I LOVE that super ridiculously expensive lavender linen spray you can buy at Pottery Barn but I HATE the price. Its a lavender scented spray that you can use to dampen clothes while ironing, and to freshen up linens that tend to smell a little musty after having been in storage for a while. And with one easy step you can also turn this spray into a light starch ironing spray.

So here is the basic recipe:

16 or 32 oz. spray bottle
2 tbsp. 100 proof vodka or rubbing alcohol
Your choice of two oils, such as jasmine, bergamot, lavender, etc.
Distilled water
  1. Mix the 2 tbsp. of alcohol and your choice of these oils in the bottle as follows:
    - 1 teaspoon jasmine oil and ½ teaspoon bergamot oil
    - 1 teaspoon lavender oil and ½ teaspoon sandalwood oil
    - 1 teaspoon vanilla oil and 2 drops ginger oil
  2. Then, add distilled water to the bottle until it is almost full.
  3. Screw on the cap and shake the bottle to disperse the oils evenly throughout.
  4. Shake lightly before each use.

You can use pretty much whatever essential oils you like. Lemon can also be used but for this I would recommend using lemon oil rather than juice. Lemon juice, when heated, tends to burn or turn brown. This can ruin fabrics. This can also be used in place of Febreeze or other fabric freshening sprays.

To make this a starch spray add 1 tspn for every 16 oz of water and use in a spray bottle. The liquid will be milky in color. Be sure to shake it up before each use as the corn starch may settle. If the spray makes your clothing too stiff try dumping a little out and add more water. If you'd like the fabric to be more stiff, simply add more starch to the water.

Ok, so first off I need to say a few things about the disinfecting craze. A lot of people are going nuts over making sure that everthing has been wiped down with some sort of sanitizing agent because germs are everywhere and every one of them can kill you... this is totally bogus. If this were the case then people would be dying left and right, and those of us who were unfortunate enough to survive would constantly be sick and on the verge of death.

As this is not the case it is then safe to assume that not all germs are deadly and in fact, it is this compulsive need to make sure everything is 'clean' is what is leading to super viruses and all that stuff that really CAN kill you. 

Anyway, that being said, disinfectants do have their place and are necessary for preventing the spread of certain illnesses like colds, flus, and highly contagious ailments such as pink eye. But with many people developing eczema and other skin sensitivity issues, one in particular being multiple chemical sensitivity which results for the over use of chemical cleaners in the home, many people are looking for safer, more natural, less irritating ways to clean. Here is a recipe for one such cleaner:

Homemade Disinfectant
20 drops Tea Tree Oil
20 drops Lavender Oil
10 drops Lemon Oil
1 qt Water

Mix and pour into a spray bottle.

Recipe courtesy of http://www.mnn.com/your-home/at-home/stories/make-your-own-disinfectant-spray

Many of the oils included in this recipe have anti-biotic, anti-fungal, and anti-viral properties as well as smelling great. As they are derived from natural sources they are also, generally, hypo-allergenic and totally safe to use on things your infant touches, or on surfaces used to prepare food. This spray does not have to be wiped off with water before the surface can be used. 

Vinegar as an Anti-Microbial
Another, more simple recipe is a 1:5 dilution of vinegar in water. This means that for every 1 part vinegar you should use 5 parts water, whether youre measuring in teaspoons, cups or gallons. Vinegar has been proven to be just as effective as bleach in that it kills '99 percent of bacteria, 82 percent of mold, and 80 percent of germs (viruses).' Read more: http://www.care2.com/greenliving/vinegar-kills-bacteria-mold-germs.html#ixzz1lzkbQBaR 

This 1:5 dilution is best for cleaning things that will be used to prepare food or will regularly come in contact with the skin. For cleaning things like the toilet or shower it is recommended that you use straight vinegar. If the smell of vinegar is not appealing to you then I recommend adding a few drops of the above mentioned essential oils to help mask the smell. It is unnecessary to wear a mask or work in a well ventilated area when using a vinegar solution, though I would still recommend cracking a window or turning on the fan to keep the smell from becoming over powering. Its not going to hurt your lungs but its not the greatest smell in the world. The smell of vinegar dissipates much faster than the smell of bleach and is less corrosive. Its also not going to damage colored fabrics or surfaces.
In the link below there are a number of other window cleaner recipes. I listed the two that looked the best and the easiest to make. Try a few to find out which one you like best and feel free to leave your reviews in a comment at the end of this article. We look forward to hearing about your experience!

Lemon Fresh Window Cleaner
3 TBS lemon juice (freshly squeezed)2 cups club soda (you can use water too or a mix of water and club soda but I prefer 100% club soda) 1 tsp cornstarch 
Pour everything into a spray bottle then shake well before using.

Recipe courtesy of http://tipnut.com/more-homemade-window-cleaner-recipes-to-try/

I'm not sure what the corn starch does for the recipe but I'm planning to give it a shot to see how it works. The person who wrote the website said that of all the recipes she has seen this is the one she likes the most.

White Vinegar Window Cleaner
1/2 cup white vinegar
1 gallon warm water 

Mix and use with spray bottle.

Tips for Streak Free Windows:
  1. Make sure that whatever cloth you are using to clean the glass is clean, was washed without fabric softeners, and is lint free. If the cloth is not entirely clean, or was washed with fabric softeners, then it will leave streaks on the glass. If it is not lint free then it will leave little fibers all over the glass.
  2. Use Newspaper to clean your glass and windows. Im not sure what it is about newspaper but I have tried this and know it to be true. Avoid colored adds or glossy paper though, these can leave behind streaks and rainbows.
  3. Wash one side of the window in an up and down pattern and the other in a side to side pattern. This makes it easier to identify which side of the glass is streaked.
  4. Do not clean windows that are hot or in direct sunlight. The cleaner will dry too quickly, leaving streaks or water spots. Wait till the widow is cool or out of direct sunlight before cleaning.