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Homemade Cleaner

I wanted to share a homemade cleaner recipe that I’ve altered from Pinterest.  A lot of people would like to go more natural lately and there are others, like me, that have some sensitivities that make commercial products a little dicey at times.  I’ve developed a chemical sensitivity to bleach and similar strong cleaners, so I had to look for some alternatives.  I found the following recipe by Frugal Foodie Mama named “Homemade Kitchen Lemon Cleaner” and I’ll discuss a few other options after the instructions/recipe.


1 tsp baking soda

1 squirt of your favorite dishwashing liquid

1/2 cup distilled white vinegar


2-3 drops doTerra Lemon Essential Oil

16 Oz plastic or glass spray bottle (bottle can be larger than 16 oz)


Add the baking soda, dishwashing liquid, & vinegar to the spray bottle.  Without capping the bottle, give it a few swirls to mix.  **I would suggest mixing this in your sink.  There is a possibility of a foamy “volcano” forming because of the reaction of the baking soda with the vinegar and soap.  Never shake the bottle to mix to keep the chances of this happening down. 

Fill the bottle with lukewarm water to the 14 oz line on your bottle.  Add the 2-3 drops of lemon essential oil, and swirl it around a few more times to mix well.”


This is a pretty easy recipe to recreate and I found an easy way to deal with that chemical reaction.  When it starts to foam just swirl a long straw in the solution and it won’t foam over.  It also helps if you add the water slowly and pause every so often.  Now, although it seems like it would mix better if you added the EO before the water the reason that you do it afterward is that you might lose the valuable EO if the solution does foam over, so make sure to follow the instructions. 


I used my favorite brand of EO, Crafter’s Choice, and it doesn’t change the recipe one bit, so don’t worry about scouring the internet for that brand.  I admit that I added a ML of lemon EO because one, I don’t have an orifice reducer on my bottle, two, I prefer to be able to do exact measurements with a pipette, and three, it didn’t have nearly enough scent for my taste.  Even with all of that I wanted more kick, so I added .50 ML of Meyer Lemon FO (fragrance oil) to the solution and stirred with my long straw.  (Nice thing is that this is a cleaning solution, so a quick rinse and the straw is all clean.  Lol.)  Now, my second bottle isn’t so close to the original recipe.  *grin*  I can’t let my other scents sit quietly when they can freshen my house up for me.  I decided to play with other antibacterial EOs (essential oils) that play nicely with my favorite FOs.  I mixed a bit of Peppermint EO, Eucalyptus EO, Wintergreen EO, and then a bit of Santa’s Tree Farm FO in place of the lemons.  It’s a bit more uplifting with a lot more aromatherapy benefits, plus they cover the smell of the vinegar a bit better for my super sniffer.  Just like in cooking a product recipe is just a starting point.


To save you some time having to research EOs the following ones are thought to have antibacterial/antiseptic properties: Oregano, Cinnamon, Rosemary, Clove, Tea Tree, Eucalyptus, Orange, and Lemon.  Of course scientists can never agree, so some others believe that Peppermint, Wintergreen, Juniper, Black Pepper, Geranium, Lavender, Pine, Camphor, Cardamom, Cedarwood, Citronella, Clary Sage, Frankincense (although I warn you this one is super expensive!), Rose, and Ylang Ylang.  There are tons of options, tons of disagreement, and a wide range of costs.  The great thing is if you don’t want to get too in depth with homemade natural cleaners and aromatherapy, then you can find some of the basics even at Hobby Lobby, like Eucalyptus and Peppermint.  Now, please note that these are all EOs, not FOs, since the essentials are the natural workers.  Never ever, despite temptation, use an EO straight out of the bottle on skin, please!  They need what is called a carrier, since they’re so concentrated and can be very harmful and toxic when concentrated. 


We’ve had a bit of a bug here after a cute Boy Scouts Honors event, so that’s why I picked the second blend that I made.  Peppermint and Eucalyptus are great for clearing the sinuses (think the gooey Vicks Rub that your mom used to rub into your chest) while also fighting the good fight against the bug.  I figure that I’m smelling it as I clean anyway, so it needs to do some double duty for me.  *grin*  Wintergreen has health benefits too, but it also reminds me of my grandpa’s wintergreen chew.  I remember sitting on his lap in his rocking chair and having the scent of wintergreen hug me as snug as his arms.  I usually dislike anything tobacco, but it’s one of the few childhood memories that I always have even when my illness fogs my mind and I can’t remember even my address.  The pine and balsam FO blend in Santa’s Tree Farm leaves that clean and fresh scent trace.  We don’t pick Pine-Sol for the color, after all.  *teasing wink*


