Thursday, March 21, 2013

March Natural Living Blog Carnival: Naturally Spring Cleaning!

 
Welcome to the March 2013 Natural Living Blog Carnival...
Naturally Spring Cleaning.
 
This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Natural Living Blog Carnival hosted by Happy Mothering and The Pistachio Project through the Green Moms Network. This month our carnival participants have written posts about how they keep their homes clean - naturally.
 
 
Spring is here and for many of us it means a spring cleaning!  Rather then whipping out loads of chemically laden products to clean and scrub the winter grime away, how about reaching for cleaning supplies in our pantries! 
 
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I have been cleaning with vinegar since I first became pregnant in 2008.  I wanted to use cleaning products that were more eco-friendly and that weren't filled with chemicals that could be harmful to my baby.  I began doing some research online and came across Vinegar Tips, a web site that has a plethora of information about using vinegar and other readily available natural products for your household cleaning.  In fact, if you Google "cleaning with vinegar," a sea of web sites will come up in your search.  So, I bought a big bottle of vinegar, a squirt bottle and started making my own cleaning solution.  Every web site recommends a different vinegar to water ratio, but I have found that a 2:1 ratio (2 parts water, 1 part vinegar) works well for me.  Vinegar is amazing and can actually be used in your laundry, used in your skin care regimen and used in other parts of your home for cleaning, disinfecting.  Green Grandma actually has a book, Vinegar Fridays, that I've read (and loved, by the way) and it's filled with loads of vinegar uses, tips and tricks. 
 
I also clean my floors with vinegar and water.  While there are many convenient mops on the market that feature disposable pads, the cleaning solution is often times filled with chemicals which can irritate allergies and asthma.  Plus, the disposable pads can be expensive and fill landfills with unnecessary waste.  Below, are some products available at many local retailers to help you get started on cleaning your floors the "green" way all while saving some green, too.

 
 

The Libman Freedom Spray Mop is available for $19.99 at Target.  You can fill the cleaning reservoir with your desired cleaning solution, plus the microfiber cleaning pad is machine washable.  If you don't have a Target near, visit www.libman.com to locate a retailer near you.
 
 
 
 
The Rubbermaid Reveal Spray Mop is also available at Target and costs $34.99.  While this mop costs more, you also receive two additional microfiber cleaning pads and an additional re-fill bottle.  Visit www.rubbermaid.com to find a retailer near you!
 
For dusting around my house, I of course use a vinegar cleaning solution, but rather then using paper towels, I use Gerber cloth diaper pre-folds.  Another product that is great for dusting is the OXO Good Grips Microfiber Double DusterThe OXO Duster is also available at Target and retails for about $9.99.  The removable cleaning pad is washable as well, and is great for dusting electronics!
 
 
 
If you're needing to do some scrubbing around the house, grab your scrubbing sponge and check out this DIY scrub household cleaning scrub using Earth Mama Angel Baby's pure castile soap!  This recipe is so safe, you can even let your kids clean and scrub the toilets.  This natural, safe and effective scrub cleans your whole house.  Use on kitchen counters, sinks, toilets, tile and anything else that needs a good scrubbing from time-to-time.

Gather and Mix:
  • 1 cup baking soda
  • 1/8 - 1/4 cup of any Earth Mama Angel Baby pure castile soap
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar
  • 3-5 drops essential oils (try anti-bacterial lavender or tea tree, or fresh lemon, orange or peppermint

Sweet Knee Skin Care also carries a wonderful castile soap and here are some more great DIY recipes for use around the home from Sweet Knee Skin Care:
  • Glass Cleaner: 1 Teaspoon Bluebird Castile plus 1 gallon of really hot water; make sure to wipe windows with solution and then wipe dry right away
  • Tile Floors: Mix a few Tablespoons of Bluebird Castile into a bucket of warm water, then add a few drops of your favorite essential oils to set the right mood while you clean.
  • Roach Eliminator (hey, it happens): 1 Tablespoon Bluebird Castile + 1 Tablespoon hot sauce (Tabasco brand) + 4 cups water in a spray bottle. The effects last up to 2 months. 
Hope the above mentioned green cleaning tips help you conquer your deep cleaning tasks this spring! 

Do you have any eco-friendly cleaning tips or DIY recipes to share?

 
Happy Blogging!
Toni The Chic Momma

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Visit Happy Mothering and The Pistachio Project to learn more about participating in next month’s Natural Living Blog Carnival! Please take some time to enjoy the posts our other carnival participants have contributed:

9 comments:

  1. I use vinegar for a lot of my cleaning projects too! Have you seen this post on the Dr. Bronner blog cautioning about mixing vinegar and castile soap? http://lisa.drbronner.com/?p=292

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  2. I love Green Mama's vinegar tips too!

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  3. I've tried cleaning with vinegar, but my husband absolutely hates the odor. I haven't tried adding essential oils, though. Do the essential oils take away the vinegar smell?

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  4. I have a Libman spray mop and LOVE It!

    As for the roach eliminator...do you just clean with this solution or spray them when you see them?

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  5. Thank you so much for sharing such nice and informative thought., This is very helpful fer me and others. Keep blogging man!!!!!!!


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  6. The results that we have been seeing have been amazing. The system does clean better than perc, keeps white garments “white” and the cleaned garments have no odor.Thank you so much…


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  7. Gotta love that vinegar! I still prefer an old-fashioned mop cloth, if only because it's so easy to clean it when you're done. And for good measure you can toss it in the washing machine.

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  8. Thanks for sharing..!! I love your post . I am looking more post like this one on this blog . this post proves really helpful for me .

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