Cleaning with Natural Ingredients: Living Areas and Pets

Friday, August 7th, 2015

With the kitchen and bathrooms clean and smelling fresh, it’s time to move to the living room and bedrooms. As the summer heats ups and the sun begins to shine and light up your home, your family’s comfort areas may look dark and dreary with the accumulation of a season full of dirt and grime. With safe, nontoxic natural ingredients that you have in your kitchen, you can quickly and easily freshen up your rooms with a green Spring cleaning.

Recipes for Cleaning Living Rooms and Bedrooms:

 

  • General Carpet Cleaner: Mix one part white vinegar, one part warm water and one-half cup baking soda. Mix well. This recipe can be used in a rug machine to clean the entire carpet or can be used on stains.
  • Carpet Spot Cleaner: For hard-to-remove stains, mix one-fourth cup of non-toxic liquid soap and one-third cup of warm water. Spray the mixture onto the stain, and rinse the spot with white vinegar.
  • Carpet Deodorizer: Sprinkle baking soda onto the rug. Let it sit for thirty minutes before vacuuming.
  • Wood Furniture Polish: Mix together two cups of warm water with two tablespoons each of olive oil and white vinegar into a spray bottle. Spray onto the wood furniture, and polish with a rag. Because wood varies, you should always do a small test patch on an area that won’t be seen.
  • Leather Furniture Polish: Mix one part vinegar to two parts olive oil. Shake the mixture, and buff into the leather with a clean rag. Vinegar or lemon juice can be applied directly to stains with a rag.
  • Air Freshener: Fill a spray bottle with white vinegar. You can also add a few drops of an essential oil to create your very own personal air freshener. If using straight vinegar, the smell will fade very quickly.

13. Paw Prints

Like humans, our pets are creatures of habit. They have their own favorite spots in the house, which they’ll visit even if they’ve had a romp in the new Spring mud. If their local hangouts within your home have a lingering odor that you just can’t seem to get rid of, try these natural homemade recipes below. Homemade all-purpose cleaner, made by mixing one part vinegar and one part water, will also come in handy.

Green Cleaning for Pet Owners:

  • Pet Disinfectant: Mix one-half cup vinegar and one-fourth cup rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle. Spray around your pet’s living quarters and favorite bathroom spots when your pet is not present. Remember to remove their food and water supplies before spraying.
  • Cat Urine Remover: In a spray bottle, mix two parts warm water and one part vinegar. Not only will this remove urine stains from the walls, but it will actually remove the cat smell and will help keep your cat from returning to that spot.
  • Dog Smell Remover: Baking soda can be sprinkled on many surfaces, including carpet, furniture, mattresses and pet bedding. Let it sit for 30 minutes before vacuuming it up.

By working from top to bottom with these natural recipes, you’ll have a home so clean and fresh that it feels like a whole different house.

 

Spring Cleaning with Natural Ingredients: Recipes for the Kitchen and Bathroom

Friday, April 10th, 2015

If you are gearing up for your annual Spring cleaning marathon, don’t turn to traditional consumer cleaning products to make your home look clean. Chemical cleaning products may make your look clean, but they leave behind toxic fumes and residues that can be hazardous to your family. Natural ingredients, such as white vinegar, lemon juice and baking soda, will not only leave your home looking and smelling fresh, but will truly create a safe and healthy environment for everyone.

13 Baking soda
When it comes to the kitchen and the bathroom, thorough cleaning is incredibly important. Between the preparation of raw foods that leave behind harmful bacteria in the kitchen and products that can spill and produce hard-to-remove spills and residues, cleaning can be a nightmare. For example, white distilled vinegar is an effective ingredient for killing E. coli, salmonella and shigella bacteria. When combined with baking soda to make a paste, vinegar can also remove grime, residues from makeup or other product spills and soap scum.

13. VinegarMost natural ingredients can be combined right at home to create useful cleaners. For the best results, only make as much as you need for the task at hand. For cleaning the kitchen and bathroom, here are some recipes that will make it look like you’ve just moved in:

