The Naturally Clean Home by Karyn Siegel-Maier
I read the 2nd edition and (which seems from what I could see of reviews)has more recipes. I am not sure what else is different though. So far in all the books I have read on natural cleaning, this one has been the most easy to understand, filled with a lot of useful information and tips. If I had to get one book on natural cleaning, this would be it.
This year one of my goals was to expand my natural cleaning products. And this book gave me plenty of recipes to use and try. Often I see recipes on the web and other resources that use the same 3 ingredients over and over - baking soda, borax and vinegar which are all great ingredients but I wanted something to smell good but have properties that clean and disinfect. And this book gave me those options. MANY options. It includes those basic ingredients you see everywhere but also introduces herbs and essential oils and that was just what I was needing.
This book includes an introduction section that includes benefits of natural cleaning, safety issues, which herbs to use, how and why, how to get started (supply lists) and then a chart of herbs and the beneficial properties. After the introduction the book is divided into section on what to clean and then many many recipes to go with each section. Such as it has a section on the kitchen so has dish soap, automatic dishwasher soap, sink clean, de-greaser (which is something I have been looking for), all-purpose cleaner and so on. Another section is just on floors and carpet which includes an all-purpose citrus wall cleaner and simple rug and carpet deodorizer. In between all the recipes there are many cleaning tips.
The Bath, the laundry, wood care, cleaning metals, clearing the air, the garage and basement, the garden and landscape and the home office.
It also has a resource list.
Some favorite recipes:
Lavender Lift Automatic Dishwasher Powder
Country Spice Scrubber
Mold and Mildew Prevention Formula
Lavender Soft Scrubber
Some other recipes I want to try:
Thyme Carpet Steamer Shampoo
Herbal Mists - Air Fresheners
Floor wipes and all purpose wipes that use cloth wipes so they can be recycled (washed and then reused)
I would start out with just a few recipes that use the same oils so you aren't investing in lots of oils. They are expensive but I do need to say they go a LONG LONG way. The only oil I had before getting this book was tea tree oil. I have used it in a cleaner for my bathroom for the last 2 years and you can't even tell from the bottle that I have used any. So just start out with a few and then build up and they will last you a long time.
** I read a few reviews saying they were the same recipes over and over again just changing the essential oils and herbs. And that is probably accurate. But I didn't know anything about essential oils and herbs so this helped me know which would give me the properties I needed in cleaning. It gave a combination of oils and herbs and how to use them - which I would have never known without reading this book.