Tag - healthy home

Natural Ingredients for Home Cleaning

  screen-shot-2016-10-05-at-7-07-01-pm Last week we shared with you some tips to keep in mind in our post Fall Cleaning for Optimum Health. This week we’re sharing some basic, natural ingredients you can use to get your home to sparkle! Many cleaners on the market are filled with not so natural ingredients that can aggravate our breathing, sinuses and aren’t so easy on the environment. The natural ingredients below are cheaper, do just as good of a job and are much healthier for you and the planet. Baking Soda Also known as Sodium Bicarbonate, good old fashioned baking soda is known for it’s abilities as a gentle yet effective scrub and neutralizer of odors. Here are some great uses for this ingredient in home cleaning. . . ~ Sink and bathtub drains getting clogged and smelling not so fresh? Pour half a cup of baking soda down the drain, along with half a cup of vinegar. Watch it fizz and bubble and ponder the wonders of science! Rinse with several cups of hot water and use the excess in the sink to scrub down the sides and bottom for a sparkly shine. ~ Many of you probably already have a box in your fridge to absorb nasty smells. (Activated Charcoal also works well for this!) and we recommend sprinkling some into the trash can and putting a box in closets as well to eliminate odors. ~ Have those old metal tracks in your windows that get clogged up with dirt and grime? Here’s a great trick to clean them using baking soda and a few other ingredients from theintentionalmom.com! ~ Freshen up mattresses by combining five tablespoons of baking soda and five teaspoons of lavender essential oil and using a sieve to sprinkle over the mattress. Leave it there for about a half hour and then vacuum up. Black Tea Black tea is brilliant for cleaning your hardwood floors. Black tea contains polyphenolic compounds which helps eliminate germs and the tannins in the tea help enhance the color of the wood and hide small scratches. Another natural item to use to help hide scratches in your wood floor are walnuts. Yes walnuts! Rub the meat of the nut into the scratch and it fills in the crack to smooth the surface. Vinegar Vinegar is extremely versatile. It works like a charm at cleaning glass and windows. Just mix half vinegar and half water in a spray bottle. Try using newspapers instead of paper towels or rags for less lint and a streak free shine. Vinegar is also your go to for getting rid of grime, grease and stickiness on surfaces. Have kids in the home who like to put stickers on every surface they aren’t supposed to? Squirt a little vinegar on it, let it sit for a bit and the sticker should wipe up in no time. Vinegar is also great for getting rid of mineral deposits around faucets, shower heads and in automatic coffee makers. The smell of vinegar fades pretty quickly but if you just can’t stomach the scent, add in a little essential oil of your choice or try out this Pine Scented Vinegar recipe. Hydrogen Peroxide This powerhouse ingredient is known for whitening and brightening as well as killing bacteria. It can be used in the laundry to whiten and get rid of yellowing, on cutting boards to kill germs and on shower curtains or other items that have mold and mildew. Battling filthy tile and grout? You don’t need bleach and other harsh chemicals. Mix together ½ cup baking soda, ¼ cup hydrogen peroxide and 1 teaspoon of liquid dish soap and gently scrub the grime away. Important Tip Natural does not always mean safe! Hydrogen Peroxide + Vinegar = Peracetic Acid which can corrode surfaces and can irritate your skin, eyes and lungs. So never combine these two ingredients together.

Fall Cleaning for Optimum Health

  ab419c7393152926b6bf8edb3135b4bc While spring is typically the season when most people think of doing a big house cleaning, there are many important reasons to do the same in the fall. We’re all ready to cozy up and refresh our nests so that we can be comfortable, prepare for the holidays and keep healthy in the long winter ahead! Here are some things to keep in mind as you do your fall cleaning. . . Bed Pillows One of the biggest battles in a home is fighting against dust. Did you know that dust is comprised mostly of dead skin cells that we are constantly shedding? Getting rid of dust on furniture is something to do quite often to help with your breathing and allergies. Several times a year it’s a good idea to rid areas that aren’t often thought about. Bed pillows also collect dust, mold spores and other allergens. It’s best to clean your pillows three to four times a year and while we’ve got fall cleaning on the brain, it’s a perfect time to take care of them. Add a half cup of baking soda to your laundry detergent and if concerned about dust mites, eucalyptus oil is a great addition as well. To help keep your pillows fluffed up, put a couple of tennis balls into old socks and toss them in the dryer with the pillows. Speaking of Dust Don’t forget your walls, ceilings, curtains and overhead fans while doing your fall cleaning. It’s always a good idea to start high when cleaning and work your way down to the floor. It’s no fun to get all the dust up out of corners and off of surfaces and then look up and realize you’re going to have to knock down all that dust up high onto those newly clean surfaces. After cleaning those high areas, wait a few minutes for the dust to settle before you continue cleaning anything else. It’s always fun to spend a few minutes daydreaming and watching the dust spores fall through the sunshine as they settle. Do you remember doing that as a kid? After daydreaming, it’s back to reality and it’s time to think about having the air ducts in your home cleaned by a professional. You yourself can change the air filter in your furnace to keep things running smoothly and to keep the air in your home clean and healthy. ‘Tis the Season to Purge Fall is a great time to get rid of unnecessary clutter. Think about going through your closets and selecting clothing and coats for donation. The holidays are just around the corner so it’s also a good time to go through children’s toys and pare down before the gift deluge hits. Another area to look at is the kitchen. Go through the fridge, freezer and pantry and use up or get rid of those things that have expired or are about to go bad. Don’t forget the spice drawer! Spices tend to lose their potency over time. Some good guidelines… Ground Spices: 2-3 years Dried Herbs: 1-2 years Whole Spices, Seeds and Extracts: 4 years Check out Treehugger.com. They have some great ideas for what to do with those expired spices, so don’t throw them out just yet! Very few of us really LOVE to clean but we love how the house feels when it’s all done! So put on your comfiest clothes and bliss out to your favorite tunes. Before you know it, you’ll have a cleaner and healthier home which will lift your spirits and make the next season much merrier and brighter. Check back next week when we’ll share some great natural ingredients for home cleaning!