No BS – You are doing yourself a disservice if you are still buying your daily household cleaners, naturally derived or otherwise. For over four years I have been working on phasing out chemical cleaners from our household. Granted, I know that I still have some areas where I can probably do a better job avoiding chemicals, but for everyday household cleaners, I’ve got four recipes you’ll be eager to use for life because they work THAT WELL!
I’m a HUGE supporter of reusing plastic containers and spray bottles that you have emptied and washed out. As long as you take care of your reused plastic bottles, they will last you YEARS! This decreases demand for newly-made plastic spray bottles in the marketplace. I’ve been reusing the same six spray bottles for many, many years. Honestly, I’m able to completely walk by the cleaning aisle of the store without stopping thanks to these four cleaner recipes.
- Lavender Multi-Purpose Spray
In a regular-sized spray bottle, fill with warm water and add the following essential oils (shake well before each use);
- 20 Drops Lavender Oil
- 20 Drops Tea Tree Oil
- 10 Drops Lemon Oil
This spray can be used EVERYWHERE!!! Spray it on your curtains, fabric furniture, bedding, mattresses, carpets, pillows, stuffed animals and use as an anti-static spray after removing your clothes from the dryer. Clean out your washer and dryer with this spray, wipe down your countertops, use as a spot cleaner on your floors, safe for wood furniture, cabinet faces, and the outside of your oven, refrigerator and dishwasher. You can even use this spray as a HAIR SPRAY to tame bedhead and REPEL LICE!!! (It doesn’t TREAT lice, it REPELS the lice from your child’s hair and clothing because lice HATE tea tree and citrus oils.) I also have used this spray safely on my car leather and interior to detail it.
- Vinegar and Vodka Spray
In a regular-sized spray bottle add the following ingredients and then fill rest of bottle with warm water (shake well before each use);
- 1 cup White Vinegar
- 1 cup Vodka
This spray is great for just about everything! The vinegar and vodka combo makes the spray evaporate without spots so you can use it on mirrors, glass and on all of your laminated cabinets, countertops, and floors. It disinfects toilets, sinks and showers. It removes musty aromas from fabric furniture and car upholstery (follow up with the Lavender Spray to give musty, moldy smells a 1-2 punch). The BEST THING about this spray is that it is SAFE for all food surfaces which means you can use it INSIDE your oven and microwave and I use it on my cooking surfaces to make sure there is no cross contamination when I’m cooking. Just remember that marble and some granites TURN YELLOW if vinegar is used on them so be aware of what you’re using this spray on.
- Scented Baking Soda
In a plastic container mix the following essential oils in with approx. 4 cups of baking soda. (Tip: Mix in a metal mixing bowl with a big spoon, mashing and mixing, mashing and mixing, for at least 5 minutes. If you have a Ninja or a blender you can use those to properly mix the oil, but it could leave a residue if not washed out properly so just be aware. Once the essential oil is thoroughly mixed into the baking soda it will take on a consistency more like corn starch or “moon sand”.)
- 20 Drops Lavender Oil
- 20 Drops Lemon Oil
- 20 Drops Tea Tree (or) Eucalyptus Oil
- Optional – Add an extra 10 drops of Orange, Grapefruit or Lemongrass Oil
This baking soda can be used in your laundry (one scoop per load + one cup white vinegar), as a carpet sprinkle (sprinkle onto carpet, let set min. 30 minutes up to several hours, and vacuum), or add some water and make a paste to make a scrubbing cleaner.
- Toilet Bowl Cleaner
In your toilet bowl, sprinkle the following in and scrub with a toilet brush (let set for several minutes up to an hour before flushing);
- ½ to 1 Cup White Vinegar – reduce amount for higher strength vinegar
- 2 Tablespoons Scented Baking Soda
First pour in the vinegar around the bowl and then sprinkle the baking soda on top. You will hear an effervescent fizzing sound. Scrub the bowl. Sprinkle more baking soda if needed and scrub some more. Let set for several minutes or up to an hour before flushing. Follow up with the Vinegar Vodka Spray to clean the outside of the bowl and the floor around the toilet for a 100% Zero Chemical clean. I also spray the toilet brush with the Vinegar Vodka Spray before returning it into its holder and will clean the holder out once a month with the Vinegar Vodka Spray as well.
I know that I’m not completely avoiding plastic because I’m still purchasing big bottles of vinegar (that only come in plastic in New Zealand) but the amount of cleaning that can be done with one bottle of vinegar is 10x that of one bottle of cleaning spray. So I’m still staying within the 4-R’s – Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle – by substantially reducing the amount of plastic bottles being purchased over the long term. Luckily, I’m able to refill my baking soda at the bulk bin store so I no longer purchase new containers and refill the one’s that I have on hand. They should last me decades as long as they are treated gently.
What are some of your tips for making natural household cleaners? I’d love to learn more recipes!