Not only can you save space and money with a handful of natural ingredients, but you can improve the health of your family as well.  Vinegar, Borax, lemons, olive oil, baking soda and salt can work wonders in a home, and are usually already on hand.  Here are some simple, but effective, recipes that will keep your home clean and healthy.

Kitchen Cleaner
baking soda, essential oil (optional)
Half fill a plastic flip top or stainless steel shaker with baking soda. Add 15- 20 drops of essential oil (try lemon). Stir. Fill the shaker almost to the top with more baking soda. Put the lid on tightly and shake to mix. To use: sprinkle on counters or sink, then wipe with a damp rage or cellulose sponge. Rinse well. Don’t use too much or you will need to keep rinsing and wiping.

All Purpose Cleaner
2 tbsp white vinegar
1 tsp Borax
16 ounces hot, filtered water
1/4 cup liquid soap
10-15 drops of essential oil, such as lavender or lemon (optional)

First, mix the vinegar with the borax in a 16-ounce clean squirt bottle. Fill with hot, filtered water and shake until all the borax has dissolved. Next add the liquid soap, followed by the essential oil. Shake again to mix.To use: squirt and wipe.

Tub and Tile Cleaner

1 2/3 cups baking soda
1/2 cup liquid soap
1/2 cup filtered water
2 tbsp white vinegar

Mix the baking soda and liquid soap in a bowl. Dilute with 1/2 cup of water. Add the vinegar last. Mix with a fork until any lumps are gone. It should have a pourable consistency; if not, add more water. Pour into a 16-oz. squeeze container (the kind with a squirt flip-top cap). Keep the cap on, as this mixture will dry out easily. Shake well before using. Add more water if it dries out.  To use: squirt onto tile, tub, sink, or toilet bowl and scrub. Rinse well. If any baking soda residue remains (which will look like powder), use a little vinegar and water to rinse, and next time use less baking soda in the recipe.
Antibacterial Spray
Here is a great non-toxic and very effective way to rid your bathroom (or any room) of germs.
1 cup filtered water
1 tsp pure essential oil of lavender
Place water in 16-oz. clean squirt bottle, add lavender oil, and shake vigorously to mix.
To use: squirt on surfaces and allow to stand for at least 15 minutes, or don’t rinse at all. This recipe keeps indefinitely. Use on toilet seats, countertops, doorknobs, and cutting boards – anywhere germs like to lurk. Lavender is more antiseptic than phenol, which is the industry standard.The following recipes were taken from Athena Thompson’s book “Homes That Heal and Those That Don’t”  New Society Publishers, c.2004. ISBN 0-86571-511-4.

Jill Amery

Jill Amery is a mom of 2 small boys and the Publisher of UrbanMommies, a stylish digital lifestyle magazine filled with fitness, style, health, recipes and savvy mom advice to help you through pregnancy, birth, and raising your kids.

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