Wednesday, October 13, 2010

ALL about Cleaning

Enjoying Healthy foods is only part of living a healthy lifestyle. In order to life a complete healthy lifestyle we have made other simple changes in "our" household!

I have several favorites when it come to cleaning my home. I LOVE natural and gentle cleaners that are safe (safer) for my children. Before my boys, I would clean our home with Clorox Clean Up and other HARSH smelling cleaning products. You know, the kind you clean your house with and hours/days later you can still smell the product.

When I was pregnant with my first boy, my mom sent me a starter back from Melaleuca.

It had everything (well almost everything) I could possibly need for keeping a house clean. They have a great Multi-Purpose Cleaner called Touch - N - Tender. I am obsessed!!! I use this stuff everywhere. It is a gentle smelling product! I feel comfortable using it around my boys and in their bathroom.

I do understand that there is a need for "more powerful" cleaners. For those REALLY TOUGH jobs!!!! You know, water spot filled showers... hairspray spots on the counter tops... toilets... Etc. That is when I use Tile and Tube. This does have a little bit more of a HARSHER smell (still not as bad as Clorox Clean Up and such).

I am obsessed!!!! With the entire starter kit!

Yes - someday I will clean with more homemade recipes (Vinegar/Lemon/Baking Soda... More to come on those!)

Which leads me to THIEVES... LOVE LOVE LOVE this HEAVY duty... gentle... de-greaser... Multi-Purpose... ALL in one cleaner!

I love this product! You can use it EVERYWHERE!!!! I am pretty there is no job too small or too big for Thieves. You can add it to laundry. You can add it in your air ducts (to kill germs! or odors). You can add it to your carpet cleaner. You can degrease an oil spot... SO MUCH MORE!

But my newest found JOY is VINEGAR... LEMON... BAKING SODA... DR. BRONNER'S...

Make sure to keep all home-made formulas well-labeled, and out of the reach of children.
All-Purpose Cleaner: Mix 1/2 cup vinegar and 1/4 cup baking soda (or 2 teaspoons borax) into 1/2 gallon (2 liters) water. Store and keep. Use for removal of water deposit stains on shower stall panels, bathroom chrome fixtures, windows, bathroom mirrors, etc.
Another alternative is microfiber cloths which lift off dirt, grease and dust without the need for cleaning chemicals, because they are formulated to penetrate and trap dirt. There are a number of different brands. A good quality cloth can last for several years.

Air Freshener: Commercial air fresheners mask smells and coat nasal passages to diminish the sense of smell.
• Baking soda or vinegar with lemon juice in small dishes absorbs odors around the house.
• Having houseplants helps reduce odors in the home.
• Prevent cooking odors by simmering vinegar (1 tbsp in 1 cup water) on the stove while cooking. To get such smells as fish and onion off utensils and cutting boards, wipe them with vinegar and wash in soapy water.
• Keep fresh coffee grounds on the counter.
• Grind up a slice of lemon in the garbage disposal.
• Simmer water and cinnamon or other spices on stove.
• Place bowls of fragrant dried herbs and flowers in room.

Bathroom mold: Mold in bathroom tile grout is a common problem and can be a health concern. Mix one part hydrogen peroxide (3%) with two parts water in a spray bottle and spray on areas with mold. Wait at least one hour before rinsing or using shower.

Carpet stains: 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 fresh grease spots, sprinkle corn starch onto spot and wait 15 - 30 minutes before vacuuming.
For a heavy duty carpet cleaner, mix 1/4 cup each of salt, borax and vinegar. Rub paste into carpet and leave for a few hours. Vacuum.

Chopping block cleaner: Rub a slice of lemon across a chopping block to disinfect the surface. For tougher stains, squeeze some of the lemon juice onto the spot and let sit for 10 minutes, then wipe.

Coffee and tea stains: Stains in cups can be removed by applying vinegar to a sponge and wiping. To clean a teakettle or coffee maker, add 2 cups water and 1/4 cup vinegar; bring to a boil. Let cool, wipe with a clean cloth and rinse thoroughly with water.

Plastic food storage containers - soak overnight in warm water and baking soda
• In-sink garbage disposal units - grind up lemon or orange peel in the unit
• Carpets - sprinkle baking soda several hours before vacuuming
• Garage, basements - set a sliced onion on a plate in center of room for 12 - 24 hours

Dishwasher Soap: Mix equal parts of borax and washing soda, but increase the washing soda if your water is hard.
Dishwashing Soap: Commercial low-phosphate detergents are not themselves harmful, but phosphates nourish algae which use up oxygen in waterways. A detergent substitution is to use liquid soap. Add 2 or 3 tablespoons of vinegar to the warm, soapy water for tough jobs.

Disinfectant: Mix 2 teaspoons borax, 4 tablespoons vinegar and 3 cups hot water. For stronger cleaning power add 1/4 teaspoon liquid castile soap. Wipe on with dampened cloth or use non-aerosol spray bottle. (This is not an antibacterial formula. The average kitchen or bathroom does not require antibacterial cleaners.)
To disinfect kitchen sponges, put them in the dishwasher when running a load.

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