Readers will learn how to use the antiseptic and antiviral properties of herbs and essential oils in safer, more economical alternatives to commercial cleaning products. Recipes include laundry and dishwashing detergent; bathroom cleaners; wood, glass, and metal cleaners; air and carpet fresheners; car and pet care products; and insect repellents.
Date Published 12/1/1999
Rated By: Marston Gregory
From: Bellevue, Washington
Comments: LITTLE BOOK WITH BIG MESSAGE This little book just got added to my library. It should be inevery home and used to help replace the very toxic products with safehome brews that work many times just as well as over the counter products (promising better life through chemistry) with no left over residue. I highly recommend it.
Happy reading and then low-toxic cleaning! END
Rated By: Dionne M. Sloan
Comments: The Naturally Clean Home This book well writen and many of the recipes can be used immediately. The only thing that concerned me was when I went my local garden supply store, the clerk told me diotomeceous earth (pardon the misspelling) would probably be wiser not to use it because of the possible irritation to the lungs and suggest looking for brands such as 7th generation which has a whole line of eco/family friendly products to clean your whole house. You can find some of the products at gaiam.com.
Rated By: A reader
Comments: Better books out there This book has a few good recipes, but Clean House, Clean Planet is much better, and you don't have so many recipes for non-essentials such as hand wipes for the car. Also see Better Basics for the Home.
Also, this book seems to use more stuff (like actual herbs--I'm trying to clean, not clog my drain thank you) and even more essential oils than CHCP. It is a rather small book, also, and somewhat overpriced.
Finally, why do publishers put out recipe books of any kind that are not designed to lie flat when you use them? One of the mysteries of the universe, I guess.
Rated By: Charlotte
From: Albany, NY
Comments: Neat, Handy & Complete I bought this book as a house warming gift for my daughter-in-law and she was so pleased with it that I picked up a copy for myself. The book is very informative, telling us what's harmful about many products found in stores but without bombarding the reader with too much science.
The recipes are simple and very effective - and best of all the ingredients are inexpensive and easy to find. There's even a section on special laundry problems that saved more than one item of clothing for us. There's also a chart that lists the properties of many herbs and essential oils that's very helpful if you need to substitute an ingredient. My husband appreciated the formulas given for cleaning the car and garage too!
This book makes a great gift, especially if you know someone with allergies or who has young children.
Rated By: OC reader "evandeli"
From: Austin, Texas
Comments: Changed my "cleaning" life. GREAT BOOK -Do it for the kids! I happened onto this book and thought I'd give it a try. Little did I know it would completely change my perspective on cleaning all together! Gone are the toxic chemicals from under my sink, even the ones I didn't know where harmful like regular dishwashing liquid. Three reasons to buy this book: 1)to protect you and your family's health 2)to protect our environment 3)to save money. It's so much cheaper to throw together these recipes. Do it for yourself and if you have kids, for pete's sake DO IT FOR THEM! I highly recommend this book. I agree with someone else's complaint that it should be spiral bound. I took mine to Kinko's and they sliced the binding and put a spiral hinge on it so it now lies flat. GO FOR IT!
Rated By: DNP "marmalade-cat"
From: Framingham, MA
Comments: I love it, I love it, I love it! I borrowed this book from my local library and followed up by purchasing a copy of my own. My main concerns were to have a safer environment for my two young children and to housekeep in a way that's as kind to the environment as possible. But it doesn't hurt that the recipes are both effective and smell wonderful! I love the "lavender soft scrubber", the "country spice scrubber" and the "cedarwood duster aid". The "fleas-be-gone carpet treatment" didn't hurt either, since I have two cats. I highly recommend this book.
For people who are also interested in making their own face and body care products, Better Basics for the Home by Annie Berthold-Bond and Rosemary Gladstar's Herbs for Natural Beauty are also wonderful.
