Did you ever wonder how people cleaned their homes in the "old days" before the invention of uber-powerful household cleaners? Answer: they used ingredients from their kitchen cupboards and kept their abodes as clean as a whistle. It turns out our ancestors could have taught us a thing or two about saving time, money and living a greener lifestyle.
As a green consultant and author of the forthcoming book, The Smart Mama's Green Guide: Simple Steps to Non Toxic Babies, Jennifer Taggart has embraced the use of DIY household cleaners, just like in the days of old. She wrote the book (literally) on maintaining a non-toxic lifestyle and has perfected DIY recipes for household cleaners that are not only effective and environmentally friendly, but also save time and money. "You can make a couple of all-purpose type of cleaners from relatively inexpensive ingredients. My all-purpose cleaning spray probably costs less than $0.50, compared to a $5.99 bottle for a conventional all-purpose spray", says Jennifer. And (added bonus!) you can feel comfortable having your kids’ help you clean because you don’t have to be worried about potentially harmful ingredients!
You too can clean house with Jennifer’s tried and true do-it-yourself cleaners. Here’s how:
Mild Abrasive Cleaner.
Uses: Perfect for the bathroom, kitchen countertops, and sinks.
Recipe: Mix 1 cup baking soda with 1/4 to 1/2 cup liquid castile (vegetable based) soap. Add as much liquid castile soap as necessary to get the creaminess you want. This will keep for up to a year if you add 2 teaspoons of vegetable glycerin. For a pleasing fragrance add a few drops of your favorite essential oil.
Uses: Works well on hard surfaces, such as windows, countertops, sinks and showers.
Recipe: Mix equal parts of distilled white vinegar with warm water in a spray bottle. Note: This all-purpose cleaner can't be used on marble, as it will etch the surface.
All-Purpose Cleaner & Disinfecting Spray.
Uses: Cleans and disinfects hard surfaces such as windows, countertops, sinks and showers.
Recipe: Mix 2 cups of warm water, with 1 and 1/2 tablespoons of liquid castile soap and 20 to 30 drops of tea tree oil.
Disinfectant Spray and Mold Killer.
Uses: Perfect for spot treating mold and mildew stains commonly found in showers and tubs.
Recipe: Mix 2 teaspoons tea tree oil with 2 cups of water. Tea tree oil has anti-viral and anti-fungal properties.
Uses: Cleans and restores lustrous sheen to wood surfaces.
Recipe: Mix 1/4 cup olive oil with 1/4 cup white distilled vinegar and 20 to 30 drops of lemon essential oil. Note: You can substitute 2 teaspoons of lemon juice for the lemon oil, but be sure to refrigerate leftovers.
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