The Naturally Clean Home: 150 Super-Easy Herbal Formulas for Green Cleaning
WHY CLEAN WITH HERBS?
NEARLY EVERYONE HAS HEARD ABOUT THE VIRTUES of common items such as baking soda and vinegar for cleaning jobs like scouring and absorbing grease. The addition of herbal materials, especially essential oils, to the formula serves to enhance its cleaning value with the added benefit of leaving behind a soothing, natural scent. In effect, the principles of sanitary hygiene and aromatherapy become partners. It’s not by advertising gimmick that many commercial products contain citrus oils, such as lemon or lime; they are natural degreasers and have antimicrobial properties. In fact, citrus oils are the workhorses of the kitchen and bathroom. Many other herbs possess antibacterial and antifungal qualities as well. The chart on pages 26–27 gives more information on the beneficial cleaning properties of specific herbs.
The Benefits of Natural Cleaning
You can believe me when I tell you that using a natural herbal product instead of a chemical-laden commercial one makes household tasks almost a pleasure to tackle. I know it’s hard to get excited about cleaning a bathroom, but when you realize that the surfaces are germ and toxin free, and the soothing aroma of cedar or lavender lingers, you won’t be able to suppress a smile of satisfaction. And the enthusiasm is contagious — even the kids will want to pitch in!
Save Time and Money
Making your own herbal cleaning products is not a time-consuming or expensive endeavor. In fact, quite the opposite is true. It only takes a minute or two to fill a spray bottle with vinegar and water and add a few drops of essential oil. Bingo — instant glass and appliance cleaner! Having done that, there’s one less aisle to visit in the supermarket.
The majority of commercial cleaners are quite expensive. A typical spray or foam cleanser for the bathroom, for instance, can deprive you of $4.00 or more. An herbal alternative, on the other hand, will cost mere pennies to make. I buy pure essential oils for an average of $3.00 per half fluid ounce. Since I am only using between 5 and 30 drops of the oil (depending on the particular formula), that half-ounce bottle goes a very long way indeed. Other all-natural ingredients, such as vinegar, baking soda, water, and castile soap are also inexpensive.
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