Wild Moon Cottage is a small working homestead in the pristine Ozark Mountains. We have dairy goats, poultry, organic herb and vegetable gardens, a start of a tiny fruit orchard, several black walnut trees, wild berries and fields of wildcrafting goodness. We raise our own milk, our own eggs, much of our own medicine and food. I do laundry by hand, make my own vinegar, candles, soap, bread, cheese ........ For a living I am an artist and herbalist. My goal for myself and our homestead is to be as self sufficient and self sustaining as possible.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Natural & Handmade Cleaners

From my herbal ...

I love homemade anything :) and my main cleaning products are white vinegar and baking soda. Tho I also often use apple cider vinegar, lavender, lemon juice and tea tree oil. Tea Tree has strong antiseptic properties and Lavender has mild antiseptic properties.

Instead of paper towels and expensive cleaning rags I use homemade or yard sale napkins, bath and dish towels. I keep them just for cleaning so I don't mind if they get a stain. Easy to wash and hang dry to be used over and over again. If the spill or cleaning job isn't to bad I just wash them out right away with a little dish soap and hang the to dry.

Baking Soda

I keep several empty parmesan cheese type containers, filled with baking soda for the Kitchen, bathroom, carpet and rugs, and the litter boxes. You can use as is (what I do), or keep a large sprig of herb in the container to scent your baking soda.

A little baking soda freshens litter boxes and scrubs away hard water stains, calcium buildup and rust. It's also a grand stain remover, just add a teaspoon of baking soda to your coffee or tea stained cups, fill with water and let them soak for about 10 minutes. Give a little scrub and they come shiny clean :) A little in your dish water will help keep utensils and glass shiny too. People have long used table salt for the same things but baking soda is safer to use, is less abrasive and much easier on the skin and environment.

For a tough stain like grape juice, mix a little paste of baking soda and lemon juice and watch it bubble the stain away.

To clean the oven or grill I make a good past of baking soda and water, apply and allow to dry slightly (about 10 minutes). Moisten and scrub clean. For tough spots, use the baking soda and lemon juice paste.

White Vinegar

Hot white vinegar is excellent for cleaning hard water buildup in coffee makers and tea pots. I use it about once a month to clean my peculator, about 2 cups full strength (Boiling vinegar does sting your nose tho and you can dilute it if it bothers you) I bring it to a rapid boil and then turn it off and let it set for about 10 minutes. After about 10 minutes I pour half into the toilet and let it set another 30 minutes. After 30 minutes I scrub the toilet and flush it away.

I use the other half in a bowl which i add cold water to and using baking soda to scrub, scrub the hard water on the tub and shower.

I don't know for sure but it may kill the beneficial bacteria in the septic tank. Regardless, I try to replenish them monthly to be sure.

** Never use metal containers for vinegars or lemon or lime juices. They're very acidic and can corrode metals.

Glass & Window Cleaner

1/2 part white vinegar
4 parts water

Put in a spray bottle and shake before using and use as any basic window cleaner.

Carpet Deodorizer

Baking soda
Dried herbs or spices (optional)

Fill a container with shaker top, add a teaspoon or so of herb or spices. Sprinkle on floors, allow to set for 10 minutes and vacuum. **Use Borax instead once a month to kill fleas.

Disinfectant Spray

2 c lavender water (double strength)
2 t. Tea Tree oil

Put in spray bottle. Shake before using. Spray germy things and wipe dry. A little goes a long way.

General All Purpose Cleaner

2 cups lavender water
1/4 cup white vinegar
1/4 t. Tea Tree oil

Put in spray bottle and shake before using.

Wood Cleaner

1 c Light Olive Oil
1/2 c Lemon Juice

Mix in reused plastic container. Use as you would any wood oil. Apply with soft cloth and buff to a shine. It cleans, shines and protects your wood furniture. A little goes a long way.

***** If you need shaker top containers or spray bottles you might check the bins next time you take recycling.

Those are just a few of my current recipes, I experiment and change things all the time. I'm sure there are tons more recipes out there, do a search and find some that are right for you :)
One thing I haven't found a recipe for that satisfies my needs is dish soap. if you know of one that I could try I would be very grateful.

I also recently came across this site which looks like a very good place to me :)


fly tie said...

i always enjoys posts like these.

those are mostly the same products i use for cleaning. i need to add the tea tree and/or lavender oil, though.

thanks for sharing!

oldcrow61 said...

Great stuff. I also checked out that site. Wonderful information there.

Granny Sue said...

Good post, gypsy. You know, years ago you could buy mops with spring clips to hold rags for mopping. I always used those kind, but then they were no longer available. Last year I found one at a flea market, though. It's great because you can just use old towels or t-shirts; clip them into the mophead and there's your mop. You can take the rags out and wash and re-use. It's the simplest thing. I wonder if these kinds of mops are available where you are?