Friday, April 8, 2011

Spring Cleaning

Dish cloths by RebeccaJayStudios

It finally feels like spring here in San Francisco, the perfect time to open windows and get cracking on some serious cleaning. This is a great opportunity to assess your cleaning products and move toward an ‘eco-friendly’ cleaning regime. Take stock of all your cleaning products - most conventional cleaning products filled with a variety of harsh and potentially toxic chemicals. Now is the time to get rid of those nasty cleanser - you will need to dispose of them properly (no, you can't just dump in down the drain or toss the bottle in the garbage) so check out info for your local Hazardous Waste Facility. Most have certain days or drop off locations for residential hazardous waste materials. Now you can re-stock your cleaning supplies with environmentally friendly effective cleansers. Most of the ingredients are things you can find in your cabinets like baking soda, white vinegar and natural dish soap (I like Ecover and Earth Friendly Products). These are great “double duty” ingredients plus you will save money by making your own cleaning products.

I’ve listed a few of my favorite natural DIY cleaning recipes below:

All Purpose Cleanser 1

  • 1 cups white vinegar
  • 1 cup distilled water (or tap)
  • 1/2 tsp natural dishwashing liquid/liquid castile soap
  • 20 drops essential oil*

Measure and mix ingredients. Pour into a spray bottle. Label!!

All Purpose Cleaner 2

  • 1/2 cup vinegar
  • 1/2 cup baking soda
  • 6 cups distilled water (or tap)
  • 50-60 drops essential oils*

Measure ingredients, mix before pouring into spray bottle (the vinegar and baking soda will bubble and expand - make sure to use a large enough container to handle any overflow). Pour into a spray bottle. Label!! Shake before use.

Bath Tub Scrub

  • 1 cup baking soda
  • 1 cup borax (should be able to get this at hardware store/grocery store - this can be harsh on the skin so make sure to wear gloves)
  • 2 tbsp liquid soap (like dr bronners)
  • 40-60 drops essential oil

Measure and mix ingredients in glass or ceramic bowl or dish (preferably one you dont eat out of) store in glass jar (I like to re-use condiment/pickles jars for this product) or heavy duty plastic container. When ready to use, sprinkle around damp tub and start scrubbing! ***Do Not use on metal fixtures

Bath Tub Cleaner 2 (the ULTRA basic formula)

I just toss some baking soda all around the tub and then spritz with some white vinegar - the fizzy action helps with the cleaning process. I let that sit for about 5 minutes and then start scrubbing!

Super Simple Room & Linen Spray:

  • ½ cup vodka
  • 15-20 drops essential oils/blend

Pour ingredients into a glass bottle with spray nozzle. When ready to use, shake and spritz!

Simple Furniture Polish

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ cup vinegar
  • 15-20 drops lemon or orange essential oil

Measure ingredients and pour in to bottle with a spray nozzle. When ready to use, shake vigorously and spray directly onto wood furniture or onto rag. Polish away!

*essential oil recommendations: lemon, lime, tea tree, eucalyptus, rosemary, lavender, thyme (use caution with this oil as it is a skin irritant), sage. These essential oils are great for cleansing because of their anti-bacterial/anti-fungal properties and because they smell great!

Make sure to label each bottle carefully and keep out of reach of small children and pets.

You can also green your cleaning by cutting up old t-shirts, towels or sheets to create cleaning rags rather than using sponges or paper towels. Or, choose one of the gorgeous wash cloths above.

Do you have a DIY cleaning recipe you like?


Googlover/keishua said...

great recipes. I have a cleaner that I make with vingear, water, borax and few drops of essential oils. I love this offering of recipes,though. I can't wait to start making them.

Alana said...

I am going to have to try out your cleanser recipe. Part of the fun of the DIY recipes is customizing and playing with ingredients.

Tie Dye Grrl said...

Dig these, will try!
I love using minty fresh peppermint essential oil in my multi-purpose spray :)

Here are a few recipes I use for the wash:

Fruit/Wine Stain Remover
Scrub some salt into the stain and pour milk over it. Let soak for 10-15 mins then wash


Natural Fabric Softner
1/4 cup Vinegar
2 1/2 cups COLD water
1-2 drops essential oil, be aware some oils can stain clothing (optional)

I use violet oil and just LOVE my clothes smelling super groovy!!!

Alana said...

Great recipes, I will definitely have to try the stain remover one!!

Thanks for sharing!