While I was pregnant with Harper, I took a close look at all the things I was exposing myself to on a daily basis (except for the paint mentioned in the previous post, of course). I started researching homemade household cleaner recipes, and I was surprised to find a myriad of natural ways to keep the house fresh-smelling and CLEAN! I also love that making my own cleaners is CHEAP and well...yeah...it's FUN! Right? Everybody! Come on! Okay, so I can't take the credit for these recipes. I found them all over the web, tried them, and then kind of edited them for my own purposes. You could certainly substitute other essential oils or leave them out if you want unscented products. (I buy my essential oils here.) Also, some of the recipes call for distilled water, but I don't always use it. If you don't have some handy, don't worry about it. Your cleaners will still work great!
All-Purpose Cleaner I use this to clean the stove, the sink, toilets, bathtubs, spots on the floor...basically anywhere that needs a heavier-duty cleaner. You could use this in the place of something like Formula 409.
- 1 cup hot water
- 1 teaspoon Borax
- 1/2 teaspoon washing soda (not baking soda)
- 1/2 teaspoon castile soap (I use Dr. Bronner's Baby Mild)
- 4 drops sweet orange essential oil
- 2 drops lavender essential oil
- 2 drops eucalyptus essential oil
- 2 drops tea tree essential oil
Put all the above ingredients into a jar, close it, and shake. Pour the mixture into a spray bottle. Spray onto whatever you need to clean, take a deep breath to enjoy the clean scent, and voila! All-purpose cleaner! Because this one has Borax in it, I would keep this one out of the reach of children. It's not toxic or anything; it's just not something you want your kiddos going around drinking or dousing on themselves.
Window Cleaner I use this to...surprise...clean the windows. It works great on mirrors, too. Use it like you would use Windex. Be sure to NOT put any essential oils in this mixture as they will cause streaking. Duh. (I'm telling you this from my own experience.)
- Equal parts vinegar and water
- A little lemon juice (NOT essential oil)
Complicated, right?! Then just spray it on and wipe off with a microfiber cloth. I've heard that newspaper works well, too...or of course you could use paper towels. But why not get a pack of microfiber towels and save a tree or two?
Wood Furniture & Floor Polish This is a great little formula that smells a bit vinegar-y at first spray...but don't worry; the vinegar smell dissipates quickly and leaves fresh air behind. If you prefer getting high while dusting, by all means - continue using Pledge. Otherwise, use this IN PLACE OF Pledge. :D
- Equal parts vinegar and water
- Few drops of peppermint essential oil (or whatever floats your boat)
Again, EASY! Spray onto the wood surfaces and wipe well with a microfiber cloth. Be sure to not leave any moisture on your wood. You can use this same formula in a bucket to mop hardwood floors. Again, just be careful to dry the wood thoroughly.
Granite Countertop Cleaner I LOVE this cleaner because it smells divine, and I can spray it on the counter multiple times throughout the day to freshen up the kitchen.
- 1/4 cup rubbing alcohol
- 3 drops liquid castile soap (again, I use Dr. Bronner's Baby Mild)
- 3 drops tea tree oil
- 4 drops lavender oil
- One cup water
You guessed it: put it all in a bottle, shake, and spray. Wipe it off with a damp microfiber cloth or rag.
Stainless Appliance Cleaner It doesn't get any easier than this. Just spray vinegar onto the stainless, and wipe off with a microfiber cloth. For real.
Foaming Hand Soap My favorite! Do you hate how dry your hands feel after washing them as much as I do? Then you'll love this soap. It smells extremely light and fresh, too, so the men in your house won't feel like they're bathing in an English garden (or crashing into a tropical island, or whatever). This recipe makes enough to fill one foaming soap dispenser. (Hint: refill an old one to avoid buying a new one. If you're in Salt Lake City, you can buy new ones at Earth Goods General Store.)
- 1 cup water
- 2-4 tablespoons liquid castile soap (Dr. Bronner's Baby Mild)
- 1 teaspoon pure vegetable glycerine
- 1 teaspoon almond oil
- 8 drops grapefruit oil (or more - to your satisfaction)
- 10 drops lavender essential oil (or more)
- 5 drops eucalyptus essential oil (or more)
Put everything in a container with a lid, and shake. Pour into soap foamer and ENJOY! I bought my Dr. Bronner's and vegetable glycerin at Earth Goods General Store. You should be able to find these items at most health foods stores.
Toilet Bowl Cleaner This one's easy, too. Pour some baking soda in there. Then pour in some distilled white vinegar. Watch it foam! Giggle a little! Then scrub. All done.
Fabric Softener Again, vinegar. That's right. Just pour it into the rinse cycle, or put it in the rinse container if you have an HE machine. I promise, your clothes will not smell like vinegar. In fact, you know that nasty smell that towels and bathcloths sometimes accumulate? Wash them in vinegar, and it will come right out. Promise. Then, put a couple dryer balls in your dryer to fluff up the fabrics (see the pink and purple, spiny looking, ball-shaped object in my post photo).
That's about it! It's a great feeling to know you've just cleaned with products that you could practically eat - not stuff that will kill your pets, your children and your sense of smell. (Not to mention your few remaining brain cells.)