Recipes for healthier, greener products:
Make your own air/clothing freshener:
Fill a spray bottle ½ with filtered water and ½ with isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol. You can also use cheap vodka in place of the rubbing alcohol. If you like you can add 20-40 drops of essential oil such as lavender.
Use it as an air freshener or you can spray it on clothing and furniture, but test it in an out of the way place if you added essential oil just to be sure it doesn’t leave a residue. I have never had that happen with lavender oil, but you never know…
Make your own All-Purpose cleaner:
1 teaspoon borax
2 tablespoons white vinegar
1 teaspoon liquid castile soap (such as Dr. Bronner’s)
2 cups of hot water
5-10 drops tea tree oil
Put all ingredients in a clean spray bottle, shake well. Add 5 to 10 drops of lemon or orange essential oil to give the spray a fresh scent.
Make your own Glass and mirror cleaner:
Fill a spray bottle with 50% white vinegar and 50% filtered water.
Make your own Oven cleaner:
Spray with natural all-purpose cleaner, let it sit for about 30 minutes, then scrub. For baked on food messes, sprinkle a layer of baking soda and salt on the oven bottom, spray with water and leave overnight. In the morning, scrub the oven, then wipe with a clean, wet rag.
Make your own Laundry Soap:
1 bar of pure Castile soap such as Kirk’s (4 oz.)
½ cup borax
½ cup washing soda (NOT baking soda!)
large soup pot
Grate the soap and put it in a saucepan with 6 cups of water. Heat until the soap melts; remove from heat, add the borax and washing soda and stir until dissolved. Pour another 6 cups of hot water into the pan. Cover and let the mixture sit for 24 hours. It should have the consistency of a thick gel, but it may also look like a thick soup with gel-type chunks in it. It doesn’t matter what it looks like, it will still clean your clothes.
Use about 2 tablespoons per load of laundry, a little more if your clothes are especially dirty. You can keep your homemade laundry soap in an old coffee container, or any other clean container with a lid. This soap keeps well, but if it should separate, just stir it up a little before using it.
Make your own Non-Chlorine Bleach:
12 cups of water
¼ cup of lemon juice
1 cup of (3%) hydrogen peroxide
Mix well. Add 2 cups to a load of white clothes. You can also put this in a spray
bottle and use as a household cleaner.
Make your own pest and weed killer:
Bugs don’t seem to like thyme, rosemary, mint, clove or sage. You may have to experiment to find the right strength, but start by mixing 10 or 12 drops of one of these essential oils with 1 quart of water in a spray bottle. Ada teaspoon of liquid castile soap and mix well in a spray bottle. Or you can mix 3 tablespoons of cayenne pepper and 1 teaspoon of liquid castile soap with 1 quart of water in a spray bottle.
Make a weed spray by dissolving ¼ cup of salt in 1 quart of white vinegar; add 2 teaspoons of liquid castile soap, mix well, and pour into a spray bottle. The soap causes the mixture to adhere to the leaves so the vinegar can do its work. Get the weeds really wet, using the stream setting on the spray bottle, and be sure to spray only the plants you want to kill.