I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired of making DIY homemade cleaners.
Seriously… it’s never-ending!
Okay, don’t get me wrong… I love homemade cleaners. I like DIY projects, I like saving money, and I like being in control of what’s in my cleaning products. Unfortunately, it can be overwhelming at times… like right now for instance.
The Sick, Sick Situation
Cold and flu season is here, and right now it just so happens that all of my kids have croup (a viral illness), there’s a stomach bug going around in my extended family which, let’s face it, is bound to make its way into my home any day now, and the news is saying Tennessee has been hit the hardest with the flu virus so far this year. That means, being the crazy natural mama I am, I’m cleaning the house way more than normal (because I most certainly don’t love cleaning), I’m force-feeding my kids elderberry syrup (is there such a thing), and we’re home-bound for a bit which makes me nuts (I’m an out and about kinda girl)!
On top of making herbal remedies for immune boosting, coughs, and fevers, I now have to somehow make super-strong disinfectant natural cleaners to keep the ickies away so all four of my kids (including dad and I) don’t wind up spending hours puking in the bathroom or in bed with the flu.
On a side note… if you’ve been making your own cleaners for a while now, you know there’s no such thing as “super strong disinfectant” natural cleaners. That takes chemicals my friends. However, there are certain steps you can take to make natural cleaners work for you from the order in which you use these cleaners to the essential oils you put in them. More on that below.
So when my kids first started to get sick and I learned about all the nastiness going on elsewhere in the Visser family, I sat down to make a list of herbal remedies and homemade cleaners that I needed to stock up on.
Unfortunately I felt completely overwhelmed with everything I needed to do. You know the kind of feeling you get when everything fogs over, blackness starts to weigh down on you, you can’t breath, and you start to think crazy things like, “Oh my goodness… why don’t I just go to the store and buy toxins and drugs because it would be so much easier!!”
Yeah, it was a moment of weakness. Sorry. I’m human too.
Then I took a preverbal chill pill and decided to quit being lazy, get my act together, and start thinking clearly.
First off, we need the herbal remedies. There’s nothing better at boosting the immune system and dealing with nasty viruses than a days worth of echinacea root tincture along with elderberry syrup for the duration of the illness. Plus, all four of my kids had whooping cough over the summer so croupy coughs are nothing… NOTHING to this mama. Herbal cough syrup. Check.
As for keeping the puke and flu away, I knew I simply needed to break out the essential oils and clean more. I hate cleaning… did I mention that?
Finally I opened my cleaning cabinet to find it spilling over with homemade cleaners.
Holy cow! Where does it all come from?!
I don’t like having 100 different things to use when I clean so I normally keep things to a minimum, but it seems like there’s always something coming up that I need another cleaner for. The oven, a stainless steel sink scrub, stain remover, refrigerator deodorizer, soap scum remover… uh! The list could seriously go on. Thankfully I have my hand-dandy homemade cleaner list handy so I can make what I need when I need it, but dang… my cabinet is a mess which really helped my overwhelmed self feel much better.
Then it hit me. It was time to clear all of the junk out from under my sink, reorganize, and start fresh.
Is organization and planning therapy for you or is it just me?
So the first thing I did was to toss out almost everything I’d made that was in my cabinet which freed up a lot of room and glass bottles.
Did it hurt? Kinda, but it was nice too. Plus, it helped that overwhelmed feeling go away a bit.
Next, I made two cleaners that I’ll be using to clean my whole house in under 5 minutes. Yes… my WHOLE house, thanks to Branch Basics.
I recently tried Branch Basics soap concentrate because I’d seen a lot of other bloggers talk about how great it is (and because I’ve been dying to work with them for so long). Well guess what? I LOVE it… surprise, surprise!!
How did I go this long without it? It’s crazy! It does seem a bit pricy when you look at the concentrate on its own, but when you think about how long that one bottle will last you, the price drops significantly. Plus, you don’t have to buy all those extra natural cleaning supplies which really appeals to me. I don’t know about you, but when I have to drag tons of stuff out to make homemade cleaners, it’s a serious chore that most times gets put off as long as possible. I’d much rather grab my soap concentrate and essential oils and that’s it.
So basically I made their all-purpose cleaner and their streak-free cleaner for mirrors and windows. I put in the essential oils I wanted (I almost always use this cleaning blend for everyday cleaning) and that’s it. Two bottles under the cabinet instead of 15 which will work for almost all my cleaning needs.
This is definitely a keeper! Click here to learn more about Branch Basics, their great products, and what other people are saying about them. And get this… for the next 7 days you can get 20% off your Branch Basics purchase when you use coupon code “GUH20” at checkout. This is a fantastic way to try out their soap in your home at a discount to see if it’s a good fit for you!
Finally I made two batches of DIY cleaning wipes to help with the disinfecting and hopefully preventing us from catching the stomach bug and flu that’s going around.
I’ve talked about the disinfecting properties of vinegar and peroxide before, and about how I like to use this cleaning method when I really need to kill germs in our home. This time, instead of using this method in spray bottles, I decided to use it with my friend Kristen’s (Live Simply) diy cleaning wipes recipe instead.
I started by making Kristen’s exact recipe that uses vinegar. The only thing I changed up were the essential oils. Instead of the oils she lists or the cleaning blend I normally use for everyday cleaning, I used this four-theives essential oil blend that does a better job at disinfecting… at least in my mind.
Next, I made another batch, but instead of using vinegar like the first batch, I replaced the vinegar with peroxide for the second batch and added in my four-theives blend there as well.
Now after I’ve cleaned my whole house with my Branch Basics cleaners I can finish up by wiping down the door knobs, light switches, cabinet knobs, refrigerator handle, and phones with the disinfecting diy cleaning wipes to make sure that those “high-germ” areas get an extra cleaning boost.
Simplifying Cleaning… Year Round
Will I ever go back to a cabinet full of cleaners? Hopefully not. I’m not saying that I’ll never need to make a DIY homemade cleaning recipe every again (maybe during spring cleaning), but I certainly don’t want to have so many cleaners that I can’t find what I need in my cabinet or that cleaning becomes overwhelming because of all this products I have to use.
No matter, I’m happy with the all-purpose Branch Basics cleaner, and I’m grateful that a little vinegar, peroxide, and essential oils are all that’s needed to get a bit more disinfecting action in.
Here’s hoping my family stays away from this stomach bug and the flu virus this year!
Do you get sick and tired of making different homemade cleaners for every little thing? If so, what have you done to simplify things? Share with me in the comments below!
This post was underwritten by Branch Basics. All opinions are mine. Branch Basics Cleaning Soap concentrate is human safe and 100% plant-based, with a multi-purpose formula designed to replace virtually every cleaning product in your home. When diluted with water, our plant enzymes make Branch Basics soap a multitasking powerhouse, tough enough to dissolve car engine grease, yet safe and gentle enough to wash a baby. And the best part? It works! Use Branch Basics soap to tackle dirt, dust, grease, grime, and even the toxic residues left behind by other cleaners. We use ingredients you can trust, down to the last drop.