Undoubtedly, the greatest joy of growing your own garden is eating all the fresh food it produces. But there's a catch: if you're lucky enough to get a huge harvest, you might not be able to eat it all. After two weeks straight of fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice, your mouth might be getting a little too puckered. Or as much as you love lavender, you can't possibly think of another recipe to use it in. That's all okay: you don't have to eat your garden crop in order to use it.
Many vegetables, fruits and other home-garden plants are highly effective household cleaners. They can help eliminate chemicals cleaners and save you money! Here are some of our favorite natural cleaning solutions:
- Chamomile, when made into a tea and cooled, works quite well as a fungicide.
- Cucumber insides brighten up stainless steel, and the peel can be an effective eraser on walls, tables and countertops.
- An orange studded with cloves helps keep moths out of your closet.
- Halved citrus, sprinkled with baking soda, is an excellent surface cleaner. Try it on counter tops and in the bathtub.
- A simple paste of lemon juice and cream of tartar polishes brass, aluminum and stainless steel.
- Lemon juice and water removes underarm stains from shirts by scrubbing with r. This mixture also brightens up white sneakers.
- Peppermint is a natural pest control: ants, mosquitoes and even rodents can't stand it.
- Walnuts work as wood buffers: just rub the meat into wood scratches to make them less noticeable (we know it's not an herb or plant but it works!).
- Distill your own herbs and use them as an all natural fungicidal and antiseptic spray (think: mold prevention). Mixed with a little water, borax or vinegar, you now have a natural disinfectant cleaner.
To make your own essential oils from mint, lavender, thyme, rosemary or whatever herb you find to be especially delicious-smelling, follow this simple recipe:
- Chop your herbs.
- Pack herbs into an airtight container.
- Heat vegetable oil, olive oil, or a nut oil on the stove. Remove when it's hot to the touch.
- Pour the oil over the herbs.
- When it's cooled, store the mixture in a dark place for at least a week.
- Strain the liquid into a spray bottle, and you've got essential oil!
Happy, healthy, cleaning!
(image via KOMUnews)