Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Naturally Cleaning Your Home (Recipes)



Let's face it, cleaning your home can be tedious. If you are like me it can also feel like a never ending task. I must confess though that there are some days that I actually enjoy cleaning. Wait! What did she just say?!? You read that right! I actually enjoy cleaning! There is nothing I like more than a clean home. I like the way the house smells after I've cleaned most of all. The gentle smell of clean with a hint of orange and peppermint in the air.

What do you smell after you clean your house? Bleach....Ammonia......Chemicals......Toxins?

As a mom and homemaker, I take my job seriously when it comes to keeping our home clean and healthy. For me, having a healthy home is especially important to me not just for my family but also because I suffer from asthma. 

I spent many years cleaning with harsh chemicals only to having asthma issues for the next two days because of the fumes I was breathing in. I tried so called "natural cleaners" only to find a whole list of things I couldn't pronounce on the label. I even spent the last two years with a company that sold natural cleaners and other products but tied you to a point commitment each month. I finally had enough and stopped my membership with them. I was determined to find a better, more cost effective solution to cleaning our home with products that were safe and healthy.

I am happy to say that I have found a solution that I LOVE! I found something that is not only cost effective and healthy, but something that works and smells great as well. (I am all about smells.) I have been using these new cleaners for a month now and I decided that it was time to share what I have found that works.

I am sure that you have all heard about cleaning with vinegar. I will admit that I was skeptical at first. I couldn't imagine cleaning with such a unpleasant smelling product, but then bleach doesn't smell any better does it. 

I bought two huge bottles of vinegar at our local Sam's Club for less than $4 and was determined to make my own cleaning products. I was surprised that on the actual box the vinegar came in there were tips on where you can use it in your home to clean. It also gave a long list of other uses for vinegar. Who knew vinegar was so versatile?

I decided to reuse bottles that I had and went to work mixing up an all-purpose cleaner. I also ended up mixing up a dusting spray after unknowingly running out of my previous cleaner. I will share that recipe here as well.

All you need for the all-purpose cleaner is 3 ingredients:

*White distilled vinegar
*Water
*Peppermint Extract (orange extract works great too.) Anything that is anti-bacterial with a nice scent works....other options would be lemon, lavender, tea tree, cinnamon and lemongrass. I have also experimented with adding a little almond extract to add a little sweetness to the scent. You can use extract or essential oils. I prefer using extracts because they are more cost effective.

To make the all-purpose cleaner just fill a spray bottle with half water, half vinegar and then add 1-2 teaspoons of extract to scent. (You can add more if desired or mix scents.) Shake bottle before using and get cleaning. It really is that simple! 

Note: If you have a sensitive nose like me and you notice a very faint smell of vinegar still I promise you that it does disappear once your surface dries. 

What I love about my all-purpose cleaner is that it really can be used anywhere. I use it to clean the kitchen, bathroom, mirrors and windows. It does a great job! I works great on grease and grime. It cleans my counter tops and glass cook top to a shine. I have also noticed that I have less of a mold issue in our tub and my shower head has less calcium buildup. Not to mention that being able to use one cleaning product has cut my cleaning time in half and I can finish without having to use my inhaler. 

The dusting spray works great as well and I even use it on our leather sofa and love seat. I love this spray because it smells great and does not leave a greasy residue like some dusting sprays I've used in the past. The recipe is also ridiculously easy as well.

All you need for the dusting spray is 4 ingredients: 
 *1 cup water
* 1/4 cup of white distilled vinegar
*2 tablespoons olive oil ( naturally helps condition wood)
*1-2 teaspoons of orange or peppermint extract (or make your own scent..be creative!)

Mix in spray bottle and remember to shake before using. 

Now, it is your turn! I want to hear from you and what tips, tricks and recipes you have for cleaning your home naturally. Until then....happy cleaning! 


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