Welcome to the first Herbal Life Hack post!
I know people normally Spring clean but I’ve noticed an increasing number of people doing a Fall clean too. To me, cleaning when the weather is dark and miserable outside is a better idea. You can scent the air inside while not missing your outdoor time in the Spring.So what are we going to talk about today? All Natural Herbal Cleaner!
I’m going to show you the fast and effective way and then give you a truly homemade nd more “herbalist” version. The difference is, you will need to prepare this one WAY in advance.
So let’s get into the quick and easy version first!
Fast And Effective Herbal Cleaner:
This is going to be similar to every other post/recipe on the topic. We will be using white vinegar as the base and diluting with distilled water (you can use tap water if you like but distilled has a much longer shelf life).
So, as you might already know, white vinegar is antibacterial in its own right. ou could just clean your house with that alone but, to be honest, it stinks. No one wants to live in a house that reeks of vinegar. To me, the smell of vinegar is just as bad as the smell of bleach, which turns my stomach.
We can do something very useful about the smell though, we can add some essential oils. Not only will they help due to their antimicrobial properties, but the smell can be adjusted to what you like.
Let’s take a look at the essential oils that we can use.
Herbs With Antibacterial/Antimicrobial properties
- Sage (Salvia officinalis)
- Cinnamon (Cinnamomum verum)
- Clove (Syzygium aromaticum)
- Thyme (Thymus vulgaris)
- Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)
- Peppermint (Mentha × piperita)
- Spearmint (Mentha spicata)
- Lavender (Lavandula)
- Basil (Ocimum basilicum)
- Oregano (Origanum vulgare)
- Tea Tree (Melaleuca alternifolia)
- Lemmon (Citrus × limon)
- Lemongrass (Cymbopogon)
- Orange (Citrus sinensis)
That’s quite a list, eh? Each of these has antimicrobial and antibacterial properties. There are more, like Garlic for example, that I haven’t added to the list because, well, who wants their house to smell like the inside of a Garlic bulb? lol
Now we know what we can use, take a look at the list and pick out something you like the smell of. If you have any experience with aromatherapy or mixing perfumes, you will know about notes. I won’t go into great details here but surface it to say that you can mix scents to make up a more complex, overall scent.
We will be using 20-30 drops of oil so if you want to mix up your own oil combo, make sure your parts equal 30 drops. You could use more if you like but I feel that would be a waste unless you are making a bigger batch.
Herbal All-Purpose Cleaner Recipe (formula)
This is based on a 16oz spray bottle (most common size).
- 1/4 – 1/2 cup of white vinegar
- (Distilled) Water to fill the rest of the bottle
- 20-30 drops of essential oil
Add all the ingredients to the bottle, shake well and you are good to go!
This pray is great for everything from countertops and furniture to mirrors and bathroom cleaning.
One thing to note though, if you have painted or varnished wood (even bare wood), you will want to test this out on a small section that isn’t seen to make sure it doesn’t discolor your surfaces.
Some oils like Lemon can cause problems with some furniture finishes so please test it out first before you use it on the entire surface.
If you feel like you need something stronger for shower and toilet bowls, you can make this same mixture stronger by using a 50/50 mix of vinegar and water.
And there you have it, the fast and effective version which will keep you going and help you transition to a herbal cleaning system rather than the chemical, shop-bought products.
There is also another, more involved, more hands-on version that you can make. I have a “thing” about a shelf full of potions brewing in the dark.. I dunno what it is but it makes me happy to have a stockpile of medicines and other things all lined up on a shelf.
This version will give you just that.
You will need a big jar or smaller jars or anything glass with a non-metallic lid really. If you only have metal lids, you can cover the top of the jar with some wax paper, parchment paper or even plastic wrap before screwing the lid on.
I haven’t tried this personally but I have heard it works.
So, you have your jar. Now stuff it with the herbs you want to use from the list above. You don’t need to compact it, just throw it in there.
When you have your jar of herbs ready, fill it up with vinegar.
Cap the jar, give it a shake and store it in a warm place out of direct sunlight for 6 – 8 weeks. make sure you give it a shake every day to get the juices flowing.
Once the time is up, strain the herbs off and decant the vinegar into a clean jar and cap like before. Now you have herbed vinegar ready to use in your herbal cleaning products!
As a side note, you can use the same herbs and recipe in a mop bucket for cleaning the floor. Just make sure that it won’t damage your wooden floors first! Test, test, test 🙂