Homemade herbal cleaners make housework an aromatic pleasure. Make your own natural cleaners with just a few basic ingredients.
Want a natural home detox plan? Start by tossing out those harsh chemical cleaners and use herbs instead. Many herbs and essential oils are highly effective household cleaners, and many of them have antibacterial properties. Lemongrass, lemon myrtle, sage, tea tree, eucalyptus, oregano and lavender, as well as many others, contain powerful antimicrobial properties that rival many of the commercial cleaners you can buy at the supermarket. And with their natural fragrance, they’ll keep your home smelling sweet and fresh.
Herbal housekeeping is not hard. With just a few basic ingredients you can easily make your own effective, non-toxic home cleaners.
Step one: look at your base ingredients. Typical pantry staples that can be used to make homemade cleaners include baking soda (it deodorises and dissolves grease and dirt), cider or white vinegar (a weak form of acetic acid, which is antibacterial), castile soap (a surfactant made from olive oil that loosens and washes away dirt) and lemon juice (which has antibacterial properties). Step two: choose your herbs, either fresh or dried, or in the form of essential oils.
Pure essential oils are the strongest and most active form of a herb, and are highly effective at removing germs. A 2013 study at the Alexander Technological Educational Institute of Thessaloniki in Greece showed that soap with oregano essential oil (at 0·5 per cent strength) was as effective as commercial antimicrobial soap and more effective than plain soap with no additives.
Using fresh or dried herbs is effective too, and simple cleaning solutions can be made, with powerful results. To fight germs, a simple spray can be made by steeping herbs in vinegar. Leftover citrus peels can be added too, as these contain a large amount of bioflavonoids and limonene, which are strongly antibacterial.
Happily, your home’s cleanliness need not be compromised by abandoning the harsh chemicals in commercial cleaners in favour of homemade herbal ones.