Spring cleaning with natural ingredients

By Sheila McGinnis on 3rd May 2019

How can you use essential oils in your spring cleaning routine? Regular contributor Sheila McGinnis offers her advice…

I love this time of year to freshen up and deep clean the house after a long winter of hibernating inside. How about you? This is a time to raise the windows, put up the thick blankets, clean the pollen from windows, and taking time to deep clean areas that were neglected during the winter. One of those areas is my stove! After baking and cooking so much during the winter it truly is the one area that needs my attention. Have you ever bought an oven cleaner and the instructions say wear protective gloves, open windows, and don’t inhale? YIKES! Well, take them at their word because it’s toxic to breathe in. Below is a simple recipe that you’ll feel good about using.

Natural oven cleaner
– A quarter cup of liquid castile soap
– Three quarters of a cup of baking soda
– Five drops of tea tree essential oil (EO)
– Five drops of orange esssential oil
– Mix together and store in a glass container.

To use just scrub onto the dirty surface and let it sit for about 10-15 minutes, take a damp cloth or sponge and wipe it up. If you have stubborn areas add some of your used coffee grounds with the mixture for a “grittier” clean (may need to add a bit of water to get the consistency right).

To clean the top of the stove make this easy all-purpose cleaner (this recipe works great for windows as well countertops).

All purpose cleaner
– Half a cup of white vinegar
– One cup of distilled water
– Five drops of lavender EO
– 10 drops of orange EO
– Five drops of tea tree EO

Let’s not forget the wood furniture, they need a good cleaning too, and I won’t judge you if you don’t dust regularly (guilty). Don’t use those store bought chemically laden aerosol cans that smell like lemon, instead try this simple recipe.

Furniture Spray
– A quarter of a cup of white vinegar
– Half a cup of olive oil or grapeseed oil
– 15-20 drops of lemon EO

Now for the laundry! I may be the only one who enjoys doing laundry, but putting them away is a different story. There’s nothing like fresh sheets on your bed. So many of detergents around are not only full of chemicals and fragrances but are terrible for the environment, even the ones that say “fragrance-free.” This recipe doesn’t contain Borax which is a bit controversial in the natural world. I will say I have used it many times in my detergent and I have made it without. They both work great. This one also calls for Epsom salt which is a natural water softener so it will work as a fabric softener. You can also add vinegar to your rinse cycle as well.

Laundry Detergent
– 16 oz (about four bars) of Castile fragrance-free soap
– Four lbs of baking soda
– One box (3.7 lbs.) of Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda
– One container (3lbs) of OxiClean for babies
– 28 oz of Epsom Salt (this is optional if you want a fabric softener)

Grate the soap into a fine powder (food processor works great for this and do one bar at a time). Pulse in the baking soda and add the other ingredients and mix well. Use two tablespoons to each load (safe for HE machines). Add a few drops of tea tree EO with the vinegar in the rinse cycle to help kill bacteria and give it a clean scent. To dry, utilize the sun! It’s free and makes clothes smell good, plus, the sun rays will brighten your whites!

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