Garden Chick - Notes from the Garden

Monday, July 20, 2009

Living in a Green Home

Most of us are out in our yards and gardens, busy with weeding, watering, and bringing in the "fruits of our labor". I guess my house has suffered a little (a lot). Working full time, helping my mother, granddaughters, and trying to run my Gardenchick business, little time has been left over for the dust bunnies, cobwebs, and kitchen sink. I remember my grandmother would be out in her yard, pulling weeds and gardening, while dishes were piled in the kitchen sink. Now I know why. Weeds and dishes, they are always there, so why bother? But at some point, either embarrassment, or the inability to ignore it any longer, the house cleaning must be done.

There are a number of reasons to choose natural cleaning products, most importantly, the lack of harsh chemicals on your household surfaces, and the cost.

Most natural cleaning recipes include these common household products: Borax laundry booster, white vinegar, apple cider vinegar, castile soap, baking soda, washing soda, and distilled water and lemon juice. Essential oils such as lavender, tangerine, and sweet orange, and tea tree are an added plus for either their scent, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal or grease cutting abilities.

Laundry Softener:
1 quart white vinegar
1 cup dried or fresh lavender buds
2-4 drops lavender essential oil

Place the lavender is a clean glass mason jar. Add the vinegar and cover with a plastic lid or plastic wrap. Allow to sit for one week, then strain. Add the lavender essential oil. Depending on the size of the wash load, add 1/2 to 1 cup to the final rinse water.


1/2 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup baking soda
5-10 drops citrus essential oil(tangerine, sweet orange, lemon)

Make a paste of the ingredients and use a damp cloth to wipe off. Great for greasy stove tops

Bath Scrub

1 cup baking soda
1/4 cup salt
10 drops citrus essential oil (tangerine, sweet orange, lemon)
5 drops tea tree oil (optional, tea tree has anti fungal properties)

Window Cleaner
1/4 -1/2 liquid Castile Soap
3 T white vinegar
2 cups distilled water

Combine in a spray bottle, and shake gently before using.

Looking for a gift for the new bride or for a housewarming? Combine the ingredients, recipes, and different colored spray bottles and containers in a basket along with sponges, and dishclothes in a brightly colored basket. I found cute plastic spray bottles in fuschia, blue, and orange at the local Dollar Tree.

The picture above is from There are some good ideas on seasonal cleaning, and you can download free printables to organize your cleaning of every room.

You can find more recipes in the August-Sept 2009 Issue of MaryJanes Farm

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  • mary janes mag is cool isn't it karen? a few months back they had the cutes embroidary patterns from the 50's with little bees with sayings like "bee tidy", "bee helpful" etc. just so cute i had to find the whole set, of course, and try to squeeze embroidary (which was new to me!) on top of everything else!lol sounds like you are going full tilt this summer too! i haven't posted a proper post here and a week or more!!
    hope you are feeling well dear! big hugs and thanks for this good post! using natural products helps our planet and every living thing. also, i find when using scents like lavender, mint etc. in my homemade cleaning products, it makes me mellow enough to do the inside chores. i always feel the pull of the outside chores while catching up inside! lol hugs :)

    By Blogger comfrey cottages, At July 21, 2009 at 6:50 AM  

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