When I read non-fiction, I tend to go for books on the intellectually challenging side. But sometimes, you need something practical. Cookbooks come to mind. Cookbooks, and this amazingly comprehensive guide to creating The Naturally Clean Home.
If you’re like me, you’ve been frustrated when you buy many of the natural, non-toxic housecleaning products available at the supermarket. They simply fail to get the dishes clean, or leave streaks in your glass, or only spread carpet stains around instead of actually getting them up. It’s as if some mysterious “they” want us to believe that we either have to use chemicals or live in an unclean home.
I have news for you. It’s not true!
The Naturally Clean Home is full of easy to make recipes (with easy to find ingredients) to do just about every imaginable cleaning job in and around your home:
- carpet shampoo
- laundry detergent
- tarnish remover
- wood polish & cleaner
- oven cleaner
- and more!
The book includes a shopping list of things you’ll want to keep on hand — the ingredients from which virtually every recipe is concocted. They’re all easy to find and readily available.
I have never been more grateful for a homemaking book. Seriously, folks. Not only do these cleaners kick butt while remaining completely non-toxic (often exceeding their chemical store-bought counterparts in performance), but the book is full of methods and how-to. In other words, it tells you how to clean and do the job in a way that takes care of your possessions.
I can, with confidence, let my boys help me clean because I don’t have to worry about toxic chemical cleaners.
I can also know that I eased my “toxic load” and am being kind to my liver.
This book also makes quite a lovely gift. It’s purse-sized, made with attractive paper, and has a visually-appealing design.
Perhaps its only downside is how lavish it is with essential oils. Those things tend to be pricey. While I understand the purpose of the oils (many of them make great cleaners, and they often help the cleaner have a soothing scent), I wonder if so much of them is necessary. Granted, she’s only generally calling for anywhere between 5 to 30 drops of an essential oil in any given recipe. Nevertheless, in my attempts to be frugal I’ve sometimes cut down on the amount of essential oils called for in a cleaner. That said, I’ve still NEVER been disappointed by a recipe.
So, if you’re like me, and you’ve been in search of quality recipes for eco-friendly household cleaning services, then check out this book. (It’s less than $8 right now on Amazon! Really not that bad at all.)
Such a great post and book! I love this topic so much I have devoted my blog to it. Come over and check it out. threeboys-home.blogpot.com. Thanks again for the great read. Sarah
Peggy J, says
Thanks so much for this book review! I’m very frustrated with all-natural cleaners and I’m also grateful that you altered the amount of essential oils, as they ARE expensive and I would’ve been very disappointed to think I *had* to have them
Peggy J, says
May I also mention that it can be found on http://www.half.com? Both the 2009 edition and the original 1999 edition
Hi – wondering if you like the laundry detergent. Mine isn’t working (I have been making my own for awhile.). I think the clothes don’t smell clean. Also, exercise clothes (his) are especially a problem. Or have you perhaps tried soap nuts? I wash everything in cold to save money….perhaps that is what I need to change?
Thanks for any and all input!
I do like the laundry detergent. I do also think that you should wash the dirtier stuff in warm water, even if you do a cold rinse and wash in cold for everything else. My littlest one poops out of her diapers, and when she does, nothing but warm water gets her clothes really clean. If I wash in cold, even if I immediately toss the soiled clothes into the wash, the clothes always come out with yellow poop stains. I also want to try soap nuts soon.
I think it is wise to avoid essential oils – somehow they are highly allergic as well – and not as safe as one would think.
In Denmark you can get lost of non-scented organic or low chemical personal hygiene products as well as cleaning products – the advice is always to avoid scents as much as you can- especially personal product for kids and babies as well as pregnant women.
I must admit I do use a natural product with scent in my toilet but othervice I use non scented products.
I wonder if homemade essential oils would be as irritating? I usually choose non-scented everything, too. But in homemade cleaners, I like the scent of the essential oils. Often it’s the only thing masking the smell of vinegar!
That really is a great gift idea, Kristen. I think a lot of people would enjoy cleaning the natural way if they only knew how.
I agree. 🙂
The essential oils are generally not listed in housecleaning recipes for scent – they are there for their powers of disinfection. Many essential oils (*real* essential oils from herbs, not the fake perfumey stuff) are very powerful and have been used safely for centuries. They can be purchased affordably online thru a number of sources – the average 1oz bottle of lavender costs less than a can of Pledge and has on average 250 “drops” (thereby making several batches of cleaner, not just one).
When used properly, true essential oils are no more allergenic than any other substance – the problem is that many people do not educate themselves as to the nature of the individual oils and how to use each properly. Some oils are very irritating to the skin (just as some plants are) and others may be rubbed into the skin lavishly to positive effect – but if you do not know which is which you will probably end up in a bit of trouble.
And do keep in mind that 1)many “unscented” products do have a masking scent and 2)most scented products do not use true herb-based essential oils.