Today I am thrilled to share a guest post with you from the amazing, and very talented, Jessica of The Good Little Life. Jessica lives in Calgary Alberta, Canada with her photographer husband and baby boy, and has a knack for all things eco-friendly. Today she is sharing just a few of her natural and environmentally friendly house-cleaning tips and recipes as part of Goat Notes Lost Arts series. Give her some comment love and let us hear your favorite eco-friendly method of keeping your bungalow clean.
Over the past several years I have been very dedicated to making my own natural household cleaning products. Reasons include: the overwhelming health and environmental impacts, massive cost savings, noticeable improved indoor air quality, and one of the biggest reasons is overall gratification of doing it by hand. The following recipes call for basic and inexpensive ingredients, the majority of which you probably already have in your cupboard. Resulting in natural products that will safely and effectively clean your home from top to bottom.
What You Need:
White Vinegar: normal, everyday vinegar is the superhero of natural cleaning! It’s deodorizing, very inexpensive, an effective grease-cutting agent, and a natural disinfectant.
Baking Soda: the same stuff that deodorizes your refrigerator is an amazing scouring agent (think calcium build up in your bathtub…) and a great additive to many natural cleaning recipes!
Castile Soap: this soap is made from vegetable oils and has a TON of uses! From natural cleaning to personal care products- a little goes a long way with this versatile friend. Check out Dr. Bronners Castile Soap- widely available at most natural foods stores.
Lemon Juice: a great grease cutter that can add a natural scent to your cleaning mix!
Pure Organic Essential Oils: many people dislike the scent of vinegar, or really miss the smell of a ‘clean home’- pure essential oils offer a safer scent additive for natural cleaning products. Though I do want to add that after a dedicated month of using vinegar, I promise you wont even notice the smell any more (and it dissipates very quickly). Note: Essential oils can have natural medicinal properties and can still trigger reactions in some. Use with caution if you are pregnant, breastfeeding or there are people in your home with allergies or sensitivities.
Spray Bottles: You will also need spray bottles or containers with a lid to store your homemade products in- widely available at most stores, or simply wash out an old container for reuse.
The BEST (Germ Killing) All Purpose Cleaner
Add two tablespoons of castile soap to an empty spray bottle
Fill bottle 3/4 the way full with warm water
Fill remaining 1/4 of the bottle with vinegar
Optional: 20 or so drops of a pure organic essential oil of your choice
Give the bottle a good shake, and shake well before each use.
Note: it is important to follow the order of these directions, or the vinegar will cause the castile soap to curdle- the solution is still usable if this happens, but just doesn’t look quite as nice with chunks floating in it.
Super Duper Tub Scrub
In a medium sized bowl, add 1 cup of baking soda
Gradually mix in 1/2 a cup of Castile Soap (I use the lavender scented Dr. Bronner’s soap. Lavender has natural antibacterial properties, and smells heavenly! Alternatively, you can use plain soap and add essential oils of your choice- citrus, lime, orange or bergamot are personal favorites- 5 – 20 drops should do the trick!)
The end result will be a thick paste that will store nicely in a container with an airtight lid for up to one year. Use in your bathtub, on tile, in the kitchen sink, or any surface that needs (and can handle) a little bit of abrasion.
Sparkly Clean Window & Glass Cleaner
In a spray bottle, add one cup of vinegar and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
Fill the rest of the bottle with water and give a good shake.
Use old newspaper for a streak-free (and paper towel free) wipe down!
There are a ton of incredible resources and recipes out there for natural cleaners, so have a peek. Try some out, see what you like (and what you don’t like) and go from there!
Good luck and enjoy! xo