Category Archives: Cleaning with Herbs

Homemade Laundry Rinse

Ingredients and Supplies for making homemade laundry rinses

  • 1 part each of dried lavender, peppermint, and rose petals
  • 1-1/2 cup of white distilled vinegar
  • Stainless steel pan or glass pan
  • Jar with lid, I used a pint
  • Wax paper
  • Funnel
  • Measuring cup, preferably glass
  • Strainer lined with coffee filter or cheesecloth
Homemade laundry rinse

Homemade laundry rinse ingredients

About ingredients:

White distilled vinegar has 5% acidity and the smell of vinegar will dissipate in the rinse cycle. White distilled vinegar is good to clean the washing machine as well as help to remove mildew, and to soften fabric.

The dried herbs I chose are mild and if your baby is not allergic to any of these herbs, will help to refresh baby clothes. The vinegar will naturally break down uric acid and soapy residue thus leaving the clothes fresh smelling and soften. Lavender is known to help with sleep.

Rose is relaxing, and has a great smell. Peppermint is cooling and refreshing and smells wonderful.

Clothes rinsed using white distilled vinegar in the rinse cycle will help to dissolve soap buildup and maintain the color in your clothes, and reduce or eliminate deodorant stains on clothing.

Cotton towels and blankets rinsed in vinegar will yield fluffier results and less lint. The vinegar removes the soap and leaves them fluffy as new.

Vinegar is also better for the environment than many of the chemicals found in purchase fabric softeners. Saves money as well, a gallon jug of vinegar can be purchase for just a few dollars and it will make numerous products for the home. Check out some of my previous blog on cleaning with herbs and hair rinses.

Heating vinegar

Heating vinegar for laundry rinse


Vinegar and herbs

Pouring boiling vinegar over herbs

Measure out about ¼ cup each of the herbs, and pour boiling vinegar over the warmed jar using a funnel.  Cold glass jars may break. Allow the vinegar mixture cool before capping. If using a metal cap, line the cap with a piece of wax paper before capping. Leave the mixture alone for 24 hours at least, before straining into a jar or jug for use in the laundry. I like to use plastic, to eliminate danger of broken glass. Save your old vinegar bottles for this laundry rinse.

Herbs and vinegar

Laundry Rinse herbs and vinegar

Stain using a fine mesh strainer lined with coffee filter or cheesecloth. Compost the herbs. This is a strong mixture so I fill up the rest of my bottle with white vinegar.  Gather up the herbs in the cheesecloth and squeezed as hard as you can to release as much liquid as possible. Use this vinegar in the rinse cycle of the washing machine.

Straining herbs

Strain laundry rinse using mesh stainer & cheesecloth

Laundry rinse liquid

Squeezed herbs for laundry rinse

Use about ¼” of the infusion vinegar with laundry such as towels, pillowcases and sheets. This may not a mixture you may want on your personal clothing. Plan distilled vinegar maybe better.


Laundry rinse

Laundry rinse

Just a note I fill the bottle up with white distilled vinegar to finish the rinse. Use about 1/4 c. with each load.

Homemade Air Freshener Spray

homemade air freshener

Ingredients for homemade air freshener

Making your own homemade air freshener spray is easy and makes the whole house smell wonderful. You can tailor the essential oils to your needs and favorite smells and combination of smells.

If you have any allergies, or anyone in your household have allergies, use essential oils right for your home and family. Essentials oils may bother anyone with perfume allergies so check with any guests before using the homemade air freshener spray.

The smell is wonderful and stays in the air for some time. Essential oils can help to clean the air and even help with some medical problems such as headaches.

If you are having trouble with sleeping, try using just lavender essential oil in the homemade air freshener spray in the bedroom a couple of hours before bedtime. For the homemade air freshener spray in this blog, I used sweet orange essential oil, lavender essential oil, and rosemary essential oil.

In aromatherapy orange essential oil encourages cheerfulness, and a sunny disposition.

Peppermint essential oil is invigorating, antiseptic, cooling, and a pain reliever.  It is used to treat fatigue, travel sickness, digestion, headaches, and irritations. It has a refreshing scent and also helps to keep those pesky bugs away.

