I keep coming across endless references to natural cleaning, both in old herb books I love to read and online at a lot of new blogs and websites. It’s a real eco buzz, to get green and clean! I have also acquired a documentary on film that I will watch soon and pass their ideas on to you, as well.
In this post I will give you the basic ingredients for a “green cleaning kit” out of which you can make anything and everything you will ever need to clean your house au natural. It is also a real money saving project as natural cleaning recipes cost overall about 1/10 what commercial retail products cost. That’s including any essential oils and detergents that you may need.
Natural Cleaning Kit:
White distilled vinegar
Lemon Juice or a fresh Lemon
A good liquid soap or detergent (preferrably natural and clear; chemical and perfume free)
Tea tree oil
6 clean spray bottles
2 glass jars
First of all, you can use Olive Oil and Vinegar as they are, with nothing more. Vinegar and spritz of water will wash up most mirrors, windows and table tops. It’s also excellent on tile and linoleum floors, porcelain counter tops and sinks. Olive Oil is fantastic on wood. Just dab it on a cloth and rub it on like commercial furniture polish. It gives a great shine and if you rub it in really well, it’s not greasy and it won’t attract dust. Try it on wood floors, too. Just don’t use a lot and rub it in really well so it won’t be slippery or tacky.
Here are the recipes you can make using your natural cleaning kit as described above.
CREAMY SOFT SCRUBBER
Simply pour about 1/2 cup of baking soda into a bowl, and add enough liquid detergent to make a texture like frosting. Scoop the mixture onto a sponge, and wash the surface. This is the perfect recipe for cleaning the bathtub because it rinses easily and doesn’t leave grit.
Note: Add 1 teaspoon of vegetable glycerin to the mixture and store in a sealed glass jar, to keep the product moist. Otherwise just make as much as you need at a time.
Remove all water from the sink or tub and pour about 1 cup baking soda down the drain.
Then pour 1 cup vinegar down the drain, plugging it immediately (if you’re unclogging a double sink, plug both drains). When the bubbles have died down (about 30 minutes), chase them down the drain with some hot water
1/4-1/2 teaspoon liquid detergent
3 tablespoons vinegar
2 cups water
I know I have given you this recipe in the past. Just a reminder to use it as is to cut the residue from commercial cleaners and then use it all the time to keep your windows clean. Works good on mirrors and other reflective surfaces. After the surface is really clean, you can keep it that way by using dry newspapers.
1 cup or more baking soda
A squirt or two of liquid detergent
Sprinkle water generously over the bottom of the oven, then totally cover the grime with the baking soda. The surface should be really white and thick. Once you have a good coat, sprinkle some more water over the top until it’s all a little moist. Don’t drown it. Then, let the mixture set overnight. In the morning, the grime will come up easily. Once you have most of the mess wiped up, dab a bit of liquid detergent or soap on a sponge, and wash the remaining residue from the oven. This is such a releif from those nose clogging, throat strangling commercial oven destroyers! It is worth trying a few times until you get the right combination. In the long run, it will save you buckolas and a set of lungs.
ALL-PURPOSE SPRAY CLEANER
1/2 teaspoon washing soda
A dab of liquid soap
2 cups hot tap water
Combine the ingredients in a spray bottle and shake until the washing soda has dissolved. Apply and wipe off with a sponge or rag. This works good but if you prefer, you can use Lemon Juice or Vinegar instead of washing soda. Or a small amount of detergent with Lemon Juice or Vinegar. Try them all and see what works for you.
QUICK MICROWAVE CLEANER
Put Lemon Juice or a sliced half of a whole Lemon in a small bowl and put it in the oven. Turn the oven on for 20 seconds. Afterwards, remove the hot bowl and wipe the oven down with a sponge. This is amazing how good it works!
1/2 teaspoon oil, such as olive (or jojoba, a liquid wax)
1/4 cup vinegar or fresh lemon juice
Mix the ingredients in a glass jar. Dab a soft rag into the solution and wipe onto wood surfaces. Cover the glass jar and store indefinitely.
Keep a clean spray bottle filled with straight 5 percent vinegar in your kitchen near your cutting board and in your bathroom and use them for cleaning. I often spray the vinegar on our cutting board before going to bed at night, and don’t even rinse but let it set overnight. The smell of vinegar dissipates within a few hours. Straight vinegar is also great for cleaning the toilet rim. Just spray it on and wipe off.
You may not beleive it at first, but Vinegar is a great antiseptic and it makes everything clean. I use it to destroy pet odors in my home. I have cats, including big Tomboys, and they make a stinker of a mess at times when they spray. A stiff mix of 3/4 Vinegar to 1/4 Water in a spray bottle works great. Spray it right on the offending odor and wait while it dries. The smell is gone! Thanks to Acetic Acid, one of the few natural ingredients that will destroy the smell of Ammonia. That’s why Vinegar is good in the bathroom, too.
Tea Tree Treasure
Nothing natural works for mold and mildew as well as this spray. I’ve used it successfully on a moldy ceiling from a leaking roof, on a musty bureau, a musty rug, and a moldy shower curtain. Tea tree oil is expensive, but a little goes a very long way. Note that the smell of tea tree oil is very strong, but it will dissipate in a few days.
2 teaspoons tea tree oil
2 cups water
Combine in a spray bottle, shake to blend, and spray on problem areas. Do not rinse. Makes two cups.
Straight vinegar reportedly kills 82 percent of mold. Pour some white distilled vinegar straight into a spray bottle, spray on the moldy area, and let set without rinsing if you can put up with the smell. It will dissipate in a few hours.