Now, this isn’t the super cleanser that works miracles, but it does a great job as a regular cleaner.  I used it to clean my stove surface (it wasn’t a heavy duty job, but worked great on the little bit that had gotten away while making pizza), all of my kitchen counters (even got some Kool-Aid out of the surface that my husband had missed, which impressed me), door knobs, and it worked really well against pet slobber.  *cracking up*  The big test for me was my big mirror and the front door, since I seldom can do them because I usually can’t be around commercial window cleaner.  Plus, Bo, my dog, has super snot and slobber that sticks as well as those stupid sticky hands I had as a kid that I threw onto walls and stuff.  *shudder*  It’s weird to think I loved those things and the thought of it now grosses me out so much I think I’m developing a wrinkle from scrunching my nose right now.  Lol.  Anyway…with just a little elbow grease (and I mean little, since my muscle weakness keeps me from having much umph, so for a “normal”, it should work doubly well for you) I was able to remove all traces of slobber, snot, bird droppings (I don’t know how that bird aimed at the storm door, but kudos, although it needs a little less fiber I think), dirt, a light skin of woodstove smoke (*embarrassed look* yeah, I missed that whole Spring Cleaning thing and am just now cleaning Winter off the inside of the storm door…doh!), and even a smooshed mosquito.  It didn’t remove the tiny bit of sap that has been on the door for the ten years we’ve lived here (I don’t know what the previous owners were into since there’s sap on the door, glow in the dark nail polish spots on the carpet, and weird packaged mac & cheese-like bright orange-yellow stains on the linoleum, but whatever), however this is the cleanest the storm door has EVER been, even when I was healthier and able to clean more.  This definitely passed the test for me.  The vinegar is seriously amazing (kills germs, bacteria, and mold!), so I’m tickled that I found this simple blend.  *On a side note, I’ve been bragging on vinegar for a few years now, and I’m not sure if I mentioned it before, but even if I did, it’s worth mentioning again.  Vinegar is awesome at sterilizing your cutting board.  You don’t think about it, but those tiny cuts in the board love to hold nasties that you can’t see and think you got out when you washed the board.  After you scrub and rinse your board,  pour some plain white vinegar over the board, give a light rub (preferably not with a rag or sponge that you just contaminated, so go for a second one), and rinse.  The vinegar will keep working and help keep those nasties from contaminating your next meal or even cabinet.  You’ll notice that it’ll smell fresher too, since the stinky bacteria is dead.  You can go ahead and do a happy dance once you’ve tried this.  It rocks that much, so I understand. 


I hope you give this a whirl and that you have as much success as me.  If you have any questions or whatnot, please feel free to comment.  If you look me up on Pinterest the original pin should be under “Useful tips” if I remember right.  Happy pampering! 🙂

You See A Tomato, I See An Opportunity To Pamper

I have almost two handfuls of doctors that I see for my illnesses and to try to get some control over my symptoms. Unfortunately a lot of the attempted treatments fail and the continual changes leaves my body in turmoil, which eventually begins to show on my skin. Since the doctors get paid little nowadays (believe me, before you think they all have mansions, I’m happy to chat with you about the overhead that goes into running a medical office – I ran billing, payables, and communication for one for years, and it’s not as pretty as you’d think), they have to push patients through like it’s a cattle drive. The worst part is when they have a patient with as complicated medical issues as mine, they just don’t have the time to deal with everything. It ends up boiling down to “is the treatment helpful enough to outweigh the negative parts?” That leaves it to me to figure out some holistic treatments for those bothersome side effects and new symptoms that crop up with every change.

For some time now I’ve had to deal with skin changes, such as dry and oily areas suddenly changing, and then switching back up on me once I get a handle on them. Then there are some sudden and really nasty side effects such as sores, patches of raw skin, and boils. Unfortunately most everyone with a chronic illness will deal with at least one of those symptoms, if not all. Thankfully I’ve found one humble produce that I often have on hand that has helped me a whole lot. You say tomato and I say, um, tomato. *grin* Betcha never eyed the leftover slices of tomato from your BLTs and thought they’d make a great new skin treatment. I tried it out of desperation and it worked so well that even some of my scars are improved. I talked to one of my doctors a few days ago about it and after she examined me she said that she couldn’t recommend anything else that would work any better than what I was doing. No medications, changes to hormones, or clinically approved topical ointments that would work any better! What do you think of them a–ahem, tomatoes?

