Making your own natural cleaning products is an essential piece in the simple home puzzle.
Granted, it took me a while to hop on this bandwagon; changing my home habits takes time and energy and forethought. However, I’ve found the very best way to successfully embrace a simple lifestyle is to take little steps – life-changing decisions aren’t necessary but small steps towards a more mindful way of being are possible.
I’ve written about creating an entranceway and creating a pantry stockpile and now I encourage you to take a look at your cleaning essentials. Because if they’re on hand and they’re naturally powerful, you’re more likely to use them. Indeed, it feels good to know that you’re cleaning with products that continue to purify long after you apply them.
The beauty of make-your-own cleaning products is that you need very few ingredients. And once you have them, they’ll last and last and last and you’ll smile with contentment knowing that the initial investment has paid off ten-fold.
Firstly, find yourself some spray bottles. Perhaps you have some under the kitchen sink that are almost empty and can easily be re-filled. Or maybe you want to start afresh and you’re looking for amber glass bottles with a fine handle and a highly competent spray mechanism. If this is the case, you might like to follow my lead and get some from ByMeHome.
Next you’ll need white vinegar (of the cheap, not-fancy kind), bi-carb soda, castile soap (I prefer Dr Bronners) and a range of essential oils. Quality essential oils are potent cleaners and purifiers as many of them are antibacterial and antiseptic. They are also safe pesticides with the ability to keep bugs and rodents at bay.
I suggest the following antibacterial oils if you’re just starting to build your essential oil collection:
- wild orange
- tea tree/melaleuca
- on guard (a powerful antifungal and antiviral blend)
Exact recipes aren’t necessary as it really is a case of mixing water, vinegar and the oils of your choice. However, if you’re feeling hesitant, this is what I do:
- all purpose cleaner : half a bottle of cooled boiled water + 1/2 cup vinegar + 5 drops of eucalyptus + 5 drops of tea tree + 5 drops of lemon
- bathroom cleaner : 1/2 cup vinegar + 2 tbsp bi-carb soda + cooled boiled water + 10 drops of onguard
- cleaning paste : mix essential oils of choice with bi-carb soda and enough water to make a paste and store in an airtight glass jar
- mould remover : spray the affected area with a mix of water + vinegar + bi-carb and then wipe onguard, tea tree or lemon (or all three) on the area. Diffusing oils in the room will also help to kill air-borne spores.
As for accompanying cleaning essentials:
- cleaning cloths : you can never have enough and during spring, I tend to go through them quite quickly hence I always buy washable, reusable ones. I highly recommend these organic cotton cloths and, if you want a more absorbent, sponge option try these or these.
- rags : look no further than your youngest child’s wardrobe. Percy has a few outgrown and very stained size 0 singlets that make the most perfect cleaning rags. They’re particularly useful for cleaning timber blinds! Old towels also come in handy (and whilst I hate to admit it, my old, worn towels far outweigh my newish, fluffy ones).
- brushes : in my opinion, every household needs a redecker dishwashing brush and a grout brush. Old toothbrushes come in handy, too.