green cleaning

Living the eco-clean dream is simpler than one might think. And Plant Based Goods owners Anna Beck and Laura Lawler insist it’s a lot cheaper than expected, too. “Many facial masks people pay $200 for in a spa can be made at home for $5,” Lawler says. “The same goes for household products. Spending 50 cents on one ounce of a nontoxic base like Castile soap allows you to make a 16-ounce all-purpose cleanser— still cheaper than going to the Dollar Store and buying one filled with harsh chemicals.”

A few tips for whipping up a basic cleaning agent at home are:

  • Start with distilled water and vinegar in a 3-to-1 ratio.
  • Add a dash of corn starch to make it less streaky, then use to clean glass.
  • Modify the base and water ratio to create different cleansers such as laundry detergent, dish soap and soft scrub.
  • Add antimicrobial, -fungal and -bacterial essential oils when making a solution to disinfect bathrooms. These include: lemon, tea-tree, eucalyptus, thyme and bergamot oils.

For chemical-free body care, Perfect Imperfections owner Jasmine Banks recommends lemongrass for its purifying and toning benefits for the skin, in addition to the potential bonus of emotional calm and mental clarity.  She says, “I also combine lavender with brown sugar, raw honey and olive oil in my natural product line not only because it’s relaxing, but also promotes skin cell restoration.”

Beck and Lawler say plant-based cleaning products save time, improve wellbeing and are easier on the pocketbook. “You can’t buy Pantene Pro-V in a gallon,” Beck says. “By simply using water, sugar and any number of things you already have in your home, you’re reducing waste, cutting cost—and often replenishing whatever runs out without stepping outside of your door.” –Rachel Werner

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