First of all, antiperspirants and deodorants, while often used interchangeably, are not the same thing. Deodorants neutralize our natural odors, whereas antiperspirants close off the pores with astringent, preventing them from excreting sweat. There doesn’t seem to be any conclusive … Continue reading
When it comes to spring cleaning (yes I know we’re already in June, but some of us start this task rather late…) it might be easy to overlook some of the smaller areas of your house, such as the closets. … Continue reading
Making your own dryer sheets is very easy and the great thing is, the sheets can be used over and over and over again making this a cheap eco-friendly solution. Even better, you can make these with your favorite scent! Along with leaving your clothes feeling soft and fresh, they’ll smell clean and ready for wear. And once you try them, you’ll wonder why you never made them from scratch in the first place.
What You’ll Need (If You Want to Make Your Own Fabric Softener in the Process):
- 6 Cups Water
- 2 Cups Hair Conditioner
- 3 Cups White Vinegar
- 1/4 Cup Baking Soda
- 20 Drops Essential Oil
- Sealabe container
- Cotton cloths
What You’ll Need (If You’re Just Making Dryer Sheets):
- 1/2 cup of vinegar
- 10 drops tea tree or other essential oil
- Sealabe container
- Cotton cloths
- Start by cutting the cotton cloths into smaller sections, approximately 3″ x 5″ strips. You can use inexpensive dish towels, old t-shirts, linens or just about any other type of cloth.
- If you’re making your own fabric softener then check out my previous post. If not, then just mix together the vinegar and essential oil in a small bowl. Either way, after you’ve made either mixture, you’ll want to pour over the cloths until they are dampened but not soaked. If you’ve mixed with your own fabric softener, you’ll want to lay out the strips to dry first. Either way, you’ll want to keep in a securely closed container.
- Leave sealed for about 2 – 3 days. Use one load per strip and squeeze out excess if needed (assuming you only used vinegar and essential oil then strips should just be damp).
Make sure that you keep the container sealed at all times. After you use the strip, just wash it, and then reuse when you plan to make your next batch of dryer sheets.
Supplies Needed to Make Homemade Air Freshener
- Jar (any size)
- Baking Soda
- essential oil (Balance, Cassia, Geranium, Eucalyptus, Lavender, Lemon, etc.)
- nail and hammer
How to make Homemade Air Freshener:
- Put about 1/2 cup baking soda into the jar. Add 6-12 drops of your favorite essential oil.
- Put the lid on top of the Mason jar and seal it tight with the band. Take your hammer and nail and punch small holes in the top
- Just place the jar in an area you would like to keep smelling fresh. Shake the jar often to activate the fresh scent. If the scent starts to fade, simply add 2-3 more drops of essential oil into the jar.
Additional Natural Air Fresheners
Vinegar is one of the most effective and inexpensive air fresheners around. Pour the vinegar in a bowl and then place it in any areas where the smell is a problem. Let it sit for a few hours, as the vinegar evaporates, the overpowering vinegar smell will dissipate along with any of the offensive odors.
2. Fresh Flowers and Plants
Place fresh cut flowers around the house, along with plants that are natural air purifiers. This list of plants helps to remove the three main household toxins; benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene.
- Aloe Vera
- Areca Palm
- Baby Rubber Plant
- Bamboo Palm or Reed Palm
- Boton Fern
- English Ivy
- Ficus alii
- Gerber Daisy
3. Ground Coffee
Put coffee grounds in a bowl or wrap in an old stocking that you’ll place in an area that you want to freshen. When using coffee grounds as an air freshener, make sure that they are dry so that you avoid mold.
Check the video below for how to make your own ‘Green’ Potpourri. All you need is a brown bag, dried flowers (passion, hibiscus), orris root, orange peel, juniper berries, sandalwood, and orange-scented essential oil. There are plenty of other natural recipes out there though if you want to change it up.
