Natural spring cleaning
Natural spring cleaning, without the chemicals.
by Hannah Bullivant and Nomads.
After a four-week break, my daughter and I went to our outdoor playgroup in the woods yesterday morning, and our little patch of woodland was unrecognizable. Baby leaves, an almost electric hue of green, are scattered across the bare branches, creating a haze of vibrant greenery through the trees. Birdsong, bold as brass, echoed through the woods and the sun, when it found us through the branches, was warm on our up-turned faces. Spring in all its glory. Many of us are busy planting seeds and gardening, enjoying the first picnics of the year and also preparing for some spring cleaning.
Sick of the harsh chemicals found in cleaning products, and in a bid to settle down our family’s sensitive skin, we started making our own cleaning recipes using natural ingredients a few years ago and we haven’t looked back. Making your own is cheaper, especially if you buy the ingredients in decent bulk, and there are far fewer chemicals in them. I buy all my ingredients from the wonderful Summer Naturals.
So here are a couple of favourite DIY recipes, a washing powder and spray cleaner, both of which due to the essential oils, are a pleasure to make and use – quite the feat for this cleaning-phobe!
You will need:
3 cups vegetable soap flakes, (some people grate bars of soap but this is much cheaper and easier)
2 cups borax
2 cups soda crystals
2 cups of bicarbonate of soda
30 or 40 drops of lemon essential oil which has antibacterial properties and smells lovely (just drop it on the surface of the powder and mix it in) I’ve also used tea tree, peppermint and grapefruit oil too.
Mix together with a spoon then funnel into your container. You might have to wiggle the container to get it all in. This is exactly enough to fill our 1000ml Ecover bottles
We add a small capful which is about a tablespoon, to each wash.
This will last ages – approx 30 washes.
Next, a spray cleaner using lemon and lavender.
You will need:
3 tablespoons of bicarbonate of soda
3 drops of lavender oil
Container – an old (non toxic) spray bottle, or make your own jar spray bottle.
Squeeze the juice of three lemons into a mixing jug and then add three tablespoons of bicarbonate of soda. This will fizz in the bowl (satisfying and fun!). Once the little bowl party is over, add one drop of washing-up liquid and three drops of lavender essential oil, as well as enough water to top up your bottle. As a guide, go for one part lemon mix, to two parts water. Stir well and use immediately.