DIY Do's And Don'ts

DIY Cleaning Products That Are Toxin-Free

essential oils enhance natural cleaning productsRecently we revealed a thrifty laundry "secret" that laundry detergent manufacturers don't want you to know. Now, we're about to do the same for those sweet-smelling, chemical-free cleaning products. Yes, the ones that are so pricey you feel like you've been taken to the cleaners!

Making your own natural cleaning products is surprisingly easy. You'll be rewarded with mild cleansers that are powerful enough for the job but gentle on you, your household and the environment.

Here's how....

Your biggest expense will be the upfront cost of the essential oils. Essential oils are derived from plants and have antibiotic, antiseptic, antiviral and antifungal qualities. Essential oils also ensure that your natural cleaning products will emit lovely and clean scents like lemon, rosemary, lavender, clary sage, or pine. You can purchase these oils at health food stores or well-stocked groceries. Don't worry: a bottle of essential oil will last a long time.

Dryer Sheets
Dryer sheets are filled with nasty chemicals and are costly, too. To make your own: Simply use a thin cloth (such as a handkerchief) and add a few drops of essential oils of rose, lemon or lavender. Toss it in the dryer like any other dryer sheet and reuse again and again.

All-Purpose Cleaner
Add 10-20 drops of your favorite essential oil into a gallon of water and a natural cleaner such as Murphy's Oil Soap. Alternatively, you can mix a few drops of essential oil into a mixture of white vinegar, dish soap, and hot water.

Toilet Bowl Cleaner
Grandma was right to think that baking soda is immensely helpful around the house. To make a toilet cleaner: Pour a half-cup of baking soda, a castile soap (like Dr. Bronner's) and a few drops of essential oil into the toilet. Let it sit overnight, scrub, and then flush.

Room Freshener
All you need is a spray bottle (you can re-use one you already have), water, and a few drops of essential oil. Mix, shake, and spray.

Carpet Freshener
Add 20-25 drops of your favorite essential oil to two cups of pure borax. Borax is a natural mineral with multiple applications. Let the mixture sit on top of the carpet for a while and then vacuum. (Hint: Test a small patch of carpet that's out of view first, such as inside a closet, first.)

There you have it -- money-saving, DIY cleaning products that will be softer on the planet and your wallet.

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