Wednesday, August 26, 2009

make-your-own natural cleaning kit

Long ago, I made it a goal of mine to create an all-natural cleaning kit, but hadn’t had that inspirational push to make the change until recently. I got my shizle together, did some online research and made the change three months ago. This was on of the most satisfying and rewarding “little decisions” I have ever made. Not only do I feel an immense release of guilt because I am not contributing to the chemical pollution being put into our environment through production, household use and disposal (and trust me, it is only once you stop buying those products that you realize how much guilt is associated with them - never underestimate the power of denial and self-inflicted ignorance), but I also feel like the switch has had an immensely positive difference on our family’s respiratory health. I cannot believe I ever dreamed of exposing my child to the toxins associated with everyday commercial cleaning products. I can also rest at ease that when he figures out how to work “child locks” because nothing toxic will ever be discovered. If you have your house professionally cleaned you can hire a company that has a “green” policy, or you can insist that your cleaner use your own natural cleaning kit. I promise you, this will be one of the most rewarding, though seemingly simple decisions you ever make.

  • homebrand white vinegar
  • 1 box bi-carb soda
  • 1 box borax
  • 3-4 spray bottle
  • 2 powder shakers
  • essential oils: peppermint/eucalyptus/lime or lemon

  • an old t-shirt (cut up into cloths and wipes)
  • an old towel (cut into rectangles approx 1 ft sq)
  • newspaper
  • a couple cleaned out glass vegemite containers
  • olive oil
  • peppermint or chamomile teabags
  • basic cooking salt
  • old toothbrush
  • old pair of nylon stockings

keep under the sink
  • bi-carb soda in a “shaker” (label “countertop 1”)
  • white vinegar and 2-3 drops peppermint oil in a spray bottle (label “countertop 2”)

crystal clear counter/stovetops:
  1. sprinkle “countertop 1” over surface and wipe down with a damp cloth
  2. rinse the grittiness off by spraying with “countertop 2” and wiping down

sparkling sinks:
  1. mix 3 tbs bi-carb soda and 3 tbs salt and rub into sink with damp cloth- use old nylon stockings or an old toothbrush for in and around the faucet
  2. spray with “countertop 2” to rinse grittiness away
  3. dry with an old towel

keep in bathroom cupboard
  • half and half of bi-carb soda and borax mixed together in a shaker (label “sink/counter scrub”)
  • white vinegar and 4-5 drops lemon or lime oil in a spray bottle (label “sink/counter wipe”)
  • white vinegar and 4-5 drops eucalyptus oil in a spray bottle (label “mirrors/shower”)

gleaming sinks and counters:
  1. sprinkle “sink/counter scrub” over sink and counters and firmly rubbing to remove any grime, toothpaste etc.
  2. spray with “sink/counter wipe” and remove any excess grit

magical mirrors and shining showers:
  1. spray “mirror/showers” over entire surface
  2. rub into the surface with dry newspaper until dry

flawless floors:
  1. sweep first as usual
  2. fill bucket up with warm water
  3. add 1 cup white vinegar, 2 peppermint (or chamomile) tea bags, 10-12 drops of peppermint oil to the bucket and stir
  4. sponge or mop the floors without using to much liquid
  5. open windows and doors and let air dry

keep in cleaning kit
  • pour 1/3 cup olive oil, 2 tbs white vinegar and 2-3 drops of lemon or lime oil into an old cleaned out glass vegemite container “label “wood surfaces”

dazzling timber:
  1. dust as usual
  2. dip part of an old soft t-shirt into the “wood surfaces” mixture (you only need a small amount)
  3. run into your woods- chest of drawers, coffee tables, dining room tables etc- in a circular motion
  4. take excess oil away by rubbing down entire surface with part of an old towel
  5. put the oily cloth in a plastic ziplock bag for future use

How do I safely get rid of my old chemical cleaning products?
Do not throw out your old products or put them down the drain because this can be unsafe and harmful on a number of levels. You can go to the following government website- resourcesmart if you live in Victoria and look up the days where they will come and pick up your chemicals free of charge. There is also a list of drop-off points you can use if you do not want to wait for the pick up.

If you don’t live in Victoria most provincial/state governments provide a similar service. Search “throw out household chemicals” and then your city name on the web.

What about toilet bowls, dishwashing liquid and laundry detergent?
I buy eco-friendly biodegradable products which are available at most local health food stores and some larger supermarkets. If your local supermarket doesn’t carry a biodegradable option request a brand and most times they would be happy to give it a go.


LJ said...

I have been looking for information like this!! Thanks so much, I will be attempting these soon!!

Gifts of Serendipity said...

You are pure genius!
Thank you for this posting and your terrific blog.
We have a large & sometimes unwieldy home and cleaning is more than a chore it's a mission. One of the things that I despise [because I can't ever get it to look really clean] are the timber floorboards. Today they are in for a whooping!

Thank you so much,


madewithloveuk said...

What a fab idea! Might have to give this a go myself, seem to have so many different potions and lotions around, a much nicer idea.

The Awakened Heart said...

Hi, can you tell me where you bought your Borax from? I have had a hard time finding any and I've scoured the laundry aisles. Is there a name brand I should be looking for?

ruby and levi said...

Thank you!
Have finally set up my kit for each area of our home. My timber is shiny and my home is smelling deeeelish!

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