I love having a clean home. I do not like cleaning. As a child growing up my Mother gave me instruction on how to cook, clean and generally keep house. Every Saturday morning I had the chore of dusting, vacuuming, doing the dishes, helping with laundry and cleaning the bathroom that I shared with my two older brothers. I hated cleaning the bathroom the most. If you have brothers I probably don’t need to tell you why! Back in the 70’s, we cleaned with bleach, ammonia and good old Ajax powdered cleaner. I wonder how I even survived! If the house doesn’t smell like chemicals then it isn’t clean, right? Wrong!
Over the years I’ve done my own research and the information that I’ve come across is nothing less than scary. The amount of new chemicals being approved in the last 20 years is astronomical! Many people are becoming more aware of the dangers of using these harsh chemicals to clean their homes. So the alternative is to use “green” cleaning products, right? Well, maybe.
It is important to know that the words “natural” and “green” are nothing more than marketing terms. What you think may be a safer alternative may not be. So reading the labels is key, right? Well, normally yes, reading the product labels is a great place to start. However, with cleaning products the manufacturers do not have to reveal all of the ingredients in their products on the label. Say what? The manufacturers have conveniently lobbied the government to exempt them from this requirement, so they can purposely omit any ingredient that is considered a secret formula from its label. It is no surprise that many of these non-disclosed ingredients are actually toxic. So what is a person to do?
I grew up with the saying “If you want it done right, do it yourself.” Making your own cleaning products may take a little time out of your busy day, this is true. The bonus is that you will most definitely save money and you’ll know exactly what is in your cleaning products. I don’t know about you, but my peace of mind is worth the time it takes to whip up some of my cleaning products. I have a few of my own favorites. If you Google natural cleaners you’ll find an abundance of DIY recipes. Pinterest is chocked full of great ideas. Shoot, you can even make your cleaning products and package them in pretty containers and give them as house-warming gifts! The ideas are endless. I’d like to share a few of my favorite recipes with you.
This versatile concoction will clean sinks, tubs, and your stovetop. It’s great on old porcelain too.
1 cup baking soda
¼ cup liquid castile soap
2 vitamin C tablets crushed
5 drops eucalyptus essential oil (You can substitute lemon if you want to whiten old porcelain)
This can be made for a single use or you can double up and store in a glass jar. Be sure to use a colored jar or store in a dark cupboard. Use a medium bowl to mix the baking soda, castile soap, crushed vitamin C and essential oils. I like to use an electric mixer for a fluffier consistency. Mix in water until you have the consistency you desire.
Make your entire home smell wonderful with this simple recipe.
1 cup borax
1 cup baking soda
½ cup cornmeal (optional)
15 drops essential oil of your choice (I love to use Lemongrass or Orange)
Mix all of the ingredients together. I purchased a glass parmesan cheese dispenser (like you find in your local pizza place) from a craft store. This container makes it easy to shake the powder over my carpets. I let it sit for 15-20 minutes and then vacuum. This recipe will help to eliminate odors that may be embedded in your rugs.
This is a single use recipe.
1 cup white vinegar
1 cup baking soda
5 drops essential oil (eucalyptus, lavender, lemon all work well)
Mix the essential oil with the baking soda and pour into the toilet bowl. Add the vinegar and after the bubbles have died down, scrub with your toilet brush. Easy peasy!
Homemade Dry Laundry Soap
Grate the bar of soap and add washing soda and Borax. Add your choice of essential oil. Use one scoop (3 tablespoons) per wash load. It is best to add the soap to the washer first and let the water run to dissolve the powder before adding clothing to be washed.
8 oz glass bottle with spray trigger
6 oz distilled water
1 oz vodka or witch hazel
8-15 drops essential oil
The vodka/witch hazel helps the scent to stay longer as well as helps the oil and water to emulsify. I use this same recipe for a linen spray and I keep a bottle in my car to freshen the interior after giving my sweet pit bull Cocoa Mocha a ride.
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Jen Roszelle is the founder of Living In Abundance, a business created to support others in living a healthy and holistic lifestyle. Jen calls herself a “Whole Foods Revolutionary” and specializes in showing others how to create healthy and nourishing meals using local, organic ingredients and sustainable resources. She is also a homeschool mom, adoptive parent to a gorgeous pit bull dog and is a fair weather hiker.