Cleaning The Kitchen Naturally
Recently Lynne posted a homemade and natural way to clean your sink. So, based on the fact that I seem to be the person she knows that uses the most homemade cleaners, I was asked to write a post or two (or three) about natural cleaning products.
I have not always used natural cleaners and, like many of you my think, I thought that without Clorox something could not be cleaned. Of course, I was wrong. Three years ago when my son was born, my loving parents made me throw out all my nasty, harsh, chemical cleaners in favor of the Seventh Generation “natural” brand. Seventh Generation is a wonderful brand and far more natural than Mr. Clean; however, because of the USDA organic guidelines not being as strict as they should be, it is still not as natural as making your own cleaners. Plus it costs an arm and leg with hardly any coupons available.
When I started thinking about what I would do if my son got a hold of one of those cleaning bottles, I completely freaked out and immediately started researching how to make my own stuff. I did not want to have to think about what chemicals accidentally got on – – or worse IN – my child. I now use my own homemade natural products for everything cleaning wise. By “natural” I mean that I use nothing that can be found on the cleaning aisle except Murphy’s Oil, washing soda and Borax as each of these are naturally derived products.
To aid you in your natural cleaning experience, I thought I would start with a room that most of the ingredients can be found, the kitchen. I have two cleaners that get used in my kitchen the most: my all-purpose cleaner and a disinfectant. I have tried a myriad of other things but these two are tried and true in my house. Here are the “recipes.”
All-Purpose Cleaner: Soak some orange peels in white vinegar for 2 weeks (I usually use two-three oranges and a 1.5 cups of vinegar). After soaking, add 1 cup of water, 1 cup of white vinegar, 1 tablespoon of baking soda. Add essential oil of choice. Place all ingredients in a spray bottle.
Disinfectant: Mix 2 cups of hot water, 2 tablespoons of white vinegar, and 1 teaspoon of Borax (I know this isn’t usually found in your kitchen cabinets but go ahead and get some you will need it to make your own laundry detergent). Add essential oil of your choice . Place all ingredients in a spray bottle.
If you are a fan of Clorox disinfectant wipes, you can make those too! Just get some old shirts, take some scissors to them, put them in a air tight container (I use an old baby wipes box) and add 1 cup of water, ½ teaspoon of liquid castile soap, and essential oil of choice.
I also make my own dish liquid. I don’t have a dish washer, so I haven’t researched a good homemade recipe for that.
Homemade Dish Liquid: 1 bar of castile soap (Kirk’s Original is the best and you can find it usually on the bottom shelf of the soap aisle ( it is coconut oil soap thus meeting my natural requirement.), 1 tablespoon of washing soda (once again this is an item you need to make your own laundry detergent), 1 cup of white vinegar, roughly 1 gallon of water, and 20 drops of the essential oil of your choice. Grate your bar of soap. Add grated soap and ½ gallon of water to large pot and heat until the soap is melted. Do not boil the liquid. Add washing soda and stir until it dissolves. Add vinegar, essential oil, rest of water which is about 1 cup less than a ½ gallon. Allow the mixture to cool and transfer it to a container. I usually use an old milk jug for storing it. Allow it to cure one day before using. Take an old dish liquid container and add your homemade stuff to it. Remember to shake before each use. Don’t be alarmed if it doesn’t bubble up as it shouldn’t. If you find too much of a soapy residue on your dishes, add more vinegar to your soap.
A quick word about essential oils since I mentioned them in all my recipes. Essential oils have anti-fungal, antibacterial, and antiviral properties. You can make all of these kitchen cleaners without them but they won’t have that extra cleaning whammy or the nice smell of the oils. For my oils, I personally use DoTerra products as their oils are “therapeutic grade,” meaning they can be used aromatically, topically, or internally. Most essential oil brands state on their label that they are for aromatic use only which doesn’t solve the problem of what happens if the cleaners get on or in my child. (If you are interested in finding DoTerra oils you can contact me and I will gladly hook you up with some of your own.)
Next week I will go over the scary bathroom.