Tuesday, July 30, 2013

My Crunchy Mama Essentials *Household Cleaning Must-Haves*

My plan was to write one post on all the Crunchy Mama or Natural Living essentials, but then I realized there are many different topics in that one list (things like cleaning, healing, birthing, hair/skin care, and everyday essentials). So today I am going to start with my basic go-to cleaning must-haves. 

1. Baking Soda 

    ~What do I use it for? 
  • I love to use Baking Soda, with some Lavender Essential Oil blended in, and sprinkle it on my carpets and fabric furniture. I let it sit for an hour then vacuum. It helps to lift and remove any lingering odors.
  •  I also use Baking Soda mixed with regular vinegar to clean and clear the drains in my bathroom sink and tub (it is a mini science lesson for Lincoln because they bubble up when combined). 
  • Baking Soda can be sprinkled anywhere to help absorb odors. I like to sprinkle some in the bottom of my dirty diaper bag/wet bag, and also in the bottom of the trash can. 
  • Keeping your baking soda in the fridge helps it stay useful for longer and also helps diminish any lingering odors from your fridge

2. Vinegar

     ~What do I use it for? 
  • Vinegar is a natural disinfectant! I have read that it kills salmonella and e.coli. 
  •  I use it to clean counter tops, tables, bathroom sink and and hardwood floor spills.The vinegar smell goes away after it dries.
  •  I use it to clean windows, I find if you wipe it thoroughly dry then it does not leaves streaks. 
  • If the smell bothers you, then you can add lemon or orange to a spray bottle with vinegar and it will help boost the cleaning power as well as the scent. 

3. Essential Oils

    ~Which ones do I use and what do I use them for? 
  • My go-to essential oil I use for cleaning is Tea Tree Oil (TTO). I literally use this stuff like crazy! It has antibacterial, antifungal and antiseptic properties. 
  • I use TTO on my dogs to repel ticks and fleas. You can use in in a slightly diluted spray solution and spray in on them after baths. 
  • A few drops of TTO in my rinse cycle when doing laundry helps to better clean my diapers and clothes if they are heavily soiled. 
  • Spraying down the shower with some TTO spray will help prevent mold and mildew, also you can use a few drops on a q-tip to reach those crevices and corners that so love to collect buildup. 
  • Lemon Oil is also a very lovely essential oil to add to your collection to help scent and clean surfaces. 

4. Borax

    What do I use it for? 
  • Borax is a mineral compound that has many uses. It is naturally derived BUT can be abrasive and dangerous to ingest, so use with caution. 
  • I add a few dashes of borax to my laundry detergent to boost its cleaning power. 
  • Borax is used in a homemade laundry detergent recipe I used to make. 
  • I make a borax, sugar and hot water solution that kills and keeps away ants (once they take it back to their home). Once the borax and sugar are dissolved in the hot water I put a few drops on a cotton swab, place in a bottle top or flat container and keep out of reach of children and animals! Thanks to my friend Tammy for the idea on this. It works great for our house. 
  • Can also be used in a vinegar cleaning solution to clean surfaces. I would clean my bathroom and other areas that will not be eaten off of, because I like to be extra cautious with using Borax. 

5. Castile Soap

    What do I use it for? 
  • Oh the lovely cleaning powers of Castile Soap! You can buy it in two forms, liquid or bar. Dr. Bronners is the most popular brand and comes in peppermint, lavender, tea tree, unscented and many other varieties. ( I will keep this post to household uses only, but castile soap is great for many body uses as well!)  
  • I make a cleaning solution for mopping the floors, using the liquid soap diluted in some warm water. 
  • When I made my own laundry detergent I used the bar soap and would grate it with a cheese grater to use with Borax, etc and really liked how cheap and easy it was to do. I used the recipe from the 19 kids and counting website. 
  • Castile soap chunks make a great baby wipe solution as well. Just dilute in water in squirt on the wipe for an easy to-go baby butt cleaning. 

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