For a healthy RESORT, and a healthy YOU!

Natural Cleanin’ Corner

(Kim Bowen, published Jan. 2006 in Resorter Reporter, a state-wide resort magazine)

Why natural products instead of store bought chemicals?
1)  HEALTH  (yours, your guest’s, your planet’s), and
2) they’re CHEAP, CHEAP, CHEAP!!!

Yep, believe it or not, you can clean pretty much everything in your house and cabins with stuff like: baking soda, salt, vinegar, club soda, olive oil, beeswax, cream of tartar, lemons, walnuts, etc.  (Dang, dessert anyone?)

Here’s the thing:  just because a bunch of guys came up with cleaning chemicals than can melt your face off and burn your lungs, so what? Geez . . . that doesn’t mean they’re GOOD to use.  It just means somebody’s gettin’ rich and somebody’s gettin’ toxic (*ahem* . . . that would be you and me and mother earth.  Getting toxic, I mean.  Not the getting rich part.  That certainly isn’t me.  I wish.  I’m a resorter, for pete’s sake, somebody please tell me when this thing is actually going to cash flow!)

“Golly gee, Kim” (you might ask), “do natural cleaners REALLY work, or is this just a crock of hooey?”  Well, I’m here to tell ya . . . . “YOU BETCHA they work!”   And my cleaning staff is happier and healthier as a result.  (Sometimes my cleaning ladies will fight over who gets to clean the showers.  Get THEM apples, hehe.   Whoever wins inhales mega doses of aromatherapy peppermint oil cleaner, which helps boost the immune system, increases energy, helps one lose weight ---yep! it’s true--- and helps drain the sinuses.  Those are just the side benefits, ‘cause the real reason I put peppermint oil in my cleaning solution is because it’s naturally anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungal and a fantastic deodorizer.)

My repeat guests often give us feedback about how clean our cabins are these days and how wonderful the cabins smell when arriving.   Because the solution is non-toxic, I now leave bottles of natural all-purpose cleaner and natural glass cleaner in each cabin.   My cabins are left cleaner, because guests really do use it.  I’ve been told by several guests that they sometimes just spritz the cleaner around the cabin because it smells so good.  Plus I don’t have to worry if a kid gets into it and gulps it down accidentally.  (Well, okay . . .  so the kid might have the runs for a few minutes, but hey!  You don’t hafta call the poison control center, or pump their stomachs, or make ‘em upchuck.  No big deal.  They might smell like a candy cane and whine on the toilet for a few minutes, but in the time you can roast a marshmallow, they should be “good to go” and have learned their lesson.)

I started out playing with natural cleaning recipes from a book called “Clean & Green” by Annie Berthold-Bond.  I have since gotten lazy and am just ordering non-toxic liquid concentrate from various sources (see next paragraph).  However, I found that these home made recipes really did work!  EXAMPLE:


1 gallon water (hot tap water initially to dissolve the minerals)
1/8  cup borax
1/8  cup vinegar

20 drops – 2 ounces aromatherapy essential oil (like peppermint, lemon, pine, tea tree, etc. You can get these at any health food store.  Or I guess, me, if you’re serious and want bulk portions cheaper, since I’m an aromatherapy retailer:  click here)

If you wanted to make a strong grease cutter, add 1/8 washing soda to the mix and maybe 1 Tablespoon of vegetable based liquid soap (i.e. Dr. Bronner’s Pure Castile Soap – which, by the way, is also a fantastic soap to wash your hands and floors of pine sap, icky-sticky!).

Of course, to use this stuff, just pour some into an empty spray bottle and keep on hand.  This whole mixture costs less than $1 a quart spray bottle.

peppermint soap in cabin bathrooms

All cabins have a foaming soap dispenser in bathrooms with organic peppermint castile soap

Since I’ve gotten lazy, I have started to buy non-toxic liquid concentrates and added my aromatherapy oils to them.  For instance, BotanicGold  ( and Hy-Pro Spray Cleen ( are both products you can get by the gallon in concentrated liquid form.  Diluted, the cost to make up some all-purpose cleaner is about $3 - $4 quart.  My sister-in-law has recently turned me on to Basic H Concentrate from Shaklee ( which I have been using effectively for set-in stains on sheets and as a fertilizer for our newly planted trees and herbs.  It’s supposed to be a fantastic all-purpose cleaner and since it only costs less than $1 per diluted quart, I’m going to try this product out next season and let you know how it goes.  Has anyone else tried this?  If you’re adding peppermint essential oil to your mix, add another $.50 - $5 per quart (depending on how much aromatherapy you wanna add.  I use the expensive organic kind ‘cause I’m making a stand on the idea of organic farming to encourage it.  But I have access to the normal stuff of which maybe I can bring samples to the next School of Resorting class on Aromatherapy & Natural Cleaning Products.)

(All opinions in this article are 100{c55c8048ce70815a53cedbe8c58af6e7018bd1f9249d13e1ed06da752e55b489} subjective, but if you got issues with me, I can take it:  bring it on!   E-mail me.   Here’s to your continued good health, campers!)

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