Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Homemade cleaners that work and smell amazing!

It's not normal to be this excited about cleaning products (although I know of several friends who will understand completely). As big as my smile was this afternoon you would have thought I'd won the lottery - I found the perfect formulas to natural homemade cleaners!!!! I was convinced this would be a lengthly process but I hit the jackpot with my first Pinterest trial. Best part is you can CUSTOMIZE it to your favorite essential oil!

I can't remember where I read this statistic but it hit me hard and I wrote it down - stay at home moms have a 54% higher risk of getting cancer because of all the toxins in household cleaners we're exposed to. That's assuming, of course, that we don't have a cleaning lady or filthy house :) My grandfather died of poisoning from the toxins in the cleaners he used to clean laundry machines. There have been many times in my past that cleaners I've used have burned my nose and the strong smell stuck with me all day. I've become light headed a few times cleaning out the bathtub shower. Not good. The chemicals used in traditional cleaners are serious stuff and should be avoided. I will not miss the a bit, especially with the yummy awesome replacements I've found for them!! (so exciting, not normal)

I have been pinning natural cleaning recipes for a while and they all seem to have combinations of the same ingredients:

  • baking soda - gentle abrasive, alkaline so it neutralizes bad acidic smells and reacts with grease stains. An affordable must for your cleaning arsenal.
  • hydrogen peroxide - kills bacteria, mold, mildew and fungus
  • white vinegar - all around great cleaner, check out this website for the multiple cleaning uses
  • tea tree oil (antiseptic and antibacterial)
  • Castile soap - dating back to the 11th century in Spain, this olive oil based soap (instead of animal fat) is known for its gentle and moisturizing properties. I immediately fell in love with Dr. Bonner's Magic Castile Soap and am going to search for more ways I can use this fabulous stuff. First off, the label is covered with all these itty bitty sayings and tidbits of wisdom. It's really something you need to see for yourself, very unique. Sample message: "Passions that quicken your senses, fulfill; quench the thirst of lonesome years! Yet the sun has shadows, learn to control your will; to enjoy life long happiness, not tears!" Yes, this is on a bottle of soap in a font of probably 2 - interesting stuff. They are big on Certified Fair Trade, Non-GMO, Certified Organic which I love - plus it's a family business! But it gets better... I stood at Whole Foods for probably five minutes trying to decide what scent I wanted to buy because they all smelled so amazing. Citrus, Almond, Rose, Tea Tree, Lavender, and Peppermint. I ended up buying the almond because it reminded me so much of the Caswell-Massey almond products I adore. 
In preparation for my testing out natural cleaners I went to Costco and found these sweet deals, best to buy these in bulk:

$3.19 for 5 liter bottle
$5.75 for huge 13.5 lb bag
I found my Dr. Bonner's at Whole Foods and they also have several essential oil options, which you'll also need. Trader Joe's also sells Bonner's, but I've only seen the peppermint and unscented.

I was cleaning windows, scrubbing tubs and wiping down doors just thrilled with the results I was seeing with these recipes - I'm not sure why they add all the dangerous toxic chemicals to cleansers because they're not needed! Call me a weirdo but I like to clean - I'm big on anything where I see results from my hard work (I'll be writing about gardening sometime soon, another perfect example). This stuff works better than anything I've ever tried, and it's so cool its all natural and homemade!! I never thought this search was going to be such a breeze :)

So here it is... recipes for a Softscrub, glass cleaner and all-purpose cleaner!!!!

SoftScrub replacement (perfect for tubs, stovetop, oven)
  • 3/4 cup baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 cup Dr. Bonner's Castile soap (fabulous scent of your choice)
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 5 drops tea tree oil
In a bowl combine baking soda and castile soap. Add water and stir, then add vinegar and tea tree oil. It  should mix into a frosting like paste - store in an airtight jar (I used the OXO plastic container I no longer use for food storage and replaced with glass!) Update*** The next time I used this it separated, but worked liked new with a little stir.

All-Purpose Cleaner
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dr. Bonner's Castile soap (CUSTOMIZED TO YOUR NOSE!!!)
  • 3/4 cup hydrogen peroxide
  • 15 drops of essential oil (also of your choice, I love lavender)
Glass cleaner
  • 1/2 cup vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon castile soap (makes it smell YUM)
  • 2 cups water
No streaks, and I tested it out on all our windows and mirrors. BEST I have ever used!

These recipes smell awesome, work and don't burn your nose. So happy :) I am going to be trying out natural cleaners for my hardwoods, toilet, and stainless steel appliances - hope to find replacements as good as these and will share soon. Tip: if you live in the South and have a Harris Teeter grocery store - their spray bottles work the best. I wasted money on cheap ones from Wal-Mart and they don't spray right and drip. The HT ones have a nice gentle mist and I like the measurement calipers on the side. Enjoy!

1 comment:

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