Adventures in Living a Natural Lifestyle

Sharing my adventures in living a more natural lifestyle, information about essential oils and natural home, health, and beauty recipes!


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Thieves HouseHold Cleaner: DIY All-Purpose Wipes

Love this idea as a natural alternative to the Clorox Green Wipes I’ve used for years! I recently ditched them for my own DIY Thieves cleaner and DIY Natural Dust Repellent but miss the convenience of my wipes! Looking forward to my July Essential Rewards order because I’m biting the bullet and ordering the Thieves cleaner used in the recipe! Can’t wait to give this a try!!!

The Oil Posse

CW_ContainerWipes

This post is super exciting! It brings together the ease of quick clean-ups with the fresh scent of Thieves Household Cleaner.

It is quick and easy to make your own all-purpose wipes. Don’t worry we will walk you through the process.

CW_AllSuppliesSupplies Needed:

1 Container — we used an empty wipe (or baby wipe) container
1 Gallon Distilled Water
1 Bottle Thieves Household Cleaner
200 quality coffee filters

Instructions:

Fill container of your choice with approx. 4-6 cups of distilled water. We filled our empty wipe container about half full (see below).

CW_HalfWater

Now add 2-4 tablespoons of Thieves Household Cleaner. We added 1/4 cup (4 Tbsp) and this is what it looked like (see below) but we may add just 2 Tbsp for the next batch. Place lid and give a gently swirl.

CW_THHCAdd

Now add coffee filters and mash down until covered with the cleaning mixture. Place on lid, turn…

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An All Natural Cleaner Experiment: Do My DIY Cleaners Measure up?

Part 6 of my Clean Your Home Naturally (without Toxic Chemicals) series: An All Natural Cleaner Experiment

So I’ve been using my DIY Theives Cleaner for everything around the house lately! (Find my recipe here) So far it has worked beautifully for cleaning bathroom counters, the walls and outside of the toilet, kitchen counter tops, glass top stove, mirrors, and even glass.  Seriously, there isn’t much that this won’t clean! But after a recent online essential oils class I learned that Lemon essential oil is supposed to be able to remove crayon from walls.  While I have a child, she is only 4 1/2 months old as of the writing of this post and as of yet has not created artwork on any walls.  However, I do have one small wall next to the dog beds in the living room that has turned an unsightly shade of brown due to the amount of dirt that the dogs rub up against it daily. It’s in a dark corner and I generally just try my hardest to ignore it, which means it goes entirely too long between cleanings.  What this has afforded me, however, is an opportunity to really put my cleaners to the test.  After learning about the cleaning power of Lemon eo I wanted to see if it would tackle things other than crayon and figured dirty dog stains would be a good test.  But I also figured since this was a big enough surface area this would allow me to do a direct comparison of some of my other natural cleaning products.  Naturally I wanted to compare my DIY Thieves Cleaner and had a bit of Clorox Green Works all purpose cleaner left that I hadn’t thrown out yet so thought I’d throw that in too.  I had also recently made an All Natural Dust Repellent that included vinegar and Lemon eo and thought “what the hell?” and decided to include that as well just out of curiosity.  The picture below (while embarrassing to show just how dirty this wall had become) provides you will a good visual of the before and after.

cleaner experiment 1

And the results are:

  • Lemon eo – By itself I was less than impressed with Lemon eo as a cleaner for dirty walls (it does a great job removing sticky gunk and I’m sure crayon) but was not as effective as I’d hoped.  It did clean a bit of the dirt off but it took 2 tries with 5-6 drops each on a microfiber cloth to even get it as clean as you see pictured above.  It did remove some dirt but really isn’t a cost effective solution.
  • DIY Dust Repellent – I was most surprised by how well this recipe cleaned the dirt off the wall since it was designed as a dust repellent and not a cleaner.  Especially because I didn’t remember until after I had used it to clean that it also contains a bit of olive oil (to shine your surfaces and help repel dust)… Bonus: Not only did it actually clean the dirt off the wall, it smelled great!!! This one was my favorite considering it was just as effective as the DIY Thieves Cleaner and the Clorox Green Works all purpose cleaner.
  • DIY Thieves Cleaner – Cleaned every bit as well as, if not a bit better than, the Clorox Green Works all purpose cleaner with none of the chemicals! I expected no less! This really is my go to all purpose cleaner now.  Seriously, this stuff cleans everything!!!
  • Clorox Green Works all purpose cleaner – This cleaned the dirt and grime off pretty well but honestly seemed to struggle some with some of the harder to clean stains when compared to my DIY Thieves Cleaner

