Tuesday, 18 February 2014

When Life Give You Lemons - Make Household Cleaner?

I’ve been asked often about what cleaners we use at home seeing as all of our personal care products are chemical free. We clean with natural products that many of us have on hand every day. The smell left behind is wonderful fresh and clean – and dare I say it natural – NOT flowery or chemical based.  Natural! We use these cleaners everywhere in our house – EVERYWHERE! 

It’s an adjustment and a matter of switching our brains over from what we have been conditioned by the big companies with what works for cleaning when in fact many commercial cleaning products leave nasties behind. There are no warning labels that need to be heeded saying do not use in an enclosed space – ummm most of us don’t have palatial bathrooms – it’s going to be small, enclosed and not easy to ventilate especially in the winter months.

The reality is that we simply do not need to use the chemicals or expensive products to clean our homes. We make these great natural alternatives ourselves and we are happy to share how.

Vinegar and Orange Peel

I take a large glass mason jar, fill with the peel from oranges (grapefruit, lemon and limes are a great addition too!) then fill the jar with vinegar.  I let it sit and “brew” for 2 weeks shaking once or twice a day. Strain any bits and transfer the liquid to two spray bottles. I do one bottle full strength for tough cleaning and the 2nd bottle I do half solution and half water for normal cleaning needs. 

The peel emits beautiful smells and citrus fruits are again antibacterial and antiseptic.  Oranges are a natural degreaser – (it’s also why Orange Essential Oil is in our Mechanic’s Soap!)

I tend to have a few jars “brewing”at once all in various stages. Because we have a large family and we are fortunate that our crew inhales oranges – we are not usually lacking in orange peels. Although we use this everywhere in our house, my favourite place for this cleaner to work its magic is in the kitchen.

Vinegar – it’s a brilliant creation. Check out this website to learn more about vinegar and its 1001 Uses for White Distilled Vinegar - I love this site! Truly!

Another alternative is Lemons!

The acid in lemons is capable of killing bacteria with its antibacterial and antiseptic properties. 

Take some lemons – 6 -7 provides a good amount of juice – and juice them.  Strain the juice and pour into a spray bottle. Like the Orange & Vinegar Cleaner this does wonders around the whole house however for cleaning the bathroom – the lemon juice is my favourite. I really love the lemon juice straight up in the bathroom – the citric acid works wonders breaking down the soap scum and water deposits on tiles, showers, tubs, sinks and everything else. 

If you want to dilute the lemon juice (4 tablespoons) into 1 L of water – it is a wonderful window cleaner

For cleaning tougher items like grout: mix the lemon juice with some baking soda to make a paste, use a scrub brush and voila the dirt and grime will scrub off.

Please note – While the vinegar mixes well with lemon juice – it does NOT react well with vinegar. Do not add the baking soda to the vinegar solution – remember grade school and the volcano experiments? Enough said.

You house will never smell fresher or be as clean! Added bonus – these are both recipes that are pennies to make and saves the environment from the chemicals and packaging!

We'll talk about some natural cleaners for the floor next time - even hardwood floors!


Quick Update on the Palm Oil Free testing: The samples are currently making their way to the testers – some have received some already, some today and some tomorrow and through the week. The ones being mailed go today as well as some more local deliveries. The testers will be reporting on each bar over the next little while. Can’t wait for the results to start coming in.