First a few notes:
You can use any essential oils but some have better cleaning properties (i.e. antimicrobial benefits) than others. My favourite oils are lemon, oregano, pine, eucalyptus and tea tree.
The ingredients listed should be very easy to find:
- Lemons are in the produce department of your grocery store.
- Baking soda and salt are in the baking aisle.
- Castile soap may be with cleaning products or in the health food section.
- Vinegar is near salad dressings.
- Borax is with laundry products.
- Essential oils may be found in the "Home" section or in a specialty health food store.
- Hydrogen peroxide can be found in any pharmacy.
If you make a big batch of any of these recipes, fear not. Extra can be stored in a glass mason jar or a re-purposed spray jar (Dollar store!) - just be careful to label it for next time.
Without further ado - natural cleaning recipes:
All-purpose cleaner: 2 cups water + 1 cup hydrogen peroxide + 1/4 cup lemon juice
- Tub: 3 parts baking soda + 1 part castile soap + 1 part water + splash vinegar, apply with a cloth
- Toilet: 1 part borax + 4 parts vinegar, mix in bowl, let sit 15 min, scrub, flush
- Shower glass & mirror: 1/4 c vinegar + 4 cups water, spray, wipe with old newspaper
- Drain: Same as toilet, follow with hot water
- Tile floor: 1/2 cup borax + 2 gallons warm water, mop
- Soap scum: sprinkle of baking soda, scrub, rinse
- Calcium deposits on shower head: soak with vinegar
- Mold: 1 part borax + 1 part vinegar, scrub, rinse
- Shower grout: 1 part vinegar (or baking soda)+ 1 part water, scrub with old toothbrush
- Sink & stovetop: 1/3 cup baking soda + water to make a paste, scrub
- Microwave: 1 cup water + 1 T vinegar, microwave until 1/2 evaporated, leave for 10 min door closed, remove bowl carefully, scrub with baking soda paste on a cloth
- Burnt pan: 1 cup vinegar + 2 T baking soda + 1 cup water, boil in pan, scour (with baking soda if necessary)
- Silver: 1 piece aluminum foil + 1 L water + 1 T baking soda, boil, place silverware in solution
- Appliances: baking soda paste, scrub, rinse
- Stubborn grease: vegetable oil, followed by baking soda, rinse
- Stove: hot water, let soak to soften tough messes
- Oven: sprinkle with baking soda, leave overnight, scrub with damp cloth, use castile soap if necessary, rinse
- Cast iron pan: olive oil and coarse salt paste
- Steam cleaning, vacuuming, dusting & sweeping are toxin-free!
- Wood polish: juice of 1 lemon + 1 T olive oil + 1 T water, polish with cloth
- Carpet stains: 1 part salt, 1 part borax, 1 part vinegar, apply, let dry, vacuum away
- Brass: 3 parts lemon juice + 1 part baking soda, work in with cloth, rinse
- Marble: spray with warm water, rub and dry with cloth
- Room Spray: 1 oz vodka + 6 oz water + 20 drops essential oil
- Washing machine: 2 parts grated soap bar + 1part washing soda + 1 part borax, use 1 T per load, also: tennis balls in the wash cycle
- Pretreatment for grease stains: rub with white chalk
- Fabric spray (for freshening/dewrinkling): 2 T vinegar + 6 drops essential oils, mix in spray bottle, fill with water
- Whitener: (same as all-purpose cleaner) 2 cups water + 1 cup hydrogen peroxide + 1/4 cup lemon juice
- To remove rust: salt and lime paste, let sit 2 hours, scrub, rinse, let dry