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Secret recipes to harness natural cleaning power
Each product has its own secret recipe which has been tested and refined to ensure the highest quality and most important, that it’s up to the task at hand!
Soap based products
All soap based products are made by boiling up soapnuts and fresh spring water in a large pan. They are then simmered gently, cooled and strained.
Our furniture polish is made with just two simple ingredients – oil of turpentine and melted beeswax. We use locally produced beeswax by soon hope to produce our own.
How we source our ingredients
As per our policies (please see above), wherever possible we source our ingredients locally. Of course due to the nature of some of our ingredients, this is impossible. When we have to source further afield we ensure that our supplier has fair trade credentials and a cruelty free (against animal testing) policy. We do not use ingredients which have been air freighted. For more details please see our policies page.
The Green Housekeeper uses water from its’ Lakeland (fellside) spring. Our water is not treated with chemicals and is filtered purely using Ultraviolet (UV) light.
Soap nuts form the base for a number of our cleaning products. The part that we use is the casing or outer pod of the fruits of the Sapindus Mukorossi or ‘soap nut tree’.
Traditionally used in Ayurvedic medicine, these pods have insecticidal properties and are commonly used in treatments for psoriasis, eczema and prevention of head lice.
The tree itself takes nine years to produce these fruits but then continues to fruit for ninety, cultivation is therefore sustainable. Soap nuts can be used for a variety of purposes and are now popular for use as a laundry detergent.
Our soap nuts are shipped in from a reputable supplier in India. The supplier exceeds international standards of practice, with commitment to fair trade and safe conditions for workers.
To dispose of our used soap nuts we add them to our compost heap.
We make our own herbal infusions for our cleaning products. Some contain Meadowsweet (Filipendula Ulmaria). The name comes from the Latin ‘Filum’ which means thread and ‘Pendulus’ which means drooping and Ulmaria because of the appearance of the leaves, which are wrinkled - bearing resemblance to that of the Elm (Ulmus).
Salicylic acid was first derived from Ulmaria flowers over 150 years ago, it was later (1899) made into a tablet – we know this as Aspirin.
Meadowsweet is an herb of love; it was historically the most popular strewing herb at weddings and celebrations, which brought about the more common name of Bridewort. Including Meadowsweet in a bouquet was thought to bring extra joy and blessings to the marriage.
The wonders of Meadowsweet are well documented, Queen Elizabeth I chose this above all other herbs, and noted 16th century herbalist Gerard believed it to be superior to all other strewing herbs as it had wonderfully aromatic leaves which did not cause headaches.
We use Meadowsweet for many reasons, it has great cleaning properties, a wonderful smell, plus the tradition, folklore, mystery and magic made it an easy and obvious choice. We love it, bring love to your home, and use Meadowsweet!
The fully opened flowers and leaves are picked at the time of flowering, which is between June and August; our Meadowsweet is sourced within the UK, as locally to us as possible.
We make our own herbal infusion of lime flower, flowers from the Linden tree – tilia. Neither the tree nor the flowers are related to the green lime fruit.
Tilia is steeped in folklore, tradition, legend and history. A beautiful deciduous tree with heart shaped leaves and an abundance of blossom – much loved by bees.
This tree was an object of worship due to its believed association with Freya, the guardian of life and goddess of fortune, love and truth. Legend has it that the Linden tree cannot be struck by lightening as Freya is the wife of Wodan, as such the Linden tree was considered a tree of peace, of justice and of truth.
The Lime tree often formed the central meeting place of many villages. Here the community would gather to celebrate; they would also regularly meet to restore justice as the tree would help to unearth the truth. In Germany the tree is called the ‘tree of lovers’ it lives to be many centuries old. The famous Lime of Neustadt on the Kocher in Würtemberg was computed to be one thousand years old when it fell. We chose to use tilia in our cleaning products, it has a known calming effect, smells quite delicious and we hope that it brings fortune, love and truth to your home too.
In all areas within The Green Housekeeper we try to be honest and open – transparent. We are a small family oriented company and we are both proud and happy in what we do. We do have some secrets though! Our blends of essential oils and the methods we use to prepare them. The secret recipes are kept locked, hidden and separate to our business in a special and far away place (not actually that far – but not here!).
The oils themselves are sourced locally, to support local business. They are always the finest grade. Some people comment that we could use a lesser grade as they are simply cleaning products but we strive to offer the best available in all that we do. Plus, as we are so fond of saying – if a product goes onto your skin it goes into your skin. Whilst we do not advocate the use of our products as skin care there is a very real possibility you may come into contact with them, so we feel it best that we use only the best.
The essential oils themselves have all been chosen for their antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal properties – plus of course their therapeutic benefits to the mind and soul.
Bicarbonate of Soda
Who doesn’t know about the wonders of NaHCo3, we are huge fans and as such knew we had to include it in our products. Used for generations for cleaning, trusted, reliable and safe. This natural ingredient is bio-degradable, and so versatile. We keep some in our store cupboard; we feel it is an absolute necessity. Please do get in touch for our hints and tips for use, we will happily supply this to you.
We can’t recommend good old vinegar highly enough. It kills 99% of known germs and bacteria, it is an odour eliminator and neutraliser, it cleans glass and mirrors better than anything else we have tried and it is both inexpensive and readily available.
Yes, we know – it smells - we have tried various essential oils to try to mask this, it simply doesn’t work, the vinegary smell disappears and you are left with an overwhelming smell of oils! Best to use just as it comes, the smell dissipates really quickly, or blast one of our products – or light a candle!
All of the products we manufacture are made to your order, candles are no exception. We use only natural wax, unbleached cotton and pure essential oils and we adore making them, the special favourite of the younger children (they are paid – all fair made here too).
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The Green Housekeeper, The
Barns, High Yewdale, Coniston, Cumbria, LA21 8DF.
Telephone: +44 (0) 15394 49501 email:
now also at The Green Housekeeper Cafe Yewdale Road, Coniston, LA21 8DU Telephone: +44 (0) 1539 441925 - if all else fails please call 07590220321
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