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Spring Cleaning

Spring has sprung! Although we are already a quarter of the way through the new year, spring is often associated with new beginnings. It’s the time to get the garden and yard cleaned up and get ready for warmer weather. It’s the time for spring cleaning indoors, as well.
The average American is exposed to a plethora of chemicals in their homes. While it is difficult to limit your exposure to chemicals in paint, carpet, or walls, you can lessen your exposure to many chemicals by using natural cleaning products.
Products such as air fresheners and household chemicals contain toxins that are linked to asthma, endocrine disruption, cancer and birth defects. There are thousands of chemicals on the market, but only about 2% have actually been studied for safety. Because we still want our homes to smell fresh and look spotless, there must be a better way.
The best solution that I have found to reducing my family’s chemical load is to not only feed them organic foods as much as possible, but I make some of my own cleaners. Not only are they effective, they smell great too!
Many essential oils not only have aromatherapy applications, they are anti-bacterial, as well. Essential oils such as thyme, clove, lemon and grapefruit are great to use in the home for a countertop spray. Tea tree oil, eucalyptus oil and orange oils are great in homemade bathroom cleaners.
To keep your home smelling fresh, use essential oils in a diffuser. Chemical air fresheners contain volatile organic compounds (VOC’s), benzene and formaldehyde which are linked to headaches, nausea, asthma, neurological damage and cancer.
Oils such as lavender, lemongrass, ginger and rosemary are great for not only making your home smell fresh, but they are great for promoting mood, relieving stress, and supporting the immune system.
Here is the recipe for my countertop spray. I have used this in my kitchen for a number of years now. Not only do the oils in this recipe smell great, they are antibacterial, as well.
Here’s a little hint for you. Label your bottle on one side. Write the recipe on the back of your spray bottle so you always have it handy when it is time to refill your bottle.

NATURAL COUNTERTOP SPRAY
10 Drops Lemon Essential Oil
10 Drops Lavender Essential Oil
10 Drops Grapefruit Essential Oil
5 Drops Clove Essential Oil
1 Cup White Vinegar
Water
Mix contents in a 32 oz. spray bottle and fill with water. Spray on countertops and wipe clean.
NATURAL LEMON HOUSEHOLD SCRUB
2 Cups Baking Soda
½ Cup Bronner’s Sal-Sud Soap
10 to 15 Drops Lemon Essential Oil
Blend together ingredients thoroughly. Add a few drops of water to get the consistency that you like. Place into air tight container.
One product that I always keep around because of its versatility is distilled white vinegar. I use it to clean my coffee maker, eliminate hard water build up around my faucets, and, by mixing a 50/50 solution with water and a few drops of essential oils, I use it as a window cleaner.
Making your own natural cleaner products is easy, economical and better for the environment and your family. Give it a try! You’ll wonder why you didn’t do this sooner.