Ahhh.... The beginning of the year. It shines with newness, like a blank canvas ready to be drawn on.
And Spring Cleaning.
I am an avid Spring Cleaner. Although if you saw my house you wouldn't think so. But I love it.
I don't like DOING it, but I like PLANNING it. It makes me feel more complete as a person. Ha! Whatever.
Out with the old, in with the new. Dust be gone. And that is laughable with 5 people in this house. I think boys emit dust with each breath. I would fail a white glove test 3 seconds after cleaning. And we tend to be kind of an allergic family, so I try to keep it dusted. It's like taking a shower and rolling in sand while you're still wet, but I'm determined.
And those allergies have also been aggravated by spray cleaners, too. Or they just don't work to my liking. So, seeing that I do like to stick it to normalcy, I decided to make my own with some ideas I found on Pinterest.
Yes, Pinterest. AGAIN.
I feel like the Dos Equis guy: I don't get ALL my ideas from Pinterest, but when I have an idea, it probably came from Pinterest.
I heard someone in the back......... Yeah, you........ Intervention, my butt.
And I realized one I didn't put in the picture, but we'll talk about it anyway.
What brought this on? Oh, the flu. We got the flu right after New Years. It was bad. Got all of us down and I felt I absolutely MUST detox my house to kill the germs. I used Lysol, but it still felt icky to me. And the kids were still down, so I decided to throw together some of these recipes I had been
1) Citrus-Vinegar All Purpose Cleaner
I had pinned something about making your own citrus cleaner with orange peels and vinegar. So I had stuck some peels in a Mason jar of white vinegar and let it set for 2 weeks. It gave it a nice orange color, made me think of spring. :) So I just drained the vinegar off the peels and voila! Instant citrus cleaner! The oranges diminished the in-your-faceness of the vinegar and that stuff works wonders on my bathroom. I use it around the toilet in the boys' bathroom. Need I say more? No.
You can also use any other citrus peels, I just had oranges handy because we like 'em. I also filleted the pith (nasty white stuff) off the insides as much as I could.
I DO know some people who have made this and use it in their kitchen, but I don't since my counter-tops are copper. Chemical reaction and all that jazz. So I don't use this one there. I WILL use it inside my fridge I'm thinking. I just haven't gotten to that point yet.
2) Glass Cleaner
I. LOVE. THIS.
Every time I have used this on something it has had amazing results. What's in it? Rubbing alcohol and water. I diluted it 1:1. I use it on my glass stove top. AMAZING!!!!!! Cuts through grime, no streaks, just ... awesome. I use it on my fridge. LOVE! I use it on my chrome bathroom fixtures, the tops of the washer and dryer, bathroom sinks, just anywhere I can think of. I LOVE THIS!!!! It's awesome. AND CHEAP! So far, this is my favorite homemade cleaner.
3) Mold Cleaner
This one I haven't really used. But I made it just in case. It's a mold cleaner. You mix 2 parts water, 1 part hydrogen peroxide, Spray, leave 30 minutes, and rinse thoroughly.
It will also remove stains from counter-tops, so the original pinner says. You could probably use this in your bathroom if you're having a mold problem around your caulk or grout. **Be careful!! It might lighten your grout if you have colored.** So I'd try it out in one of those inconspicuous places just to be sure.
4) Four Thieves Antiseptic Spray
This I use quite a bit. This is the bad-A herbal version of Lysol. Cootie-Killer Deluxe! If you're not familiar with the history of the Vinegar of the Four Thieves, you can check that out here.
I really like the smell. The cinnamon and cloves in it are really nice. And I like the fact it's murder on cooties.
I sprayed it on the couch after the flu and Smee sat down and said, "Mmmm! You made the couch smell like pumpkin bread!"
**Warning! I made the concentrate in the recipe in the link and stored it in a glass dropper bottle. 3 days later, the rubber on the dropper had corroded. SO use with caution and you might want to store it in a glass bottle instead of a plastic one like I did. So far, no leaks, but I do have my eye on it just in case.
Annnnnd I probably shouldn't have sprayed it on my couch, but I was desperate. I do use it a lot on doorknobs, lightswitch plates, and other common germy infestation hideouts. I've also put a few drops of the concentrated oil in either a saucepan of water on the stove and simmered it, and also in my tealight diffuser in my bedroom. Just to get it in the air to kill off anything airborne. And I like the smell.
Did I mention the smell? Ok... just checking.
5) Lavender-Grapefruit Air Freshener
In case you haven't heard, I live in a house with 3 boys. Well, 4, if you count JD.
If you have not been around boys much, please allow me to enlighten you. BOYS STINK.
And we haven't even gotten to puberty yet. **cries**
Boys stink. STINK. We're talking permeate the entire square footage of the house with either feet, underwear, farts, dirt, sweat, random alien stenches that I do NOT want to know where they originated.
And they shower. Often. With smelly-good man soap. (Which will probably change soon, but that's a whole other story, too.)
But seriously. I could scrub them with SOS pads, dredge them in bleach, allow them to sundry, and they'd still stink. I swear it's something in that male chromosome.
So I made this air freshener with lavender and grapefruit essential oils. It's heavenly. It's wonderful! It's like homemade febreeze!
I probably used 30 drops of lavender and 20 drops of grapefruit. This is my current favorite EO (essential oil) blend.
I spray it in the air, on the couches, on the sheets, on the throw pillows, on the kids as they sleep. (Not really on that last one.) It's a nice scent, not one of those punch you in the face, "I'm smelling a fabricated fake smell" scents. It's refreshing. And lasts pretty well too, which is always nice.
Feel free to play around with the EOs and come up with your own scent. This is just the one I really like now.
6) Toilet Cleaner
This one is the elusive one that isn't in the picture. I basically reused an old Parmesan cheese container, filled it with baking soda and mixed in about 20 drops of Tea Tree Oil. Bingo. A nice, green-clean toilet scrub.
Now my kiddos can clean the toilet without me worrying about what's in Comet and will it char their lungs or skin. It's my evil plan, teaching the kids to clean, transforming them secretly into functioning adults. Muhahaha!
Other green cleaners I love, which aren't pictured since I didn't make them:
Mrs. Meyers Clean Day products. LOVE the Lemon Verbena and Basil scents.
I use the Lemon Verbena All Purpose as my go-to kitchen counter cleaner. It doesn't oxidize the copper like the vinegar would. And it leaves a wonderful scent. I also use the bar soap grated in my homemade laundry detergent.
Murphy's Oil Soap
If you have as much wood in your house as I do, this is a lifesaver. It makes it look amazing, smells so homey and inviting, and kicks BUTT on gunk on your cabinets. I had a fantastic mixture of honey/jelly on almost every drawer in my kitchen and with some scrubbing and this, I cleaned those puppies up and they are now sticky-free.
I use these for everything. There are various types, but I just use the ones from Dollar General. They do the job for me and I just toss them in the wash, and they're ready to reuse. Unless it's a really nasty job like unmentionable stuff. Yeah, those I use the rags I don't mind tossing after use.
I hope there's something in this post that tickles your brain. Try 'em out! Let me know what works for you or other ideas, too.
Also if you're on Pinterest, check my I ♥ Home board out. There's home ideas there (not all natural stuff) and on Natural Life. Feel free to check out all my boards! And if you're a Pinterester, let me know! I'd love to check your stuff out, too!