5. Citrus and Spices
Bring a pot of orange or lemon rinds and peels to a boil, add in a few cinnamon sticks and/or cloves, and enjoy the fresh, festive fall-like scent it sends through your home. While this freshener will begin to work immediately from the stove, there’s no reason you can’t bottle it for later use.
Stainless steel can make your kitchen sparkle. From appliances to the hardware on you cabinets and drawers, stainless steel is the new sleek look in kitchen design, but when it comes to keeping your stainless steel appliances clean the issue may not be as bright and shiny.
Stainless steel is a very resilient material used for a wide array of household items. It has a chromium film that makes it resistant to rust and tarnish, but over time this film can become damaged by dirt, grease and other household contaminants, so it’s important to clean your stainless steel routinely. Follow these guidelines to keep your stainless steel appliances and other items shining.
1) Be Gentle with your Stainless Steel
Harsh chemical cleansers and scouring powders and pads can scratch the surface of stainless steel and make it look dull. Avoid cleaners that contain chlorine and never use bleach on stainless steel since chlorine can damage the finish. Once you’ve damaged the surface there may be little you can do to restore the finish, so always use caution when trying out new cleansers.
2) Let Vinegar Shine
A very effective and frugal cleaner for your stainless steel appliances that might be right at your fingertips is vinegar. Vinegar is a household staple with a thousand uses and it also makes an excellent cleaner for stainless steel. Use undiluted white vinegar in a spray bottle and wipe dry with a soft, lint-free cloth. This method works because the acetic acid in the vinegar cuts through the oil left behind by fingertips, rather than smearing it around like other cleaners. Some people prefer to use lemon juice, which has a similar effect.
For smaller items such as cabinet knobs and drawer pulls, use a glass bowl filled with vinegar, soak the hardware for about a minute and then wipe dry with a microfiber cloth.
3) Use Microfiber to Avoid Scratches
The new micro-fiber cleaning cloths work great on stainless steel. They are lint free, leave no streaks and won’t scratch like some paper towels. You can use them with the vinegar solution or even plain water and not only will they make your stainless steel shine but you’ll save on paper towels too.
4) Wax On, Wax Off
As stainless steel is prone to streaking, you’ll want to wipe it in a circular fashion as opposed to vertical wiping motions. After applying vinegar or whatever other stainless steel solution you plan on using to the surface, fixture or cookware you wish to clean, give your cleaner about a minute to set in, then use a microfiber or sponge to clean the stainless steel in broad circular motions.
5) Grab the Rubbing Alcohol to Cut the Grease
If you’re dealing with tough grease spots, try rubbing (isopropyl) alcohol. Wet a cloth with the alcohol and rub on the spot. Continue rubbing until the grease spot is gone. Remember to rub in one direction, preferable up and down on larger appliances to avoid scratching.
6) Let Baking Soda Tackle the Tough Jobs
If you have a stainless steel stovetop or a pan with burnt on food, use baking soda mixed with a little water to make a paste. Rub the paste on the spot and let it sit for 15 to 20 minutes before gently scrubbing with a damp cloth. Be sure to rinse thoroughly to avoid a film from the baking soda.
Lavender is one of dōTERRA’s best selling essential oils and for good reason. Lavender essential oil can be used in hundreds of different ways from helping you sleep better to reducing stress.
Lavender is known as the ‘calming oil’ and is often used to assist in balancing the body. Lavender is most commonly used to soothe the occasional skin irritation, help improve quality of sleep, aid in calming nerves, and more.
Check out the following studies on how Lavender was shown to improve sleep and decrease stress here.
Homemade Fabric Softener
6 Cups Water
2 Cups Hair Conditioner
3 Cups White Vinegar
1/4 Cup Baking Soda (Extra Shine To Those Clothes)
20 Drops Essential Oil
You can use any type of conditioner that you’d like, whether it’s store bought or you want to make your own. If you’re buying the conditioner, remember that you’ll need 16 ounces, otherwise make sure to cut the rest of the recipe properly. Dissolve the baking soda in the water and then pour in the vinegar slowly, being mindful of the fizzy reaction. After you put in the last of the vinegar, stir in the hair conditioner. Add a few drops of essential oil if you’d like to give a stronger scent to the fabric softener and then put the entire concoction into a storage container.
