July 4, 2012 in Hearth Witchery
1. Homemade Cleaners:
1/2 cup baking soda
Plant-based liquid soap
1/2 of a lemon
Pour baking soda into a bowl. Add just enough liquid soap to make a creamy paste. Spread mixture on the flat side of lemon and scrub. The lemon acts as a sponge and leaves a natural citrus scent. Use a damp rag or sponge to wipe away any residue. You’ll find the paste will stay moist for a few hours.
Helpful Hint: To save leftover scrub, add in a few drops of vegetable glycerin (a thick, clear syrup derived from plant oils, available from mountainroseherbs.com) and seal in a glass jar.
1/2 teaspoon Castile or plant-based liquid soap
3 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
2 cups water
Pour all ingredients into a spray bottle and shake. Spray onto window and wipe clean with newspaper or a 100 percent cotton cloth.
Helpful Hint: The liquid soap included in this recipe helps remove any streak-causing wax left on the window from commercial cleaners used in the past. You can eliminate the soap after a few washings. Safety note: Always be careful to label containers of homemade cleaners intended for storage and keep them well out of the reach of children.
1/8 cup plant-based liquid soap
1/8 cup distilled white vinegar
1 gallon water
10 drops essential oil (scent of your choice)
Mix all ingredients in a bucket and mop as usual.
Helpful Hint For ceramic and stone floors, eliminate soap (which leaves a film) and use 1/4 cup of vinegar with 1 gallon of water. Don’t use water on unsealed wood floors. Instead, combine 2 cups of vinegar with 1 tablespoon of olive or jojoba oil in a bucket. Spread a thin coat over the floor with a mop or soft cloth. Let it soak in for 20 minutes; dry mop to absorb excess liquid. Open windows to air out the vinegar smell.
Mold + Mildew Spray
2 cups distilled white vinegar
Pour vinegar into a spray bottle and spray on infected area. The smell will dissipate in a few hours (open a window to speed up the process).
Helpful Hint: For areas with persistent mold problems, use tea tree oil instead of vinegar, combining 2 drops of tea tree oil with 1 cup of water in a spray bottle. A natural antiseptic and fungicide, tea tree oil costs more than vinegar but will kill most types of mold and help prevent new growth.
2. First Aid Kit:
In most homes the kitchen is command central, so it’s more logical to keep your kit easily accessible in the kitchen instead of tucked away in a linen closet or bathroom. Some items to keep in mind when building your first aid kit are:
- Oral thermometer
- Sterile gauze pads of various sizes
- Ace bandages
- Non latex gloves
- Adhesive cloth tape
- Packs of different sized band aids
- Any homemade items like the aloe spray and cut slave listed blow
Healing Salve for Kitchen Cuts:
½ cup all-vegetable shortening (at room temperature)
10 drops tea-tree essential oil
10 drops calendula extract
In a small bowl, whip ingredients together using a small whisk or spatula until thoroughly blended. The salve should have the look and feel of fluffy, orange butter-cream frosting. Store in a labeled plastic or glass container in a cool place for up to 3 months, or refrigerated for up to 1 year.
Remember please that there are some types of injuries you should leave be and let the doctor take care of, animal bites of any kind for example are always on that list, as far as cuts go, if the cut if more than a quarter inch deep, or bleeding more than it should, leave your salve for another day and go see a doctor.
Aloe Spray for Burns:
4 oz. aloe juice
1/2 tsp vitamin E oil (or 2, 400-I.U.capsules)
1/8 tsp lavender essential oil
Combine ingredients and pour into a spritzer bottle (which can be
found at most drugstores). Shake well. Spray on burn as needed. The
vitamin E will promote healing. Make sure that you use aloe vera
juice, not gel, which will clog the sprayer.
I chose to give you a spray recipe because it is so much easier than trying to rub a cream onto a sensitive burn. If your burn is excessively bad however, I recommend seeing a doctor.
3. Baking Soda:
- Be sure to keep an extra box of baking soda by your stove in case of grease or electrical fire.
- Wash garbage cans with baking soda.
- Deodorize your fridge and freezer by putting in an open container of baking soda to absorb odors. Stir and turn over the soda from time to time. Replace every 2 months.
- Polish silverware with dry soda on a damp cloth. Rub, rinse and dry.
- To remove strong odors from your hands, wet your hands and rub them hard with soda, then rinse.
- Apply soda directly to insect bites, rashes and poison ivy to relieve discomfort. Make a paste with water.
- Sprinkle salt on your shelves to keep ants away.
- A tiny pinch of salt with egg whites makes them beat up fluffier.
- Soak your nuts in salt brine overnight and they will crack out of their shells whole. Just tap the end of the shell with a hammer to break it open easily.
- Eliminate excess suds with a sprinkle of salt.
- Add raw potatoes to stews and soups that are too salty.
- If a pie bubbles over in your oven, put a handful of salt on top of the spilled juice. The mess won’t smell and will bake into a dry, light crust which will wipe off easily when the oven has cooled.
- Rinse glasses and dishes in water and vinegar to remove spots and film.
- Prevent grease build-up in your oven by frequently wiping it with vinegar.
- Hardened paint brushes: simmer in boiling vinegar and wash in hot soapy water.
- Pour boiling vinegar down drains to unclog and clean them.
- Apple cider vinegar and honey as a cure-all: use to prevent apathy, obesity, hay fever, asthma, rashes, food poisoning, heartburn, sore throat, bad eyesight, dandruff, brittle nails and bad breath.
- Vinegar promotes skin health: rub on tired, sore or swollen areas.
- Add 1 tsp. vinegar to cooking water for fluffier rice.
- Boil vinegar and water in pots to remove stains.
- Remove berry stains from hands with vinegar.
- Ants, fleas, and roaches really hate the smell of lemons, so to keep your pest problem down squirt some lemon juice into holes and cracks where the ants are coming in. Place small pieces of lemon rinds or peels around the house and mix the juice of 4 lemons (along with the rinds) with 1/2 gallon (2 liters) water and wash your floors with it.
- Lemon can disinfect germy hands. So skip the hand sanitizer, and grab the nearest lemon.
- For dry skin, you can use a lemon-sugar scrub, or rub a cut lemon on particularly dry areas, such as knees, elbows, or heels. Be careful when applying to cracked skin.
- Relieve a sore throat. Cut a lemon in half. Skewer one half over a medium flame on a gas stove or an electric burner set on high and roast until the peel turns golden brown. Let cool slightly, then mix the juice with 1 teaspoon of honey. Swallow the mixture.
- Furniture polish. For varnished wood, add a few drops of lemon oil into a cup of water. For unvarnished wood, mix equal parts of olive oil and lemon juice. Use dry cotton rags to wipe the furniture.
- Make lettuce crisp again. You can “revive” it by squeezing half a lemon into a bowl of ice water. Soak the soggy lettuce for about an hour. Rinse and dry the lettuce before serving in a salad or sandwich.
- Combine the juice from two lemons with ½ cup of vinegar to create a powerful grease-fighting cleaner.
- Cut a lemon up into chunks, place in the garbage disposal and turn it on for a good clean and fresh scent.
You’ve heard me say it before and you’ll hear me say it again, intent is everything. The most important part of the kitchen is the love you put into it. It is not simply a space to accomplish a chore; it is the scared place where you nurture your family with the most basic necessity to survive so you might as well make it enjoyable for everyone involved by creating a warm, loving, safe atmosphere.