Lavender essential oil is cooling, relaxing scent, refreshing, soothing, antiseptic, and help to get rid of those pesky creatures.  Lavender is used to relieve pain, insomnia, headaches, infections, and helps when mentally or physically exhausted.

Some other essential oils you might try for the homemade air fresher spray include:

  • Anise, has a licorice scent
  • Basil, relieves mental fatigue and nervousness
  • Cinnamon, spicy scent and freshen air
  • Clove, spicy scent
  • Eucalyptus, disinfects the air, aids nasal congestion caused by colds or sinus problems, effective as an insect repellent, stimulating, antiseptic, antiviral and good for respiratory problems
  • Juniper, light, stimulating and said to relieve fear, disinfectant, clears the mind, and depression
  • Lemon, fresh scent with a citrus smell, relieves mental pressure, insect repellent, relieves pain
  • Pine, fresh clean scent, helps with emotional stress, fatigue, refreshing, antiseptic, and disinfectant. Good for respiratory problems
  • Rose, relaxing, antidepressant, antiseptic, good for stress, headaches and digestion

Ingredients for Homemade Air Freshener Spray

  • Dark colored spray bottle
  • Distilled water
  • Essentials oils of your choice, I used orange, lavender, and rosemary essential oils.
  • Glass jar for mixing the essential oil with distilled water

Measure how much water will fit in plastic bottle. Mine used 1 cup. Heat tap water to boiling and pour in and over warmed glass jar to help sterilize the jar. Allow to sit for at least 10 minutes. Pour off water, heat distilled water to boiling and pour into warmed glass jar. Allow to cool.

Once the distilled water has cooled, add the essential oils. I use about 1 tsp. of sweet orange and about 15 drops each of rosemary and lavender essential oil. Cap the jar, and shake to distribute the oils in the water. Allow to sit for a few minutes and pour into the spray bottle using a funnel.

Homemade air freshener

Pouring the air freshener into spray bottle

Spray in the air with the homemade air freshener spray. Be sure and use the mist setting on spray bottle and don’t spray on any surface, water might harm. If any adverse reactions occur, discontinue use.

With the right combinations of oils, your house can smell like you just bake a spice cake. Try adding vanilla to the mixture.

Homemade Window Cleaner with Peppermint oil

Window cleaner

Ingredients for window cleaner 4/26/13

Homemade window cleaner is great for the environment, inexpensive and easy to make with just a few ingredients. Use this homemade window cleaner for outside or inside, mirrors and car windows.

Ingredients for homemade window cleaner:

  • 2 c. warm water
  • 1 c white vinegar
  • 1/2 c rubbing alcohol
  • 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 10 drops peppermint essential oil
  • 1 tsp. borax
  • plastic spray bottle
  • funnel

Measure out one cup of warm water and dissolve the borax. Stir to dissolve, once the borax has dissolve pour through the funnel into the spray bottle. Add the other cup of water, white vinegar, rubbing alcohol, lemon juice and peppermint essential oil. Shake to mix thoroughly.

Now find a dirty mirror and clean with cotton diapers, or paper towels and polish with black and white newsprint if desired.

The cleaner will last some time, but the essential oil will lose it properties unless stored in a dark spray bottle or store in a dark place. Light is hard on essential oils. If using plastic spray bottle, try and find one that is thick and dark in color for best results. The essential oils can react negatively with thin plastics. If available, store the cleaner in a glass spray bottle, remember the old glass spray cleaners.

Breakdown of ingredients for homemade window cleaner:

Peppermint oil is known for keeping away those pesky critters. Use peppermint oil especially if planning on washing outside windows. Inside homemade window cleaners, try other essential oils if desired. Peppermint oil is great to help keep away mice.

Citrus juice has degreasing properties and it smells nice especially if you find the vinegar to strong. Lemon essential oil may be used, but more essential oils can react with plastic. Lemon juice has natural antibacterial properties and a natural bleaching agent as it deodorizes.

Vinegar is great for cleaning and is biodegradable. Vinegar is safe for stainless steel, relatively non-toxic, stable, and safe for handling. Vinegar is also a grease cutter and will help to get rid of mold.

Alcohol cleans as it sanitizes, also good for cutting the grime and mold found around the outside edge of windows.

