I have been making natural house cleaning products at home for over two years. I have replaced almost every store-bought chemical based cleanser in our home. Below is a reprint of a blog entry which I published in 2005 and then later in 2006. I think that reprinting this once a year is a good thing.
I am on a roll with making homemade cleaning supplies from scratch with natural ingredients. These products really do work. I am using the book "The Naturally Clean Home" by Karyn Siegel-Maier as my source of recipes.
Before buying this book, I was trying some free recipes from the internet. Some of them didn’t work, and others contained chemicals but said they were “natural”.
With just a handful of cleansers, I can do all of the routine house cleaning and laundry. I found this book from a link on Amazon and the raving customer reviews led me to buy this book instead of another book that I originally was considering buying. Taking the advice of one customer reviewer, I limited my original shopping list to a few items and made cleansers with those ingredients. I realized that most of the recipes in the book can be made with a low number of ingredients.
These ingredients are:
Arm & Hammer Baking Soda
Arm & Hammer Washing Soda
20 Mule Team Borax (by Dial Corporation)
Liquid Castile Soap, peppermint scented (I use Trader Joe's brand or Dr. Bronner's)
Liquid Castile Soap, unscented, (Dr. Bronner's brand) with addition of essential oils of your choice (the essential oils make it more expensive)
Lavender essential oil
Lemon essential oil
Peppermint essential oil
Tea Tree essential oil
I enjoy cleaning much more now that I am not feeling sick to my stomach, coughing, getting a sore throat or getting a headache from inhaling the fumes of chemical household cleansers. I also now have my children help me clean the house and they actually clamor to do the cleaning (even the toilet!). Yes, my children beg to wash mirrors, sinks, counters, and even to vacuum and mop the floor. It is true.
If you buy this book I advise you to choose one recipe for a certain task. The book has more than one recipe for certain tasks. I would start off by buying these things:
Arm and Hammer Baking Soda (in bulk at Costco, 12 lbs. for $3.80 is what I paid, or from grocery store or Amazon)
Arm and Hammer Washing Soda (grocery store laundry detergent section, look for yellow box)
Borax (grocery store laundry detergent section or Amazon, look for green box)
Glycerin, 6 oz. (from a drug store, Wal Mart or Amazon.com)
Liquid Castile Soap (Trader Joe’s brand, Peppermint scented or if not available in your area, Dr. Bronner’s brand from a health food store or internet order direct from Dr. Bronner’s or Amazon).
Tea Tree Essential oil (Trader Joe’s or Atlantic Spice Company or Amazon)
Find a Trader Joe’s store go here.
For information about Dr. Bronner’s liquid castille soap, go here.
Again, if you use Trader Joe’s peppermint castile soap in the recipe you would not put in the other scent of essential oil as recommended in the recipe. If you use unscented castile soap you’d add the essential oil that the author recommends. I have found dirt cheap prices on all pure essential oils from Atlantic Spice Company (internet store).
Amazon is now stocking some of these items:
Dr. Bronner's Liquid Castille Soap, Pappermint Scent 16 oz
Dr. Bronner's Liquid Castille Soap, Tea Tree Scent, 1 gallon size
Arm and Hammer Baking Soda 16 oz.
Peppermint Essential Oil, pure
Lavender Essential Oil, pure
Organic Lemon Essential Oil, pure
Tea Tree Essential Oil, pure
Glycerine, vegetable, 16 oz.
Glycerine, vegetable, 4 oz.
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