Friday, 19 April 2013

Favorite Thing Friday: Homemade All-Purpose Green Cleaner

A few years ago I worked for Alberta Environment, which is our province’s Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Resource Development. I learned a lot about the impact our every-day actions have on the environment. Even the smallest things matter, such as turning the water off while brushing your teeth, making sure you know what you can throw in the garbage and where, and what you can recycle or compost.

One of my favorite things that I took away from that job was learning how to make your own homemade all-purpose green cleaner. It’s a concoction of all things you can find at a grocery store. It disinfects, cleans, smells wonderful, and best of all, is toxic free.

My homemade all-purpose green cleaner

I made one for a friend of mine earlier this year and she loved it. She said it was refreshing and loves that she can feel 100 per cent safe and comfortable using it on her children’s toys and eating trays, knowing that they are not putting anything in their mouth that has chemicals layered onto it. She also said that she really appreciated the gesture and thought it was very special.

I liked that I had made something healthy that was benefiting someone and their family.

Since then, I’ve had several friends ask me to make them one, and I like to give them away as gifts. Most recently I gave one to my cousin as part of my gift to her at her baby shower, and it was a hit.

I make a couple of scents, and so far lavender seems to be the most popular. Lavender is also a nice aromatherapy.

The bottles and lables are nothing fancy (something I’d like to improve on), and since it seems to be damn near impossible to find reasonbly priced re-usuable glass spray bottles, I just mix it in a standard plastic spray bottle from the dollar store and re-use them as much as I can.

All together, I would say the ingredients cost about $35 but you can make many cleaners from that. The most expensive thing is probably the essentials oils, but they last a long time. Vinegar goes the fastest, but it’s super cheap! And Borax (for me) was the hardest to find. Check Save-On Foods or your local Co-Op.

I do caution again using this green cleaner on stainless steel. It is streaky. Otherwise, I love using in the bathroom, on the table and on countertops.

If you have the time or are interested, here is the recipe I use. I alter it only a tad, using a little more water and just a pinch of less vinegar. But if you’d prefer that I make you one, just ask! :)

Three quarters of a cup of white vinegar
Two teaspoons Borax
Three and a half cups of hot water
20 drops of essential oil (lavender, lemon or peppermint are good) and,
Three quarters of a cup of Castile soap (a pure olive oil-based soap. I like to get the same scent as the essential oil that I am using).
Mix ingredients and store in a clean pump bottle.

You'll love it!

Thanks for reading and have a great weekend!