Borax is known to aid cleaning agents and help cut grease and grime.

The spray bottle shown in the picture is thin, but it is spring cleaning time and I have several windows. Any leftover homemade window cleaner will be stored in a glass bottle.

Happy Cleaning as you save money!



Clothes Dryer Sachets

These little sachets bring a wonderful smell to your freshly washed sheets and linens. The mixture of lavender, rose and rosemary may help with sleep as well as headaches. Image the smell of your  sheets may actually help improve your sleep.

Lavender has the added benefit of helping with headaches, sleep, calming, depression and may even affect your dreams.

Lavender essential oil is soothing, antiseptic, good for insomnia, and will help repel insects.

Rosemary is known for remembrance and to help keep away bad dreams and ease body aches.

Rosemary essential oil is good for fatigue, circulation, headaches, pains, and might encourage hair growth. Well who knows!!

Rose petals are known for loving thoughts.

Rose essential oil is good for stress, headaches, relaxing, anti-depression, astringent, and antiseptic.

Granted the small amount of scent on your sheets may not offer all these benefits, but who knows maybe your sheets may help you sleep.

Dryer sachets

Supplies for dryer sachets


  • 1/2 c. dried lavender flowers
  • 1/2 c. dried rose petals
  • 1/4 c. dried rosemary leaves
  • 5-6 drops lavender essential oil
  • 4-5 drops rosemary essential oil
  • or any essential oils of your choice

Mix in glass bowl and add essential oils. Plastic should not be used because essentials can be absorb by the plastic.

These bags can be made with just lavender. And as a added bonus these bags can be stored with your woolen linens to help repel moths.

Peppermint can be used instead of one of the above herbs and is known for repelling insects. I use peppermint in my shed to ward off mice. It works until the smell is gone and I forget to refresh the peppermint oil.

dryer sachet bags

The bags for dryer sachets

To make the dryer sachets: Makes 4 sachets

In the above picture I sewed one of the sachet using a dark color so they would show up in the picture. Normally I would match the thread to the fabric.

Fabric used in this project should be white, muslin or light,plain cotton or broadcloth material. These dryer sachets are thrown in with the wet clothes and colored fabric might bleed on the clean clothes.

  1. Cut eight 5 inch squares of fabric. This makes 4 finish dryer sachets.
  2. Place two squares of fabric right sides together. Pin if necessary.
  3. Sew around three sides leaving a two inch hole for turning on the forth side.
  4. Back stitch at opening for added support when turning.
  5. Cut corners about 1/8″ from stitching to remove excess bulk.
  6. Turn inside out and iron.
  7. Top stitch three sides of the squares. It is easier to top stitch before dry material is added.
  8. Divide the dried mixture, about 4 Tbsp for each mixture.
  9. Fill the bag using the hole in the fourth side.
  10. Pin close.
  11. Top stitch the forth side to close the opening.
  12. Store in a glass jar with tight fitting lid.

Throw these clothes dryer sachets in your dryer each time you wash sheets or linens. These sachets can be used several times.

Just before each use, rub the sachet between your hands (if you are not allergic to any of the materials) to release the fragrance.

Remove about half way through drying time and place back in the jar.

I hope you enjoy these little clothes dryer sachets.



Sink and Tub Scrub Cleanser

It is easy to make your own Sink and Tub Scrub, just a few ingredients, a few minutes prep and you have an inexpensive green cleaner. Essentials may cost a little up front, but this recipe, in fact most recipes uses a small amount.


  • 1 part borax
  • 1 part baking soda
  • 5 drops of lemon grass essential oil per cup of Sink and Tub Scrub
  • 5 drops of tea tree oil per cup of Sink and Tub Scrub

In a small glass bowl or the container the Sink and Tub Scrub will be store in, combine borax, baking soda, and essentials oils.

Essentials oils can be absorbed in plastic so use containers or mixing bowls that are separate from kitchen utensils.

Store cleaner in a recycled container with a flip top lid. A non-dairy creamer container works well for this purpose.

Sink and Tub Scrub

Sink and Tub Scrub

Once the cleaner is ready to use, go in search of a dirty sink (not usually hard to find) to use your cleaner.

