Hello, and welcome to the start of my year-long series about making your life greener and healthier!
In the month of Nisan, I want to focus on natural cleaning in our dwellings.
I used to run a shop with homemade, natural cleaning and cosmetic supplies. It did quite well and the items worked SUPER well, but honestly? Schlepping items isn’t my thing. I found myself wanting to give it away to friends, family, and strangers in financially hard times.
Either I or one of my family members use these items in our home or have and liked them on a longer-term basis.
I hope they may bless you and others in your life! These help(ed) me save so much money over the years while helping me save time that simple baking soda and vinegar requires of me for scrubbing. With 4 kids, homeschooling, making everything from scratch, and studying for my Nutritious Movement certification, I need not only eco-thrift, but time savings, too!
A big note. You’ll note that you won’t find homemade laundry soap on this list. I used to use and sell a clean version of Homemade Laundry soap, for around a decade. Every 6=9 months, I would need to do a deep clean on my washing machine, getting rid of a filmy grime build up that I’d not had with the synthetic detergents I’d used before. I did think something of it, but not enough to question the massive money savings. Then a friend passed an article on to me long after I had closed my store up. After a few months of mulling it over, watching my machine, and researching more, I decided to purchase a “eco friendly” detergent from our local storeless co-op. If you are interested to read what spurred that decision on, you can read about it here.
Liquid Dishwasher Soap – I ONLY use a tablespoon of this, which only fills the detergent holder about half way. I prefer a liquid dishwasher detergent over powder, but the powder I made/sold is excellent, too. It is just a matter of my personal preference!
Powdered Dishwasher Soap
~ I can’t remember what website I found this on anymore, but if you recognize where it is from, please let me know!
I kept a terracotta hunk in the glass jar for this to keep it from clumping/hardening.~
2 cups borax
1 pound baking soda, one box
1/4 cup salt
1/4 cup dendritic salt
1/2 cup citric acid
40 drops citrus essential oil
Put all in glass container, mix, making sure to blend lumps in well. To use, put a tablespoon or so into each cup of the dishwasher. Use white vinegar in rinse dispenser. May also use like Comet to scrub counters. (Makes 3 pounds.)
Hand Dish Soap – use lemon instead of citric acid. If you are concerned about some of the ingredients, as I was, take a look at this article!
I used to make this All-Purpose Cleaning Spray until I read this. Now, I just follow the instructions on Sal Suds and things come out MUCH cleaner than they were with the previous recipe… when I thought it was doing so well (and it was, compared to the toxic stuff I had been buying way over a decade ago!)
Serious Oven Cleaning Formula
~It’s messy, but very effective and much safer than using the “self cleaning” feature.~
1/2 cup salt
1/4 cup washing soda or borax
1 pound baking soda
1/4 cup water
3/4 cup white vinegar
10 drops thyme essential oil
10 drops lemongrass essential oil
Combine first three ingredients in glass bowl. Add just enough water to make paste.
Remove oven racks and preheat oven to 250F for 15 minutes, then turn off and leave door open. Carefully spread paste on oven walls with a sponge or cloth and allow to set for 20-30 minutes.
Combine vinegar and essential oils in spray bottle and shake well. Spray on oven walls and wipe clean. Rinse well.
Note: If you have a lot of baked on grease or food splatter, you may want to use steel wool to scrub those areas. Use a bit of extra salt if necessary.
3/4 cup Castile soap
3 ounces glycerin
6 tablespoons borax
20 drops peppermint, or tea tree oil
6 cups water
Put 6 cups water into half gallon jug. Add borax first and shake gently. Add remaining ingredients and shake gently. Carefully fill jug with remaining water. (Makes gallon.)
2 cups baking soda
5 drops tea tree oil
5 drops lemon essential oil
10 drops lavender essential oil
2 teaspoons dendritic salt, optional
In large bowl, add baking soda and then essential oils. Mix well. Add dendritic salt, if desired. Put in clean cheese shaker. To use, shake evenly onto carpet. For basic maintenance, allow to set for 20-30 minutes, then vacuum. For flea treatment, let set for several hours, then vacuum. Empty contents of vacuum into outdoor trash immediately.
Windshield Washer Fluid
~We only use this in warmer months, as it will freeze in the winter. This is not a “save” area, but an ecological one only.~
1 ounce liquid castile soap
1 cup vodka
water, to fill
In a gallon jug, mix all ingredients. Fill windshield washer fluid dispenser in car as needed.
Natural Insecticide – I use this indoors when ants invade, in places that diatomaceous earth isn’t practical, like the kitchen counter near the sink.