(Originally posted 9/4/2010)

I need to do a normal blog shortly, but I wanted to share some recipes for all natural house cleaners…..the cleaners you buy in the store are filled with nasty chemicals and cost so much more than making simple cleaners at home.

When you run out of your normal house cleaners, save the spray bottles, get a few glass jars and some basic ingredients:  baking soda, borax, apple cider vinegar (or white, if you prefer), alcohol, and essential oils of your choice…..my favorites to use are:  lavender, rosemary, lemon, orange, thyme, and eucalyptus.

You can really do all of your house cleaning with just apple cider vinegar and baking soda if you wish.  Use the baking soda as a gentle scrub for your sinks, bathtub, toilet, and stove and use the vinegar (you can dilute it with some water if you’d like, but either way the smell will go away quickly so don’t worry) on glass/windows/mirrors and your counter tops.  You can also add vinegar to your wash for stains such as alcohol, coffee, fruit juice, wine, etc….

If you’d like to get a little more creative and have yummy smelling cleaners (that also have extra disinfectant and cleaning properties), use these ideas:

LAUNDRY-

Smelly laundry- 
For towels or other things that have a mildew smell (or other hard to remove smells like skunk if you have a dog or urine if you’ve got little ones) use your normal detergent (an earth friendly, unscented one like the one from Method is a good one, or make your own, below) and add 1/2 cup of the mixture below:
1 tablespoon essential oil (rosemary is a favorite, but lavender is nice as well)
1 cup borax
Combine thoroughly and store in a glass jar.  It doesn’t go bad, it keeps forever.

Detergent-
1 tablespoon  essential oil (again, lavender or rosemary is great!)
1 cup baking soda
Combine thoroughly and store in a glass jar.  It doesn’t go bad, it keeps forever.  Use 1/2 cup per load as you would any normal detergent.

Scouring Powder (gentle)-
1 1/2 Cups baking soda
4 1/2 teaspoons essential oils (my favorites are lemon, orange, thyme, or a combination of them)
Combine thoroughly and store in a glass jar.  Sprinkle on a damp sponge as needed and scrub tubs, sinks, stoves, and toilets.  Rinse well with water.

Air Fresheners-
When vacuuming, add a cotton ball soaked in an essential oil into the bag or compartment that you empty…it blows out the air that smells like the essential oil.  Freshens the air while you vacuum!

Add a drop or two of essential oil to a light bulb before turning it on.

Fill a pan with water…add essential oils of your choice, or vanilla extract with cinnamon and/or allspice and bring water to a simmer…your house will smell amazing!

Carpet Freshener-
2 cups baking soda
1 teaspoon essential oil of your choice
Combine thoroughly and sprinkle on your carpet….let sit at least an hour, but overnight is better…vacuum up!

Glass Cleaner-
3 cups water
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar (steep with herbs for a week before if you want for an even better cleaner!)
A few drops of essential oil of your choice (lemon or orange is my favorite)
Put into a spray bottle, shake and use as you would any glass cleaner.  (keeps for about 6 months)

Disinfectant Spray-
In a spray bottle, mix:
1 cup water
1/2 cup alcohol
1 or 2 teaspoons of essential oil (lemon and/or lavender is my favorite)
Shake and spray into air or onto surfaces (not varnished wood) leave on surfaces for 10 minutes and wipe clean w/water.

All purpose cleaner-
In a spray bottle, mix:
2 cups water
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup lemon or lime juice (optional)
4 drops of essential oil (lemon or orange)
1 teaspoon borax
1 teaspoon liquid castile soap (you can get this from From Nature with Love or use Dr. Bronners.

Shake well before use.  Great on all surfaces except varnished wood.

Dish Soap-
Mix:
Two cups of castile soap
1 tablespoon glycerin
1 tablespoon essential oil (lemon is my favorite!)
Use as you would a normal dish soap.  You can also use this as a body wash!

If I have left anything out that you use often and want to see how you can make it at home, leave me a comment….I know a bunch more things to use as cleaners, but these are just the most common.

Here’s to a healthier and happier home!