Thrifty Herbal Cleaners for a Healthier Home

The following is a guest post. 

What could be better than saving money, reducing landfill waste and at the same time making your home safer for you family?  Making your own simple cleaning products will accomplish all three of these and give you a sense of self sufficiency that is very powerful.  Who knows, it may start you down the same path that I took ten years ago to simplify my life by teaching myself to do things that I had previously relied on others to do for me. 

Maybe you have started on this journey already but haven’t had the confidence till now to defy the huge marketing machine that bombards us every day declaring that only their chemical laden products can make our house safely clean.  Take heart, with a few simple and safe ingredients you can make products to clean most of your home and make it much healthier.  And despite what the huge cleaning industry bosses say, you don’t need ten products to clean you home.  The following two creations will clean almost every surface that gets dirty.  Have fun!
The long list of complicated ingredients and supplies that will cost you lots of cash (not!):

herbs from theresaClean spray bottle (can be recycled but rinse well before use)
Glass or plastic wide mouthed jar (I use a pint canning jar)
Baking soda
Liquid castile soap (Dr. Bronner’s is good)
Rosemary, Peppermint or Lavender essential oil (can be mail ordered or found at health food stores)

Disinfectant Cleaning Spray
Fill a one quart spray bottle to within two inches of the top with warm tap water.  Add 2 tablespoons of liquid castile soap.  Add 1-2 teaspoons of your essential oil (EO) of choice.  All three of these have disinfectant properties so it is a matter of personal preference.  Adjust the amount of EO to lighten or strengthen the scent.  Shake to mix and shake before each use.  Label the bottle.

This cleaner will cost you about $.50 to make and can be used in so many ways.  Here are the things that I use it for.  Sinks, toilet (both inside and out), wood floors, tile floors, carpet stains, ceramic stove top (for non baked on stains) counters, bathtub and countertops, walls and anything else that gets dirty.  You can spray this directly on dirty little hands too. Just rinse with water to avoid the soap getting into the eyes.  This cleaner is completely natural and non toxic and cleans amazingly well.  Just spray it on, let it sit for a couple of minutes will you receive an aroma therapy session from the EO and then wash off.

Scrubbing Powder
Pour two cups of baking soda into a clean bowl.  Add about 4 tablespoons of liquid castile soap and 1-2 teaspoons

 of EO of choice.  Make sure you use pure castile soap and not liquid dish soap as the dish soap creates a bad chemical reaction with the baking soda.  Mix thoroughly and store in a plastic or glass wide mouth jar.  Label the jar. This will cost you about $.50.

I use this on stubborn sink stains, bathtub rings, and my ceramic stove top.  It also works great to scrub out pots and pans.  If you leave out the liquid soap, you can use it as a great refrigerator, cat box or garbage can deodorizer.

Mirror Cleaner
I know I said we’d talk about two cleaners, but I just had to throw this one in for the pure shock value.

Fill a quart spray bottle with water.  That’s it.  Plain water.  Spray it on and use a clean rag to wipe the mirror.  Switch to another clean, dry rag and wipe till it’s dry.  Amazing huh?  Who needs that stuff that’s dyed blue?  Some folks add a little vinegar but I haven’t found it to be any better.  Make sure you label the bottle as most liquids look alike.

Simple isn’t it?  And talk about saving money.  If you replace just these three cleaners with the expensive ones you are using now, you could save hundreds of dollars every year.  And think of the health benefits to you and your family and all of the bottles that won’t go from you house to the landfill every year.  Please give these recipes a try and you’ll be well on your way to frugal and healthy self sufficiency. 

Herbal Blessings, Theresa Lim

Theresa is an herb farmer and beekeeper in North Carolina.  I am very fond of her natural and therapeutic products.  You can find them at Honey Thyme Herb Farm.

image via Honey Thyme Herb Farm

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    • http://mommysgotgreen.blogspot.com Alexandra Hancock

      I’m super excited to try this out. I’ve been looking for an easy recipe to start this non-toxic cleaning I’ve been thinking about. I just posted a List of Natural Cleaners & Their Uses if anyone is interested in checking it out. :)

    • http://newmexicanlibrarian.blogspot.com Holly

      Could I use tea tree oil as a substitute for the other essential oils?

      Thanks for the tips.

    • http://www.drmercola.biz Mercola

      That’s dandy. My wife makes something similar.. wih rosemary.. and it’s a step up from regular cleaning liquid smell.

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