Spring Cleaning in the Herb Room

Spring Cleaning in the Herb Room

As the new growing season arrives, I take stock of my stock.  How much vinegar do I have left, what dry herbs are in the lowest supply -- this year rose hips and lemon verbena-- what packaging supplies do I need, how is the rubber band supply?

During this I pull out the racks, sweep and mop the floors, chase cobwebs and find all the empty herb jars and get them washed and sterilized.  One of the items I always seem to have in abundance at the end of the year is lemon vinegar.  I use it to clean with, so anything left that is not sold from the previous year is repurposed into cleaning supplies for the new year, which is why I always make extra.

Shelf of herb product mixing jars and vinegar bottles

The bottom shelf is where I keep the curing vinegar and those gallon jugs are the lemon vinegar, you can see why I might have some left.


Here are a few ideas to use up my lemon vinegar:

  1. Use to clean the disposal. I pour straight lemon vinegar into ice cube trays and freeze it.  Once frozen I drop half a tray of cubes into the disposal and run. It will clean the blades and freshen the drain and kill germs.
  2. If minerals in hard water are causing your wine or drinking glasses to get cloudy, soak them in the sink with some non-diluted vinegar for a few minutes and wash as normal. The vinegar should dissolve the minerals.
  3. Combining equal parts water and lemon vinegar in a large microwave-safe bowl. Microwave it for about five minutes to loosen any gunk with the steam, then wipe clean. Make sure to put a chopstick or toothpick inside the bowl—if not, the water can superheat and make the bowl explode!
  4. Mix 1:1 vinegar to hot water and mop the kitchen floor with it! This will protect your floor from too strong a concentration of acidic vinegar, and will help lift off any grease or dirt, especially around the stove or sink.
  5. Combine a 1:1 ratio of vinegar and water and place a spray bottle to use to disinfect counter tops and clean other kitchen surfaces.
  6. Vinegar's acidity helps cut through grease easily. Spray some 1:1 vinegar and water mix onto a splattered stovetop, let it sit for 10 minutes, and then scrub down with soapy water. It should wipe right off. If not, leave it to sit a bit longer.
  7. After cutting raw meat, it's good to not only wash your cutting board, but also disinfect it with a mixture of water and vinegar. Wipe it down thoroughly with a mixture of vinegar and water.

If you do not have lemon vinegar on hand like I do, use this recipe to create an all-purpose vinegar kitchen cleaner for yourself.

Vinegar spray being used to clean a counter by gloved person

Lemon Herb Kitchen Cleaner

  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • peel of two lemons
  • 2 sprigs of lemon thyme (optional)
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups distilled white vinegar

Combine all items in a quart jar with a plastic lid and allow to steep for 10 to 14 days. Strain into a spray bottle and use it all over the kitchen for cleaning counters, appliances, sinks and more.

This is a great refrigerator cleaner. It stops mildew and is a no-rinse formula so you can spray and wipe and you are done.

One and Done Refrigerator Cleaner

  • 1/2 gallon water
  • 1/2 cup ammonia
  • 1/4 cup vinegar, distilled white or lemon vinegar
  • 1/8 cup baking soda

Mix ingredients together in a bucket. Once the baking soda is dissolved, transfer the liquid to a spray bottle.

To USE: Spray and wipe with a clean cloth to remove mildew stains, and other refrigerator grime.




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