A few of our readers have requested a post on transforming plain old white vinegar into a good-smelling cleaning machine. I tried this out this past winter, because I, too, was uninterested in having everything I cleaned smell 100% like vinegar and 0% like anything else. A house drenched in vinegar may be clean, but it also smells like a pickle.
While this was several months ago, and I do not have the exact site/recipe I used bookmarked on my computer (because I, Rachel, am not the most organized blogger ever), the basic idea I use is captured by these two posts from Happy Mothering and Crunchy Betty.
I stuffed the peels of three oranges into two different quart jars, and then covered the orange peels with plain white vinegar. Then I let it sit on the shelf for about two weeks. I drained out the vinegar and tossed the peels. The end result was a quart of somewhat brown, orange smelling vinegar. The process does not entirely negate the vinegar smell, it just minimizes it and makes you think of other things, like groves of oranges. Our house now smells more orange-y than pickle-y, which is a grand improvement. I like that Crunchy Betty tried other other scents, and obviously you could avoid the waiting period and just mix in the essential oil of your choice (2-3 drops of oil/pint of vinegar should take care of it).
To use this deliciously perfumed cleaning product, dilute with water(1 part vinegar : 2 parts water) and insert into a spray bottle. Use as you would any other spray cleaner. If you are not already using vinegar to clean, you can use for almost anything. It's not going to kill everything living in your house, and that is precisely the point. We often kill bacteria that are beneficial to us when we use commercial cleaners. Vinegar will do the trick in most cleaning situations. Check out this exhaustive list of uses for good ole white vinegar in the household.