Homemade Window Cleaner Recipe
If you have an abundance of lemon balm growing, now is the time to start thinking about using it in creative ways!
It’s hard not to love picking the lemon balm (Melissa officinalis). Even weeding it, you bruise the leaves and find yourself surrounded by the bright and cheery lemon scent. After harvesting, we fill the loft in our barn with two fifty foot rows worth of lemon balm and it makes our barn smell lovely.
Growing & Harvesting Lemon Balm
Lemon balm is so easy to grow, but it is often considered a nuisance. I certainly don’t mind an abundance of lemon balm. It makes a nice ground cover and seems to be happy in both full sun and partial shade. For the best benefit, this plant needs to be harvested just as the tiny yellow flowers are developing. At this point, the leaves are lush and full. If you wait until the blooming is over, lemon balm gets spindly and you will have less leaf to harvest. Right now, my lemon balm is full and lush, but it has yet to put on any flower buds. I’ll have to keep it on my list though because it can develop faster than expected in warm weather.
Uses for Lemon Balm
At my farm, we use the leaves of lemon balm for any kind of nervous system distress. It is a supreme nervine. It has shown clinical abilities for focus, ADHD, and emotional outbursts – acting specifically to calm the anxiety that is generated when someone feels out of control. I love using lemon balm in a topical oil for irritated nerve endings – think chicken pox, shingles, and various types of herpes. It always amazes me that plants can be incredibly gentle while showing amazing healing strength in the body. See our other article about 19 Lemon Balm Uses for Health, Beauty, and More.
There is only one group of people for whom herbalists don’t tend to recommend lemon balm use: those with hypothyroidism will need to use caution, but everyone else can use it everywhere possible. I don’t know any man, woman, or child who doesn’t love the taste of this herb in a sun tea, shredded in a salad, or cut as a garnish for a cake or pastry.
An Herb With Cleaning Properties
Lemon balm is antibacterial and antiviral as well and this is why I use the tea to dust my furniture and clean the glass around the house. Today I’m sharing with you my recipe for Lemon Balm Homemade Window Cleaner!
Homemade Window Cleaner with Lemon Balm
Ingredients & Supplies
- about 1 quart white vinegar, slightly warmed
- 2-3 handfuls of fresh lemon balm
- quart jar with lid (I use a plastic lid so I don’t have to deal with corrosion)
- Pick 2-3 handfuls of lemon balm and lay them on a screen in the shade on a hot day. Wilt the plants for about an hour or so, just until they have given up a bit of their water content.
- Coarsely chop the lemon balm and place into a quart jar.
- Cover with slightly warmed white vinegar.
- Keep the jar out in the sun for about 2-3 days – this seems to me that it makes a stronger and “brighter” finished product. After those first few days you may bring the jar in and keep it on the counter for a total of 2 weeks.
- Strain your jar and store the finished lemon balm glass cleaner in a spray bottle. This should remain shelf stable for at least a year.