You can fill the fabric softener dispenser with this and run your load of laundry as usual. Use with homemade laundry detergent for extra savings!
- A Natural DIY Cheap Fabric Softener (greenandcleanmom.org)
- fill your home with healthy fragrance – the best essential oil diffusers (lindsayleighbentley.com)
- Fabric Softener (ericasrecipes.wordpress.com)
- Budget Experiment #1 – Fabric Softener (iwanttobejunecleaver.wordpress.com)
- 7 Ways To Clean Your Place Without The Expensive Cleaners (hackcollege.com)
Making your own laundry detergent is fairly easy to do and it’s a great way to eliminate the harsh chemicals that regular detergents contain when washing your clothes. Not only that, but making your own detergent can save you some money – depending on which recipe you use, it can cost you as little as .02 – .04 cents per load!!! Compare that to your store bought detergent, and you’ll see that this can lead to some serious savings.
There are a few recipes that you can find on the internet that discuss how to make your own detergent. I’ll share both powdered and liquid versions and you can decide which you would prefer to use. The powder version is a bit quicker to make, but the liquid version is a bit cheaper.
Recipe #1 on making your own soap:
1 box of Washing Soda (not baking soda)
1 box of Borax
Fels-Naptha bar soap
Step 1. Finely grate the soap – (1 bar makes about 2 – 3 cups)
Step 2. Add an even mixture of washing soda and borax – about 1.5 cups of each
Step 3. Mix all the ingredients together and store in an airtight containers. Use about 2 – 3 tablespoons per load.
Recipe #2 on making your own soap from Happy Money Saver:
1 Box of Super Washing Soda 3 lb. 7 oz. ($3.24) 3.4375
1 Box of Borax 4 lbs 12 oz. size ($3.38) 4.75
1 Box of Pure Baking Soda 4 lb. ($2.12) 4
3 bars of Fels-Naptha 5.5 oz. or you could also use Ivory soap ($0.97 x3) 1.031
1 container of Oxy-Clean 1.3 lb ($3.86) or use 3 lb size for about $7
*optional: Purex Crystals 28 oz. for scent (or you could use Downy unstoppables ($4.76) 1.75
You can also make your own liquid detergent which might be a little more versatile, though you’ll need to use your stove:
1 quart water (boiling)
2 cups bar soap (grated)
2 cups borax ‘2 cups washing soda
*optional: scented essential oil
Step 1. Once your water is boiling, add the finely grated bar soap, lower heat and stir until the soap is completely melted.
Step 2. Pour the soap water into a clean container and add the borax and washing soda. Mix until everything is dissolved.
Step 3. Add 2 gallons of water, stir until well mixed.
Step 4. Cover pail and use 1/4 cup for each load of laundry. Once it’s cool, add 5 – 7 drops of your favorite essential oil per gallon. Stir the soap each time you use it (it will gel).
Check out the video below for a step by step tutorial on making your own detergent.
Almost everyone wants to have a clean home, however getting it to that state can be a bit of a chore. Both stay-at-home moms and those who have a job outside the home have busy schedules that typically limit the amount of time available to clean the home. Some people hire a housekeeping team or private housekeeper to clean for them (if you’re located in Baltimore, check out Cathy’s Cleaning) but if you don’t, here are a couple of tips to making cleaning your home seem less tedious and more fun, allowing you to get your family involved and therefore needing to spend less time!
Get the Family Involved
Cleaning shouldn’t be the task that just mom handles – instead, every member of the family should help. Cleaning is a great vehicle to teach children responsibility. Rather than just giving them instructions and walking away, why not interact with them one-on-one so that they are getting some personal attention and feeling the importance of the task that you’re giving them.
