This article originally appeared in the Spring 2012 edition of The Nutritional Therapist.
For me, one of the first signs of spring is the annual NTA Conference. (If you’ve not yet attended a conference, you NEED to! You can learn more here). At the 2012 annual conference, Dr. Anne Louise Gittleman’s presentation on “How to Make a Super Natural Sanctuary for Optimum Healing and Blood Sugar Balance” brought on the other sign of spring…the feeling that I need to clean my house. It’s something stronger than the regular weekend cleaning spree. I’m talking about that almost overwhelming urge to C-L-E-A-N the house. Top to bottom, and inside-out. No corner, no nook or cranny, is safe from my attention.
In Dr. Anne Louise’s presentation, she calls our home our body’s “third skin”. (The second skin would be your clothes and first skin would be the skin on your body.) This idea has grabbed me. We wouldn’t rub our physical body down with harsh and/or toxic chemicals in the cleaning process, so why would we add to the toxic toll on our body by using these chemicals on our clothes or in our house? Her presentation on the effects toxins and EMFs have on your body’s physical health was…well…scary!
I grew up in a house where things were cleaned with Comet and bleach. And we all know now that is a deadly combination, right? Toxic chlorine gas is released, which essentially serves as a way to wage chemical warfare on yourself. I don’t use those chemicals today, but I confess I haven’t been as diligent with vetting my cleaning supplies as I now resolve to be.
So, to that end, here are a few basic recipes for your often neglected second and third skins. Be sure to label your homemade products and keep them away from children and pets!
HOMEMADE FABRIC SOFTENER
Rather than using fabric softener, try adding one half to a whole cup of white vinegar to the washing machine rinse cycle. You can also add a few drops of your favorite smelling essential oil such as jasmine, lavender, peppermint, or vanilla. Vinegar is great for removing stubborn odors and dissolving stains, and it will make your clothes soft and fluffy. The vinegar also helps reduce static cling and it will also clean the soap scum from your washing machine parts. Make sure vinegar is rinsed out of clothes very well, though, to avoid vinegar odor on washed clothes. Double rinse if you have to, and experiment to see how much vinegar works best for you.
HOMEMADE SPRAY STARCH
1 Tbs. cornstarch
1 pint cold water
Dissolve cornstarch in cold water. Pour mixture into a spray bottle and squirt to apply (shake before each use).
GENERAL ALL-PURPOSE CLEANER
½ c. white vinegar
¼ c. baking soda
2 Tbs lemon juice
½ gallon water
Mix well. Can be stored for future use.
BATHROOM & KITCHEN SCRUB
1-2 c. baking soda
Small amount of liquid soap (e.g. Dr. Bronner’s® or dish soap)
Add enough liquid soap to the baking soda to make a paste and apply to a damp sponge to scrub surfaces. Rinse with warm water.
BATHROOM MOLD CLEANER
1 c. hydrogen peroxide (3%)
¼ c. lemon juice
2 c. water
Mix water and hydrogen peroxide first, and then add lemon juice into a spray bottle. Spray on moldy tile or walls and allow to sit for an hour prior to scrubbing and rinsing.
¼ c. white vinegar
½ tsp. liquid soap (e.g. Dr. Bronner’s® or dish soap)
2 c. water
Place all ingredients in a spray bottle and mix. You can add a splash of lemon juice, if you’d like.
2 tablespoons baking soda
2 tablespoons borax
Mix baking soda and borax and put the mixture in the dishwasher.
LEMON SCENTED FURNITURE POLISH
1 tsp. lemon oil
2 c. mineral oil
Mix and apply with soft cloth.
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