Spring Cleaning (part 1)

Hi friends!  I don’t know about your neck of the woods, but Spring has officially arrived here and it’s looking like it’s here to stay!  Being cooped up in the house all winter (along with my type A personality and OCD tendencies) have me itching to do a good ol’ spring cleaning of the house.  I can’t wait to purge things!  Does this excite anyone else?  I for one get so much satisfaction out of pitching, shredding, organizing, and deep cleaning.  I’m talking ‘wiping down baseboards and washing shelves’ type of cleaning.  This time of year, I’m like Danny Tanner when he cleans his cleaning gloves. Does anyone else remember that episode of Full House?  I honestly remember watching that as a kid and thinking it wasn’t THAT outlandish that he did that.  I mean they do get dirty!  Anyways, I decided to do a post on spring cleaning, not to bore you beyond repair, but to tell you that I have discovered some things in the past few months that have me cleaning in a whole new (safer) way and I had to share.  I’m coming clean about cleaning.  About ‘clean’ cleaning.  Okay I’ll stop.  But first, something funny I found on Pinterest that totally resonated with me….

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So, let me first say that I Spring clean every year, but this year I have been catapulted to a whole new cleaning level by this book…..

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Has anyone else read this?  I’ve heard so many great things about it and decided to give it a try and you guys, so far, I am hooked!  I’m only a few chapters in, but I can tell you that this book has the potential to make me sell everything except Eric, Leyton and the dog and buy a tiny house.  Like a renovated school bus tiny house.  It’s making me realize just how much crap we accumulate and how unnecessary so much of it is.  It’s making me a more conscientious shopper too.  I may actually be able to leave Target one of these days with only the items I went in for (Well maybe.  It’s a book, not a hypnotist).  So I’ll keep you posted, because like I said, I just started, but so far it.is.good! So stay tuned.

The main thing I wanted to post about it terms of cleaning  is what I’m cleaning with.  Now that I’m trying to rid my life and household of as many toxic chemicals and ingredients as I can, I’ve been examining everything and let me tell you the first thing to go, has been allll the cleaners.  I have found so many great, natural cleaning recipes that I’m gonna share with you today (and they work!) that it makes me wonder why any of us ever use the hazardous stuff.  I literally had a laminate floor cleaner that said right on the bottle, “this is a hazardous material.”  Great, why don’t I just spray that over every square inch of this house!  But no more!  Over the past month, I have eliminated all the store bought cleaners and replaced them with homemade, natural, safer ones.  I have replaced all of this…..

with this…..

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The only thing missing from this picture is an all natural toilet bowl cleaner I bought, and an all natural bathroom cleaner (but even that I’ll probably ditch because I have a homemade recipe for that too).  I’ve been amazed and just how much simple, inexpensive items like rubbing alcohol, white vinegar, baking soda, castille soap, and water, can clean.  Add some essential oils to that and you get more tough cleaning action and better smells than the overpowering, chemical filled products bought at the store.  The best part is I don’t have to worry about using these around Leyton because I know they are safe.

When I was researching about the harmful chemicals in cleaners, I came across this article “8 Hidden Toxins: What’s lurking in Your Cleaning Products” by Jessie Sholl and was blown away by some of the things I learned.  You should definitely read it, but allow me to point out some of the information Sholl includes that I found particularly concerning about our every day household cleaning products.

  1. There are no regulations on cleaning products, meaning they don’t have to meet any safety standards or test products before selling them.
  2. The average household is exposed to 62 toxic chemicals.
  3. “Ingredients in household cleaners are linked to cancer, hormone disruption, reproductive disorders, and neurotoxicity.” 

(Sholl, 2011)

Now just a side note, but as someone who struggled with fertility issues, reading things like that definitely makes me step back and say, “hmmm could all my years of exposure to harmful chemicals and ingredients have been the cause?”  I may never know.  But you best believe I’m working to eliminate them now.  Also, this article points out something I’ve talked about before.  Beware of fragrances!  If you haven’t read, “Fragrance is the New Second Hand Smoke,” you need to!  It’s extremely eye opening!

I should also point out that you have to check labels because even products that you think are safe (or that claim to be organic/safe….again, no regulation so they can say that) might not be.  I was shocked when I discovered both Honest Company and Mrs. Meyer’s cleaning products have some bad ingredients like Methylisothiazolinone, a preservative that’s a known irritant and cause of skin allergies.  Yes, skin irritation isn’t as serious as cancer or hormone disruption, but it just shows that you have to check your products because they aren’t always as squeaky clean as they are promising.

So that’s my spiel.  I just found that article interesting and wanted to share.  Okay, so on to some recipes for safe, all natural cleaners.  The best part is that a lot of the ingredients are ones you probably already have around the house.  And these are inexpensive.  The ones that call for oils, you could leave the oils out if you don’t have any (although in some, the lemon oil is a cleaning aide, although I’d imagine you could just use lemon juice).  Also, the gray cloth in my picture is a stainless steel cleaning cloth.  You literally just use water and the cloth and it gets stainless steel perfectly clean.  I got mine from Mightynest here.  And the Amber bottles are my favorite.  I found those on Amazon.  I have been using these cleaners and loving them!  I can safely say I don’t miss those toxic, harmful products one bit. Happy cleaning!

**All of these recipes I make for a 16oz. amber spray bottle, unless stated otherwise**

All-Purpose Cleaner

1/2 Cup White Vinegar

2 Cups Rubbing Alcohol

Fill to top with water then add 1 tsp. of dish soap (do this last otherwise the whole thing will suds up when you add the water.

**This makes 1 gallon.  You can either cut down the recipe to fit your spray bottle or, what I do is make the gallon and then just pour into a spray bottle and as you run out just refill from the gallon jug.

Dust Spray

1 3/4 cups water

2 tsp. olive oil

1/2 tsp lemon essential oil (or I’m guessing lemon juice might work)

1/4 cup vinegar

**I spray onto a dust cloth, microfiber cloth, or piece of an old white tee shirt, instead of directly onto the furniture.

Laminate Floor Cleaner

1/3 cup water

1/3 cup rubbing alcohol

1/3 cup white vinegar

3 drops of liquid dish soap

5-10 drops lemon essential oil (optional)

Lemon Degreaser (All purpose except for wood)

2 cups water

2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice

1/2 tsp. of castile soap (I love Dr. Bronner’s)

1 tablespoon baking soda

**This makes a 24 oz. spray bottle.  So I would just half it if you only have a 16 oz. bottle.

Glass Cleaner (This, with the peppermint oil is my favorite!!)

2 cups water

2 tablespoons white vinegar

2 tablespoons rubbing alcohol

5 drops peppermint essential oil

**This makes a 24 oz. spray bottle.  Just half it for 16 oz. and I did 3-4 drops of the peppermint oil.

Hardwood Floor Cleaner

1 gallon, hot water

1/2 cup white vinegar

2 – 3 drops essential oil (any scent but lemon is probably most used)

**Mix in bucket and clean with mop or cloth

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