Greener Cleaner

The garden is starting to wind down some.  In some respects, I’m a little sad that the season is slowing coming to an end;  on the other hand, I’m excited for fall and for re-evaluating what we did and what we can do better, and having some time to refocus energies on other projects that need tackling.

In the moments in between frantic weeding and canning what we did get out of the garden, JGL and I started re-evaluating other things around the house as well.  Like line drying our laundry, or making a better effort to head to the farmer’s market, or even rethinking how we clean the house.

It’s a mundane thing, really, cleaning your house.  Everyone has to do it, and most people count on the store for getting all of the supplies needed.  Growing up Windex was the solution to most everything, and bleach really was a household staple.  In recent years I’ve been trying to transition over to products like Seventh Generation (I couldn’t live without their lavender mint dish detergent), and Method (their bathroom cleaner really does smell like a spa…heaven!), but although the products are wonderful, they certainly do come at a price.

It wasn’t until I was lamenting about cleaning to a co-worker that she suggested making my own cleaner–she had a recipe.  A recipe for cleaner?  I had never really thought about it before, but for not a whole lot of money and a little time, I was certainly willing to try.  What I was left with was one of the best cleaners I’ve ever used in my home.  Cuts grease, disinfects countertops, and depending on what kind of castile soap you use, can smell like whatever you want (my personal favorite is a lavender/eucalyptus combo).

About the same time we were trying the line drying, I started thinking about all of the cleaners I had in the house, and how much I spent on each one.   And after some researching and thinking about the contents of said cleaners, things started to not add up–if I wasn’t willing to put pesticides on my tomatoes, why was I willing to use things to “clean” the house that were just as noxious?

After convincing JGL that I wouldn’t blow the house up, we decided to use up what we had, and start making our own cleaners.   We currently only buy three uni-tasking products (dish soap, bathroom cleaner, and laundry soap), and I’ve been making the rest–the all purpose cleaner JG my colleague so kindly shared, a homemade window cleaner, and I replaced the magic erasers with baking soda.  Anything that doesn’t fall into those categories gets a vinegar/baking soda/borax combo.

The result?  Our home hasn’t felt so clean, I feel good about what my family is breathing in, and I don’t feel so bad if Lucy eats a chip or two (or three) off of the floor.  And the pesky headaches I’d been having over the winter haven’t been as bad anymore.

Best bonus of all?  Our house constantly smells like lemons, lavender, and sunshine.  Does it get any better than that?  I think not 🙂

The Cleaner That Started It All
1 Squirt Bottle
2-3 Tbs Lemon Juice
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp borax
2-3 tsps castille soap
Water

Put lemon juice, baking soda, borax and castille soap into your squirt bottle.  Fill with water.  Shake,clean.  Simple, clean, and good 😉
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