Of all the vanity plates I have seen in my life, my favorite one by far is ‘Wake Up”. I fantasize that the owner of the car is an enlightened, health-conscious, recycling, gentle being doing his best to get us to, well, wake up. I, on the other hand, am oftentimes not so subtle. Recently I got the urge to shout my favorite vanity plate phrase from the cleaning aisles of my local natural food market and then again from my home office as I saw advertisements for “green cleaners” priced at (are you sitting down?) $12.00 per 32 oz bottle! You’ve got to be kidding! What is in these bottles that makes them so pricey? Gold dust? No. In reading the ingredient list I found purified water, organic surfactants, and essential oils. Who buys this stuff? This equates to $48 per gallon! And we thought the price of gas was high.
By now we all know that the commercial cleaners we buy in the supermarket contain ingredients that have no place in the home. I am going to suggest an alternative that’s green for your home as well as green for your wallet. An honest to goodness green cleaner that you can make in the comfort of your own home by simply pouring together a few ingredients. It will perform as well as if not better than the store bought one. It will contain therapeutic grade lavender aromatherapy essential oil that will serve as a disinfectant and provide a pleasing, fresh scent. And, when the solution is gone, you can make more and keep refilling the bottle so you don’t keep adding more plastic to the landfills. Talk about a win-win situation! Let’s walk through this together…..
Lavender Aromatherapy All Purpose Cleaner
1/4 cup (2 oz) distilled white vinegar
1 TBS cornstarch
1 qt warm water
5-10 drops of therapeutic grade lavender essential oil*
Mix all ingredients in a large pan until the cornstarch is dissolved. Pour into a spray bottle and use.
That’s it. Really.
Want to get wild and make it crazy-over-the-top? Use distilled or purified water.
Total cost: less than 50¢. You read that right. 50¢. One half of a dollar. Now, granted, your initial investment will be more than that because a bottle of therapeutic grade lavender aromatherapy essential oil will be around $30. But keep in mind that you are only using 5-10 drops from a bottle that contains 250 drops. And if you keep reading this blog, you will discover a myriad of ways to substitute that lavender for other toxic chemicals and pharmaceuticals you use in your home.
I wonder what the owner of the “Wake Up” car would do?
If you have been using commercial cleaners to clean your windows, the lavender aromatherapy cleaner could cause streaks due to the residue left behind by those cleaners. To prevent this, wash windows with a mixture of 1/4 cup of castile soap, 1 cup of vinegar, and one gallon of water. After this initial cleaning, the lavender cleaner should do a nice job of keeping the windows clean and streak free.
For added eco-effectiveness, use old, crumpled newspaper instead of paper towels to wipe the windows.
Also, if you use a lavender essential oil that is not therapeutic grade, chances are it will contain chemicals and additives that are toxic. These chemicals might also cause the cleaner to streak the windows, dually defeating the initial purpose.
*If you dislike lavender, lemon or peppermint make a great substitute.