108. natural cleaning

january is always a great time for fresh starts - and what could be fresher than a clean house? sadly, the harsh chemicals and synthetic fragrances used in most commercial cleaning products might be polluting your space as much as cleaning it. a simple and cost effective solution is to make your own household cleaning products. it's easier than you may think. simply stock up on these basic natural ingredients and mix and match:
baking soda
white vinegar
cream of tartar
castile soap
essential oils

here are some of our favorite recipes to get you started:

all purpose cleaner
2 cups white vinegar
lemon peels

fill an airtight container with white vinegar. place the peels from several lemons in the vinegar. cover and allow to steep for a week or so. strain the vinegar into a spray bottle.

scouring scrub
1 cup baking soda
1/2 cup salt
several drops of essential oil (lavender or lemon work great)

pour ingredients into a jar. cover and shake to mix them together. to use, wet the surface, sprinkle the powder on and allow to sit for a few minutes. scrub with a brush or cloth until clean, then rinse with water.

floor cleaner
2 tablespoons castile soap
1 gallon water
several drops of essential oil

mix all ingredients in a bucket. mop and dry.

grout cleaner
cream of tartar
lemon juice

mix ingredients together to form a paste. use a brush to scrub between tiles until stains are removed. rinse with water.

now that your home is safely squeaky clean, simmer some aromatics on the stovetop for a natural and effective air freshener. this classic recipe is used by williams sonoma to make their stores extra inviting:

air freshener (inspired by williams sonoma's recipe)
4 sprigs of rosemary
1 sliced lemon
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

place all ingredients in a pot filled with water. bring to a boil. reduce heat to simmer and allow the scent to fill the room.

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