Favorite Surface Cleaners

These three surface cleaners are cheap, simple, easy to put together, and lasts for months if you make up a big batch. I use the first one for almost everything, mirrors, spot floor cleaning, cabinets, table-top.

General all-purpose surface cleaner: Add 7 drops thyme essential oil (I prefer therapeutic grade) to 1 tablespoon of pure grain alcohol  (vodka is good) in the bottom of an atomizer bottle. Then pour in 2 cups of distilled water, screw on the atomizer, and shake vigorously to blend. The alcohol emulsifies the oils into the water so they don’t sit on the top and clog your atomizer at the end of the bottle. I use the same bottle over and over, it is plastic so the oils can be bound by the plastic – it doesn’t matter as much here because you are using it for a cleaner, not a body product. You can use lavender, eucalyptus, tea tree, cinnamon, clove, thyme, pine, grapefruit or oregano oils for this – whatever you like. I like thyme linalool because of the high thymol constituent, which is such a great killer of microbes, and because it is not as harsh-smelling as oregano.

Floor cleaner: Fill a bucket with warm to hot water (mine holds about 12 cups at 3/4 full, so I can slosh around a bit and not make a mess.) Pour in 1/4 cup of white vinegar. In a little dish, put a tablespoon or less (a capful or two) of  Castile soap and drop in 10 drops of therapeutic-grade lemon essential oil and 3 drops oregano essential oil. Add to a bucket of water and stir gently with a metal spoon or gloved hand. I do the soap and oils last so the bucket doesn’t oversuds. Other combinations I like are pine and thyme, bergamot and thyme, and grapefruit and marjoram. The citrus or evergreen plus anti-microbial (thyme, oregano, marjoram) is a great pairing for floors. It smells so amazingly fresh and clean when you are done, not chemical at all. It is like therapy to clean the floor!

Window cleaner: In a spray bottle, combine 1 cup white vinegar, 10 to 15 drops lemon essential oil and 1 cup water. Shake well before each use. The vinegar is not as good as vodka at emulsifying the oils but is great for getting windows, mirrors, and shower doors really clean. I also just use water and a Norwex cloth when I’m in a hurry.

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