These Garden-Fresh DIY Cleaners Make Chores a Delight
These easy DIY recipes transform garden-fresh ingredients into eco-friendly cleaners
– May 13, 2019
Thomas J. Story
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Good Clean Fun
Your pantry may be stocked with locally sourced, farm-fresh ingredients, but what about the products in your cleaning closet? Ditch the toxin-filled cleansers and polishes and use seasonal ingredients plucked from the garden to make eco-friendly cleaning supplies. “I like to know what I’m putting in my living spaces,” says Stefani Bittner, owner of San Francisco Bay Area’sHomestead Design Collective and co-author of Harvest: Unexpected Projects Using 47 Extraordinary Garden Plants(Ten Speed Press; $22). “I don’t want to put a layer of chemicals on all the surfaces in my home, and I hate waste.” When Bittner needs cleaning supplies there’s no trip to the store. She just walks to her garden, snips herbs or flowers, and mixes them with a few all-natural ingredients that are stored in reusable glass jars and metal tins.
“So many people are into essential oils. But they can be costly. I look to my garden to support me,” says Bittner. With just a few plants she makes cleaners, infused oils, wood-restoration salves, scented sprays, and toners. An all-purpose cleaner is made with rosemary. Add a little infused lavender oil to the cleaner for a granite and stainless steel wash. Infuse filtered water using rose petals for a fabric spray. Mix the rose spray with witch hazel to create a facial toner. Or create an organic wood polish using fresh lemons.
“You’ll save money buying plants instead of store-bought cleaners, sprays, or essential oils,” she says. Plants produce for years and can be grown in a single garden bed. Bittner notes that once someone makes a home-grown cleaner, they’re hooked. “It’s a gateway to having a no-waste, garden-fresh home,” she says. Follow these four recipes to make your own cleaning products.
Thomas J. Story
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Did you know? All it takes is the magical combo of these two ingredients to get surfaces sparkling clean.