For the final part of my experiment I wanted to see how well the natural cleaners tackled old dried blood spots on my painted wall.  As any dog owner knows, dogs get injured from rough housing with one another and when they’ve got a spot on their ears or tail they love to shake which results in splattered blood spots all over your walls and furniture until the wound heals.  Since I have a pack the other dogs often “help” by cleaning the wound which can reopen the scabs and the process starts all over again.  Above my dirty wall was some remaining old dried blood splatter so I thought I’d give it a whirl!  I knew my DIY Thieves Cleaner was up for the challenge but wanted to really give the Natural Dust Repellent a go to see how the lemon and vinegar would work at cleaning this challenging task.

cleaner experiment 2

As you can see from the above picture, the results were every bit as good as I hoped for!!! The Dust Repellent removed all the old dried blood stains with only a little bit of scrubbing for some of the harder to remove spots.  I’m super pleased with how well this recipe worked for a task it wasn’t really designed for!  My hubby hates the smell of vinegar but the Lemon eo is way better at masking the scent than my Thieves it’s nice to have another cleaning recipe on hand. But honestly I’ll probably just add Lemon eo to my Thieves cleaner in future batches to get the most bang for my buck.  This also avoids the olive oil in the Natural Dust Repellent, which I will reserve for dusting!

 

Have you done any all natural cleaning experiments in your home? Share the results below to keep the conversation going!!!

 

Did you miss Parts 1-5 of my Clean Your Home Naturally Series? Find them below:

Intro: Clean Your Home Naturally (without Toxic Chemicals) this Summer!

Part 1: How To Clean Your Microwave Naturally

Part 2: How To Clean Your Stainless Steel Appliances Naturally

Part 3: How To Clean Your Toilet Naturally

Part 4: How To Keep The Dust Away: A DIY All Natural Dust Repellent 

Part 5: How To Deodorize Your Carpet Naturally + BONUS DIY Spot Cleaning Recipe!


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How To Keep The Dust Away (without Toxic Chemicals): A DIY All Natural Dust Repellent

Part 4 of my Clean Your Home Naturally (without Toxic Chemicals) series – How To Keep The Dust Away (without Toxic Chemicals): A DIY All Natural Dust Repellent

I don’t know if it’s because we own an older home or because we have 5 mostly inside dogs (yes, you read that right!) or because we are lazy housekeepers – most likely a combination of all of the above – but we have a serious dust problem in our home. Often it feels like we can dust and 2 days later there is already a fine layer of dust building up… it’s a never ending battle. So naturally when the spring cleaning bug hit me one of my missions was to find an all natural dust repellent.

In the past I, like most consumers, used Pledge to dust my home and clean my wood. But upon closer inspection of the ingredients I learned that Pledge contains butane, propane, isobutane, (all three of which are GRAS by the FDA but who really wants to clean your home with gases?), dimethicone and silicone (both of which are persistent in the environment because they not anaerobically biodegradable and they can be toxic to aquatic life). Not to mention there is no telling what sort of nasty artificial fragrance they used to create their “lemon” or “pine” smells and we all know that artificial fragrances are known allergens and skin irritants. So needless to say, I ditched the Pledge years ago (but the hubby still uses it, much to my dismay – the conversion to green cleaning is taking a bit longer than the conversion to recycling, composting, gardening, farmer’s markets, and clean eating… if he cleaned with his stomach we might have more success! Lol).

I do most of the dusting in our home anyway and most recently I have been using the Clorox Green Works “naturally derived compostable cleaning wipes” to dust my furniture because as I’ve mentioned numerous times before I was a sucker for “natural” advertising and these are “compostable” so they must be good, right!?! Needless to say, I never actually put them in my compost so on some level I knew that it was a bit too good to be true. While certainly better than Pledge in terms of toxicity, Clorox Green Works wipes still contain some questionable ingredients, including formaldehyde (a known carcinogen that can cause skin irritation and is toxic to aquatic life), lauryl pyrrolidone (also a skin irritant and toxic to aquatic life – I was starting to feel like I’ve been killing all the fishes…), and artificial fragrance (which can be an allergen and skin irritant). And on top of that, they never did clean as well as Pledge…

