If you're like me, as the end of summer draws near, I spend as much time as possible browsing local farmers markets (Checkout websites such as GrowNYC or Local Harvest for locations close to you). As the founder of an eco-friendly cleaning company, I can't help but use some of those glorious farmers market finds to create effective (and economical) DIY cleaning solutions.
Here are 5 farmers market products that are cleaning powerhouses:
Herbs or Essential Oils
Mixed in a spray bottle with a little water, borax or vinegar, herbs can become an effective (and great smelling) disinfectant cleaner for everything from your kitchen counter to toilet bowl. Look for herbs such as basil, clove, sage and oregano for optimal cleaning power. Also look for actual herb plants that will not only keep your inside air clean, but some -- such as peppermint -- are natural insect repellants (a great thing for those long summer nights).
As the New York City Cleaning Expert for Limoneira, I can't say enough about the power of lemons when it comes to cleaning. Lemon juice mixed with cream of tartar will polish your brass, mixing it with water will remove underarm stains from your favorite t-shirt, and you can use half a lemon to scrub off hard water stains from your shower doors. When you're finished, grind peelings in your garbage disposal for an instant fresh, clean smell.
Not every farmers market has organic coffee offerings, but if you find yourself able to grab a bag or two of freshly ground beans, grab them. After enjoying your delicious cup of joe use the grounds to fertilize indoor plants, keep your garbage disposal clean or place a bowl of used grounds in your freezer for an easy deodorizer. I try to keep used grounds close by while cooking -- a quick rub on the hands will rid you from smells associated with cutting onions or garlic.
Yes, cucumbers are not just for your salad anymore. The insides of a cucumber are great for cleaning stainless steel (just remember to wash away the seeds) and the peel can be used to clean marks from walls, tables and countertops. Also, rub it on your bathroom mirror before you hop into the shower to keep your mirror from fogging up.
Olive oil is a great product for polishing wood furniture (mix it with those lemons you picked up for an even more powerful clean) as well as preventing streaks on brass or cleaning up your grill after your next outdoor party. I also use olive oil to help remove paint from my hands -- just let it soak into your skin for a few minutes before rinsing with soap and water.
Talk to us: What DIY ingredients do you always pick up from your local farmers market?
Follow Saudia Davis on Twitter: www.twitter.com/GreenHouseEco