Sunday, May 16, 2010

Mission: Cleaning Without Chemicals

"My idea of housework is to sweep the room with a glance."
- Author Unknown

Cleaning has become a booming business, but its roots are connected with just a few ingredients. Pulling the plug on all the bottles and gimmicks that swarm the supermarket aisles we can see just how easy it is to make our own versions at home. The best part about this is that our friends and family will soon learn to associate "clean" with certain essential oils, herbs, or three of those ever versatile 'basics' that are always used when cleaning. Not just the generic smell of certain products (although if you do like this smell there are herbs created naturally that they based the smell on) will fool them anymore.

" The Whys?"

  • Safer for the environment. Doing your part to help keep harmful chemicals from leaking into the environment.

  • Keeps you breathing easier. Products can expose children and adults to unnatural toxins that can lead to respiratory issues and other illnesses inside the home.

  • Saves money. Most of these ingredients are already found in your home.

  • Less packaging. Can buy the basics in bulk & reuse your spray bottle over again.

  • Peace of mind to know what's in your clean "recipes" with a few, simple ingredients. Kids can help clean or just be in the same room as you clean.

  • Can change your product to suit your tastes by choosing your own essential oils or products. There are many sooooo many variations on the different ways to clean a certain area. I based most of mine on the book Better Basics For the Home.

The "Whats"

  1. Toilet Cleaner- Spray toilet bowls with straight white distilled vinegar, sprinkle with baking soda, & scrub OR 2 teaspoons tea tree oil & two cups water (leave for thirty minutes then scrub OR just use your disinfectant spray & scrub. Man, I wish there was a way to leave out the scrubbing!

  2. Sink & Tub- Baking soda/water mix & sponge to scour OR use disinfectant spray.

  3. Disinfectant- This is tricky, because there are so many different recipes out there. I use 2 cups water, 1/4 cup vinegar, & 3 drops tea tree oil & 3 lavender. I've heard mixed reports about borax, so I have stayed clear. Yet, I will try it one day. Also, soap & water do wonders for a little dirt!

  4. Furniture Polish- 1/4 cup white distilled vinegar, 1/4 cup water, 1/2 teaspoon liquid soap, few drops olive oil, 3 to 5 drops of essential oils

  5. Window Cleaner- 1/4 cup white distilled vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon soap, 2 cups water, few drops of essential oils for scent.

Air Fresheners- I love trying different ways to make a house smell inviting. Here are some different things to experiment with, besides grabbing a smell out of a can.

  • In the winter heat cloves, Cinnamon, or oranges to get a cozy Christmas smell.

  • In the summer try cutting lemons, adding them to cold water and maybe adding mint or another herb from the garden.

  • Plants are the ultimate air purifiers. Ones like English Ivy, Peace Lily, or Boston Fern are thought to be some of the best.

  • Vacuum Deodorizer- Moisten 3 cotton balls with essential oils & put them in your vacuum cleaner bag. This will freshen up the room as you clean.

  • Refrigerator- If your fridge smells try putting 2-3 pieces of white bread to absorb your unwanted nose guests, baking soda works as well.

  • If you happen to have some of the Oil Plug Ins in your home I have heard that removing the top & filling it with vegetable oil and about 30 essential oil drops will give you a natural scent to enjoy.

  • But if guests are arriving soon & you want the room to smell fresh & sassy, then put a little bit of your fav essential oil on a rag, then wipe it under the bottom of the furniture like a table, mantle, or tv stand (test first to make sure it is not making your furniture too sassy aka ruining it!)

Even if don't do all of these you should at least try one, because just one will clear the air for a healthier more simple space.

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