One hint: Several of the recipes use baking soda, which can leave a residue. I've found that it rinses off very cleanly if you use a combination of water and white vinegar to rinse after cleaning.
Rated By: "firesdream"
Comments: Natural Cleaning for those who have sensitive skin I find that this is one of the best books out there for cleaning naturally. It is easy to use, has a reference on what essential oils have what properties, so it allows you to come up with different combinations in case you are sensitive to something suggested. It is wonderfully easy to use, with easy recipies. I find that the quantities do not go quite as far as they suggest, but I may be a bit heavy handed in applying also. Nice natural alternative for a safer household.
Rated By: "jennycrestedbutte"
From: Crested Butte
Comments: Okay, but not that helpful This book seems complete and thorough, but in fact it is really just rehash of a few recipes over and over again. The recipes, for the most part, are the same with different essential oils added, so that the book seems to hold more homemade cleaners than it really does.
Nevertheless, those recipes that they do list are pretty effective, especially their antimold spray. The liquid laundry soap does not work. (And I tried the recipe twice,just in case I messed up the first time.) Also, the book's dimensions make it difficult to leave open while attempting to prepare the cleaners.
There are plenty of books out there on this subject, and this is not one of the better ones. It's okay.
Rated By: "rstevens102"
From: Boston, MA
Comments: Truly All Natural Recipes!! One of the problems I have with other books like this is that they only talk about vinegar and baking soda and lemon juice - or they suggest ingredients that are not natural at all! The great thing about this book is that it calls for using essential oils. GREAT cleaning power! And ALL of the ingredients suggested are totally natural. Nice presentation too, very informative. Thumbs up!
Rated By: "judy8977"
From: Florence, NJ
Comments: Very Practical and Easy I bought this book while we were expecting our first baby and I'm really glad I did. No more harmful chemicals in our cleaners! What I really like about this book though is that the formulas are very easy to make and use and you soon realize you never needed all those store bought cleaners in the first place. Now our home is a healthier place for our newborn daughter.
Rated By: SweetPea
Comments: Non-toxic and wonderful cleaners I just love this book. I started reading it and was amazed at the info and formulas I could make. I was reading about stains in carpets and and decided to trying the baking soda. After a few hours (she says 1 hour), I swept away the baking soda and the stains were gone. One stain was from a leaking BBQ starter can and the other looked dry and no one knows where it came from, but both stains disappeared. This book is full of great recipes that are effective and tested out. Worth your money, if you want a clean and non-toxic house.
Rated By: Jean Hall
Comments: Making a Difference I have always been interested in preserving our natural resources. Since I read this valuable guide, I can take another giant step toward making a difference for the future of my children and yours. We do not have to buy commercial products that pollute us and it is really fun to make your own cleansers with simple inexpensive items that hold REAL cleansing properties!
Rated By: Tanya A. Khoshnoodi
Comments: the bad, the good, and the between...a great starter book all in all Lets start with the bad...
It SHOULD come in a flip book, makes referance eaiser. You dont really need so many different cleaners. I hold more to the line of thinking that a couple/few good cleaners can tackle most any application.
It will rehash combos of the same ingrediants however as one review stated, with different essential oils. What I felt it was important to mention about this is that each essential oil can have a very different function. I personally have spent much time researching various oils to determine alternate uses for them. The changing of one oil to another is IMPORTANT, its not always just about the scent of the cleaner. Let me give you a very basic example, you may prefer the SMELL of say orange oil to tea tree oil however it isnt going to tackle mold nearly as well. If you are rather familiar with essential oils then perhaps you may wish to only skim through this book at the library. (and chances are you will already be fimiliar with the basic cleaning ingrediants) However, if you are not fimiliar with oils (or do not care to research it for yourself) then its very much worth the purchase.
I have found a handfull of the recipes to be very good, some even better than the toxic counterparts. The soft scrub is heaven (I dont remember if she actually calls it that but that is what it makes in the end, a soft scrub) It works well and smells so yummy you will want to eat it!