Let’s get down to the nitty gritty. You can use the tomato in a ton of different preparations and you’re only really limited by how much you are willing to research (or experiment if you’re that adventurous and daring type *grin*). Doctors and scientists believe that tomatoes have a ton of vitamins that work even if they’re soaked in instead of digested, plus they’re full of antioxidants. While I’d grow bored if I wrote about all of the believed benefits that come from consuming tomatoes, I’m going to focus on the topical benefits. The big guns believe that they can help with sunburns, clear up oily skin, draw pus from pores, wick away pus from where the tomato meets the skin, treat acne, reduce/tighten pores, reduce irritation, soothe skin and inflammation, remove scent (we’ve all heard stories about bathing in tomato juice if you get scent kissed by a skunk), reduce itching, and soothe some topical pain (although logically that’s probably because it’s relieving the inflammation and whatnot). I’m sure there are a lot more benefits that are being noticed and researched, but these are the benefits I know of firsthand. Seriously. And doctor approved. (Although you should always talk to your doctor when considering holistic treatments and you may not experience all benefits as listed, yada yada, and definitely don’t try topical uses if you are allergic when ingesting them!) *settling back into my chair and taking off the imaginary legal hat*

If you want to try it out on a boil you can simply cut a slice off of your tomato (the bottom works perfectly, since you don’t have to worry about the juices and pulp on the bottom side then) and hold it to your skin. I’ve seen a variety of times recommended online, but I honestly left it on until I felt relief since my symptoms all have pain associated with them. The heat from your body will warm the tomato, which I warn you can feel really funky at first and make your nose wrinkle while your toes curl. As long as it doesn’t hurt, it’s well worth it, so keep going.

Now, if it’s a boil and you’ve never had one before, those things are painful and that pus can easily contaminate other vulnerable skin. The tomato works well because the heat and natural acid from the tomato will help the boil come to a head and burst. The pus will soak into the tomato instead of sitting on your skin or seeping into other pores. You may experience a reduce in swelling as soon as this happens (within about half an hour), but sometimes it may take more than one round. Make sure to be careful; be cautious about having anything touch the inflamed skin after the treatment, and be ultra hygienic. Always dispose of the tomato after use and never be tempted to reuse a section, even if you don’t think the head came up. A key tip – wash any clothing and skin that comes into contact with the area, even if it’s just a light swab or glancing touch. You can even try mashing the tomato into a paste and apply that to the boil. Rinse off after the desired time period and put all towels used right into the laundry. This will prevent accidental re exposure. Hopefully you’ll find relief very quickly. Remember, heat brings it to a head while coolness with reduce inflammation and let it finish healing.

For facial acne, tightening pores, and generally clearing your skin, it’s mind boggling how many things you can try. Have fun with this since it’s a great chance to pamper yourself a bit and take some me time! You can have a little spa fun and put sliced cucumber over your eyes while laying slices of tomato over your face. Sure, you’ll look weird, but those gals spending a ton of money to get bird poop smeared on their face for a premium skin treatment don’t look any prettier during their treatment, so don’t worry about it. *grin* You can mash the tomato up and mix it with your favorite plain yogurt that you like to use on your skin. (For me it honestly depends on what I have on hand. I personally don’t swear by one over another, but a lot of people have preferences. Reminds me of a phrase my grandma used to say about people and opinions, but that’s best left unwritten. *smirk*) If you like sugar scrubs you can even cut a chunk of tomato, dredge it in some sugar (raw or granulated – you can research and decide your preference, I prefer granulated white or brown), and rub gently over your skin (although I’d recommend that more for body and not face, since I’m not a big believer of sugar being great for the face). You can even use just the juice from the tomato and mix it with your preferred milk. (Yeah, I’m so not going to argue with anyone over coconut milk, buttermilk, goat’s milk, or whole milk being better than the next. That’s like telling a Coke drinker that all colas are the same – they’ll still wrinkle their nose when they sip the Pepsi and tell you how wrong you are. Nope, not worth it. Lol.) If you feel really awesome and empowered add a bit of honey to your mix for maximum healing and pampering. Apply to your face and allow to sit on the skin like a mask, then rinse and pat dry (read “pat dry”! Quit rubbing when you towel dry whenever possible. *grin* Believe me, your skin will glow in appreciation for your extra effort.).

Hopefully you are inspired to experiment a bit with tomato and see if it works for you. I sincerely hope it helps you as much as it has helped me. If you decide to experiment, please don’t hesitate to leave some comments about it. I’d love to hear about your concoctions. Happy pampering! 🙂

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