  • All-Purpose Cleaner: Mix 1 part white vinegar to 1 part water. This easy all purpose cleaner can be used to clean non-granite counter tops, door and cabinet handles, toilet bowls and windows. When heated, it can be used to rid the microwave of dried food and debris.
  • Tile Cleaner: Sprinkle baking soda over the tile, and scrub with a moist sponge. For extra tough grime, a dash of kosher salt will help rid tile of grime.
  • Disinfectant: In a spray bottle, mix two cups of water, three tablespoons of a nontoxic liquid soap and 20 to 30 drops of tea tree oil.
  • Floor Cleaner: Combine two gallons of hot water, one-fourth cup of a biodegradable, nontoxic liquid soap and one-half cup of white vinegar. This can be applied to any floor unless otherwise specified by the floor manufacturer.
  • Mirror and Glass: Mix one quart of water to two teaspoons of vinegar. Wiping the window and glass down with an old newspaper won’t leave behind lint.
  • Natural Stove Cleaner: Make a paste from baking soda and water. Coat the inside of the oven with the paste and let it sit overnight. Using a sponge, scrub off the paste and wipe down with a moist cloth.

When it comes to Spring cleaning, natural ingredients are an effective choice. These ingredients are well-known for their ability to disinfect and kill bacteria while being nontoxic. However, they offer another benefit that commercial cleaners can’t: versatility. These items can be purchased in bulk for little cost, and you won’t have to worry about having to disrupt your groove because you’ve run out of all-purpose cleaner or mirror and glass cleaner. You can simply make more from your small arsenal of natural ingredients.

 

Natural Cleaning Ingredients

Friday, February 27th, 2015

If you are looking for a safe, green way of cleaning your home, your kitchen may hold the answer. Many baking items contain properties that cut through tough stains and grease but are nontoxic and won’t pollute indoor air.

Using natural ingredients to clean have several major advantages. First, they are cheap. When bought in bulk, they cost less than both commercial cleaning products and eco-friendly cleaners. Second, they are multi-purpose, meaning that just a small number of items can be used to clean the whole house. Finally, they are safe and nontoxic for both the household and for the environment. The main natural ingredients that are used in households are white vinegar, lemon juice and baking soda.

13. VinegarWhite Vinegar:

Due to its acidic properties, vinegar dissolves dirt, grime and mineral deposits from a wide range of surfaces, including glass, kitchen counters, toilets, bathtubs and other smooth surfaces. Vinegar is also known for its antibacterial properties, and is also effective against mold. Uses include but are not limited to:

 

• Polishing brass and silver
• Pet urine cleaner
• Weed killer
• Cigarette smoke residue remover
• Rust remover from steel and iron

When using vinegar as an all-purpose cleaner, it should always be diluted with equal parts of water.

 

13. LemonLemon Juice:

Like vinegar, lemon juice is also acidic, making it a great cleaning tool. The juice also works well on counter tops and other smooth surfaces, but can also be used on a number of utensils and as an air freshener.

 

 

 

• Removes grease and bleach stains
• Cleans laminate counter tops
• Bleaches white clothing
• Removes stains from Tupperware
• Insecticide
• Cleans crystal

Halved lemons are often used as an ingredient in commercial detergents and all-purpose cleaners due to their antiseptic properties and smell, which is associated with cleanliness.

Baking Soda:13 Baking soda

Baking soda, also known as bicarbonate of soda or sodium bicarbonate, has alkaline properties, which neutralizes acids. Baking soda is also mildly abrasive to remove dirt and grime, making it a suitable general all-purpose cleaner.

 

 

• Cleans refrigerators, microwaves and ovens
• Cleans and deodorizes carpets
• Unclogs drains
• Cleans pots ad pains
• Works as dish and laundry detergent
• Deodorizes trashcans
• Neutralizes pet boxes and cleans pet toys

When combined with vinegar, baking soda reacts to remove tough stains from almost anything. When purchased in bulk, baking soda can be an incredibly cheap and effective way to clean.

Other Natural Ingredients:

White vinegar, lemon juice and baking soda are the top three ingredients used in cleaning. However, there are tons of other baking products that work well on their own or as part of a solution to make the home clean and smell fresh.
• Borax, or sodium borate, disinfects and deodorizes counter tops, tile floors and toilets. Borax can be harmful if inhaled or swallowed by pets or small children, so baking soda is a better alternative for full households.
• Salt is abrasive, and can therefore be used as a natural scouring powder to clean pots and pans. Salt should not be used to clean porcelain or glassware, as it will scratch more delicate items.
• Washing soda, which is very similar to baking soda, cuts through grease, wax and lipstick.

