I began to make my own cleaning products for a few reasons. First, it (can be) cheaper than buying them. For the simplest cleaning products all you need is a lemon, vinegar and maybe some baking soda. However, I like to play around with some herbs, too, so it gets a little more expensive.
The second reason is that it is so easy to make these products magical (or purposeful, intentional, whatever you term it). Adding essential oils can add those properties and/or scents that you’re aiming for. When I make my products I light my household candle, cast a circle, send a little prayer to my household deities and spirits, and mix it up. It’s just like cooking witchery.
So, I’ll start this little series with the first product I ever made and by far the one I use the most: all-purpose spray.
All Purpose Natural Cleaning Spray
Adapted from The Naturally Clean Home by Karyn Siegel Maier
1 20 oz. or larger spray bottle
Funnel or measuring cup with pouring spout
1 tsp. borax
2 cups water
2-3 tsp. liquid castile soap (like Dr. Bonner’s)
1/4 c. white vinegar
1/4 c. lemon juice (2-3 large lemons)
6 drops citrus seed extract (like grapefruit seed extract, can be found at your health food store)
6 drops thyme essential oil
4 drops lemon essential oil
Other oils: lavender, eucalyptus, orange, lemongrass, basil, pine
Place your funnel in the stop of the spray bottle. Combine all ingredients starting with the dry (so it doesn’t stick to your wet funnel). Shake well. Voilà!
If you haven’t worked with essential oils before realize that they are very potent. There is a tendency to think “Oh! It’s just from plants, how bad can it be?” Bad enough that when I put too much peppermint oil in my bath I had a rash on my ass for days (!).
Also, after you’ve made it once play around with it for your needs. I use more vinegar and citrus seed oil because I need a good de-greaser. If you were going to use this around a more germ-y area, experiment with adding bay, cinnamon or clove.