!
    I spilled a bottle of vinegar in my fridge last week and did not realize it until a few hours later when the smell was wafting through the house. It did smell very clean! Love the dinner table bottle idea. My daughter ALWAYS asks to help clean the table w/windex and of course, I never let her because of the chemicals. OH JOY! Won't she be a happy baby this evening when she gets her very own pint sized spray bottle...from Target of course! Sure hope they have pink!!!!

  2. Can't wait to hear how it goes! If they don't have pink for your Pinkalicious tot, then do what I did when Sadie only wanted Mommy's spray bottle: have her add her favorite stickers to it to accessorize it. Sadie added shiny unicorns and that seemed to do the trick to make it look as appealing as my flowered one.

  3. We love spray bottles too! Each of them have their own personalized bottle (from the dollar store) and I have to agree that its amazing how much entertainment it provides. I love the idea of making the cheap cleaner. Any chance you can post a photo of the article on your bottle? Also love the produce wash idea...I have always felt the same way about wasting it!

  4. Dara, I've added a link to a more extensive vinegar cheat sheet.

  5. DON'T leave me hangin'!!! I am ready (and in need) of a new tip, Momma!
    :) Hope all is well in your corner of the world!!!

  6. I love the spray bottle in the bath tub idea! I can't wait to try it with Sylvie...she's going to love it!

  7. I add lemon essential oil to the vinegar, about 1 drop per ounce. It smells good and it is disinfectant and antiseptic.

  8. wendy said...
    I add lemon essential oil to the vinegar, about 1 drop per ounce. It smells good and it is disinfectant and antiseptic.

    September 30, 2009 11:04 AM

    That is a wonderful idea! I started cleaning with distilled vinegar months ago, but my teen daughter always complains about the odor when I spray it. Now to research where to buy lemon essential oil the cheapest in my area!

    My personal tip: I add distilled vinegar to my final rinse cycle (1/2 cup) in lieu of using liquid fabric softener or dryer sheets, and my wash comes out of the dryer softer & fluffier. I have less lint in the lint trap too. You'd think that your dried laundry would stink of vinegar, but you cannot smell it AT ALL! I use fragrance-free/dye-free detergent, and still no vinegar odor.