Wednesday, January 22, 2014

All Natural Cleaning

This past weekend I cleaned my house.  That is usually a normal thing for most people who work full time, but I'm proud to say that I did not use any chemicals.  I strictly used vinegar, baking soda, essential oils, and Castile soap.  I'm not a clean freak but when I put forth the effort to clean, I want it very clean and usually that means I deep clean so it takes me a long time.

Here are some of the ways I cleaned my house with these all natural cleaners:

The bathrooms were the main rooms in my house that I needed to get clean.  Unfortunately I had a clogged tub and had to deal with that first.  I have very long, curly hair and I shed a lot of it so this seems to happen too often!
I came across a wire clothes hanger so I thought maybe that would work.  I unwound it and made one straight piece with a small hook on the end.  I must have gotten lucky because I stuck it down the drain and pulled out the clog on the first try.  It was draining perfectly after that.  Yay!  I used baking soda sprinkled in the sinks, tubs, and toilets and vinegar splashes over it to "sizzle" before putting some all natural elbow grease to it.  I also added some tea tree oil for its antibacterial properties.  
I cleaned my mirrors with vinegar, water, and a little alcohol to dry it streak free.  Easy peasy!
I swept the floors then mopped with vinegar and hot water with a few drops if lavender essential oil to make it smell wonderful.  A lot if people do not like the smell of vinegar and do not want to use it.  What they don't realize is that the smell goes away once it is dry.  You can also use essential oils to make it smell awesome while you clean.  
I used a mixture of olive oil, vinegar, and lemon oil to dust my wood furniture.  It really conditions the wood and smells great.  It also cleans up the dust better than a feather duster or even a Swiffer® duster.  It captures it so it doesn't just fly around and settle on another surface.
I wasn't able to this past weekend but I plan to make my own laundry detergent again to save money and get away from the toxic cleaners in store bought laundry detergent.  I have sensitive skin and it is hard to use detergents with strong scents AND I would have feel better knowing I wasn't washing my clothes with chemicals.  The good part about the homemade version is that it uses natural cleaners and has a mild scent of whatever you put in it.  I plan to try lavender Castile soap for the scent.  I will update you on how that works out.
I have a glass-top stove that gets so dirty.  In the past I used a chemical cleaner made for it but wanting to get away from using chemicals, I found an alternative.  I wish I had taken pictures to show you how well it really worked.  I just sprinkled baking soda on the burnt-on scum and sprayed it with vinegar.  After letting it sit for a couple minutes to do its job, I took a rag and scrubbed it.  It takes some elbow grease but it comes up!  The baking soda has just enough scrubbing power to clean it but it does not scratch the glass!
Cleaning the kitchen sink is a breeze with the same products I used for the bathroom.  I also use lemon essential oil to give it a fresh smell.  Cleaning the garbage disposal just takes a little baking soda and vinegar poured in and then a lemon.  Cut the lemon in half and run each piece through the disposal and wash it down with water.  Fresh and clean and smells great!
Keeping a clean house gives me peace of mind.  Decluttering and cleaning on a regular basis is always the best way to keep it that way, especially when you're busy.  I usually fail in this so I'm trying harder to get organized and I know that will make it easier to clean.  When something has a place it is always easier to put it back in that place when you are finished with it, and things like dusting are easier when there aren't things EVERYWHERE. 
I constantly want to get rid of stuff and simplify our life.  Living in a cluttered and dirty house makes my mind feel cluttered and I get overwhelmed.  It's nice to sit back and relax after working hard to make my home a better place and the peace of mind knowing that I didn't use any chemicals is just icing on the cake.

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