Gahanna residents can learn how to make cost-effective and environmentally-friendly home cleaning products from herbalist Brooke Sackenheim at two April workshops at the Ohio Herb Education Center, 110 Mill St.

Gahanna residents can learn how to make cost-effective and environmentally-friendly home cleaning products from herbalist Brooke Sackenheim at two April workshops at the Ohio Herb Education Center, 110 Mill St.

Sackenheim will lead "Spring Cleaning Can Be Fun!" classes Tuesday, April 10, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, April 14, from 2 to 3 p.m., at the center. The cost is $15 for residents and $20 for others.

Sackenheim told ThisWeek she started making her own cleaning products in 1997 after being overcome by the smell of cleaning products she used on her floor.

"I was playing with my new kitten on the floor and I started feeling sensitive to the floor," she said. "I had trouble getting off the floor."

After doing some research at the library to try to make her own, Sackenheim said she considered what her great-grandparents would have used to clean.

"I used a lot of Soft Scrub, so I decided I would try baking soda, vinegar and castile soap," she said. "I also experimented with glass cleaners. I didn't want that chemical smell that came with house cleaning products. My journey has been experimenting with basic products."

During April's workshops, Sackenheim will discuss the ingredients of basic products as well as essential oils.

"The oils are essentially the herbs," she said. "People used to burn rosemary in sick people's room to get rid of the illness. Rosemary has so many benefits. It's refreshing and does have scientific proof it can eliminate illness."

Sackenheim also will demonstrate how to make your own cleaning scrub and laundry aids. Valerie Hamill, OHEC director, said adding just a few drops of essential oil to homemade cleaning products can make all the difference.

"The scent of lemon, orange or lavender provides you with a pleasant mood boost (and) at the same time it adds anti-bacterial and disinfecting properties," she said. "Having a fun, healthful approach to spring cleaning will make the task easier and you'll be done before you know it."

In addition to the spring cleaning workshops, a "Fairy Gardens and Leprechauns" class will be offered at 2 p.m. Saturday, April 7, at the center.

Fairy gardens are miniature gardens, complete with tiny lawn furniture and plantings. Hamill said a variety of herbs work well in fairy gardens and she will help participants create their own unique designs.

For more information, visit ohioherbcenter.org or call (614) 342-4380.