I've been asked to begin a blog that shows a "how-to" for the things that bring pleasure to my life. So, the intent of this blog is to share recipes, gardening, composting, sewing, crafts, art, everyday projects and even psychology tips to aid in healing wounds and living the life you're meant to live, a life with purpose!
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Sunday, January 2, 2011

Clean your House w household items found in your kitchen: Homemaker on a budget, save money on cleaning supplies, and be earth friendly and green at the same time.

All-Purpose Cleaner
"Antibacterial" cleaners and soaps have become all the rage, yet their active ingredients have been linked to thyroid damage, water pollution and the emergence of drug-resistant super-bugs like MRSA. Instead, kill germs with an all-purpose vinegar solution: Combine nine parts water with one part white vinegar in a spray bottle.

For those extra germy messes, such as a counter-top that's been exposed to raw meat, squirt straight white vinegar on the surface, and follow with a squirt of hydrogen peroxide or rubbing alcohol to knock out those germs.

Carpet Cleaner

It seems that there's always some spot that finds its way into our carpets. Try this remedy to remove them:

Mix equal parts white vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Spray directly on stain, let sit for several minutes, and clean with a brush or sponge using warm soapy water. For heavy duty jobs, mix 1/4 cup each of salt, borax and vinegar. Rub paste into carpet and leave for a few hours. Vacuum, then clean as above.
Air Freshener
Part of getting your home clean is also knocking out nasty odors in the air. So try this homemade air freshener on for size.

To make a basic air freshener, squeeze juice from a fresh lemon into a cereal bowl half filled with baking soda, add 5 drops each of wild orange and lemon essential oil. Leave the dish uncovered. *Lemon also kills mold, so when you're done squeezing out that lemon juice, grind up the lemon leftovers in the garbage disposal to get rid of food molds and residue.
Furniture Polish
No need to invest money into those expensive, over-marketed furniture polishes. Try this instead:

Varnished wood: Add a few drops of lemon essential oil into 1/2 cup of warm water. Mix well and spray onto a soft, slightly damp cotton cloth. Wipe furniture with the cloth, then wipe clean with a soft, dry cotton cloth.

Unvarnished wood: Mix two teaspoons each of olive oil and lemon juice and apply a small amount to a soft cotton cloth. Wring the cloth to spread the mixture further into the material and apply to the furniture using wide strokes to distribute the oil evenly.

Magic Degreaser

If you have grease spots that the All-Purpose Cleaner can't tackle, try this:

Combine a pinch of washing soda, a couple drops of castile soap and two tablespoons of vinegar into two cups of boiling water.

Oven Cleaner

If you've ever scrubbed out your oven, you know that those chemical oven cleaners are a bit tough on your lungs. Try this instead:

Mix 2 cups of hot water, 1 tablespoon of natural dish liquid, 9 drops of wild orange essential oil and 1 teaspoon of
borax in a spray bottle. Spray on the designated mess, let sit for 20 minutes and wipe off with a clean cloth. For handling an extra-greasy mess, wipe off as much loose goop as possible first with crumpled newspaper, then use the spray.
Plant Cleaner
Want to get down to the details of cleaning? If you're a plant lover, chances are your indoor plants get covered with dust just as your furniture does. As strange as it sounds, polish your leaves with a soft rag dipped in mayonnaise. Don't ask me why, but for some reason this has a magical way of leaving plants sparkling clean without any leftover smell (or damage to the foliage).

Rust Remover

Rust residue can be a tough one to fight, but try this remedy next time you're facing a seemingly losing battle:

Sprinkle a little salt on the rust, squeeze a lime over the salt until it is well soaked. Leave the mixture on for 2 to 3 hours. Use the leftover lime rind to scrub at the residue.

Spot & Scuff Eraser

Marks on walls and painted surfaces are a common household occurrence. Simply clean ink spots, pencil, crayon or marker spots from painted surfaces with baking soda applied to a damp sponge. Rub gently, then wipe and rinse with water.
Toilet Bowl Cleaner
Harsh toilet cleaners no more! Opt for a more lung-friendly version.

Mix 1/4 cup of baking soda and 1 cup of vinegar. Then pour them into the toilet basin and let set for a few minutes. Scrub with a toilet brush and rinse.

Tub & Tile Cleaner

Apparently, the popular cleanser Comet contains 146 air contaminants, including seven chemicals linked to cancer, two chemicals linked to reproductive damage, and two chemicals that interfere with hormones, according to the Environmental Working Group (EWG). So it might be best to err on the safe side and make your own scrubbing paste.

5 to 10 drops of pure essential oil of tea tree oil and rosemary or other favorite fragrant oil.

Place 1/2 cup of baking soda in a bowl and slowly pour in liquid soap, stirring until it looks like cake frosting. Add optional essential oils, like 5 to 10 drops of pure essential lavender or rosemary oil. Scoop onto a sponge, scrub and rinse. You can also try cutting a lemon in half and using that as a scrubber.

Wallpaper Remover

It may not be a daily cleaning task, but it's a common problem for many, so try this remedy the next time you need to remove some stubborn wallpaper:

Mix equal parts of white vinegar and hot water, apply with a sponge over the old wallpaper to soften the adhesive, then gently pull paper from the loose corners.

Window Cleaner
We all have them and thus likely go through gallons of store-bought window cleaner each year. Make your own solution to save some pennies in 2011:

Combine ¼ cup vinegar, ½ teaspoon natural liquid soap. 9 drops of lemon essential oil and 2 cups water in a spray bottle and shake to blend. Spray on the glass, working in small sections so that the solution doesn't have time to dry before you're able to wipe it clean.

Scrub as needed with the rough side of a kitchen sponge, and squeegee off. Use a cotton cleaning cloth to dry off the blade of the squeegee between swipes and to wipe up any liquid that puddles at the bottom of the window.

For a granite counter-top job, take the window cleaner you currently have and extend its contents to last longer, by adding rubbing alcohol, making a 50/50 mix. It will sterilize your counter and the alcohol evaporates quickly, leaving no streaks.

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