Monday, April 19, 2010

Make Your Own Cleaning Supplies, Naturally

Using natural cleaning supplies is better for you (and your children and pets), the environment and can save you money! Here are some easy recipes to make your own home cleaning supplies from Natural Home Magazine.

Scouring Powder: Baking soda and salt with a hot water rinse
Disinfectant: Borax or soap with hot water
Drain Cleaner: Boiling water and a rubber plunger or plumber's snake
Furniture Polish: Olive oil mixed with a little lemon juice
Floor Cleaner: Castile soap with hot water, or white vinegar with water in a spray bottle or bucket
Oven Cleaner: Be proactive and line your oven with foil. Wipe up spills after each use.
Tile and Tub Cleaner: Baking soda, with a cut of lemon for removing stains
Air Freshener: Open the windows for a really good airing to avoid the need for air fresheners. If you want a scent, use a diffuser with a candle underneath and essential oils in water on top to be burned.
Window Cleaner: White vinegar
Antibacterial/Antifungal/Antimold: Tea Tree oil with borax

Lemon Mint Window Wash
For the shiniest windows, use sheets of newspaper (black and white only) to scrub and shine them. The newspaper ink may darken your hands, but it shines the window without streaking.

Juice from two fresh lemons
4 cups water or club soda
1 teaspoon peppermint essential oil
2 teaspoons corn starch

Mix all ingredients and pour into plastic spray bottle. Shake well before using.

Lavender and Tea Tree Spray Cleaner
This spray cleaner disinfects, wipes out mold and discourages its return.

1 teaspoon borax
2 tablespoons white vinegar
2 cups hot water
1/4 teaspoon lavender essential oil
3 drops tea tree essential oil

Mix all ingredients together and stir until dry ingredients dissolve. Pour into spray bottle for use and long term storage. To use, spray as needed on any surface except glass. Scrub and rinse with a clean, damp cloth.

All-Purpose Cleaner for Kitchens and Bathrooms
2 teaspoons borax
4 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
4 cups hot water

Mix ingredients and pour into a refillable spray bottle. For stronger cleaning power, add 1/4 teaspoon liquid soap, such as Dr. Bronner's. If desired, you can add a few drops of tea tree oil for disinfecting strength or neroli oil for citrus' cleaning oomph.

Grapefruit Abrasive Cleaner
This cleanser is comparable to a soft scrub and can be used for tubs, sinks, tiles, and even hardworking hands stained with grease. The lingering scent is pungent and fresh!

1 cup fine-grade pumice
1/2 cup clay powder
2 tablespoons grapefruit essential oil
1/4 cup baking soda
1/2 to 1 1/2 cups boiling water (enough to make a thick paste)

Mix all ingredients together and stir. Store in a labeled airtight container. To use, apply gently with a damp sponge or cloth and scrub. Use a light touch on fiberglass fixtures.

Spritz-and Spray Toilet Bowl Cleaner
The baking soda and vinegar in this formula dissolve mineral buildup, while the oils loosen grime and give a fresh, clean scent.

4 tablespoons baking soda
4 tablespoons vinegar
2 teaspoons orange essential oil
2 teaspoons grapefruit essential oil
4 cups water

Mix all ingredients in a measuring cup or a bowl. When you mix the vinegar and baking soda, it will foam. Let this mixture stand for 10 minutes before pouring into a spray bottle.

Carnuba and Lavender Furniture Wax
This paste wax will clean, condition and polish wood surfaces while providing a protective coat of wax. Fine carnuba wax is derived from the leaves of the palm tree.

The lavender essential oil enhances cleaning power. Use a circular motion to rub it onto wooden floors and antique furniture, buff with sheep's wool and a soft cotton cloth.

1/4 cup carnuba wax
2 tablespoons beeswax
1 1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon lavender essential oil

Melt waxes over low heat in a small saucepan. Stir on olive oil, then lavender oil. Pour mixture into a container of tin, plastic, or glass and allow to harden.

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