What if I told you that I not only use the inhabitants of my pantry to create wholesome dinners for my family and friends, but to make my house sparkling clean as well?
Just like a box of factory-made food, store-bought cleaning products often come slapped with a list of ingredients that take a PhD in chemistry to understand. Who needs all that? Most people are trying to simplify their lives, not add homework! But when I did my homework and learned that most of the unintelligible chemical nonsense is actually quite poisonous to both humans and the environment, I knew that something had to be done.
If I’m going to put time, effort and love into making wholesome food, why would I stop there? If I care so much about what is going *into* my body, why wouldn’t I care about what I’m spreading *around* my body? If I work so hard to eat locally in order to benefit my community, why would I clean in such a way that is harmful to the people around me?
Hard questions to be sure, but thankfully there is a rather easy answer and it’s to be found in the kitchen cabinets!
Here are a couple of recipes that I use on a weekly, if not daily basis in my home. I have a strict set of criteria for my cleaning products: they must work well – I need something I can rely on to get the job done the first time. The product must be as ‘clean’ as possible, meaning that it can’t contain any ingredient I wouldn’t put directly on my skin. I have a little one now and the thought of scrubbing out the tub he is going to soak in with a toxic cocktail of chemicals sends a shudder down my spine. The last thing is that they have to be efficient. I’m not too interested in something that may work – but it takes an untoward amount of time or effort to do so. Again, I have a little one and not a lot of time to spend putzing around with elaborate cleaning schemes.
Alright then! Having said all that, let’s get to it… and just in time for cleaning house before the holidays!
Window Cleaner/ Daily Shower Cleaner/ All Purpose Cleaner
*I use this to clean just about everything, from windows to floors…
1 cup vinegar
2 cups hot water
2 tsp dish soap or 1/2 tsp castile soap
10 drops essential oil such as lemon, lavender or tea tree (optional)
Mix all ingredients in a spray bottle and use as desired.
Scouring Powder Replacement
* I use this any time I need a scouring agent – on baking dishes, cutting boards, stubborn stains, in the toilet bowl…
1 cup baking soda
5-10 drops of essential oil
Mix well and fill a parmesan cheese shaker. Use as you would scouring powder. To boost the effectiveness, I add a few drops of vinegar to create a powerhouse of cleansing foam that breaks down just about every mess I’ve encountered.
Bleach Alternative Spray
*this is one of my favorite recipes!
1/2 cup hydrogen peroxide
1/4 cup lemon juice
water to fill a spray bottle
5-10 drops tea tree essential oil (adds a cleansing, disinfecting boost)
Use to remove stains, to disinfect and deodorize, pour 1/2 cup of the mix in your white load of laundry in lieu of chlorine bleach. I use this on my whites and baby clothes and they come out squeaky clean.
* for all your sticky messes!
Mix together equal parts of baking soda and coconut oil. Rub onto your sticky residues and then wipe off. This works wonders, I love it!
So what do you think? Are you ready to make your home a little merrier for the impending holidays? An hour or so in the kitchen with a few simple ingredients could set you up with an inexpensive, powerful, people and earth-friendly arsenal of cleaning products that will make your house shine! Enjoy…