Monday, February 24, 2020

Naturally Clean

One of the challenges of simple living is how to keep the house clean and the space under the sink organized. It seems like something new that we must have to keep our homes clean pops up on the market every day claiming to be organic or natural - it's hard to know what to keep and what to avoid.

When we started this journey, (the chemicals) under the sinks were the first places I organized. I couldn't toss some of the chemicals in the beginning, for the most part because I just didn't know how to get rid of them safely. I had a side goal of reducing my footprint on our earth. I did some research and found that our community has a recycling center which also accepts household cleaners. Yay! Off we went, chemicals and old paint in hand.

With the junk that makes our skin go crazy out of the house, our next step was to figure out what worked just as well and what we could access easily. More research. Did I mention that you can't believe everything you read on the internet? There is so much bull-honky out there. My advice? Do what works for you and your family and start where it makes sense for you. Let go of the stuff you (almost) never use, first.

We started replacing harsh chemical cleaners with more natural-ish products that were premixed and easy to find (the local Tar-jay store.) Little by little we tried out our own mixtures and found that we get just as much clean, for pennies. Sorry, not sorry, Target.

A family fave is our Clean It spray. It's easy to make, I have all of the ingredients in my kitchen, and it truly costs less than a dollar. I much prefer the smell of vinegar over bleach, though bleach does have its place in our home. Clean It spray uses vinegar and essential oils to blast through just about everything.

Do be careful using this cleaner on wood surfaces. Because Clean It spray has lemon essential oil in it, it could damage wood surfaces (and some porous plastic ones too). We use this all over everything else - counter tops, the fridge, the laundry room, the bathroom, any place that needs a good clean.

Clean It Spray
1 - Start with a 16 oz. glass bottle. (Keep vinegar and essential oil mixtures in glass containers. We love the glass bottles from Grove Collaborative. They are inexpensive and have a silicone sleeve, so they stay put where you set them.)
2 - Add 1 3/4 cups distilled water. (You can use tap water. Our tap water is very hard, so it leaves spots. Distilled water does the trick!)
3 - Add 1/4 cup white vinegar.
4 - Add 20 drops On Guard essential oil and 10 drops Lemon essential oil. (We love these ones that you can order over here).

If you are a Thieves essential oil fan, use 20 drops of Thieves and 10 drops of Orange essential oil instead - Thieves has lemon in the oil blend already. 

Give it a good shake until you can see the essential oils sparkling through the bottle. You'll want to shake this spray up each time you use it as the oils will separate a bit from the water.

Clean away!