Grow Your Own Cleaning Supply Garden

Cultivate sustainable living from outside to inside as you grow, make, and clean with these safe DIY household supplies.

| May/June 2019

 washing-dishes

 Photo by Getty Images/filadendron

When I started to keep house with my husband, I wanted everything to be clean. What I didn’t realize was that my continuous use of so many commercial cleaning products was doing as much harm as good around my home. Since my grandmother’s day — when all you needed to keep the house spotless was soap, water, and time to scrub — many chemicals have been introduced into our cleaning supplies to save time. We spray chemical-laden disinfectants on countertops to quickly and efficiently kill every microscopic thing that might be alive. But there’s a dirty secret about cleaning: Soap and water is, and always has been, enough to prevent illness. The need for “disinfection” hasn’t risen out of an epidemic, but instead is the result of a simple change in marketing.

Studies continue to show that soap, water, and a little elbow grease will remove almost all the dirt, grime, germs, and contamination from surfaces throughout our homes. And for those of us who feel more comfortable with the idea of disinfection, there are natural options. Vinegar, for example, will take down most any nasty microbe, but it does leave an odor and isn’t for everyone. Adding essential oils to homemade solutions has become popular, and some oils are certainly an option for your homemade cleaning arsenal. Many essential oils are aromatic, effective cleansers.



Being ever the “grow-my-own” type, however, I wondered what plants I might cultivate that would also help me clean the house. Unfortunately, I can’t grow a plant that will physically stroll in and clean up, so there goes my million-dollar idea. On the plus side, I came up with a list of effective plants you might like to try growing and harvesting for homemade disinfectant solutions. When using herbs for cleaning, you’ll make use of a less-concentrated form of their chemicals than their essential oil preparations. Fresh and dried herbs are often the easiest to use as a tea in cleaning supplies, but you can also use either form for their abrasive qualities in any job that requires scrubbing.

With a little bit of garden space, time, and care, you can both clean your house and keep everyone who lives there safe from a cleaning cupboard laden with chemicals. Get started with the following five plants and recipes.



Subscribe today and save 58%

Get the latest on Healthy Living and Natural Beauty!

Mother Earth LivingRedefine beauty and embrace holistic living with Mother Earth Living by your side. Each issue  provides you with easy, hands-on ways to connect your life with the natural world -- from eating seasonally to culinary and medicinal uses of herbs; from aromatherapy and DIY cosmetics to yoga and beyond. Start your journey to holistic living today and you’ll discover all the best and latest information you want on choosing natural remedies and practicing preventive medicine; cooking with a nutritious and whole-food focus; creating a nontoxic home; and gardening for food, wellness and enjoyment. Subscribe to Mother Earth Living today to get inspired on the art of living wisely and living well.

Save Money & a Few Trees!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. You’ll save an additional $5 and get six issues of Mother Earth Living for just $19.95! (Offer valid only in the U.S.)

Or, choose Bill Me and pay just $24.95.




Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter

Classifieds