Spring has sprung! It is evident in the indecisive weather we are having, the daffodils that are dotting our landscaping and in our poor itchy watery eyes. The more rays of sunshine that gleam through my windows the more acutely aware I am that my home is ready for an intense spring cleaning.
We are obviously big advocators for going green in our all-natural bath and body products, so of course we also love incorporating that attitude into other aspects of our lives. I am a breast cancer survivor, so I am always looking for great ways to swap out the chemicals and use more naturals around my house. Here are some great recipes for some household swaps you might be wanting to make as you tackle your next cleaning project!
Vinegar has been used as a natural cleaner for ages. I can remember washing my grandma’s windows with vinegar and newspapers. If you ask your friends, I bet they have a favorite vinegar cleaning concoction they swear by. You can find many different variations of an all-purpose vinegar and water mix to use around your home. The vinegar cuts through the grease and has anti-bacterial properties as well. Always remember however, that vinegar should not be used on porous surfaces such as marble or granite.
All Natural Window Cleaner Recipe
1 T. Lemon Juice
Mix together in spray bottle and shake before using. (If you aren’t as worried about all-naturally cleaning your windows, you can add a good squirt of Dawn Dish Detergent to the mix). It works wonders.
All Purpose Cleaner Recipe
3 c. Water
1 c. Vinegar
2 tsp. Lemon Juice
10 drops of Lemon Essential Oil
Mix together in spray bottle and shake before using.
Bathroom Cleaner Recipe
When I am cleaning, the last place I want to hit is the bathroom for two reasons. First, it is the bathroom. I just imagine the near-misses by my nine-year old boy. Second, the small confined space makes using strong chemical cleaners a major migraine trigger. You can’t avoid the bathroom forever, but you can choose a more headache-friendly cleaner. Adding a natural dish soap to the vinegar does the trick.
Fill your spray bottle halfway with vinegar. Add several squirts of natural dish soap (about 2-3 Tbsp. depending on the size of your bottle. Mine is 32 oz.) Fill the bottle the rest of the way with warm water, and shake gently to combine.
If you need a surface paste to scrub away at harder to clean spots try this!
Take ½ cup Baking Soda, slowly add enough water to make a tough stain-fighting paste, then mix in eight drops of essential oils such as Tea tree, Eucalyptus, Rosemary, Oregano or Bergamot. You can also use it with an old toothbrush to get into tiny places or to scrub gently.
Mold Buster Recipe
Mold is yet another thing that can be lurking in those bathrooms, but the cleaners used to fight them could quite possibly be just as dangerous. A nice, green swap is using Tea Tree Oil as an antibacterial and antiviral cleanser. Mix the following into a spray bottle.
10-20 drops of Tea Tree Oil
1 T. Rubbing Alcohol (for not painted surfaces) or Vinegar (for painted surfaces)
2 cups Water
You will want to completely saturate the moldy area, let it sit overnight and wipe down the next day for best results.
Dryer Sheets Substitutions
Not only can you go a little greener in surface cleansers, but in your laundry room as well. I swear I feel like I am constantly in a fight against the itch! Itchy skin due to dry weather, kids with their eczema, and itchy clothes. In our family, we must avoid a lot of heavy perfumes and dyes. So, I was excited to hear about these all-natural dryer balls. Want a way to fight those wrinkled clothes in the dryer naturally? Instead of using conventional fabric dryer sheets, try switching to all natural wool dryer balls. Most of these are made with organic New Zealand felted wool (ours are hand spun locally from Alpaca owners which is even more delicate on the skin) and will help your laundry ditch the static, have fewer wrinkles and come out of the dryer super soft. These cool little laundry balls are re-usable for around 1,500 loads and even shorten dryer time which translates into a lot of savings, too! A great bonus, add a drop or two of your favorite essential oils to one of the balls (3-6 are needed for drying depending on load size), rub the oil together with another ball, and you can forget about your favorite jeans smelling like fake lavender ever again. Waiting on your order to arrive? Add a few drops of essential oils to a damp washcloth and throw that in the dryer for great smelling clothes!
When trying something new, like green cleaning swaps, go easy. If you don’t have the desire or pocketbook to throw everything out and start fresh, don’t fret! You don’t have to do that. Take baby steps, change things out as you go, one thing at a time.
Jamie is the newest member to our team. She is putting her writing skills to good use as our resident contributing writer for the website and we are happy to have her. You will also find her helping customers in the store from time to time because she just can’t help it. Jamie is obsessed with our Eye Espresso Eye Cream and has at least four lotion bars in her purse right now.