Home Economics

Sweet William, now 14 months old, is running around and getting into things every time I turn my back. This morning he brought me a bottle of air freshener that was left within reach. Here’s why I didn’t panic.


1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vinegar
2 c hot water
squeeze of lemon

Mix all in a reusable spray bottle.

I’ve always been sensitive to cleaning products, but I didn’t get serious about looking for alternatives until I married Willy, who is especially sensitive to perfumes. I gradually switched from harsh cleaners to natural alternatives. We both feel that our allergies have improved and we’re happy to know we’ve reduced our family’s exposure to industrial chemicals, many of which are linked to cancer, asthma, and other health problems (not to mention serious environmental concerns).  Bonus: homemade cleaners are CHEAPER.

It’s overwhelming to inventory the products under your kitchen sink, which is why I favor a gradual change. Replace them one at a time and feel good about what you are doing for your family and the environment. Here’s an easy one.


1/2 c vinegar
2 c water
5 drops liquid soap
(adjust ratio of vinegar to water as desired)

Empty a Windex bottle. Mix vinegar, water and soap in the bottle.

Use newspaper instead of paper towels; rub surface until dry for a streak-free finish.

(There’s no logical reason to use paper towels, which are expensive, produced with chlorine bleach, and rarely recycled. Newspaper simply works much better.)

More household recipes to follow!

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