Very dirty sink

Very dirty sink

Sprinkle the sink and tub scrub on the dirty sink and wipe with a sponge or rag and follow with rinse water. It works well on stainless faucets. I try cleaning an area of the sink with just water and it left watermark and did not clean all the makeup and gunk. Once I use the cleaner, it got off the makeup and gunk and left no watermarks.

Clean sink

Clean sink

Following is a breakdown of the ingredients:

Baking soda is a cleaning agent which is good at dissolving dirt, grease, and grime. It maintains pH.

Borax is sodium borate  which is mildly alkaline mineral. Borax cleans, deodorizes, disinfects, soften water, bleaches (without the harsh chemicals found in regular bleach) and is consider safe but can irritate skin. If you have sensitive skin use gloves while cleaning.

Borax and Baking soda

Borax and Baking soda

Some essentials oils can be harsher than others, so again if you have sensitive skin substitute lavender for the lemon grass. And use gloves.

Most essential oils will work in this recipe. Following is a list of essential oils with antibacterial properties:

  • Chamomile, lavender, lemon, lemon grass, lemon verbena, lime, marjoram, rosemary, spearmint, tea tree, thyme

Essentials oils with antiviral properties include:

  • Cinnamon, clove, lavender, lemon, oregano, tea tree, thyme

Essential oils with anti fungal properties include:

  • Eucalyptus, lavender, lemon, myrtle, patchouli,, sandalwood, tea tree

When choosing essentials, just remember not to use too much, because they might irritate the skin.

If you would like to add whitening, try about 2 tsp. of cream of tartar for every cup of product.

This Sink and Tub Scrub will save you money as well as being good for the environment. The baking soda can be found for less than $1.00 for a box and the borax cost me $4.00 for a 4 pound 12 ounce box.

Have fun making up your own environmentally friendly cleansers.



Orange All Purpose Cleaner

This orange All Purpose herb cleaner is easy to make and great for the environment, and does not contain harsh chemicals. So it is great for a greener world.

Ingredients for Orange All Purpose cleaner SK

Ingredients for Orange All Purpose cleaner SK


  1. Orange peels, any kind
  2. White distilled vinegar
  3. Water
  4. Borax
  5. Essential oils 5-10 drops each Peppermint and Lavender
  6. Spray bottle
  7. Glass jar with lid
  8. Wax paper
  9. Labels
  10. Jar or container with plastic lid

Tear pieces of orange peel and place in glass jar and cover with white distilled vinegar. Using a small piece of wax paper place over jar opening between the vinegar and the lid. Attach lid.

Infused Orange White Vinegar

Infused Orange White Vinegar

The wax paper helps to keep the vinegar away from the metal lid. Vinegar will cause the metal to break down after a period of time. Using a canning lid does seem to offer more protection than a regular lid. A pickle jar might work well for this because at one time it contained vinegar.

Shake each day for two weeks. Place it somewhere you will see it every day such as in the bathroom. After two weeks stain the vinegar and compost the orange peel.

Draining orange peel

Draining orange peel

Heat two cups of water and 1 tsp. borax and whisk until melted.

Borax and Water

Borax and Water

This step is important when using a spray bottle to keep the sprayer from clogging.

Allow the water to cool and pour into spray bottle.

Mixing the cleaner

Mixing the cleaner

Mix in the infused orange vinegar and essential oils. Mix in five to ten drops each of the essential oils. Don’t forget to label. Pour the remaining orange infused vinegar into a bottle with a plastic lid, label or write on the bottle the contents.

Finished cleaner

Finished cleaner

This cleaner works great on most surfaces which can handle vinegar. Avoid surfaces such as soapstone or other porous surfaces.

Orange is antibacterial, and vinegar’s acidity cuts through grease. It cleans stove tops, microwaves, cutting boards, dirty dishes, bathroom surfaces and more.

Lavender and Peppermint are the two essential oils I used in this cleaner. Lavender essential oil is an aromatic, antiseptic, antibiotic, antiviral, and antibacterial.

Peppermint essential oil inhibits microorganisms and it smells good too. We have a tendency to put off cleaning, at least with this cleaner it smell good.

Borax cleans, deodorizes and helps to remove stains.

Happy Cleaning. HA HA. SK