Ali, here, with some spring cleaning must-haves.
Spring definitely has me in that cleaning mode, but so does the fact that my youngest daughter has been sick lately. Not feverish sick, not throwing up sick, but nagging runny-nose-dry-cough-not-at-the-top-of-her-game sick. It isn’t the first time this has happened and when it does, my go to remedy is stripping her sheets, ditching old stuffed animals, washing her clothes + breaking out the cleaning products to rid her little habitat of anything and everything germ-y. But, we just can’t seem to kick it. We finally went to the pediatrician and her diagnosis was ‘allergies’. We went on a month long routine of allergy chewables, nose spray, etc. Her symptoms lessened temporarily, but recently came back with a vengeance.
I’m pretty conscientious about what goes in and on those little kid bodies. I’m not helicopter mom carrying sanitizer with me everywhere, but, I’m thoughtful about healthy eating habits, washing hands, natural ingredients, etc. However, after this recent bout of coughing and a blurb about VOC’s, or Volatile Organic Compounds that can cause nose, throat and respiratory irritation (an article I read in a magazine at the pediatricians office, of all places), I finally decided to give these oft talked about homemade cleaning products a try. Maybe there are things lurking around, even in a clean environment, that are agitating her.
There are a plethora of cleaning products you can make at home ranging from dish soap to toilet bombs, but I simply stuck with an all purpose surface cleaner I found on a blog called Live Simply. Mostly because it said you can make it ‘right now’ with ‘3 ingredients’. And, hey, I had all 3 ingredients, so, sounded perfect. Here’s the details:
Castile Soap Surface Cleaner
Safe to use on any surface (always test in a small area first):
2 cups distilled water
2 TB castile soap up to 1/4 cup (based on how ‘soapy’ of a cleaner you want)
15 drops essential oil (lavender, tea tree, orange, etc.)
Mix everything together. Clean with it. Feel like you’ve done something good.
Seriously, there isn’t much else to it. Fill an empty spray bottle with the ingredients. Shake it a little to mix the oil and water and spray away. I was pleasantly surprised by the fact that there was literally no residue and that my hands didn’t feel like they’d been gnawed on by a colony of hungry fire ants when I was done cleaning. Castile soap is plant derived, so it is non-abrasive and essential oils are, well, oil, so you do the math. For this cleaner, I used Tea Tree Oil (for it’s natural disinfectant properties) and Lavender Oil (because it smells good…oh, and because that is what I had!).
I don’t know anything about essential oils except that my mom uses them for everything + when my daughter was an infant my mom mixed up a tummy serum we lovingly called ‘belly juice’ that kicked my babies colic to the curb. I was sold at that point. Calming down a babies colic within minutes is hard proof that these things pack a punch and gives me even more reason to be excited that we are hosting a class with the amazing Lynell Garfield on essential oils and incorporating them into your cleaning routine. Lynell has spent the past 5 years working with essential oils and teaching others how to wrap their lives around natural health and wellness. I personally cannot wait for this. Stay tuned for class details.
All in all, I think this was a win. I’m left with a clean kitchen countertop that my daughter can run her tongue along if she wants. I hope she doesn’t want to, but 3 year olds are hard to predict. I’m also left with the hope that ‘greening’ my cleaning routine may help that little nugget kick whatever allergens or agitators are doing her in and allow us a little more ‘green’ in the pocketbook (those over the counter eco-friendly products I used to buy are breaking my bank).