eco friendly

HearthBeats: Recipes from a Kitchen Witch

March, 2010

In my Notes article this month I wrote about spring cleaning, both physical and spiritual.. so in this article I will give you some recipes for eco friendly cleaning supplies…

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Scouring Powder
1c baking soda
1c sea salt
1/2 c lemongrass
1/2 c lavender flowers
10 drops lemon, lime, or grapefruit essential oil

Combine all ingredients in the blender or food processor and pulse until they become a powder.

You can choose other herbs that go well well as those that purify.

Carpet Freshener
1/2 c cornstarch
1/2 c baking soda
1/4 c lemongrass
1/4 c lemon peel
6 drops grapefruit essential oil

Combine all ingredients into the blender and pulse until they become a powder. Transfer into a mixing bowl and stir occasionally until completely dry. Sprinkle onto carpet and let sit 15 minutes before vacuuming.

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Lavender dryer sachet
Some of you may have made the muslin bags filled with
Lavender buds to add to your clothes dryer.
Here’s a little different twist.
Use raw uncooked rice in the muslin bags.
In a bowl add Lavender essential oil to the rice, stir and place
in bags. You can also use handkerchiefs or other material.
Just be sure to seal or tie it so you don’t end up with rice in your laundry and dryer.

Carpet Freshener Recipe II
This makes a big batch of carpet freshener that will last quite awhile. See the  end of this recipe for additional combinations.

Carpet Freshener
6 cups baking soda
3 cups dried lavender buds/flowers*
1 cup cornstarch
Mix well and store in an airtight plastic container (a clean ice cream pail works great). Set aside for a couple of days before using. Sprinkle generously on carpet and let sit for one hour before vacuuming.

Alternative recipes:
Cloves & Cinnamon (50/50 mix or whatever you prefer)
Lavender & Rosemary (50/50 mix or whatever you prefer)
Dried Mint Leaves

Crush the herbs or flowers up a bit first before adding to the recipe.

Cleaning Floors
To clean hard floors, add l/4 cup of white vinegar to a
bucket of water. Then add 5- 10 drops of lemon oil. If the
floor is especially dirty, add several drops of dishwashing
soap or Thieves Household Cleaner. This will clean even
the dirtiest floor.

Oven Cleaner

Mix together: ¼ c. baking soda
2 tbsp. salt
Hot water, as needed to make a paste.
Let paste sit for 5 minutes. Caution: Keep off wires/heating elements.

Oven cleaner II
2 tbsp. liquid soap (castile, peppermint)
2 tsp. borax
1 qt. warm water
Spray on oven and wait 20 minutes, then clean. For tough stains, scrub with very fine steel wool and baking soda

Feel free to adjust the recipes to your preferred strength and scent or create your own combinations to make them your own


For basic cleaning, the following items are all you need.

1. Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate)

Mineral made from soda ash. Baking soda is a miracle cleaner – it absorbs odors and is mildly abrasive. However, make sure it’s fresh to ensure its cleaning powers. Test it by adding 1 tbsp to ¼ cup vinegar. If it fizzes, it’s fresh.

2. White distilled vinegar

An acid made from the fermentation of dilute alcoholic liquids. Excellent disinfectant, deoderizer and anti-fungal.

3. Borax (sodium borate)

Alkaline mineral. Another miracle cleaner – however it is an eye irritant and toxic if swallowed. Keep out of the reach of children. (Caution: some borax has been found contaminated with arsenic from where it is mined. Use sparingly.)

4. Washing soda (sodium carbonate)

Chemical relative of baking soda, but more strongly alkaline. A great solvent, but slightly caustic, so wear protective gloves. Don’t use on wax floors, fiberglass or aluminum.

5. Hydrogen peroxide (household concentration 3%)

Bleach substitute in place of chlorine.

6. Bon Ami (original)

Founded in 1886, made from calcite and feldspar mineral abrasives. No chlorine, perfume or dye.Biodegradable. Excellent non-abrasive glass and appliance cleaner.

7. Liquid vegetable-based soap

Vegetable-based soap sometimes referred to as castile soap.

8. Liquid vegetable-based detergent

Detergents are chemically different from soaps in that they are made from synthetics. Look for products that are biodegradable and made from vegetable-based ingredients rather than petroleum based.

9. Olive and essential oils

Lavender, lemon, tea tree, and peppermint essential oils add natural fragrance and have antiseptic properties.

10. Grapefruit seed extract

A powerful anti-bacterial.

Many of these ingredients can be found in your local grocery store or health foods stores.

Enjoy until next month.

Merry Cooking and Blessed Eating

The Hearthkeeper