Advantages of Using Natural Ingredients for Spring Cleaning

Friday, February 20th, 2015

Cleaning the EarthAfter months of dreary winter weather, the temperatures are rising and the sun is shining. It’s time to open the windows, break out trusty cleaning supplies, and rid the home of winter dust and grime. Before you make your run to the store to stock up on your favorite cleaning chemicals, there are a few things that you should know to start off summer feeling healthy.
When used correctly, the cleaners release indoor air pollutants in the form of odors and vapors into the home. If used incorrectly, these cleaners can result in very real dangers to the health of all residents. For example, according to the American Association of Poison Control Centers, over 192,771 reported poisonings in 2011 are attributed to accidental consumption of commercial household cleaning products. To bypass these dangers but still get the home sparkling clean for summer, there are a number of alternative green cleaners available.

Traditional commercial cleaners are anything but clean:

  • Many chemicals in commercial cleaners are broken down at municipal treatment plants. However, many toxins will not, and enter the waterways, threatening marine ecosystems and wildlife. In 2002, a U.S. Geological Survey discovered that 69 percent of tested streams contained detergent metabolites, and 66 percent contained disinfectants.
  • Many cleaning products include chemicals that are petroleum based, which further depletes the planet’s natural resources.
  • While many cleaning product packages are becoming more widely accepted for recycling, packages made from polyvinyl chloride, or PVC, is not, and less than one percent is recycled each year. The production and incineration of PVC creates dioxin, a known carcinogen.
  • Traditional cleaning products contain contaminants that pollute indoor air. High concentrations of these contaminants can cause flu-like symptoms, headaches, respiratory illnesses and allergic reactions.

 

Using Natural Ingredients:

 

  • Creating cleaners from natural ingredients at home reduces the amount of plastic packaging being left in the landfills and the amount of harmful chemicals that end up in the water supply.
  • Natural ingredients do not contain toxic chemicals that cause illness, headaches, respiratory infections or dermatological problems.
  • With the exception of vinegar, which cannot be detected once dried, natural ingredients do not contain strong smells or odors. Thus, these ingredients are less likely to cause allergic reactions and make cleaning more pleasant in general.
  • Using natural ingredients cut down on the number of different cleaners that are needed for each part of the house. Solutions made from white vinegar, baking soda, borax, lemon juice and other natural ingredients can be used to clean a majority of home, and make effective general all-purpose cleaners, furniture polishes, deodorizers, laundry and dish washing detergent.

By using natural ingredients for Spring cleaning, not only are harmful chemicals removed from the household, you know the exact ingredients that are being used to clean your home. Homemade cleaners can be made quickly and easily, and you may already have the ingredients you need right in your home. Many homeowners who have already made the switch have even found that their homemade cleaners work just as well as the commercial cleaners.

 

Staying Healthy During Flu Season

Friday, February 6th, 2015

While the winter season is known for its holidays, outdoor activities and cherished family time, winter is also known for the sniffles. Every year, it is likely that you or a family member come down with a cold or the flu at least once. Not only is this disruptive, it’s also extremely uncomfortable. Luckily, there are ways to avoid getting sick.

Clean, Clean, Clean

It should go without saying that everyone should be washing their hands as frequently as possible. It takes about 20 seconds for soap to fully kill most germs.

If you work in an office where your coworkers may frequently come in sick or you have children who are likely to get sick at some point during flu season, you can should clean items that are often touched. These items include:

  • House phones
  • Computer keyboards
  • Doorknobs
  • Faucets
  • Work or school uniforms

When at home, it may ideal to also wash down hard surfaces, change any air or HVAC filters regularly and avoid touching objects that are commonly used by others if possible.

Avoid Contact with Others Who are Sick

If your coworkers are sneezing or coughing, try to avoid them as much as possible.  Although it can be more difficult, kids at school should also try to avoid their ill friends as much as possible; the flu and other seasonal colds can be passed around very quickly.

Those who feel like they may be coming down with flu symptoms or other general feelings of illness should stay home if possible. Kids should be kept home from school in order to avoid spreading the flu to their classmates. There are certainly cases where you may not be able to miss work or you have errands that cannot wait; try to avoid as much contact as possible so as not to pass on the germs to others.

Exercise and Eat Right
Exercising

With the cold weather coming, you may start foregoing your regular exercise routine and healthy diet. However, continuing to work out and eat right can actually keep your immune system strong and help you fight off the flu. Although you may still get sick, you may find that the flu does not affect you as much and you may not be as sick for as long.

If you don’t have a normal exercise routine and a healthy diet, now is a great time to start picking up habits that can be beneficial to your health this winter.

Stay Well this Winter

By staying well this winter, you and your family members won’t have to miss out on any of the celebrations, work or school. In fact, these habits can actually keep colds and the flu at bay all year round.