Publication Date:  December 1999 Storey Books

Safe Cleaning Solutions from Mother Nature


Table of Contents

Clean and Let Live
Why Clean with Herbs?
The Kitchen
The Bath
The Laundry
Wood Care
Walls & Carpeting
Cleaning Metals
Clearing the Air
The Garage & Basement


Taking care of your home is extremely important.  To learn more about homes and many aspects of buying a house, check out our site!


(Pownal, Vermont) -- Under nearly every kitchen sink in the nation lurks a motley collection of commercial chemical cleansers promising a sparkling, shiny, sanitized home.  Ironically, these common cleaning products can have a negative impact on a family's health.  Besides a dirty home, is there an alternative?  Yes -- let Mother Nature help!

In The Naturally Clean Home, author and alternative health writer Karyn Siegel-Maier explores the safe, nontoxic, effective and inexpensive cleaning formulas that can be easily made from baking soda, vinegar, beeswax, herbs, essential oils, and other natural ingredients.  With recipes for tough basement dirt-busters to fragrant air fresheners, The Naturally Clean Home has a solution for every room in the home ... and even several for the car!

Siegel-Maier begins with an explanation of the dangers of today's commercial cleansers, the culprits of everything from accidental poisonings to cancer, birth defects, male infertility, allergies, and numerous psychological disorders.  With more and more people reporting symptoms of Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, nontoxic alternatives are quickly becoming the only alternative.  The Naturally Clean Home also includes advice for deciphering labels and learning to buy or prepare natural formulas.

The Naturally Clean Home goes on to suggest the ingredients and equipment for your nontoxic cleaning supply closet, and discusses the antibiotic, antiviral, antiseptic, and antifungal properties of many dried herbs and essential oils.  Tips for growing, harvesting, and preserving your own herbs are also included.


Clean & Green

As you may recall from high school biology class, plants continuously take in carbon dioxide and other airborne toxins to produce oxygen.  Bingo!  You've got instant air filtration.  Some common plants that purify the air are:

Spider plant
Golden pothos
Chinese evergreen
Weeping fig



Karyn Siegel-Maier is an alternative health researcher and writer for numerous newspapers and national magazines including Natural Living Today, Better Nutrition, Your Health, Let's Live and others.  She is also a member of the International Aromatherapy and Herb Association. 


Do-It-Yourself Carpet Cleaners

Footprints and spills of uncertain origin are not strangers on wall-to-wall carpeting.  Exercise the familiar "please, wipe your feet" as often as you will, but energy-driven kids in muddy sneakers often forget to pause at the doormat.  Try this sweet-smelling solution for everyday grime:

Rosemary-Lavender Carpet Shampoo

This recipe makes enough for a 10' x 13' room.  If you can't find soap flakes, you can use 1/4 cup borax instead, but test the outcome of this substitution on a small area first.

2 cups baking soda
1/2 cups soap flakes
20 drops lavender essential oil
8 drops rosemary essential oil
1/2 cup vinegar
2 cups warm water

1. Sweep carpet to be cleaned with a broom or carpet sweeper to loosen dirt, then vacuum the entire area.

2. Combine the baking soda and soap flakes in a plastic bowl.  Add the essential oils and mix well, breaking up any clumps with a fork.  Sprinkle the mixture on the carpet.

3.  Add the vinegar to the warm water in a bucket or pail.  Dip a clean sponge mop into the bucket and squeeze out as much excess liquid as you can.  Gently go over carpet with the sponge mop, working in sections.  Wait at least an hour and then vacuum again.

Excerpted from The Naturally Clean Home (c) 1999 by Karyn Siegel-Maier with permission from Storey Books, Pownal, Vermont 05261,