Diwali’s arrival welcome a lot of work and cleansing is the foremost step. People will start now to buy chemicals in dozen to clean every corner of home. But won’t you like to prefer some better home made alternatives which can act as your cleansing agent without harming your skin, health and life.
The cleansing agents in market have toxins. Long time back none of these toxins were found in Indian homes. But by giving up control of what goes into our products, we are exposing ourselves to a cocktail of chemicals and toxins.
If you take a close look to the fine print on the label of any cleansing product in your home, you will find a warning stating that the cleansing product can irritate or, worse, poison you if you ingest, inhale or comes in contact with skin. It is imminently clear that the cleansing products are hazardous, yet we continue to use day after day.
Making Cleansing Agents-
Soapberries, Shikakai and Papaya have surfactant properties and when added to water, they form lather or foam.
To remove difficult grease or stains- Lemon juice, tamarind, vinegar, peels of citrus fruits like orange and lemon can be used to remove stubborn stains.
Its better to switch to natural alternatives to keep diseases at bay. The recipes are highly effective, you will be very happy with result. Try using them as they are cost effective, not harmful, quantity prepared would be more, compared to what you buy from market at high prices and ingredients are easy available in market.
Also, Neem leaves & essential oils like tea tree oil, citronella can be used to add fragrance, but make sure you use these essential oils in limited quantity.
Test before you use-
A general rule, testing is more important to be at a safer side. A simple patch test would be enough. For Instance, if you have prepared some cleansing agent to clean your tiles or floor, use it first in one corner of room & then apply it to your whole house, only if you are happy with the results.
Here are some home made cleansers which you can use to clean your home.
For various surfaces:
This cleanser can be used to clean floors, tiles, kitchen tops or some glass surfaces. This is a concentrate and a few spoons of this can be added to water which can then be used to clean surfaces. If you have pets at home you can exclude citronella oil from the recipe.
- Soapberry powder : 100gm
- Neem oil : 25ml
- Citronella oil : 50ml (works as an insect repellant)
- Citric acid : 25gm
- Arrowroot powder : 20gm (optional)
- Water : 1.2 litre
- Mix the citric acid in a small cup of warm water and stir. Mix soapberry pwder with 1.2 litre of water and bring it to boil until it thickens and boils. As the water begins to boild add arrowroot powder to it & stir at high flame until the liquid thickens to that of a watery shampoo.
- Take it off the flame and add citric acid mixture to it. Let Soapberry liquid cool before filtering out soaperry residue.
- Now stir the neem and citronella oil into the solution prepared and store in a cool, dry place or in the fridge. (Make sure you label the solution properly)
- This recipe should give you approximately 1 litre of liquid floor cleanser.
This mixture can be used to clean windows and bottles.
- Soapberries : 1tsp
- Baking powder : 1/2 tsp
- White vinegar : 2tsp
- Add the ingredients in the order given above. A reaction between baking soda and vinegar will create carbon dioxide and form lather.
- Add water to this mixture and use it to scrub either your bottles or window and follow it up with a good rinse.
These are natural naphthalene balls to keep the pest away.
- Neem leaves : handful
- Siva tulsi leaves : handful
- Lemongrass stalk : handful
- Camphor/ kapoor : 2
- Sweet flag : 4 stick
- Place all the ingredients in a pillow case, mix and crush them together.
- Now divide the mixture in two quantities and fill into muslin cloth/ cotton cloth. Use this in your cupboard instead of naphthalene balls to keep insects and moths away.
- Replace you pots every 3-4 months or as the fragrance fades. The old herb mixture can be composted.