Cleaning Day

We all know the routine:  Pick up the dishes, and the clothes, and the books, and the toys.  Ok.  Now you can see the dirt and dust.  Now, find something to occupy the kiddos so that you can actually move around the house without hearing, “Mommy” yelled five thousand times, each time rising to a higher decibel because how could you hear them when the vacuum is on.  Next, lug out the rags, buckets, and the other miscellaneous cleaning supplies.  Whew.  I know, I’m tired already too.  And now…it is time to begin.  Ah.  Gotta love cleaning day.

One thing that is very important around our house when it comes to cleaning is to use little to no chemicals in our cleaning products.  The idea of having my little girls take baths in a tub that has been cleaned with bleach and other harsh chemicals makes me cringe.  And not only that, cleaning products can put quite the large dent in the pocket book.

Over the years I have tested a wide variety of all-natural cleaning products.  Some I have purchased and others I have made at home.  And I have to say that after nearly six years of being a mama, I have settled on a few homemade concoctions that I use on a daily and/or weekly basis.

I hope you find these as useful, safe, and affordable for your family as I have found them to be for mine.

All-Purpose Cleaner (I use this for everything from kitchen counters and table, to bathroom surfaces.)

In a plastic spray bottle, fill it with half water and half white vinegar (known for its strong antibacterial properties).  Then add 20 drops of grapefruit essential oil (known for its anti-viral and anti-microbial properties).  I also like to add about 10 drops of orange essential oil to add a bit more of a citrus kick to the cleaner.  Shake the bottle before each use.  Spray on surfaces and wipe with a clean cloth.

Wood Cleaner (Use this very sparingly.  I spray a very small amount of this on a rag when cleaning wood furniture.  I also use this to clean my hardwood floor.  Be sure to wipe the surface completely dry after each application.)

In a plastic spray bottle, fill it with half water and half white vinegar (known for its strong antibacterial properties).  Then add 20 drops of peppermint essential oil (known for its antibacterial properties).  Shake the bottle before each use.

Ceramic Tile Cleaner (I use this to wash the floors in my kitchen, foyer and bathrooms.)

In a large bucket, fill it with half very warm water and half white vinegar (known for its strong antibacterial properties).  Then  add EITHER 30 drops of peppermint essential oil (known for its antibacterial properties) OR 30 drops of lavender/tea tree oil (known for their antibacterial properties).  It just depends on the mood you are in.  Peppermint oil in more invigorating while the lavender/tea tree mix is more soothing.

Toilet Cleaner 

Pour about 1 cup white vinegar into the toilet bowl.  Then add about 1/8 cup baking soda (You will get a nice little science experiment in your toilet bowl.), and 10 drops of peppermint essential oil.  Then scrub by hand or with a toilet brush.  Flush when complete.

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A great resource I have found that contains a lot more DIY cleaning products and much, much more is Make Your Place:  Affordable, Sustainable Nesting Skills by Raleigh Briggs

Makings

With Mother’s Day right around the corner, the girls and I got to work last night on some cards for the ladies.  Back in December, Santa gave us a great all-natural card making kit by Glob and we had not yet used it. ( I believe the big man in red informed me he purchased this great gift from Nova Natural 🙂

What we loved best about this card kit is that the card stock is seed paper.  So, after all of the mommas are done admiring their creations, they can plant the paper beneath a thin layer of soil and some lovely flowers will sprout…genius…a card and present all in one!

It never ceases to amaze me how beautiful the paintings of children turn out.  They have no set idea in mind, they just create, and the result is breathtaking.  I even tried to just “paint” my own creation last night, but found myself with a flower, leaf, etc. every time.  The mind of a child is one I think we all wish we could emulate.  That wild abandon that turns out to be true beauty so much of the time.  Love.