Image above from Natural Home
In my mind, the stretch of days from the Autumn Equinox to New Year’s Day is officially known as “Party Time.” With harvest festivals ushering in the celebrations and then continuing on through Halloween, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, Winter Solstice and New Year’s Eve, September through January present numerous opportunities for hosting bashes and attending soirees.
Bearing this in mind, I thought I’d make today’s “Small Measures” about some affordable, easy and planet-friendly cleaning products you can make in minutes to keep your place looking (and smelling!) its absolute best. I’m personally in party-planning overdrive, so it’s taking up a good deal of my thinking. Our “Nugget Warming” takes place this Saturday evening at our place and I’ve got somewhere around 60 adults and 15 kids coming, along with a gaggle of dogs. Hubs and I, along with the indispensable help of my sister, Devan (who flies into town from Florida tomorrow), will be cooking up a feast of local and seasonal foods. There will be a bonfire with DIY s’mores (I’ve ordered both the “Maple” and “Cardamom” flavors from Whimsy & Spice Confectioners), hard cider and pumpkins and gourds galore. Guests will take home homemade jars of my Cardamom Apple Butter, along with paper bags of homemade Pumpkin Brittle. The whole shebang is being photographed for a book I’m being profiled in, compounding my typical tendency to make my place sparkle. You can see why I’m a bit preoccupied with making things shine like the top of the Chrysler Building)!
To take our place to the next level, I’ll be using my arsenal of ready-in-a-flash cleaning supplies. Many of the ingredients necessary to whip these up are most likely already hanging out in your pantry. It’s amazing what can be achieved with a bit of baking soda, vinegar, olive oil, and some essential oils. So, whether you’re planning an event of your own or simply want to spruce up your digs before the windows come down and Old Man Winter officially moves in, give my homemade cleaning supplies a go (and while you’re at it, you can find the recipe for my all-purpose “So Fresh & So Clean” spray here).
CLICK HERE for great DIY cleaning product recipes after the jump!
Spic & Span Floor Cleaner
- 1 c. white vinegar
- 1/4 c. baking soda
- 6–7 drops essential oil of choice (I like to customize my floor cleaner scents to compliment the seasons, using lavender in spring, something citrusy in summer, cinnamon in autumn and pine scents in winter).
1. Fill a bucket or your kitchen sink with hot water.
2. Add vinegar, baking soda and essential oils while filling.
3. Stir with a mop to disperse the baking soda in the water fully.
4. Mop floors per usual.
Make It Shine Furniture Polish
- 1/2 c. olive oil
- 10 drops lemon essential oil
1. Combine olive oil and essential oil in a dark glass bottle.
2. Dab a cloth with the mixture and polish wood furniture per usual.
3. Use within one month, making more as needed.
Odor Out Fabric Freshener
- Baking soda
1. Simply sprinkle liberally all over area rugs or carpets and onto upholstered furniture.
2. Leave to sit for at least one hour and then vacuum away.
Green Room Mist
- 1/4 c. water
- 1/4 c. vodka
- 20 drops essential oil of choice (may be a single oil or a combination of several; for autumn celebrations, I like a blend of cinnamon, clove, ginger and orange, while a blend of balsam pine, juniper and rosemary go well with winter festivities)
1. Combine all ingredients together in a refillable spray bottle.
2. Shake for each use and spray as needed.
What about you? Got a low-fi, on-the-cheap cleaning product you’d be lost without? I’d love to hear about it. Otherwise, let the wild rumpus begin! — Ashley