The adorable, always humorous MBA Jane is my way of honoring our Sisterhood Merit Badge program, now with 5,843 dues-paying members who have earned an amazing number of merit badges so far—8,286 total! Take it away, MBA Jane!!! MJ
Wondering who I am? I’m Merit Badge Awardee Jane (MBA Jane for short). In my former life …
For this week’s Cleaning Up/Shopping Green Intermediate Level Merit Badge, I threw out the last of my toxic, scary, chemical laden (but “naturally fresh,” of course … pshaw!) cleaners out of the bottom of my cupboard.
It felt good.
A couple of the spray bottles weren’t too bad, in terms of shape and size, so I rinsed them out thoroughly and decided to keep and reuse them.
Next: I filled a couple of too-cute baskets (one for the kitchen and one for the bathroom) with a few Mason jars, a squirt bottle or two, and those recycled spray bottles. And after that, I filled those bad boys with the following:
Homemade Soft Scrub (great for countertops and sinks and tubs)
- 3/4 cup baking soda
- 1/4 Castile soap
- 2 T water
Mix together and store in lidded container of your choice.
DIY Dishwasher Detergent
- 1 cup Borax
- 1 cup washing soda
- 1/4 Epsom salt
- lemon juice
Mix the powders, then drizzle in lemon juice until soft and sticky. Spoon into ice-cube trays and sit on your windowsill to harden. Use 1 cube per load.
Homemade Dryer Sachets
- small muslin bag (think large tea-bag size)
- 1/2 cup baking soda
- 1/8 cup arrowroot powder
- handful of lavender and rosemary from the garden
- a few drops of essential oil (lavender and/or rosemary if you like themes)
Mix the powders and herbs; drop in the oil(s). Tie up your sachet and toss in the dryer. (Or in your hubby’s stinky sock drawer. Or in your teen’s smelly closet. Or toss them at your doggy when he’s feeling particularly odiferous.)
DIY Countertop Wipes
- 4 old t-shirts that you’ve been meaning to throw out anyway, cut into squares the size of baby wipes (you’ll end up with about 8 per shirt)
- 1 cup water
- 1/4 cup rubbing alcohol
- 2 T dish soap
Mix water, alcohol, and dish soap and pour over squares. Store in a sealed container (a recycled wipes container works well, but a clear glass canister is prettier, IMO).
Citrus Enzyme Cleanser
- 2-liter bottle (Something that can be shook up. I know we’re all about things other than icky plastic ‘round these parts, but I gotta say, a recycled liter water bottle works well.)
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 t yeast (This speeds up the process, but you can leave it out. It will take 3 months to be ready, instead of two weeks, though.)
- 1 liter water
- 2 cups citrus peels (I used grapefruit)
Combine all ingredients in bottle and shake thoroughly (sing a little Carmen Miranda while you’re at it). Shake once per day for two weeks (leaving the cap a bit loose—we’re playing with fermentation here, gals). To use, mix 1 cup cleaner with 1 liter water. This wonder stuff works on everything from mopping your floor to cleaning your toilet to spot-treating laundry to fertilizing your plants to an all-natural drain cleaner to your very own insect repellent. It may even alphabetize your bookshelf and make you dinner if you ask nicely.
I lovingly arranged all my new beauties, labeled them, and set each basket under the sink. Toxic free, sparkling clean home!