Friday, August 20, 2010

my favorite natural cleaners

I've been meaning to update you on my favorite homemade cleaners because I've been using them so much more lately (since I've been doing Flylady). I love love love making my own cleaners. There is something so "potions and concoctions" about doing it this way. Here are my favorite recipes:

Tub and Tile Cleaner
The important thing about this is not only that it's very effective and fun to use but that it smells FANTASTIC. I like to apply this to the shower, scrub it around a little bit, leave it for awhile, and then, when I'm ready to take my shower, get in there and scrub a bit more and rinse it thoroughly away while showering. The peppermint smell is like an aromatherapy treatment in its own right. (By they way, this is very slippery, so I don't recommend doing what I do, but if you do get in the shower, rinse a portion away before you step on it).

1 2/3 c. baking soda
1/2 c. Dr. Bronner's castille soap (peppermint scented)
1/2 c. water
2 T. vinegar

Mix first 3 ingredients (I use an old plastic container that no longer is used for food). Take it to the area where you are cleaning and then add the vinegar (which will react with the baking soda). Apply and scrub. Rinse.

All-Purpose Spray Cleaner (for everything but windows)
Again, the wonderful thing about this is the smell, which you can change up with every batch if you want to. I started with lavendar, then later I was using peppermint, but now I'm crazy about tea tree oil.

1 t. baking soda
2 t. borax
1/2 t. liquid castille soap
2 c. hot water
several drops of essential oil of your choice, such as lavendar, sweet orange, lemongrass, eucalyptus, rosemary, or tea tree (or whatever you choose).

Combine baking soda, borax, soap, and essential oil in a spray bottle. Pour in the hot water
mixing well to dissolve the minerals, screw on lid tightly and shake well. (I actually mix this in a glass measuring cup then distribute amongst spray bottles as needed).

For windows I just combine water and vinegar in a spray bottle and wipe with a microfiber cloth. Works great.

I use a lot of baking soda these days and it is wonderful to buy the gigantic bag of it from Costco. Mine cost a bit under $6 (but I suspect it might be cheaper in your area? since the cost of living is so high here?). I love having a huge quantity of it so I can mix up the tub and tile cleaner anytime and not have to worry about running out.

Thanks for all your good wishes for Rainer. He did great and did not even cry when he got "accessed" (basically they stick a needle in his chest to access his port/central line). He is such a little trooper! One more month down and only 11 more to go.


Kelli said...

for my morning swish and swipe I was using white vinigar but didnt like the smell, because the paper towel was in the garbage, so for windows and counters ect I now use rubbing alcohol. I love fly lady, I cant keep up and then feel bad so I just do the morning and night routine and clean my house on my own schedule

Denise C. said...

Mary Beth, that is so wonderful about Rainer. He is a brave little guy. :)

I'm curious, where do you find castille soap? I too buy my baking soda from Costco. It's so much easier to buy such a big bag.

Btw...I got my Apples For Jam cookbook today, I cannot wait to dive into it! :)

Once Upon A Parent said...

I just love homemade cleaning products. Thanks for some new recipes.

Alison said...

I'm a fledgling too, but still working on baby steps with my own twist. And yes, I use my home made cleaners too :D I have no clue what castile soap is in Dutch or whether I could get that here... Might be worth trying to find. And well done Rainer! Will they take the catheter out when you're done?

Anonymous said...

I love Dr. Bronner's products. I use them all the time. I buy them at my local health food store.

I love your recipes for cleaning products. I usually use either baking soda or vinegar for most everything. I also found a fabulous recipe for laundry detergent that I have been using for over a year now.

lisarenata said...

I really want to start making my own cleaning products. Thank you so much for the recipes, I know I will come back and make them.

Jessica said...

Thank you so much for sharing!

Jessica said...

I need something new to use for the soap scum on the shower doors...any suggestions? Will the first one work okay for that, too?

tjoyy said...

thanks for sharing - very inspirational - I will check out some Australian type products too

Mary Beth said...

Jessica--we don't have a shower door, but I did see this recently for soap scum:
Good luck!

Gift of Green said...

Great post! I can't wait to try all these ideas! By the way, I tried your Everyday Granola recipe and it is yummy! I eat it ever day mixed in with a little Greek yogurt. And...I can't wait for Rainer's party in 11 months! Hope we're all invited! :)

PleaseRecycle said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog. Your blog is beautiful- I'm enjoying perusing some of your posts. And I am a huge fan of both Dr. Bronner's soap and tea tree oil too. Another trick we use is old credit cards (or hotel room keys) make great scrapers- for soap scum, baked on food on pots and pans, glass top ovens, etc .

I must say, re: leukemia, that going off treatment is almost as hard as going on. I am so grateful that Mollie has made it through treatment and things are going well, but I really have to try hard to push the worries (relapse and late cognitive effects) aside!!

Hope the next 11 months is smooth sailing for Rainer.

kristen said...

Great ideas! Thank you so much! Do you make your own laundry detergent? I'm on the look out for a tried and true homemade one (for hE washer).

Andrea said...

If you have a feed store nearby, you can get a 50-lb bag of baking soda for about $15. A recent natural cleaning discovery of mine--toothpaste makes an amazing silver polish. Woo-hoo for all that tarnished jewelry I was ignoring because I didn't want to buy toxic cleaners.

Mary Beth said...

Kristen--I haven't tried making my own laundry detergent yet, but I'm interested. Check out the link above, left by Angie.

Denise C.--oh hooray for Apples for Jam! I know you are going to love it!