Since I’ve mentioned in a couple of posts how much I adore this homemade, non-toxic cleaner, I figured it’s time to tell you how to make it. This recipe is based on several other ones that I’ve seen on-line, so I am not claiming it as my own. This is just my variation…
- 1 quart warm water
- 1 ½ T. liquid castile soap (I use Sal Suds Liquid Cleanser 32 Ounces)
- 15 drops each lemon and orange essential oils
- Optional, for extra disinfecting power: 5 drops each tea tree and eucalyptus essential oil
Fill a 1 quart (32 ounce) spray bottle (I found this heavy-duty one in the cleaning aisle at Target) half way up with warm water. Add the liquid castile soap (eyeball it) and slowly fill the bottle to within 1 ½ inches of the top. You might need to wait a few minutes for the bubbles to subside, but if you fill the bottle very slowly it shouldn’t be much of a problem. Add the essential oils, put on the spray lid and gently shake until well combined. That’s all there is to it. It takes less than five minutes and is super-cheap after the initial investment. The liquid castile soap and essential oils are extremely concentrated, so there is very little compared to the water. My half-gallon bottle of cleaner cost me less than a dollar (compare that to nearly $5 for half that much of the store-bought non-toxic cleaners!) and I have enough of the ingredients on hand to make dozens more! Each ingredient also has several other uses, so they are all multi-taskers.
So, apart from being non-toxic and cheap, why do I love this stuff so much? I think I’d better show you…
Last night we had some friends over and we toasted marshmallows. I left the sticky, charcoaled forks on the table overnight and woke up to the miserable prospect of scrubbing them. Ugh. I HATE to scrub things! I decided to spray them with my nifty cleaner and let them sit for a few minutes, first. Once I remembered them, about ten minutes later, I rinsed them under some hot water for about 30 seconds. Here’s what I have now. NO SCRUBBING! I didn’t even wipe them off! (Update: For anything that requires scrubbing without scratching the surface, I am loving these! I just cut each one into 4 pieces for the perfectly sized scrubby pad!)
Since I didn’t take a “before” picture, I thought I’d do a “before and after” on one of the grilling forks we use for camping. Now, this one was scrubbed and soaked and scrubbed again when we got home from our camping trip…
I sprayed it and ignored it for ten minutes. Instead of just rinsing this one, I sprinkled on some baking soda and wiped it off with a dish rag. I didn’t scrub, just wiped and then rinsed.
Yes, there are a few small spots left, but WOW! If I wanted it spotless, I would repeat the process, but I’m just not that concerned about how our camping gear looks.
My other favorite uses are cleaning the kitchen and bathroom with it. I use it as an all-purpose cleaner on any hard surface and have had no problems at all. Usually, spraying it on and letting it work on the grime for a couple of minutes means no scrubbing, just easily wiping it up. If something doesn’t come off, I either repeat the process, or I’ll add a sprinkle of baking soda or use one of these amazing things. Either way, it is so easy!