This was my intro book once upon a time. It has also inspired me to create some unique cleaners of my own by tweeking her instruction to my liking. For example, I know the basic ingrediants that will get the job clean but every time I mix a new batch of something I keep the basics but add in something new. In doing so I have discovered, in my opinion, the most wonderful smelling and effective all purpose spray cleaner I have ever encountered. The use of some ingrediants over and over actually is a help to understand what each items function is, allowing you to create away. Going back to that spray cleaner...she has no recipe like it. I have taken ingrediants used repeatedly in different recipes to form the cleaning base of my spray liquid then I add my own blend of essential oils. Make your own masterpiece!
I thing this book is an excellent jumping point for someone who is new to the game.
Rated By: Katherine Belows
From: Las Vegas, NV
Comments: This is the book you have to have! I love this book. It has so many easy solutions for all kinds of cleansers. I have shared this book with my firends and have got them addicted now too! What a great way to clean and be safe. This makes me feel so much better with a little one in the house.
Rated By: S. Koehler "cynthea1164"
Comments: Very interesting book for the beginning green cleaner really enjoyed this book far more than I like cleaning! The recipes are great and really work! The bonus is your choice of essential oil scents in the products. I would definitely recommend this book! I stil hate to clean but find myself spraying more often because I love the way it smells and my home thanks me for it ;-)
Rated By: Kathie Stone "maeven6"
Comments: Great Book Naturally Clean Home by Karyn Siegel-Maier
Another easy read. She comes from an herbalist angle and uses more essential oils and actual herbs from her garden. A different laundry soap recipe for me to try. Since I love herbs and oils a very good addition and bach up for Clean House Clean planet. She even uses vitamen C tablets in her tub and tile scrubber. Very good book to have and another reference book for my shelf. She comes from the same environmental opinions as the first book.
Rated By: Mediterranean Maven
From: Miami, Florida
Comments: Kudos To The Naturally Clean Home! I just purchased the Naturally Clean Home and like many of the other reviewers, immediately was curious to begin making my own homemade recipes. I must say that I am impressed with the results: The Lavender Soft Scrubber was easy to make and even easier to use in the bathroom, leaving my toilet, bidet, tub and sinks spotless with little effort in scrubbing and rinsing. I also made the Liquid Laundry Detergent and was pleasantly surprised by how clean and soft it left towels, sheets and even my husband's smelly and dirty golf clothes. I noted that another reviewer said that this liquid laundry detergent recipe didn't work for her but my experience was different: I substituted borax for the baking soda in the recipe and found that this worked just fine. The resulting liquid laundry detergent has to be shaken before use and doesn't suds up like other brands of detergent. But do not be fooled by the lack of suds: it works just fine and leaves no residue on clothes that can cause skin reactions and depending upon the essential oil you choose (I used a combination of cedarwood and patchouli), the fragrance left on clothes is subtle and not overwhelming; just a fresh clean scent and softness. You may find that you don't even need a fabric softener with that particular recipe although I am curious to try her fabric softener recipe next.
With just a couple of essential oils, and few other ingredients, you can have what you need to clean just about the entire home without breaking the bank. It's important to note that essential oils have different uses and functions and while it looks like the recipes are repetitious, they're not when you look closely at what essential oils are used and why.
Although since both Clean Planet, Clean House and The Naturally Clean Home were written, there are more green choices available commercially, they can be admittedly pricey. These homemade recipes are a wonderful, cost-effective alternative to what's out there and certainly result in products that you can make easily with what's on hand without having to run out and buy expensive commercial products whenever you run out of a product.
I recommend this book highly, along with Clean House, Clean Planet, as a wonderful addition to anyone's "Green Clean" library of references.
The recipes are pretty straightforward although Clean House, Clean Planet has better instructions as far as how to properly mix ingredients to get the right results and what containers will work best.