Cleansers/Floor Washes

Four Thieves Vinegar

Four Thieves Vinegar

Legend has it that during the Middle Ages a band of four thieves stole from the bodies of those who had died from the plague. Thye made a lot of money in the process, but never succumbed to the plague themselves. When they were eventually arrested they made a deal to share the secret of their protection from the illiness in exchange for their lives. Their secret was a vinegar blend that they made and covered themselves in to ward against the plague.

Four Thieves Vinegar can be used for protection against illness, personal protection, and banishing, and for cursing your enemies.

Most variations can be used topically and ingested, but always check the ingredients first because some that are for topical use contain herbs that may cause sickness or even be poisonous.

Recipes will vary but the base is… well… vinegar! You can use white vinegar, but cider or red wine vinegar works well. Add to your cider, red wine or white vinegar any or all of the following ingredients:



Pepper – black or red





Mustard seeds

Add your ingredients to the vinegar and put in a sealed bottle or jar; leave in a dark place for three or four weeks. You can then either leave all the herbs in the liquid or strain it into a new bottle.

This Four Thieves Vinegar can be taken internally – one teaspoon a day to protect against illness. You can also use it as a gargle for sore throats. Soak a cloth in the vinegar and inhale to clear your sinuses.

Add a couple of tablespoons of Four Thieves Vinegar to your bath water for protection.

To banish an enemy you would make up a bottle of Four Thieves Vinegar and then bury it under the victim’s doorstep or porch, or you could even throw it at their porch so that the bottle smashes on their threshold.

To use it as a jinx against someone, use something personal from them such as a strand of hair or a photograph and put that into a bottle containing Four Thieves Vinegar, add nails and pins (nine of each works well), add a spoonful of graveyard dirt, shake the bottle and then bury it on their property.


Pagan Portals – Hoodoo: Folk Magic
Patterson, Rachel
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Chinese Wash & Recipe

Chinese Wash

Chinese Wash is a mainstay in Hoodoo practice and is used for removing negative energy, bad luck and evil, and bringing positive energy back in. The product originated sometime around the 1930s (possibly a bit earlier) and was marketed as Young’s Chinese Wash. It was used for spiritual house cleaning, to purify the home and open up blockages allowing new beginnings, bringing good luck and peace to the home. The original recipe was a blend of oriental grasses with a citrus scent to it, similar to the ingredients used in Van Van Oil (see section on oils). Once purchased, Hoodoo practitioners then added a few pieces of straw from their household broom into the bottle. Chinese Wash can be purchased from retailers still. Some mixtures even have the broom straws already included, but you can also make it yourself.

The wash will need to be added to a bucket of water. Add a couple of teaspoons of the Chinese Wash mixture to make a floor wash.


  Chinese Wash Recipe






A Few straws from a besom

A simplified version can be made by adding Van Van Oil to a liquid soap base..

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WOTC Extra – Blue Water

WOTC Extra – Blue Water

Blue Water Blue water is used for peace and protection, but also to dispel evil and negativity from a house.

Blue is the colour believed to be best at warding off evil and providing protection.

To make blue water use a glass and fill it with spring water or tap water with a teaspoon of salt added to it. To make it blue you can either use blue food colouring or laundry bluing (laundry bluing isn’t so easily found in the UK). You can also add a drop or two of Florida water to it for added power. Charge the water with your intent, or draw a cross three times over the top of the glass to empower it, then leave the glass in a prominent place in your home. Change the water regularly.


Pagan Portals – Hoodoo: Folk Magic
Patterson, Rachel
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WOTC Extra – Florida Water

WOTC Extra – Florida Water


Florida water is a scent that is used a lot in Hoodoo practice. It is generally used for cleansing. It can be used to wash your hands before magical or spiritual work, sprinkled around the home to cleanse negative energy, sprinkled on your altar, candles or any magical items or added to a bucket of water to wash your floors and work surfaces with.

It is called Florida water after the fountain of youth which was said to have been located in Florida.

Florida water usually has a base of citrus; this might be from sweet orange, lemon or neroli. It then often has lavender and clove added.

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The Infusion Purification

The Infusion Purification

(cleansing & purification)


Collect equal parts (about a handful each) of dried marjoram, bay and rosemary. Heat a gallon of water until it is almost boiling, remove it from the heat and toss the herbs into the water. Cover and allow to cool.

Strain the herbs from the water and, using your fingers, sprinkle the infusion throughout the house. Move in a clockwise direction, visualizing and saying something like the following:

I banish evil and negativity;

This is my will, so mote it be.

Touch the water to doors and windows, appliances and furniture, outside around the home and on the surrounding property. Be sure to pour some down the drains as well. Visualize the water cleansing the whole area. It is done.


The Magical Household: Spells & Rituals for the Home
by Scott Cunningham
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The Lemon Infusion

The Lemon Infusion

(for cleansing & purification)

When the Moon is full, completely peel nine lemons using your hands alone. As you finish peeling each one, place the peels in a bucket or a large bowl of water.

Next, gently squeeze the peels into the water, expressing their oils until the sharp, clean fragrance of lemon hangs heavily in the air. Visualize the lemons’ powers cleansing your home of negativity.

