We all want the best for our families…what’s good for the environment, our budget, and for our health. Using eco-friendly natural cleansers is a great way to go green. Here are some great tips:
This was previously published at Yahoo Voices in 2009, but since that site is now closed, I’m sharing the full article in it’s entirety here:
We are all making a difference by taking care of our surroundings, and choosing to live ‘greener’ or at least more ‘eco-friendly’. We are teaching our children who will in turn teach their children. And who wouldn’t want to do that? Especially when we are able to do these things without breaking the bank.
I for one, am constantly on the lookout for natural products that don’t cost a fortune. It’s tough being green because all the “organic” and “natural” products are always twice the price of their synthetic counterparts (which is just backwards). But I’ve found a way to clean green without spending too much green.
Making natural cleaners and organic home products is not only fun, but really easy. There’s nothing like the satisfaction of knowing you’ve done something good for yourself, your family and future generations. Who knew cleaning naturally could be so rewarding and at the same time so much fun?
Natural Floor Cleaner
When we had our new Pergo floors installed, the salesman gave me this great recipe for homemade floor cleaner. He told me how great it had worked on his own wood flooring. And since then, I’ve used nothing else. Of course I tweaked the recipe a bit by adding pure essential oils for all their added benefits.
This fantastic floor cleaner can be used on everything from ceramic tile to Pergo, from natural wood to linoleum, it works brilliantly, better than the brand name cleansers– and safer too.
Just find a 16 oz. spray bottle, you can find one at the dollar store (or use a sanitized recycled one).
Fill the 16 oz. spray bottle with:
- 1/3 distilled water,
- 1/3 distilled white vinegar,
- and 1/3 alcohol
Rubbing alcohol works fine, but better still would be grain alcohol for a less ether smell.
Add about 2-3 drops of natural liquid Castile soap, or liquid dish soap, and about 25 drops of pure essential oils such as; Lavender, Grapefruit, Tangerine, Rosemary, Lemon or Orange essential oil.
Shake well before each use.
To Use: Spray small sections of floor from about 18 in. away, and clean as you go (works best if you spray and let sit for about 30 sec. to a minute). For tougher spots, spray and let sit for 1 minute and re-spray right before cleaning. Smells great! Cleans great! And best of all it doesn’t hurt you, your family or your environment! This bottle usually lasts me about a month or so and is so cost effective; you’ll never have to purchase one of those expensive brands ever again.
To make this eco-friendly air-freshener, just add distilled water to a spray bottle, a few other easy ingredients, and add 30-40 drops of your favorite/favorites essential oils from the following list:
The essential oils are listed in descending order of anti-bacterial/antiseptic qualities (approx.), as well as other suggested e.o.s for a nice air freshener;
Thyme, Tea Tree, Clove, Lavender, Lemon, Peppermint, Rosemary, Eucalyptus, Cinnamon,
and Lavender, Sandalwood, Orange, Grapefruit, Tangerine, Geranium, Rose, Jasmine, Neroli.
Each one is excellent for purifying and cleaning the air. You may choose a combination of your favorites, or use only one of them. It won’t really matter, they all work brilliantly.
Just dissolve 30-40 drops of your chosen essential oils into 10 ml of grain alcohol (not isopropyl, something like Everclear or other neutral grain spirit );
or you can also use 10ml of mentholated spirits instead.
Add that mixture to approx. 500 ml (16 ounces) of distilled water.
Shake well to mix (and be sure to shake before each use)
Spray wherever you want a fresh scent while cleaning the air.
Be sure to always label your bottles. I use a Sharpie and write “Shake & Spray Air Freshener” and the ‘scent’ I’ve used so I won’t forget to shake the contents each time and with a glance see the ingredients clearly. It helps to add the date as well so you know when to make a fresh bottle. It’s best to discard unused portions after a month or so and start fresh.
Natural All Purpose Cleaner
I use this all purpose cleaner on almost everything except the floors. It works just as good as the more expensive natural brands.
- 2 teaspoons borax
- 1/2 teaspoon liquid soap
- 2 cups hot water
- Optional essential oil blend (lavender, orange, lemon or whatever scent you like) approx. 5-25 drops
Combine the washing soda, borax, and soap in a spray bottle. Pour in the hot water (it will dissolve the minerals), screw on the lid, and shake to completely blend and dissolve. Just spray and wipe away. For tough to clean surfaces, leave it on for a few minutes before wiping it off.
Shake well before each use.
Storage: Leave in a labeled spray bottle w/date, use in one month.
Soft Scrub Cleaner
This great cleaner is especially good for those glass top stoves, and is so simple to make you probably have these everyday items in your kitchen handy enough to make this whenever needed.
This scrub can be used on the bathtub, sinks, shower, even delicate marble or Formica counter tops. Just use ½ cup baking soda with enough liquid soap (organic castile soap is the best) to make a frosting like consistency. You can add 5 to 10 drops of an antibacterial essential oil, such as lavender, lemon, or orange (optional of course, but I think it adds more benefits– like orange oil with its awesome grease cutting properties).
Scoop your soft scrub mixture onto the surface that you want cleaned with a sponge, then scrub, wash, and rinse. Make only as much as you will use at the time as this recipe will dry out in a short time.
Mold Cleaner / Inhibitor: Tea Tree Treasure;
This mixture can last for months and is super easy to make. Just add 2 tsp. of Tea Tree Oil (5ml = 1 tsp) to 2 cups water (16 ounces = 480ml); Shake well before use and spray on problem areas. Do not Rinse. The strong odor will dissipate in a day or so. Store in a cool dry place with an appropriate label.
I hope you find many wonderful uses for these natural recipes in your ‘green’ home. Try them once, and see how much you save…you’ll go back to these recipes again and again after you realize they work just as good if not better than their more expensive counterparts. Plus, isn’t it great knowing you’re doing something good for future generations by helping to keep our world beautiful instead of adding more pollutants and toxins?
Neutral grain spirit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neutral_grain_spirit
Mountain Rose Herbs essential oils/affiliate
How to Make Environmentally Friendly Laundry Detergent, Air Fresheners & Other Household Cleaners
How to MAKE YOUR OWN “Green” LAUNDRY DETERGENT
This is really much easier than you think, it works great, will be gentler on the environment (and your septic system), and will save you money.
With this recipe, you’ll only be spending about $0.01 – $0.02 per load of wash. Wow, huh?
First, gather your ingredients for the 1:1:1 ratio of; borax, powdered soap and washing soda (not baking soda).
You can get the inexpensive unscented or hypoallergenic soap (comes in a pack of three) and grate it into a fine powder (this is the most time consuming part of the whole recipe but quite worth it).
Then mix everything together and scent the soap powder with a few drops of the essential oil of your choice. You can use whichever one(s) you want. I like to change it up and use different scents / essential oils everytime;
Like- lavender and vanilla,
or tangerine and grapefruit,
or jasmine and lemon…whatever you like.
Just make sure to not over-do the scenting with essential oils. Use less than you think you’ll need, adding only a drop or two at a time and mixing well.
One trick is to let it set over night and give it a sniff the next morning so it has time to permeate the whole batch. Never use essential oils directly on the skin and test patch for allergies first. You’ll find that you use a lot less than you think you’ll need. Just remember less is more!
You only need to use about one tablespoon of this homemade laundry soap mixture per load. It cleans clothes really well and it’s an all around winner.
It’s best to add detergent to the water before you add the clothes so the powder is fully dissolved. You don’t want to end up with soap spots on your clothes!
Congratulations! You just ‘greened’ your laundry and saved a bunch of $$$!!!
You are a fabulous frugalista!!!