These are the most used items in my home. 
Baking Soda, Tea Tree Oil and Castile Soap

I use them in just about every cleaning product I make.

I must admit that cleaning is 
my area of expertise!

Nor has it ever been something that I did very well or very often.

Please, please... do not judge me.
I am very sensitive to strong cleaning products and I will get chemical colds after cleaning with toxic cleaners.
I wish I could tell you that this is the only reason why I didn't like to clean.
But, I can not say that with a straight face or a clear conscious.

Over the years
my lack of cleaning skills brought me much shame and guilt.

Until I exposed my cluttered mess to some wonderfully supportive women who volunteered to help me organize and clean the 2 most embarrassing places in my home.

Under my kitchen and bathroom sinks. 

It was the most healing experience I have ever had, 
in more ways than one.
Having an organized clean cabinet was simply a bonus.
This act of kindness 
allowed me to let go and move forward.

Since then I have been able to purge a lot of excess clutter and bring some well needed organization into my life.
No longer overwhelmed,
cleaning became less of a punishment and more like the chore it was meant to be.

Eventually I started experimenting with different cleaning products.
It seemed as if the toxic cleaners worked better than the commercial "natural" cleaners with exception to maybe
products which were just a little too expensive for my budget.

I started noticing that the majority of "natural" cleaners on the shelves of the big stores were made mostly by the same companies that made the toxic cleaners.

Something seemed wrong with this picture.

For years I assumed that cleaning with vinegar and  baking soda would take more effort and do only half the job as the traditional store bought products.
The store bought products must work better, or else baking soda would cost a lot more.
One day a while back,
I decided to give baking soda a try.
And I looked for a homemade version of my newest cleaning best friend
Soft Scrub Cleaner with Bleach
she had been so good to me during my cleaning reformation.

I tried a mixture of baking soda, a couple drops of Dr. Bronner's and Tea Tree oil.
My scary bathtub was the perfect test subject.
I was God smacked!
I felt as if I had been duped.
I had bought the big lie!
My tub was cleaner than the day we had it installed.
And I used little to no effort.
I had a conversion of faith right then and there.
My view of being a consumer was forever changed.

I now make the majority of my cleaning products.

I get a lot of my recipes from one of the greatest books I ever bought.

Written and Illustrated by Raleigh Briggs
and published by

 I have used many different recipes over the last few years but this one is my all-time favorite.

Almost All-Purpose Cleaner

2 tsp  Lavender Castile Soap
4 Tb White Vinegar
2 tsp Borax
4 c Hot Water
10 Drops of Eucalyptus or Rosemary Essential Oil
6 Drops of Tea Tree Oil 

I put off buying a Swiffer for many years.
I just couldn't justify buying one of these mops because I was trying very hard NOT to live a disposable life.
It just didn't fit into my frugal eco-friendly life.

The swiffer is great for tidying up between mopping.
However, it can be expensive buying all those replacement pads
(not to mention wasteful).

I knew there had to be an economical way of cleaning my kitchen and bathroom floors while making things a little easier.

Washable Reusable Pads

There are many different ways to do this...
Some with zero handy work and some with a little sewing alterations.
You can use fancy microfiber pads, washcloths, cloth diapers 

but for me....
I will jump at any excuse to use knit.

Then just slap on the Velcro bottom of of the mop.

Now I can just throw them into the laundry and use over and over.

As for the cleaner...
Proctor and Gamble isn't real keen on making it easy for us to reuse their bottle.
They want us to continue buying their products.
Can't say I blame them.
The cap on the bottle can be a little tricky to remove.
but all I need to do is 
to place the cap into a bowl of hot water let it sit and it will pop off.

I use the almost all-purpose cleaner recipe above to refill my wet mop.

Now to the 
We have been using the grey water from our washing machine for years to water our garden
and to do this we have to used an 

All Natural Laundry Soap.

But after making the simple house cleaners we decided to start making our own 

 Laundry Soap

1/3 bar of Fels Naptha 
(you can usually find this in the laundry isle of most stores)
1/2 c. washing soda
1/2 c. borax powder

Grate Fels Naptha and put in pan.  Add 6 cups water and heat till it melts.  Add soda and borax, stirring till dissolved.  Remove from heat.  
Pour 4 cups of hot water into bucket.  Add soap mixture and stir.
Now add add 1 gallon plus 6 cups of water and stir.

Let sit for 24 hours and it will gel.

Now moving on to the 

Remember that "scary" bathtub I told you about earlier?

Here it is!



From the toilet back to the 

I washed my dishes by hand until about 5 years ago 
when my brother gave me a dishwasher 
that he salvaged from a remodeling job.
Another man's trash...
became my new dishwasher.
(first one ever)
We hooked this up and used it's grey water for the garden also...
therefore we needed to use
Natural Liquid Dishwasher Soap

1 c. baking soda
1 c. borax powder
1 c. water
3 drops of citrus essential oils
(I usually double this)

Mix baking soda and borax in bowl or bucket.
Add water and essential oil and mix thoroughly with a spoon.

Put into container and shake before using.

I use tea tree oil instead of the citrus.
(mainly because it is the one essential oil I ALWAYS have on hand)

If the dishes start looking cloudy 
(which they usually do).
I will use white vinegar along with the soap or use alone without dishes.

There is another recipe I use sometimes ...
with my Dr. Bronners, lemon juice, vinegar and essential oils.
Which recipe I use has everything to do with what I have in the house at the time.
Lemon Juice is one of those things that I don't always have on hand when I need it.
But I always have baking soda and borax.

Body Parts

I sometimes will make up a special mix for my hair with added essential oils but lots of times I just use lavender Dr. Bronner's to wash my hair.
I also use it as a body wash.

I LOVE it!
It doesn't strip the natural lanolin for my hair so there isn't much need for conditioner.


Since I am frugal, I dilute the Dr. Bronner's for my hand-soap and then add a few drops of  Tea Tree oil and essential oils for the extra aroma.

More Goodies

Back when my daughter was still in public school
I was disturbed by all the waste connected with the 
NEW School Supply Lists 
every year.
Why not support Recycling?
As my own little form of mutiny.
I sent Mary in with a collection colored pencils, pens and highlighters from prior years.
I also decided to introduce Mary's teacher's to a school list supply

DIY Wipes

Paper towels (unrolled and cut in half) then folded back up.
(old bed sheets cut into squares work as a reusable option)
1-2 c. warm water
6-10 drops Tea Tree Oil
2 tbs. Dr. Bronner's Castile Soap
3 drops of Lavender, Eucalyptus or Rosemary essential oil

If the wipe dry out just more of the liquid disinfectant solution.

I wasn't sure how her teacher would feel about this...
but she seemed to LOVE the idea.
There are other recipes for Baby Wipes and Make-up Wipes.
But since I don't have a "Baby" any more and I don't wear make up I don't really have a use for these.
However I will be happy to post these for you if you would like.

When it's time for something with a little more kick than my wet jet...
I pull out my 
Concentrated Floor Cleaner.

If you can't see the label these are the 
1c Liquid Castile Soap
1/4 c. Lemon Juice
10 drops Tea Tree Oil
6 c. Warm Water

Mix and keep in a plastic jug.
(p.s. this is NOT for wood floors)

I have a few more recipes... that I will be adding later.

I would love it you would share your 
favorite cleaning tips and recipes.

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