Baking soda when mixed with a little water is a cleanser and stain remover. Add lemon juice and a few drops of lemon essential oil and you have a pleasant smelling degreaser. Mix equal parts of baking soda and borax along with a few drops of your favorite essential oils for a carpet deodorizer.
Borax is a disinfectant and a great alternative to bleach. Mix ½ cup borax and ½ cup vinegar with a few drops of essential oil of lavender in a bucket of hot water to clean tile or linoleum floors and most countertops. Sunlight, lemon juice, and hydrogen peroxide are natural alternatives to the all-too-common poison—bleach.
Use vinegar straight on mold, cutting boards to disinfect, or in a cup where air might need freshening. Mix ¼ cup vinegar with 1 quart of water for a superior window, mirror, and chrome cleaner. Add 1 cup to the final rinse cycle of your clothes washer for an economical alternative to toxic fabric softeners.
Use seltzer on soap scum and hard water buildup on glass shower doors. Apply directly to a coffee, tea, tomato juice, or wine spill on carpet, using a small amount, then blotting and repeating until the stain is gone. Purchase a pumice stone at your local hardware store for those stubborn rust stains on your porcelain toilets. Leftover fireplace ashes will shine your silver or other metals; just rub it in with a damp soft cloth.
A few basic antibacterial and antiseptic essential oils to always have on hand are lavender, lemon, geranium, and rosemary. The aromatherapy benefits are an added plus when using essential oils. Be sure you are buying true essential oils, not fragrances.
Welcome spring this year with products that are good for you, your family, and the earth. They’re exciting to use because, although they’re common, they’re different. Have fun!