Friday, May 17, 2013

Cleaning naturally

As much as we don't feel like doing it, we all have to clean our houses... every day, every week we're wiping, scrubbing & shining to keep things fresh & clean.  About a year ago, my friend Lesli introduced me to natural cleaning products & I've never looked back.  Not only are they Earth & child friendly, but they're also budget friendly.  No more trips to the store to replace toxic cleaning products.

These few, typical household items are all you need to make 5 essential cleaning products.  If they're safe to eat, they're safe to clean with!  It's nice to let Cam or even Reese help me wipe down the tables without worrying about them spraying it in their mouths.  I buy my essential oils online & the rest of the items are generic brand from my local grocery store.  The spray bottles are either leftover from other cleaning products or bought at any store such as Target.  If I run out of a cleaner, I grab a few things from the cupboard, do a bit of measuring & mixing & I'm good to go!

So, here are the five items I've made in order of frequency of use...

This is my hands down favorite item... I use it many times throughout the day to wipe up after the sticky fingers that roam around my house!  It smells absolutely delish & disinfects from the natural powers of essential oils.  To make, simply grab a glass measuring cup with 2 cups of water, add 1/2 teaspoon of each peppermint & lavender essential oil & pour into spray bottle.

Now that Cam is using fluoridated toothpaste & swishing & spitting after brushing his teeth, there are plenty of splatters to wipe off the bathroom mirrors!  Since most people, myself included, don't particularly enjoy the smell of vinegar, you can always add many drops of essential oil of your choice to cut the smell.  Or you can just make scented vinegar by adding a ton of essential oil to the big jug of vinegar & use that as your mix ins.  Although, once vinegar dries, the smell completely dissipates.  To make, mix 1 1/2 cups of water with 1/2 cup of plain or scented vinegar.

Since the kids are constantly snacking at our family room table, I'm often wiping it down with my homemade wood cleaner.  Not to mention, with four animals under our roof, the house needs dusting constantly.  To make, mix 2 teaspoons of olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon of lemon essential oil (I used lemongrass since it's what I had from the mix pack I bought online), 1/4 cup white vinegar & 1 3/4 cups water.  Mix into spray bottle in order of ingredients listed & shake before using.  This also shines our stainless steel appliances.

With a little boy in the house who has TERRIBLE aim in the bathroom, I'm often wiping up nasty spills around the toilet.  This is an all-purpose surface cleaning for toilets, counters/sinks as well as showers.  This is just straight scented vinegar.  If you need extra scouring power, sprinkle baking soda, spray cleaner on a damp sponge & scrub away.  For toilet bowls, I add straight vinegar with baking soda, let it bubble & work & scrub with a toilet brush.

I'm not at all into the overuse of antibacterial products since I feel they do more harm than good in the long run, but if there's a bug going around the house, I use this to kill germs.  I'll also spray this in my garbage can as I'm changing bags since it freshens up the can.  To make, mix 2 cups water with 25 drops of each tea tree & lavender essential oils.  Spray onto surfaces & allow to dry without wiping.

I haven't made any changes in my dishwasher or laundry detergents since I'm so partial to their nice scents, but I'm glad I don't have to worry about Reese getting into my main cleaning items.

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