My tendency for cleaning fastidiousness evidenced itself rather early in life. In fact, I told my mom that when I grew up, I wanted to be a professional house cleaner. No astrophysicist or molecular biologist dreams for me. Nope, it was housecleaner all the way. Each bedroom I kept was carefully curated, every object in its place, every toy put away after I finished playing. As I aged, I found myself delighting in arranging the pantry, styling the linen closet, and sweeping the floors. Arranging, straightening, and dusting calmed my overactive mind, kept my sanity in tact, and made my house shine.
Even if you’re no clean freak (neat-nick is the euphemism I prefer…), at some point or other, a bit of elbow grease will be in order, lest you end up living in a den of iniquity (the euphemism preferred by many over ‘pigsty’ or ‘cess pool’). Because we all share this common plight (or, in my case, delight), most of us host some assorted collection of cleaning products under our kitchen and bathroom sinks. I’ve found it astonishing to learn that over 17,000 petrochemicals are approved for home use , only about 30% of which have been tested for human and environmental safety. Petrochemicals are, by definition, derived from petroleum, a non-renewable resource.
I decided long ago that the best products for my house, my body, and the critters sharing the same space with me are those forgoing use of petroleum-derived ingredients. More recently, I’ve been whipping and mixing up my own home cleaners, saving money in the process. Additionally, by creating my own blends, I’m able to customize the scents, tricking my house out with my favorite aromas and not limiting myself to whatever fragrance might be found in a store-bought item.
CLICK HERE for the rest of Ashley’s post (and her Homemade, Dollar-Saving, Fragrance-Uplifting, All-Purpose Spray) after the jump!
As I have a literal arsenal of cats (5! and I STILL think of getting more!), 2 furry dogs, a forest of dirt outside my front door, an exquisitely gifted yet perpetually messy cook of a husband, and an innate need to clean, my go-to homemade cleaner of choice for wiping down any and every surface in sight is an all-purpose cleaner. The recipe below, adapted from Sophie Ulliano’s fantastic green guide “Gorgeously Green” (a wonderful gift idea, for yourself, or for shining the green light on the ladies in your life), takes about 3 minutes to make, tops. It is also made from inexpensive, easy to find ingredients (tea tree oil and other pure essential oils can be found at any natural foods store or online from distributors such as Aura Cacia).
Homemade, Dollar-Saving, Fragrance-Uplifting, All-Purpose Spray
-1 empty 32 oz. spray bottle
-3/4 c. Distilled White Vinegar
-1 c. Hydrogen Peroxide
-1 1/2 tsp. Castille Soap (Such as Dr. Bronner )
-30 drops Tea Tree Oil
-30 drops Essential Oil of choice (some of my favorite choices include lavender, lemongrass, rosemary, lemon verbena, spearmint, clove, cinnamon, anise, sage, grapefruit, lemon, and lime; experiment with one or a combo and see what scent makes you want to get lean and clean!)
-Place all ingredients into the spray bottle using a funnel or measuring cup with a spout.
-Add water until contents reach top of bottle.
-Shake vigorously and use with abandon!
*For those with no time, or inclination, to make their own natural cleaning products but still needing a good cleaning kit, these companies offer a repertoire of items you can feel good about purchasing: