I’m a big believer in natural cleaning products. I have always been sensitive to synthetic, chemical smells. When I was growing up and even as a teenager, I would immediately get a headache and a scratchy throat when my mom cleaned with the typical household cleaning products.
Once I lived on my own I would shell out the money for the more expensive natural cleaners so that I could tolerate them. Some worked and some were not so great. All of them were overpriced.
I make my own natural cleaners now and after much trial and error I have an all-purpose spray cleaner that I love. I use it just about everywhere in the house—on the kitchen counters and cabinets, the refrigerator, on every surface in the bathrooms, on the walls, mirrors, windows, even inside my car. It is simple to make, completely natural, and cheap.
ALL-PURPOSE CLEANER RECIPE
2 cups of water
3 Tablespoons of distilled white vinegar
15 drops of lemon essential oil
5-10 drops of tea tree essential oil
5 drops of lime or orange essential oil
The last time I actually spent an hour cleaning downstairs, wiping down the entry way where my kids kick off their shoes and throw their backpacks, where my dogs barrel through the front door all muddy and slobbery after a hike, it seriously never looked better. And my entire house smelled amazing the whole day. The essential oils are all you smell, not the vinegar.
My spray cleaner even got those black scuff marks off of the wall from where my kids kick their boots off. (I don’t know why they feel the need to actually kick and fling their boots off every time they walk in the door, but I can’t get them to stop it!)
Lemon oil is great at removing grease and stains. Though I should tell you that when I used straight lemon essential oil on one of the more stubborn scuff marks, it actually took off a little paint as well. Pure essential oils are very strong. When diluted in the spray cleaner, they work well and you don’t have to worry about damaging the paint on the walls.
Tea tree oil is naturally anti-fungal and anti-viral, so it’s great to use for cleaning.
I just add the lime or orange oil because I love the smell of citrus essential oils. The cleaner works just as well with just the lemon and the tea tree oil.
The best part is I can get my kids to help me! My little ones love to have a task and I feel completely safe letting them use my homemade cleaner.
Adrienne Schroeder has a Certificate in Plant-Based Nutrition from The T. Colin Cambpell Foundation and eCornell. She is also a photographer and the mother of three (vegetarian) children who loves to create simple, healthy meals for her family. You can check out her blog at http://www.theveggiehouse.com.