The foundation of your new cleaning regimen starts with 6 simple ingredients: olive oil, castile soap, baking soda, lemons, essential oils and vinegar. With these simple things (that you might already have around the house!) you can clean your entire house safely! Let’s take it room-by-room, shall we?
Toilet Bowl Cleaner: this power-packed toilet scrub will not only deodorize, but it’ll kill bacteria and polish that porcelain to a shine! First add ten drops of tea tree or lemon essential oil into the toilet, then immediately follow with ½ cup of standard baking soda and ¼ cup of vinegar. Scrub away while the mixture reacts and foams. Flush, and you’re done!
Standard Surface Cleaner: this is great for day-to-day cleaning. Fill a spray bottle with 1 cup of vinegar and add the essential oil of your choosing–we recommend lemon for the scent and antibacterial power! Spray, let it sit and wipe away a few minutes later.
Tub and Tile: spray pure vinegar on any mildew and discoloration and let sit for thirty minutes before rinsing away with warm water. If the problem persists, repeat and scrub while you rinse! Another great option is to mix castile soap and baking powder into a paste, add essential oil and scrub away!
Air Freshener: add some baking powder and essential oil into a jar and mix well–poke holes in the top of the jar lid and screw on tightly. Super simple, super awesome!
Hand Soap: that’s right, you can use castile soap as a healthy hand soap. Just dilute it, add essential oils of your choosing (optional) and place in a foaming hand soap container.
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Countertop Cleaner: for the best all-purpose surface cleaner around, grab more vinegar! Dilute it with an equal part water and pour into a spray bottle. This’ll take care of most kitchen surfaces and counters, with a few exceptions. If your countertops are marble, granite or stone, skip the vinegar and replace with rubbing alcohol or vodka. Yes, vodka.
Cutting Boards Wash: when it comes to your wood or plastic cutting boards (because we know you would never ever use glass…right?) there’s a super easy way to get them clean and kill all that raw-meaty nastiness right off…a lemon. That’s right, your run-of-the-mill lemon packs enough antibacterial punch to do the job! Just cut a lemon in half, scrub the board with the cut side and let sit for ten minutes. Then just rinse away, and bam–super clean cutting board ready for your next meal!
Oven Cleaner: the harsh fumes and awful stink of normal oven cleaners are a dangerous business…but there’s a better way! Heat your oven to 125 F and grab your vinegar surface cleaner that you made earlier! Once your oven is warm, spray the affected areas with the vinegar and sprinkle them with either kosher salt or baking soda. Turn off your oven, let it cool, and then wipe clean with a damp towel.
Garbage Disposal: these things get so gross. They can start to smell like yesterday’s dinner really quick, and can even play host to some unwelcome critters. (Southerners especially beware–your disposal can make an awesome home for cockroaches if you don’t clean it regularly!) Just fill an ice cube tray with vinegar and add two drops of essential oils to each cube before freezing–you could do different oils for each one, or just make them all the same. Freeze and pop a few in the disposal, letting it run until the ice is completely broken down.
Microwave: take a small, microwave safe cup and add vinegar and lemon juice. If you’re wondering how much of each, all we can say is to eyeball it–there’s not exact measuring necessary here. Microwave on high for two minutes, and then let sit for up to five minutes more. Open, and wipe with a damp paper towel.
Dish Soap: for Dishwashers and Handwashing: no matter if you opt for dishwashers or if you wash by hand, you’re going to end up reaching for the castile soap here. For hand washing detergent, mix 1 cup of castile soap with four tablespoons of water. Shake and use just like Dawn! For dishwashing liquid you can put right into the washer, mix 1 cup of water with 1 cup of castile soap, add a few drops of lemon juice, and store in a bottle of your choice. When it’s time to wash, fill one compartment with the mixture and the other with white vinegar. No more detergent packs or chemical steam when you open the door!
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Laundry Detergent: of course, when you think laundry room, you’re going to think detergent. We’ve found a great, borax-free recipe for the best laundry soap out there! This recipe comes straight from myhealthygreenfamily.com, a site that features all kinds of great cleaning hacks just like this. Basically, take and grate one bar of glycerine soap and add it to a jar with 1 cup of washing soda, ½ cup baking soda, ½ cup citric acid and ¼ coarse salt. Mix it all up and you’ve got an amazing, stain-fighting (and cost-effective) laundry detergent. You only need 1 to 2 tablespoons per load!
Fabric Softener: it doesn’t get easier than this! Add 20-30 drops of your favorite essential oils to a gallon jug of white vinegar. Add ⅓ cup to each load of laundry!
All The Rest:
Tile, Vinyl, and Linoleum Floors (No hardwood, please!): put one part vinegar and two parts warm water into a bucket and mop as usual!
Walls: mix ¼ cup white vinegar with 1 quart warm water and scrub. To remove really stubborn marks, scrub with baking soda.