Give your home a true green cleaning this spring

(BPT) – When you clean your house in the spring, you really want it to be clean. Dirt, dust and germs are banned, and all appliances, floors and walls are scrubbed clean. But is your house really clean, or have you traded dirt and germs for caustic and toxic chemicals found in most conventional cleaning products?

Even some so-called natural cleansers can contain these same or similar nasty ingredients. And you would know this only if the manufacturer practices full disclosure of ingredients on their labels, which is not required on home care products. Think about it – when was the last time you saw a full ingredient listing on your spray cleaner?

The best way to make sure your living space is clean and healthy is to use safe, natural cleaning products you create yourself, using natural and inexpensive ingredients you can pick up at any natural grocery store. It’s cost-effective, not difficult and, like the task of spring cleaning itself, it’s satisfying and rewarding. You can craft your own, home-spun versions of everything from carpet cleaner to furniture dusting polish – and have the satisfying assurance that you really are keeping your home clean and green.

Whether you’re shopping for prepared natural cleaning solutions or making your own, keep in mind that the word “aromatherapy” is now being applied to everything scented – from dishwashing liquid to laundry detergent. The true practice of aromatherapy relies on using pure essential oils extracted from plants. These natural plant essences nurture us on mental, emotional, physical and even spiritual levels. House cleaning isn’t exactly a spiritual exercise, but adding the effects and properties of essential oils to your homemade household products can enhance the experience and the effectiveness of your task.

Essential oils have potent antimicrobial effects along with their clean, pleasant natural aromas. Here are a few “classic” homecare essential oils suggested by the experts at the leading aromatherapy company, Aura Cacia: lemon (clean, sweet, uplifting scent; deodorizing), peppermint (minty, fresh; air purifier; mild pest repellent), eucalyptus and tea tree (air and surface sanitizers; fresh, therapeutic aromas).

Here’s a shopping list of key ingredients for making your own homecare products:

* Baking soda (Sodium Bicarbonate) – Gently abrasive scouring powder, odor absorber and an excellent base for making your own cleaning preparations.

* Washing soda (Sodium Carbonate)

* Borax (Sodium Borate) – Natural mineral compound, laundry booster, multipurpose cleanser, fungicide/insecticide.

* White distilled vinegar (Acetic Acid)

* Liquid soap (Sodium Hydroxide) – Choose from vegetable oil-based soaps such as olive oil or sweet almond.

* Distilled water – Clean, distilled water acts as a better carrier and dirt solvent. Tap water will often contain salts and minerals that can lead to spotting and build-up.

* Essential oils

* Spray bottles

* Natural bristle scrubbing brushes

* Squeeze bottles

* Cotton dusting cloth

* Hemp or Jute fiber scrubbing cloth

* Tote to put it all in


Follow these simple recipes for making your own basic homecare products:

 Basic Spray Cleaner

2 cups water

1/2 teaspoon sodium borate

1/4 teaspoon liquid soap

36 drops essential oil*

*Cleansing and purifying essential oils: lemon, tea tree, eucalyptus, spike lavender.


Gentle Scouring Cream

1/2 cup baking soda

Liquid soap

18 drops essential oil*

*Oils that brighten: lemon, lemongrass, grapefruit.

Add essential oils to baking soda and blend. Next, incorporate the liquid soap, several drops at a time, until a creamy paste forms.


Window Cleaner

2 cups water

3 tablespoons vinegar

1/4 teaspoon liquid soap

36 drops essential oil


Wooden Furniture Polishing Oil

3 tablespoons vinegar

1/2 teaspoon jojoba oil

10 drops lemon essential oil


Carpet Deodorizing Powder

1 cup baking soda

18 drops essential oil*

*Deodorizing essential oils: bergamot, coriander seed, lavandin.


Carpet Cleaner

1 cup baking soda

1 teaspoon liquid soap

18 drops essential oil

For more information and eco-friendly cleaning tips, visit

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