Wellness Tuesday Tips: Natural Cleaning 2.0

By Cathy Smith

Have you ever stared at a clogged sink and wondered if buying a toxic chemical is worth the environmental impact?

Recently, I wrestled with this dilemma over my bathroom sink. I tried the salt, vinegar and boiling water method. Still, every time I brushed my teeth or washed my hands there remained a murky pool. Stubborn.

Flash…the light bulb went on! What is the best scrubby, bubbly substance? I scooped out the excess water and poured in 2 tablespoons of 35% hydrogen peroxide and watched it go to work. I did this twice more and left it overnight, in the morning the drain was clear. Simple, effective, and non-toxic. What more could I ask for?

Let’s explore some household uses for hydrogen peroxide.

The Co-op sells food grade hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) in 3%, 12%, and 35% concentrations. Do not let 35% peroxide touch your skin -- it is extremely irritating. All recommendations below are utilizing 3%. As my Dad used to say, “Do as I say and not as I do.”

Veggie wash: In a sink of cold water add ¼ cup H2O2 to remove some pesticides and dirt. Allow veggies to sit in the wash for 5-10 minutes; swish and rinse.


Toothpaste: Mix H2O2 with baking soda and salt for a brilliant smile. Miss the fresh flavor? I add essential oils of peppermint or clove to taste, 2 drops per ¼ cup. Boost the whitening action with a dash of powdered charcoal.

Toothbrush sanitizer: Keep germs at bay by storing your toothbrush in a glass filled with peroxide. Refresh weekly.

Cutting board cleaner: Spray your wood cutting board between uses, especially after chopping meat, rinse when the bubbles subside.

Toilet Bowl: Pour ½ cup in the bowl, let sit 20 minutes, scrub clean.

Ice Chest: Spray to disinfect between camping trips or tailgate parties.

De-skunk pets: Had a bad run in? Remove the offensive odor with this: 16 oz hydrogen peroxide, ½ tsp dish washing liquid, 1/8 cup baking soda, and 32 oz water. Adjust for the size of the animal (or human). Scrub and promptly rinse, the peroxide will lighten fur just as it does hair.

There is a natural solution for nearly everything in life. We here at the Boise Co-op strive to be your resource of healthful information. We love being a vital part of our community!

Wellness Tuesday Tips: Cleaning with essential oils

By Cathy Smith

I love simplifying house chores. Are you with me on that?

What if it cleaning could be fun and creative using healthy ingredients? Who doesn’t want to make quick work of clearing dirt? You can leave the whole house gleaming while saving money and reducing chemicals and plastic!

White vinegar, witch hazel, and essential oils are my best cleaning friends. Pair with microfiber cloths which are excellent for wiping counters, sinks, mirrors, and glass. Essential oils naturally possess anti-microbial properties while imparting their clean scent into your living space. They can be used undiluted in your garbage disposal and toilet bowl, in the washer when laundering sheets and towels, and mixed with baking soda to freshen rugs and carpet before vacuuming.

Here are some of my favorite combos:

Lavender, peppermint and eucalyptus are wonderful spa-like aromas: simultaneously relaxing and invigorating.

Lemon and tea tree mixed with equal parts water and witch hazel is a terrific disinfectant, a genius at removing oily substances from any surface.

Rosemary, orange, and thyme will brighten your mood, improve mental clarity (I’m all about that), and help give the immune system a boost.

Try making your own blends! Below is a lit of some favorite oils and their properties:

  • Tea tree: antimicrobial, anti-fungal; deters lice and other pests.

  • Peppermint: a natural deodorizer and the perfect topical solution to stop the itch of a mosquito bite.

  • Lavender: antiseptic and freshens everything; 4 drops on a wool dryer ball or old washcloth instead of dryer sheets.

  • Lemon: antiviral and degreaser to wipe down the fridge; mix with olive oil and white vinegar for polishing wood furniture.

  • Orange: bright and cheerful aroma; great glue and stain remover that won’t discolor fabric.

  • Rosemary: clears stale air, opens clogged sinuses and boosts memory. Mix with peppermint to clean car interiors and inspire a mindful commute.

  • Eucalyptus: fights germs and mites. On laundry day, add to wash water for sheets. Mix with water for a room spray during and after a virus.

  • Thyme: powerful germicide; wipe down cutting boards and add to dish soap.

Want more info and recipes? Visit the link here!