Monday, May 16, 2011


If you are anything like me, you get the feeling, sometime around March, that everything is dirty, smells and out of place. There is this restless itch that only fresh air, deep cleaning and organization can cure. It's spring cleaning time. I don't know whether to love it or hate it but I do know that I love the feeling after a few weeks of tackling various cleaning projects around the house. Everything sparkles and shines and smells like sweet orange and lemon--and not the fake, chemically induced kind.

Over the years I've eliminated all of the toxic products I had previously collected but this year I took it one step further. In March, I reinvented my dust-busting armory with a few simple recipes I found in The Naturally Clean Home: 150 Super-Easy Herbal Formulas for Green Cleaning by Karyn Siegel-Maier. Here are some of my most used combinations.

Note from Tina: If you decide to clean out your toxic supplies be sure to dispose of them safely. This means foregoing dumping them down the drain, flushing in the toilet or dumping them outside [doing any of these endangers the ground water, streams, lakes, rivers and most importantly you, me, and the children who drink and play in them]. Instead, take them to a place that safely disposes of toxic chemicals - contact your local recycling agency or Department of Environmental Quality to find out where to bring them.

Lemon Blast Cleaner

1 tsp. liquid castile soap
1/4 c. white vinegar
1/4 c. lemon juice
2 c. water
6 drops citrus seed extract [like grapefruit seed extract - you can find it at most health food stores]
4 drops lemon, lime, orange, or eucalyptus essential oil [or a combination of any of these]
1 tsp. borax

Combine all ingredients in a spray bottle. Shake well before each use. Spray generously on surface and wipe with cloth or sponge. Wipe dry with towel.

Easy Breezy Glass Cleaner

1 c. water
1 c. white vinegar
10 drops of lemon or lime essential oil [or combination of the two]

Combine all ingredients in a spray bottle and shake a few times to blend. Spray lightly onto a cleaning cloth and wipe surfaces until dry. Shake before each use.

Germs-Be-Gone Toilet Cleaner

2 c. water
1/4 c. liquid castile soap
1 tbsp. tea tree essential oil
10 drops eucalyptus or peppermint essential oil

Combine all ingredients in a spray bottle and shake well. Spray on toilet surfaces and wipe clean with a damp cloth or sponge.

Easy-Does-It Bowl Cleaner

1/2 c. baking soda
1/4 c. white vinegar
10 drops tea tree essential oil

Combine all ingredients. Just add to the bowl, swipe with a brush, and you're done.

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