Spring Cleaning with Herbs
Kitchen Scrub
  • 9 tbsp fresh oregano
  • 9 tbsp fresh rosemary
  • 9 tbsp fresh thyme
  • 5 drops citrus essential oil
  • 1/2 cup baking soda

Put fresh herbs in food processor, add baking soda and essential oil. Use spice grinder if you want a finer chop on herbs. When you are scrubbing your sinks, pots, etc the aroma fresh herbs release is like nose candy.


All Purpose Liquid Cleaner
  • 1 cup fresh herbs
  • 4 cups water

Select herbs from herb chart - I like lemongrass, rosemary, thyme and sage. Bring to a boil, simmer 5 minutes and steep for 15. Strain out herbs and put in sprayer.

Sage is good as a bathroom spray in the shower to kill fungus, thyme kills bacteria, ditto with rosemary. You can also add a few drops of lemon essential oil.

For cleaning our toilets (we have hard water and iron) I just spray, swish around then pour in hydrogen peroxide, swish around and let sit for awhile. Come back and brush again and hard deposits just fall away.

Not only is this spray economical, it is a great way to use your herb prunings (the more you prune your herbs the healther the plant). Your house will smell so refreshing, your body gets an aromatherapy treatment, no harmful chemicals and you can't beat the germ fighting properties.


Sparkling Window Spray
  • 3 lemongrass stalks
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar

Place water and lemongrass in pot and bring to boil. Remove from heat and let for about 15 minutes. Cool for another 15 minutes.

Combine lemongrass tea and white vinegar in spray bottle, shake and your good to go.



Herbal Orange Vinegar

Don't throw away those citrus peels! Vinegar is a great deodorizer and degreaser but its most important attributes are its ability to kill harmful vacteria and viruses. In a University of Florida study, vinegar reduced viral and bacterial pathogens from inoculated strawberries by 95 and 90 percent respectively. Add orange, lemons and herbs and you've hit a home run.

Keep a glass jar on your kitchen counter partially filled with vinegar and herbs of your choice. As you use your citrus, throw the peels in the jar. Allow to age two to three weeks. Any citrus can be used. Choose herbs from chart for desired purpose (antiseptic, fungicide, etc).

Excellent for cleaning ovens.  Spray or pour vinegar on burned-on areas.  Close oven door.  After two hours, wipe vinegar with sponge or cloth dipped in warm water.  Repeat if necessary.

Also good for eliminating mineral deposits and soap scum in the bathroom.  Cover the area with vinegar.  Allow to stand for 30 minutes, then scrub and rinse.  Will also remove mildew, etc. from shower curtains.

Can also be used to remove stains from carpets.  Test in an inconspicuous place first to be sure that the vinegar does not lighten carpet color!

I use in dishwasher in place of JetDry and also put a splash in soap container. Put in washer in place of bleach, use it in our chicken coop, spray kitchen counters, etc.



Furniture/Wood Cleaner
Add to a 1 quart sprayer 2 tsp light olive oil, 1/4 cup herbal citrus vinegar and 15 drops lemon essential oil. You can also make a lemon vinegar with herbs like lemon balm, lemongrass, etc.

Carpet Deodorizer

Herbs of your choosing...mint, rosemary, lavender, thyme, etc. I use a spice grinder, for about 1/4 cup ground herbs.

Mix with 2 cups baking soda and 1 cup DE. Mix well, sprinkle over carpet. Let stand for at least 1 hour - I leave mine over night, sometimes more - then vacuum. It is safe to walk on and safe for pets. With the addition of DE you are also helping to control pests.


Misc

Simmer scents. Simply place a mixture of your favorite aromatic herbs in a small pan of water over low heat on the stove. Use the same herbs you clean with, or vary the scent, depending on the mood you’d like to evoke. A spicy mixture like cinnamon sticks, cloves, and vanilla will make your house smell like cozy home-sweet-home, especially in cold winter months, while a refreshing mixture of mints, rosemary, lemon peel, lemon thyme, and/or orange peel can lighten the air on a summer day. Check and replenish the water as needed to make sure it doesn't evaporate completely.

Spritz with herbs. Make a decoction (strong tea) of your favorite herbs, strain and cool. Then pour into a spray bottle and keep handy for daily room revitalization! You might have one blend—with lavender and chamomile, perhaps—for the bedroom and another—like peppermint and orange peel—for the kitchen.

For a great fragrance whenever you sit down, scatter dried lavender rose petals, rosemary or other favorite herbs under the cushions of the couch and upholstered chairs.

Make sachets from fabric scraps or old handkerchiefs; embellish with lace or ribbon. If you don’t sew, try using muslin tea bags or even coin envelopes from an office supply store. I leave a couple of these in my car, or stuff tennis shoes.

 

From the Full Moon Native recipe files