Next, still visualizing, scrub the floors, doorknobs and windows with the lemon water.


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All Right You’ve Made Your War Water, What To Do With It?


Using War Water

There are a number of ways that you can use iron water. It is generally used for protection, and you can take a bath to protect yourself, or you can use it in your home to protect yourself against specific spells. This water is especially beneficial when you want to protect yourself against acts of violence of any sort.

Protection Bath: Take two ounces of War Water and add it to a tub of water. Chant while in the tub for general protection in life, as well as for protection against the specific influence you wish to have removed from your life. You could also ask the Goddess (or your deity) for general protection, but this should be done only rarely. Once a year is sufficient for a general protection bath, and it should be taken after you have protected your home with the war water as given below. Soak in the tub for at least eight minutes, immersing yourself completely at least four times. You should air dry after this bath to maintain the protection around you. It is best if you avoid taking any other bath, even for cleansing, for twenty-four hours.

This bath should not be taken more often than once a week. Usually, taken twice a year, this bath will protect you from the effects of any magician of better than average ability.

Protection Against Specific Spells: To protect your home or apartment against the type of spell that is cast by placing something in the doorway or on the steps of a house, add two ounces of War Water to a mop bucket of water. Chant over the water to remove all negative influences from your doorway, your steps, and whatever else you intend to mop. Then mop the surfaces, wringing out the mop into another bucket. When you have finished, pour the mop water and the wringing’s into a street or a roadway.

If you are going to declare psychic war on someone you should mop your stairs, porch, doorway, and any outside surfaces of your home on which anything can be cast or thrown before you begin the war. This ensures that you will be protected when the other person’s inevitable counterattack comes. In most cases War Water will cause any spell which is placed on your doorstep to rebound instantly to the sender.

Protection of a Home: This spell is especially suited to protecting a home from acts of violence, whether the violence is psychic or physical. This spell may be done annually if desired. The best day to do this in a non-Pagan home is on the feast day of St. John the Baptist, on June 24th. In a pagan or nonreligious home, the best day is the day of the summer solstice, about the 21st of June.

Add two ounces of War Water to a mop bucket of water. Say your chant over the water for the protection you want. If you are a Christian, you should pray in the name of St. John the Baptist. Lightly mop the house out, from top to bottom, front to back. Wring your mop into another bucket. Throw out the water and the wringing’s from the back door of the house if you have a back door. Rinse out the bucket and mop and pour the rinse water down the toilet. If you don’t have a back door, flush the water down the toilet and rinse out the bucket and mop and flush that water, too.

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Living Life As The Witch – How’s Your War Water Supply?



War water, what is it? Hmm, I would imagine the Elders amongst us probably know and probably have even used it. You know this is going to sound crazy but we have a generation gap amongst our Elders today. Seriously! The oldest of the Elders would know what war water is. But I have run into a few younger Elders that didn’t. In fact, they even asked me what it was and how to make it. We also have quite a few new ones to the Craft that don’t know what it is either.

Either way, I do not wish to offend anyone, just educate. Most of all pass on our traditions to the next generation. If someone doesn’t tell them, they will never know. I hope you find this piece informative and educational.


War Water

War Water (or iron water) was used to treat anemia by folk healers many years ago. It is not a particularly effective method for treating anemia, and there are far better ways to correct iron deficiencies today. It is almost never used medically by folk healers any more, but it has retained its value in magical practice.

Magically, iron water is used to gain protection or to launch magical attacks. It is called War Water because it is one of the most useful weapons for engaging in psychic warfare. It has this reputation because of the superiority of iron weapons over the older weapons of bronze and stone. Iron is the metal of the planet Mars, the planet astrologers credit with ruling warfare and combat, as well as sex. Used for either defense or attack, war water is a strong carrier of the negative emotional energy used in magical battles.

Iron is found in many urban water supplies. Naturally occurring iron water is not really any better than the homemade product. In some cases the homemade product is far superior, as natural iron water may also include undesirable ingredients. The following formula for War Water will produce a material that has a very strong and workable quality to it.

Place about 3/4 pound of cut iron nails into a large (2 quart) bottle. “Cut nails” are the old fashioned nails that have a rectangular cross-section. They are still available from hardware stores as they are used as masonry nails. We use cut nails because they have a rough finish, and will rust easily. Add a half pint of drinkable tap water. Allow this to stand for eight or ten days until the nails begin to rust. Once the rusting process begins, add a quart of tap water. You can store the bottle in the refrigerator, or leave it in a cool place in your home. The bottle must be opened occasionally to allow enough air to enter to continue the rusting process.

Once the water has a definite tinge of rust, usually about a week to ten days after you have added the quart of water, it is ready to use. Should you find any trace of mould or bacteria on the water, you should discard the water, the bottle and the nails. I have never had this happen, but I have heard that it can.

To use the water, remove about two ounces of the rusty water from the bottle at a time. Add fresh tap water as water is removed and you will have an almost continuous supply of the water. As this water is not often used, even in the midst of a psychic war, it is not necessary to concern yourself about running out once you have made some. A little war water goes a long way.

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