Create a Theme
Birthday parties and other special events typically have some type of theme to tie the events together. Why not do the same thing for home cleaning? Creating a theme for cleaning your home allows what would otherwise seem mundane and boring, into something fun and exciting. For example, do a movie’s theme, allowing everyone in the family to dress up as their favorite movie character. Make a soundtrack of some of the top songs from those movies and even try talking like the characters that you are portraying. The point is to make things easygoing and silly, so that your kids and family forget that they’re actually doing work.
Skate to Clean Floors
Take some old towels and turn them into your cleaning towels. Then take the towels and have everyone dump them into some hot, soapy water, after which have the wet towels used as skates. Your kids will love gliding along the floor and the best part is your floors will get cleaned at the same time. To dry the floor, you can do the same thing with dry towels.
You can typically pair other types of tasks while cleaning. For example, why not get some exercise – strap on some ankle and/or wrist weights while you clean the counter tops or bathroom sink. If exercise isn’t you thing, try getting a book on tape or perhaps try learning a foreign language via audio tracks. If you have a tablet, you can prop it up and watch your favorite TV show while doing your cleaning chores. By getting your mind off the actual task of cleaning, you’ll find that you’ll end up doing more.
Commercial home cleaning products may harm your family or your pets because of the chemicals they are made of. This is especially true with bathroom cleaners that typically contain bleach or other toxic ingredients. If you have allergies you may suffer from skin irritation or even respiratory ailments before or after cleaning with those products. Using all natural ingredients that can be found in your home saves the planet and your family from harm. The best part is that you can usually find everything you need right in your cabinet.
Our advice comes from a Baltimore cleaning service which gave us a few tips on what can be done to keep your bathroom sparkling while using products like vinegar, lemon juice and other natural ingredients.
When you purchase window cleaner in the retail store you are filling your home with chemicals. It is the easiest product to make at home. In fact it is so easy that there are several varieties that you can try. The most popular version uses equal amounts of water and vinegar. Add to clean spray bottle, spray on dirty window or mirror, and wipe with soft cloth, newspaper or paper towels. The other popular variety for homemade window cleaner is one quart of warm water; add to it, one tablespoon of lemon juice. Spray this on your windows or mirrors and wipe clean. They both smell great it just depends upon your preference. If you have scratches in your windows or mirror you can usually buff them out with a small amount of toothpaste. You should expect to be able to make 32 ounces of the vinegar and water mixture of the window cleaner for about $1.50 and a half-gallon of the lemon juice-water mixture for $0.70, depending upon local prices.
Shower & Tub Cleaner
To clean your shower and tub mix equal parts of dish soap and vinegar. Shake well until blended. Use a sponge with a scrubber that is safe on all surfaces. Sometimes it helps when you first create this mixture if you heat up the vinegar in the microwave for 15-20 seconds. This allows the two to become more evenly blended. This is a very inexpensive cleaner that works great. For example using the most popular name brand dish soap you can mix up 32 ounces of it for about $3, depending upon your exact local prices.
Toilet Bowl Cleaner
Toilet Bowl Cleaning products are easy to make with just three ingredients – Baking soda, Tea tree oil, and Vinegar. Dust the interior of your toilet bowl with baking soda, next spray with a mixture that was created with two cups of vinegar and one teaspoon of tea tree oil. This mixture not only cleans the bowl but it leaves it disinfected as well. The tea tree oil has a disinfecting property that leaves it clean and fresh.
Make a paste from liquid soap and baking soda. The usual mixture is one cup of baking soda to one teaspoon of soap. To make it smell extra nice add a few drops of your favorite essential oil. For dirtier jobs make the paste extra thick. For standard jobs you can thin the mixture out.
Be creative in what you clean with. Use an old toothbrush to clean that grout. Use a nylon safe sponge with scrubber for general chores in the bathroom. One old bath towel can be cut up into six or seven cleaning rags for the bathroom. They can be washed and re-used.
- 10 ways your bathroom is making you sick. (greenlinesustainablebuilders.wordpress.com)
- Competition to win a bathroom (havingababyandlivingathome.wordpress.com)
- Spring Cleaning: Natural Cleaning Solutions for the Bathroom (fibronomore.wordpress.com)