Make Your Own Cleaning Products
Protect yourself, your loved ones and the planet by making your own cleaning products. It’s easy and you’ll save money too!
Make your own all-purpose spray cleaner
Add to a quart size spray bottle:
1 cup of white vinegar
10 drops each of tea tree oil and 10 drops of orange essential oil
Add enough water to nearly fill the bottle.
Shake well and it’s ready to use.
The vinegar and tea tree oil both have great antibacterial qualities, and the orange oil gives the solution a pleasant scent.
Make your own window spray cleaner
Add to a quart size spray bottle:
¼ cup distilled white vinegar
½ teaspoon liquid soap, like dish soap or castile soap
1 ¾ cup of water
8 drops of essential oil of your choice.
Shake it well and it’s ready to use.
Spray the cleaner on glass, windows, and mirrors and wipe until clear and dry using a newspaper.
Most popular essential oils are:
Lavender: antiseptic and antifungal
Clove: antiseptic and repels ants
Sweet orange: disinfectant
Tea tree: antiseptic, disinfectant and antifungal
Thyme: antiseptic, disinfectant, antibacterial, antimicrobial
Learn these by heart so when you go shopping, you will be label smart!
Chemicals to keep out of your home
The following are toxins you don’t want in your cleaning products because they are hazardous to your health:
A quick guide when shopping for cleaning products:
All purpose surface spray: chlorine free, ammonia free, solvent free
Window and mirror spray: ammonia free, no synthetic fragrances or dyes
Liquid dish soap: plant based, biodegradable, no synthetic fragrances or dyes
Dishwashing detergent: plant based, biodegradable, phosphate free, chlorine free, no synthetic fragrances or dyes
Laundry detergent: plant based, biodegradable, phosphate free, chlorine free, no synthetic fragrances or dyes
Oxygen bleach: chlorine free
Stain remover: plant based, biodegradable, chlorine free, solvent free
Toilet bowl cleaner: plant based, biodegradable, chlorine free, ammonia free
Surface scrub: plant based, biodegradable, chlorine free, no synthetic fragrances or dyes
Wood Bowl Care
I love Wood Salad Bowls!
Be green and buy wood salad bowls secondhand at thrift stores, yard sales or flea markets! I have found many great ones over the years, which I still use.
Give the bowl a good clean before the first use.
First, disinfect the entire bowl with vinegar, wiping the outside and inside. Let the bowl sit for a few minutes before rinsing with warm water. Wipe dry.
Let it air dry completely before squeezing juice from half a lemon over salt inside, and scrubbing all surfaces of the bowl with the lemon half. Rinse with warm water and wipe dry
To condition the bowl, use a clean towel, and treat it with food-safe oils like flaxseed, walnut or hempseed oil. Heat speeds the curing of flax and walnut oil. Placing an oiled bowl or spoon in the sun or near a wood stove helps. After a while wipe off any excess oil and store away, ready for use.
Storing Clothes Away
There are several ways to safely store your favorite sweaters and coats:
*Clean them before storing. To deter moths, wash or dry-clean any garments that have been worn or may have stains.
*To repel moths, use lavender filled sachets or cedar blocks wherever you store your clothes away.
*If possible, hang your coat(s) in a cloth garment bag. Sweaters store well in canvas bins, which allows for air circulation to prevent mold and mildew.
Source: Real Simple
Illustration: Jean-Phillipe Delhomme
How To Clean Your Fridge
When was the last time you cleaned your fridge?!
*The hand-painted Smeg fridge is by Dolce & Gabbana limited series.
Mildew in the Shower
To clean your shower and shower curtain, mix together 2 cups of water, 1/2 cup of white vinegar, 1/4 cup of liquid castile soap, and 20 drops of tea tree oil in a spray bottle. Spray the solution on the shower walls, curtain and floor, then wipe it down with a washable cloth.
Artwork by Lily van der Stokker
Photo by PW
DIY Home Fragrance
Make your own herbal incense by sourcing organically grown herbs in your garden or at a farmer’s market, such as bay leaves, lavender, mugwort, sage, Eucalyptus or Douglas fir.
Did you know… that tea bags can be used as an air freshener? Unlike artificial fresheners, tea leaves won’t overpower your senses and they absorb the stinks instead of masking them. To freshen up a car or closet, simply slip in a tea bag containing a pleasant blend like lemon or peppermint.
To loosen caked-on food from pots and pans, sprinkle them with baking soda and add a little warm water. Let the mixture sit for thirty minutes before scrubbing.
DIY: Lovely Laundry
As featured in the LOLA book, on page 93, opposite an image I took of my daughter Lucie’s clothes drying on a clothing line in the garden, is a simple recipe that makes enough detergent to last a family of 4 an entire year:
Non chlorine bleach is a gentler more environmentally friendly option which uses hydrogen peroxide to lift stains and maintain both white and colored fabrics. It is oxygen-based and is used mainly for laundry care.
Your Jeans: To Wash or Not To Wash
There are a million different theories about how people should take care of denim. Some say to never wash them — the CEO of Levi’s has admitted to wearing jeans for a year without washing them. That doesn’t sit right with some people, who prefer freshly laundered pants, no matter what experts say about the danger of washing jeans.
