Homemade Alternative Cleaning Solutions

Author: Vasia Pelegrati

Following a spiritual lifestyle involves clean practices at all levels…mentally, emotionally & physically. A simple & clean physical environment demonstrates a simple & clean mind, an accurate, yet easy nature. Clean spaces indicate room for change and newness, fresh & flowing energy.

As all practices in life affect one another, those following a healthy vegetarian diet often find that life gets simplified in many ways. The time and the energy needed for example for cleaning the kitchen after cooking are reduced a lot since you don’t have to deal with unfamiliar bacteria and unnatural odors, even greasy cooking utensils (especially if frying is out of your cooking practices).

In contemporary societies keeping the home environment clean is linked to the use of strong chemical products; the stronger the chemical the deeper the cleaning effect. However, we don’t really need to be exposed to extra hazardous chemicals in order to offer ourselves a clean environment to live in. We are so much used to considering their presence a prerequisite for a clean and protected environment that we don’t often realize that we are actually polluting our house and the air we breathe in our attempt to clean them.

Here we recommend some alternatives to the toxic chemical products that are widely used in household cleansing. The basic ingredients used in the recipes -vinegar & baking soda- can be found in most houses. Most recipes were found through internet searching however it’s only after each one of these has been tried, altered & retried over a period of 3-4 months that we ended up with the final recipes.

In the Brahma Kumaris center in Athens-Greece, all chemical cleaning products have been removed from the cleaning practices and are replaced by the natural alternative products & methods offered here. Even though these are the final recommendations, results may vary so every one is advised to experiment with these recipes, which means that they may need to be adjusted according to the needs of the individual and the available ingredients.


Some of the benefits that homemade natural alternative cleaning offers:
  • Naturally derived ingredients
  • Non-toxic cleaning
  • Cost effective even when essential oils are included
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Avoid the intake of toxins in the body
  • Avoid allergies
  • Avoid waste of plastic bottles
  • Most ingredients found in your kitchen cupboards
  • A stock of the basic ingredients will supply you with enough cleaning product for months

Sources:



 RECIPES:


CITRUS VINEGAR
 

Fill a jar with a lid with peels from one or more types of citrus (lemons, oranges, grapefruit, tangerines etc.). Curl the peels around the inside of the jar, squeeze them in to fit as many as possible. Cover with white vinegar, close with the lid and let sit for two weeks. Strain and store the vinegar in a bottle. It is ready for use in the recipes.

Tips/ You can dilute the vinegar with 50% water, transfer to a spray bottle and use for general cleaning purposes.


WINDOW CLEANER

For about 1lt.:
Pour 4 tablespoons of white (citrus) vinegar and 4 cups of filtered water into a spray bottle. Add just 2 drops of dishwashing liquid soap and shake to mix. Spray on glass and wipe with lint-free cloth.

Tips/ Glasses, windows & mirrors: Are Ideally cleaned with a piece of newspaper.



MOPPING POWDER


Mix 1 part green soap (made of olive oil) in powder form* with 3 parts of baking soda. Keep the powder mixture in a container. 
 

In a bucket with (warm) water put 1tbsp. mopping powder, add 2-3 tbsp. of white vinegar, stir in with the mop to dissolve and mop the floor with this. 

*Can use any unscented soap in flakes, powders or bars that is biodegradable and will clean just about anything. Avoid using soaps which contain petroleum distillates. Required amounts however may vary.


KITCHEN CLEANER



Pour 3 tablespoons of white (citrus) vinegar, 1 teaspoon baking soda and 2 cups of warm water into a spray bottle. Shake to dissolve. Add 1/2 teaspoon dishwashing liquid and 10 drops essential oil (optional) to the bottle (5 drops lemon oil & 5 drops rosemary oil) and agitate the bottle gently.  Spray on surface and then wipe clean. For tough dirt, leave cleaner on for a few minutes and then wipe off.


OVEN CLEANER

Oven should be turned off. Moisten oven surfaces with sponge and water. Mix baking soda and water to form a thick paste and spread throughout the oven interior. Let sit overnight. Remove with spatula and wipe clean. 


BATHROOM CLEANER

Pour 3 tablespoons of white (citrus) vinegar, 1 teaspoon washing soda and 2 cups of warm water into a spray bottle. Shake to dissolve. Add 1/2 teaspoon liquid soap and 12 drops tea tree essential oil to the bottle and agitate the bottle smoothly.  

Tips /
·        Apply the spray cleaner to all bathroom surfaces (sink, tub & tile) and wipe off with a sponge or rag. For deeper cleansing,  sprinkle on any surface baking soda, rub with wet sponge or scrub cloth and rinse. For mineral deposits, soak a cloth in vinegar and leave it on the deposit for about an hour and then clean off area.
·        The tea tree essential oil diluted into water makes a very good anti-bacterial for removing mold.
·        Clean your toilet bowl with baking soda and vinegar. Sprinkle baking soda inside the toilet bowl, then squirt vinegar from a squeeze bottle under the rim. Scrub with a toilet brush. Wait for some time before flushing the toilet. Use the spray cleaner and a sponge to clean the seat and outside of the bowl.


ALL-PURPOSE CLEANER

Pour 3 tablespoons of white (citrus) vinegar, 1 teaspoon baking soda and 2 cups of warm water into a spray bottle. Shake to dissolve. Add 1/2 teaspoon dishwashing liquid and 10 drops essential oil* (optional) to the bottle and agitate the bottle smoothly.  Spray on surface and then wipe clean.

*best for disinfection are: grapefruit, bergamot, tea tree, lavender, eucalyptus


WASHING POWDER FOR LAUNDRY



Combine 1000gr.  green soap (made of olive oil) in powder form or soap flakes* to 600gr. baking soda and 400gr. washing soda.  Use 1/8 cup per load.


*Can use any unscented soap in flakes, powders or bars that is biodegradable and will clean just about anything. Avoid using soaps which contain petroleum distillates. Required amounts however may vary.


CONDITIONER FOR CLOTHES

Mix 2 cups (500 ml) white vinegar to 2 cups (500 ml) filtered water. Add 20 drops of lavender essential oil or any other of your preference. Store in a bottle. Add 60ml. in the rinse cycle.