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Spring Clean Naturally: Recipes for Herbal Cleaners

3/31/2011 2:23:43 PM

Tags: Erin McIntosh, Spring Cleaning, Herbal Cleaning Products, Homemade Cleaning Products, Naturally Clean, Essential Oils, DIY, EOs, Recipes

E.McIntoshErin is the Communications Manager at Mountain Rose Herbs and an apprenticing herbalist at the Columbines School of Botanical Studies, where she botanizes and wildcrafts medicinal plants in the magnificent Oregon Cascades. www.mountainroseherbs.com  

Snow is melting away, green leaves are peeking out on limbs, and early bloomers are coloring the city pink and yellow. The long-awaited warmth of spring is a little more noticeable as the days pass, and I’m excited about the promise of a new garden space! While it’s still a bit early for dreams of tomatoes ripening on the vine, a deep spring cleaning is surely calling my name.

I’ve been making my own natural cleaning formulas for a few years now. Commercial cleaning products contain harsh chemicals that irritate my skin, burn my eyes, sting my lungs, and poison the natural waterways and wildlife I cherish. It feels great to banish these icky toxins from my home for good. Plus, making my own cleaning solutions is really easy, inexpensive, kinda fun, and much healthier for me and the environment.   

These quick and easy recipes will help you prepare your home for the warm months ahead—without using gross chemicals. Great to have on hand year round, these natural homemade cleansers can replace conventional cleaning products in your cupboard with just a few basic ingredients.

03-31-2011-1 
Baking soda is a must have ingredient for cleaning naturally!
Photo by Thomas Dick
 

Herby Soft Scrub

• 12-ounce glass jar with lid
• 1/2 cup baking soda
• 1/2 cup castille soap
• 15 drops of antimicrobial essential oils, like rosemary and sage

Mix well until you have a nice consistency like cake frosting. If you have leftovers, add 1 teaspoon vegetable glycerin to keep the blend nice and moist.

Super Surface Spray

• 16 ounces spray bottle
• 14 ounce - 1:1 solution of distilled white vinegar and water
• 7 drops tea tree essential oil
• 7 drops lavender essential oil
• 7 drops lemon essential oil

Use this aromatic and disinfecting solution for cleaning kitchen counters, cabinets, refrigerator shelves, blinds, painted wood surfaces, painted walls, molding, fan blades, and more.

Antibacterial Soap Spray

• 16-ounce spray bottle
• 14 ounces water or rosemary hydrosol
• 3 tablespoon castille soap
• 15 drops tea tree essential oil
• 15 drops oregano essential oil

Use this cleaning spray to disinfect your bathroom surfaces. You can use the Super Surface Spray to rinse away any residue left behind by the castille soap.

Refreshing Linen Spray

• 16-ounce spray bottle
• 3 ounces unflavored vodka
• 12 drops lavender, ylang ylang, peppermint, orange or your favorite smelling essential oil
• 12 ounces organic hydrosol of your choice

Spray to refresh your mattress, pillows, bed linens, couches, and fabric covered chairs or spritz clean winter blankets before storing for the year. Also makes a wonderful ironing spray!

Natural Lemony Furniture Polish

• 16-ounce spray bottle
• 1 cup olive oil
• 25 drops pure lemon essential oil
• 1/4 cup distilled white vinegar
• Fill remainder of the bottle with purified water

Shake well and spray onto your rag or directly onto furniture. Buff dry immediately.

Tropical Carpet Deodorizer

• 1 cup of baking soda
• 10 drops lemongrass essential oil per cup
• 10 drops mandarin essential oil per cup
• 10 drops ginger essential oil per cup

Mix together and sprinkle the aromatic blend onto your carpet, let sit for 30 minutes, and vacuum as normal. Wonderful mattress deodorizer, too!

Mop-It-Up Formula

• 1 small glass bottle
• 1/4 cup castille soap
• 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
• 20 drops of tea tree essential oil
• 20 drops of sweet orange essential oil

This is the perfect cleaner for tile, vinyl, or linoleum floors. Mix the solution with 2 gallons of hot water and mop away the dirt and grime!

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 Use anti-microbial essential oils to create natural cleaning agents.
Photo by Thomas Dick
 

Anti-Microbial Essential Oils for Cleaning

Basil, Bay, Bergamot, Cardamom, Cinnamon, Clary Sage, Clove, Eucalyptus, Fir, Ginger, Juniper, Lavender, Lemon, Lemongrass, Myrrh, Orange, Oregano, Patchouli, Peppermint, Pine, Rose Geranium, Rosemary, Sage, Savory, Spearmint, Spruce, Tea Tree, and Thyme.
 



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