About 27% of people in the survey wear their jeans about three times before washing. About 21% wear their denim at least five or more times before putting them in the wash.
These three knives are the ones I use the most. Two of them I get sharpened regularly and the middle one is ceramic and always very sharp. The importance of good knives cannot be overstated! Surprisingly, I often find it’s the best choice for a task, even if my kitchen has a mini food processor and the like.
Here are the 7 essential oils to consider when starting to use them in your personal care products or homemade cleaning supplies.
- Peppermint (good for lip balms, oily/acneic skin, and cleaning products)
- Rosemary (good for hair preparations, oily/acneic skin, and cleaning products)
- Sweet orange (good for all skin types and very soothing in room sprays for children)
- Rose geranium (good for all skin types, creating perfumes, and for use in homemade moisturizers)
- Tea tree (great for healing, getting rid of dandruff, oily/acneic skin, and cleaning products)
- Lavender (great for all skin types, for relaxation, hair preparations, and cleaning products)
Lemon (great for lifting moods, cleaning preparations, and sparingly in toners and products for oily skin)
Most essential oils are high in antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties: This makes them an excellent addition to your homemade cleaning preparations. Oils that are best for cleaning are: Lemon, grapefruit, eucalyptus, peppermint, tea tree, lavender, and rosemary.
- Most essential oils should never be used undiluted on the skin. Instead, they should be combined with “real” oils (called carrier oils), waxes, butters, alcohols, or other diluting measures. Because they’re so concentrated, if you don’t dilute, you may end up with an unfortunate reaction (and unhappy skin).
- There are a few essential oils that are generally recognized as safe to use undiluted. Of course, there has to be a few exceptions to the rule. Again, in Organic Body Care Recipes, the author points out that the only essential oils that are widely acknowledged as safe to use undiluted (sparingly) are: lavender, German chamomile, tea tree, sandalwood, and rose geranium.
Do not take essential oils internally, especially oils like wintergreen and eucalyptus. While some essential oils may be used well-diluted in something like toothpaste with safety, it’s generally recognized that there’s no need to take essential oils internally. In fact, there are several toxic essential oils that should be avoided even through skin contact. Luckily, these are NOT common essential oils, and most of them you’ll never find in the store.
Store your essential oils in dark glass bottles (which they were probably packaged in) and out of direct sunlight. This is simply to help preserve their potency.
Shared from Crunchy Betty: http://www.crunchybetty.com/21-things-you-should-know-about-essential-oils
Your Chemical Free Kitchen: Save time and money by making your own All-Purpose Citrus Cleaner
• 3/4 quart Water
• 1/4 quart White Vinegar
• 10 drops Tea Tree Oil
Combine all in a clean spray bottle, shake well and spray onto surfaces to be cleaned.
Be careful when using this on grout–the vinegar will soften it. Best to avoid grout areas with vinegar.from http://naturallylivingtoday.com/200/
When it comes to your bed, a place where we spend practically half of our lives, create a cozy and comfortable bed free of potentially toxic chemicals. Many mattresses, sheets, blankets are made from synthetic, petroleum-derived materials that have been doused in flame retardants and treated with formaldehyde finishes. Now you know. So choose bedding materials that are good for you and the planet, such as WOOL, ORGANIC COTTON, NATURAL LATEX, LINEN, HEMP, BAMBOO or SILK.
WOOL is a remarkable fiber. It regulates body temperature, keeping us warm in the winter and cool in the summer. It wicks away moisture and dries easily, which deters mold, mildew and dust mites. It’s also naturally flame-wrinkle-and-stain-resistant, static-free, 100% biodegradable and extremely durable. Choose a wool mattress pad or wool comforters. A wool filled pillow is a humane and healthy alternative to goose down, which can trap moisture and harbor dust mites.
ORGANIC COTTON is more affordable than wool and is machine washable, making it ideal for sheets and duvet covers. If you choose a cotton mattress, because it’s not fire-resistant, wrap it in a wool mattress pad for added safety and comfort. Look for the GOTS-certifification for sheets, certifying that the cotton was grown without pesticides, insecticides, GMO’s and finished without toxic chemicals. Consider organic cotton bed linens in natural shades of cream that have not been bleached or dyed.
NATURAL LATEX foam mattresses and pillows are free of the toxic petroleum based highly flammable polyurethane. Natural latex is a renewable resource derived from the sap of rubber trees and is naturally resistant to mold, mildew and dust mites. Look for GOLS ( Global Organic Latex Standard) certification to ensure the mattress or pillow is actually natural latex.
LINEN and HEMP are highly breathable natural fabric choices, but are often hard to find and expensive. Check the labels to make sure that the fabric is free of chemical treatments.
SILK sheets are very soft, expensive and aren’t machine washable. Choose “peace silk” which allows the silkworm to live.
If choosing BAMBOO, choose Oeko-Tex certified textiles which are free from harmful substances, and the Forest Stewardship Council certifies sustainable bamboo forest practices.
Household Fix It DIY Basics