Fresh all-natural tips for spring cleaning, for those of you still busy with last-minute Passover preparations or are doing spring cleaning out of your own sense of self-torture, discipline and renewal.
There are numerous sources online for using basic fragrant and cleansing essential oils and other pure ingredients. I'm not going to go into as much depth as they do (the recipes out there are so exhaustive it's amazing we are still buying house cleaning products...); I just hope this post will inspire you to re-think your house cleaning habits and enjoy
The best and most old fashioned way to clean windows requires only water, vinegar and newspapers. If you have a reusable sprinkling container – all the better. Mix 50/50 of distilled white vinegar and tap water, fill a reusable spray bottle and spray on the windows. Rub the window till they are sparkling clean with newspapers that bear only old news... Your view of the outside world will never be clearer. I admit that white vinegar smells awful though, so you might want to add a drop or two of citrus oils to temper it a bit. And either way - keep the windows open to bring fresh air after you're done.
Lavender for Laundry:
Lavender’s Latin name comes from the word Lavera (to wash) points to one of its most important functions since Medieval times. To freshen up your laundry after washing, place a few drops of lavender or geranium (or both) on a little gauze or cloth - instead of the musk-laden dryer sheets. Your laundry will smell clean and beautiful but not overpoweringly so.
Lemon for Dishwashing:
Lemon’s popular use in dishwashing detergents is not random: both lemon oil and juice help with breaking down limestone and for brightening copper dishes. To clean copper dishes, simply rub it with an-already-squeezed lemon wedge (or half) and a teaspoon of sand. The sand will help rub out the oxidized particles from the copper; and the lemon acids will help to bring back shine to what’s left from your copperware.
Soak your dishes in a bowl of simple castile soap and a few drops of lemon oil to help breakdown grease and make your dishwashing experience fragrant and energetic.
Orange for Anti-Stickiness:
Use pure orange oil for rubbing off the remainders of adhesive labels and even to remove stubborn chewing gum. You must try to scrub off the sticky stuff “mechanically” first (i.e.: with a knife, etc.) as the orange oil dissolves it very thoroughly; so if there’s too much stickiness left all it’ll do is spread a thin coat of adhesive or gum all over the object… Otherwise, it’s extremely effective!
Pine, Eucalyptus and Tea Tree Oils for Toilet Bowl Cleanliness:
No doubt, one of the dirtiest spots in the home requires some attention… In addition to the baking soda and Castile soap mixture, you may want to disinfect the area with the clean-smelling oils that have anti-microbial, anti-viral and anti-fungal properties such as these oils – either alone or in combination. They are also extremely affordable.
1/2 cup Baking Soda
Liquid Castile Soap
5 drops each Tea Tree essential oil, Eucalyptus and Pine
15 drops Lime essential oil
1 Tbs Vegetable glycerin (if you are planning to keep this mixture for a while)
You may use a similar formula with a different scent to clean the bathtub, sink and shower (i.e.: 5 drops each lemongrass, lemon and orange).
For more Natural Healthy Home Cleaning Tips, visit The Soap Dispensary in Vancouver and similar shops in your own town - they provide workshops as well as many eco-friendly unscented basics for body care as well as house cleaning – beginning but not limited to castile soaps, soap flakes, vinegars, salt, baking soda and more.Kitchen Cleaning:
Nothing like aromatic oils to make the kitchen smell delicious and clean. These oils are both antiseptic and good-smelling. Use them to clean the floors.
1 Liter tap water
1 Tbs white vinegar
4 drops Lime
1 drops Basil
1 Tbs concentrated Liquid castile soap
1/4 cup white vinegar in a bucket of water
15 drops Lime oil
5 drops Basil oil