Today's Quote

“If people let government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny.” Thomas Jefferson

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Make Your Own Household Cleaners

Everybody seems to be going green these days, but I went "green" years ago when I discovered that my oldest had allergy induced asthma. What was she allergic too besides dust and cat dander-perfumes. You know the ones, the chemical combinations that are supposed to smell like nature. And what did I clean my house with, cleaner that made my home smell like a chemical rainforest. The problem was that my daughter could not breath even though my house was clean. So I had to come up with some other ways to clean my house. I found that I needed just a very few ingredients; vinegar, baking soda, salt, lemon juice, tea tree oil, and olive oil. With some cleaners I do use a drop or two of regular dish soap so you might want to have this on hand. You will need several spray bottles or other type of container for your cleaners. Now let's make those cleaners so that you can keep your home shiney, sparkling, and healthy.
Window/Glass cleaner
Vinegar 3/4 cup
Water 3 cups
Mix in a spray bottle. I like my glass cleaner to be a little strong. Living in the country I tend to get quite a bit of heavy clay dust on my windows (yes even the inside) so a little stronger solution tends to clean better for me. You could make this with just 1/2 cup of vinegar and be fine for most areas.

Bathroom Cleaner For Sinks and Counters
Water 3 cups
Lemon Juice 3/4 cup
Tea Tree Oil 10 drops
I mix all of this in a spray bottle. Both the lemon juice and tea tree oil are disinfectants so I really like to use them in the bathroom. You can use this mixture for your toilet also unless it really needs scrubbing. For that you can use the toilet and shower scrubber that follows.

Toilet and Shower Scrubber
Baking Soda 2 cups
Salt 1 cup
Tea Tree Oil 15 drops
Dish detergent (liquid)
In a large ziploc bag mix the baking soda and salt, then add the tea tree oil seal and mix throughly some more. You can store in the bag or put in a container for storage. To use you will need to add vinegar; 1 cup of scrubber mix and then add just enough vinegar to make a medium consistency paste. If you have a lot of oil on your shower and bath then add a couple of drops of dish detergent to cut the oil residue. Then use the paste to scrub the shower and bath. The vinegar and tee trea oil are natural disinfectants so you are de-germing also. You can use this paste to also clean the inside of your toilet bowl to remove and hard water stains in the bowl.

Furniture polish
Olive Oil
Tea Tree Oil
In a bottle mix about two cups of olive oil with about 10 drops of tea tree oil. I use the tea tree oil because of its disinfectant properties, but you could use lemon oil or orange oil. Just remembering they must be the essential oils, not a scent. This is especially important for wood furniture as the chemical composition of a scent will strip your wood, while the essential oil will not. Apply like you would any furniture oil, remembering that a little goes a long way. When I oil my furniture I always like to have a dry cloth on hand to go over the polished furniture one more time just to remove any excess oil and give it a good polish.

For Linoleum or laminate I mix 2 cups vinegar, 15 drops tea tree oil, and 2 gallons water in a bucket. Then mop.
For hardwood floors I mix 2 gallons warm water, 1/2 cup olive oil, 15 drops tea tree oil then mop after wringing most of the water out of your mop. Mopping hardwood floors requires a barely damp mop, too much water will ruin your floors. The olive oil will help to preserve the wood and the tea tree oil disinfects. I only recommend mopping hardwood floors no more than once a week, I mop my kitchen every day. But then again I have a toddler who enjoys laying on the kitchen floor.

Pot scrubber
Lemon juice
Apply the lemon juice liberally to the pot, then apply a little salt (about 1 tblspn) and scrub. The acid in the lemon juice strips stains and discoloration while the salt scrubs off the residue. Then rinse the pot thoroughly with water. This will keep your pots nice and shiny.

No you have a nice clean home without all the chemicals. It has been years since my daughter has had an asthma attack. What a difference removing the chemicals has been!
Disclaimer* I don't claim that these cleaning methods will work well for everyone. Use your common sense judgement.


SimplyForties said...

Some good recipes, thank you! I've made the switch to mostly vinegar and baking soda cleaning and it works amazingly well. I'm going to give your hardwood floor cleaner a try. That's one I'd not heard before.

RecycleCindy said...

Great post and it is wonderful using and making your own green household cleaners. So frugal too!