Clean your house, naturally

(and cheaply!) We called on the home remedy experts—to share tips about cleaning and freshening your apartment/home, cheaply and in harmony with nature. Here are the top seven tips:

Scrub the tub Martha Stewart recommends a paste of baking soda and a refreshing essential oil like peppermint to scrub the tub.  Martha also has a line of natural cleaning products available.  A few drops of peppermint oil in the toilet bowl refreshes the whole bathroom, too.

Get the yuck outRebecca Saindon of Nashville offers her top cleaning tip—“I’ve found that regular hydrogen peroxide is even better for mold and mildew than chlorine bleach.”  Tea tree oil sprayed directly on mould can also be effective.

Smells great, works better Jodi Fedor CEO of Exuberance Beauty, recommends taking 2 cups of white vinegar, 1 oz cheap vodka with 10 drops of each—lavender and lemon oil.  “In a spray bottle, you can use this mixture on everything cleaning up spills to wiping down counters to everything in between. It’s completely non-toxic and unbelievably effective!”

Make furniture glowTwo suggestions for furniture polish that doesn’t dry out wood or use aerosol.  Beth Mann of Hot Buttered Media, suggests we, “Pour a small amount of olive oil in a bowl and add a few drops of lemon juice or oil. A little goes a long way.”  Lee Valley also has a paste version with a fresh citrus scent.

Lovely laundryThese are care of my grandmother.  Instead of spending on fabric softener, sprinkle “a handful” of Epsom salts in the washer for super soft, fluffy laundry.  For perfectly ironed linen or cotton clothing—refrigerate very damp pieces for an hour and then “they iron like a dream.”

Do everything soaps – Fair trade, organic, and gentle, Dr. Bronner’s liquid soaps do just about everything.  Fans of the soap include Sandra Bullock and Drew Barrymore.  Use the soap to wash your:  dishes, laundry, pet, body, floors, or even your car!   In summer you can’t beat the fresh “oooh” feel of the peppermint soap and the unscented version is a great for the cottage or camp.

One for fun– Complimenting our own natural peri-menopause article, I received a witty menopause management tip from Janet Spencer, from Riverbend Publishing.  She describes her hot flashes as feeling like she was “...being hurled into a volcano every few minutes,” and says that a black cohosh capsule with every meal and red clover tea twice a day helped her avoid the volcano!

Thanks to Veronica TM for the great photo.  What’s your go-to natural cleaning tip?