Sometimes soap, water, a sponge, and elbow grease are all you need but there are times when a spray cleaner would do the job faster and easier. Unfortunately most of the cleaners available today are full of dangerous chemicals, cause harmful fumes and are expensive. Even the old stand-by, vinegar, can irritate the lungs of people with asthma.
Always on the look out for something safe but effective I decided to experiment with lemon. Lemon juice is cheap and has very little smell. I’ve found that for most cleaning jobs it works well. I’ve tweaked my “recipes” and found that the following works well:
Cleaning Spray: 1/2 cup lemon juice with 2 cups of water, pour into a spray bottle
Tile/Linoleum Floor Cleaner: 1/4 cup lemon juice with 2 cups of water (too much lemon juice leaves your floors sticky)
Tables/Wood Surfaces: 1/2 cup olive oil, 1/2 cup lemon juice in spray bottle
Stain Remover – Mix 1/8 – 1/4 cup baking soda, 2 Tablespoons of lemon juice and a few drops of dish soap, rub into the stain. This also works great for stains on dishes and plastic storage containers. This recipe works great on large peanut butter grease stains, don’t ask me how I know that.
Room/Carpet Deodorizer: 1/2 cup lemon juice, 2 cups water and if you like add few drops of your favorite essential oil*. Do not use more than 3 or 4 drops of the oil, they are very concentrated. The oils will cost you between $3 and 9 but they last a very, very long time.**
Monster Spray – 1/2 cup lemon juice, 1/2 cup water, and a few pinches of glitter. Pour into bottle and shake well. Spray all around your child’s room, especially under the bed and in the closet. You’ll have to shake this a lot as you spray. It’s 100% guaranteed to keep monsters, boogeymen and other nasty rapscallions out of your child’s room to ensure a good night’s sleep.
*If you have asthma be very careful not to add much of the essential oil, or pick one that won’t bother you.
**I usually use tea tree oil because it’s widely available. I pay $7 for a .5oz bottle at the grocery store though you can probably find it cheaper at one of those big-box retail stores, look for it in the cosmetics section. Peppermint and lavender are also good choices for a deodorizer. The .5oz bottle lasts me 3 months or more, and I use it for skin care and cleaning!