By Carrie Johanningmeier, Co-op Wellness Buyer
Spring is finally here – the sun is shining and we welcome the warmer weather with its renewal. We open the windows and start purging the accumulated dirt, germs and odor from winter to create a clean and healthy living space.
A healthy environment is one that is free of toxins. So this spring let’s not reach for those harsh chemicals that contaminate your home with toxins, defeating some of the purpose of all that scrubbing, soaking, washing and dusting. Exposure to chemicals in household cleaners can have an adverse effect on your family’s health and pollute the air and water. The best way to make sure your living space is clean and healthy is to use safe, natural cleaning products. You can easily create them yourself, using natural and inexpensive ingredients. Nature provides simple, effective materials that clean and disinfect naturally. A short shopping list includes: vinegar, baking soda, borax, castile msoap, spray bottles and essential oils.
Essential Oils for Cleaning:
Tea Tree Oil– A strong antibacterial that has antiviral and anti-fungal properties. Good for killing mold and mildew and for disinfecting surfaces.
Lavender Oil– An antiseptic that has antibacterial and antiseptic properties.
Oregano Essential Oil– Antibacterial, anti-fungal, antiviral and antiseptic properties. Great for floor and kitchen cleaners.
Grapefruit Oil– A disinfectant and often added to bathroom and kitchen cleaners.
Thyme– A strong antibacterial with antiviral and anti-fungal properties. Great in place of Lysol to clean frequently touched surfaces such as doorknobs and handles during cold and flu season.
Eucalyptus Oil– Germicidal properties; enhances the effectiveness of other essential oils.
Lemon Oil– Antiseptic benefits. Great to clean furniture.
Peppermint Oil– Antibacterial properties. Great as a disinfectant for bathrooms and kitchen surfaces.
Orange Oil– Great as a degreaser for kitchen surfaces. Use of essential oils for cleaning means gone are the days when you have to worry about wearing a mask and rubber gloves to clean. Chemical residue is an afterthought with these quick and easy recipes.
1 cup vinegar
10-15 drops lemon essential oil
Directions: Add vinegar to a 22-32 ounce spray bottle, add water and then the lemon essential oil. Shake well and use.
Toilet Bowl Cleaner
18 ounces of water
1/4 cup castile soap
4 drops lavender
4 drops tea tree
4 drops lemon
Directions: Combine ingredients in a 22 ounce spray bottle. Spray toilet bowl; scrub with brush and flush.
2 cups water
1/2 teaspoon borax
1/2 teaspoon castile soap
36 drops essential oil
Directions: Combine ingredients in spray bottle. Shake before use
Tub and Shower Cleaner
1 cup baking soda
24 drops tea tree
24 drops grapefruit
Directions: Mix baking soda and essential oils. Rinse tub and shower. Sprinkle on powder and scrub with brush. Rinse.
2 Tablespoons castile soap
4-6 drops lemon essential oil
2-4 drops tea tree essential oil
Directions: Mix oils and soap in a 1 gallon bucket and add warm water. Dampen a sponge mop or rag and wipe grime from floors and hard surfaces.