Spring Cleaning: Herb Soap Concentrate

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Simple herbal cleaning products bring nature’s fragrances indoors. Clockwise from upper left are Citrus Scrubber, lemon oil, Fragrant Wood Polish, Disinfectant Air Freshener, Herb Soap Concentrate, and Herbal Rug Fragrance.

Makes about 1/2 cup
By incorporating herbal essential oils into an oil soap concentrate (I use Murphy’s Oil Soap paste, available at ­hardware stores and paint stores), then diluting the mixture with the herbal ­infusion described above, I get a double shot of herbal cleaning power. I usually use lemon or orange essential oil because they are relatively inexpensive, but many other oils may be used.

  • 1 tablespoon essential oil or combination of essential oils (about ½ounce)
  • ½ cup or more concentrated oil soap paste
  1. Wearing gloves and using a stainless-steel spoon and glass measuring cup, stir the essential oil into the soap paste. Tilt the cup to the side. If oil separates from the mixture around the edges, add more paste and stir. Larger quantities can be made with a mixer or blender.
  2. Store the concentrate in a widemouthed glass jar. Label it well (it looks like apple jelly). This quantity will make up to 30 quarts of cleaning solution. To use, dilute it by adding 1 to 3 teaspoons of concentrate to 4 cups water or herbal infusion.

Louise Gruenberg gardens as much as possible and cleans house as little as possible in Oak Park, Illinois. She writes and teaches about herbs.

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