I knew I could use a simple microfiber cloth to dust with. Hell, I grew up using those old school blue dish rags just dampened with water to dust as a child (one of my least favorite chores – perhaps this is why I’m terrible at dusting now… I blame Mom! Lol). But I wanted something with a bit more power to repel the dust that will inevitably settle back in as soon as I finish dusting. So I set out to find a natural dust repellent that would rival the old tried and true Lemon Pledge. I found what sounded like the perfect all natural alternative from another all natural blogger and set out to give it a try. (The first time I made this I had run out of Dollar Tree spray bottles so I simply mixed up half the following recipe in a measuring cup, stirred well to mix the oil up, dipped my microfiber towel in and wiped my surfaces with it. It worked just as well as in the spray bottle but I prefer the sprayer for ease of application.) It worked beautifully and smelled delicious!!! Couldn’t even smell the vinegar (which is a big deal since the hubby has a nose like a bloodhound where vinegar is concerned!). Check out my before and after pics to see a close up of how well my All Natural Dust Repellent worked and the shine it gave my wooden coffee table (ignore the scratches – while this DIY All Natural Dust Repellent is great at removing dust even it can’t repair the damage that years of wear and tear has put on my coffee table)!

dust - before and after

All Natural Dust Repellent

Ingredients:
• 1 cup water
• 1/4 cup vinegar
• 2 tsp olive oil (this helps shine and protect your wood)
• 10-15 drops of Lemon essential oil* (makes your home smell naturally fresh and clean!)
*Other citrus oils like grapefruit, wild orange, tangerine, or bergamot would work well too!

Instructions:
Combine ingredients in spray bottle. Shake well. Spray on surface and wipe with microfiber towel for natural shine!

Source: http://www.onegoodthingbyjillee.com/…/all-natural-diy-dusti…

 

Do you have another all natural method of removing dust and preventing buildup in your home? I’d love to hear about it! Comment below to keep the conversation going!

 

Did you miss Parts 1-3 of my Clean Your Home Naturally Series? Find them below:

Intro: Clean Your Home Naturally (without Toxic Chemicals) this Summer!

Part 1: How To Clean Your Microwave Naturally

Part 2: How To Clean Your Stainless Steel Appliances Naturally

Part 3: How To Clean Your Toilet Naturally


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How To Clean Your Toilet Naturally (without Toxic Chemicals)!

Part 3 of my Clean Your Home Naturally (without Toxic Chemicals) series: How To Clean Your Toilet Naturally.

Let’s face, no one really enjoys cleaning the toilet. And when you factor in all the gross chemicals involved it makes the whole process even less desirable. When I caught the spring cleaning bug over the weekend I knew I had to find a way to clean my toilet naturally so that I could at least generate some excitement about the process. I was surprised at the number of natural cleaning methods I found so I’ll share them below as well as share what method I used (I’ll spare you the before and after pics this time!).

Let’s begin by looking at some common store-bought toilet cleaners and why you’ll want to avoid them!

Bleach – Sodium Hypochlorite is the main ingredient in bleach and is a known allergen and skin irritant. It can cause severe skin burns and eye damage and is toxic to aquatic life. (Not to mention that if you are clumsy like me you’ll wind up bleaching everything else in your home by accident…)
Lysol Toilet Bowl Cleaner – The main ingredient in Lysol’s Toilet Bowl Cleaner is Hydrochloric Acid which can not only cause severe skin burns and eye damage but also acts as an upper respiratory irritant and can contribute to asthma attacks and pulmonary edema.
Scrubbing Bubbles Toilet Cleaning Gel – Scrubbing Bubbles Toilet Cleaning Gel contains Polymers, which are not only toxic to aquatic life but also skin and eye irritants, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, another skin irritant, and artificial Fragrance which can be an allergen or skin irritant.
2000 Flushes Automatic Toilet Bowl Cleaner – 2000 Flushes Automatic Toilet Bowl Cleaner, while convenient (IF it truly does “clean with every flush”) also contains several harmful ingredients, including Surfactants, which are toxic to aquatic life as well as being skin and respiratory irritants; 1,3-Dichloro-5-Ethyl-5-Methylhydantion, which is a known allergen and skin irritant; Chlorine Bleach (see above); and artificial Fragrance.

So now that you’re ready to throw out your toilet bowl cleaners, let’s look at some common household ingredients that you already have on hand that help clean naturally!

Baking Soda – Baking Soda is a natural abrasive that can help you scour your toilet bowl and act as a natural deodorizer. However it does not have any germ-fighting qualities. Pair it with Vinegar for the ultimate toilet bowl cleaning duo!
Borax – Not everyone has this on hand but it is easily found at your local grocery store. Borax is often mistaken as Boric Acid (which is toxic!) but it is NOT the same thing! Borax is actually Sodium Tetraborate which is non-toxic unless ingested in very large amounts. It’s a great, old-fashioned multi-purpose cleaner. It is commonly used as a natural laundry detergent but can also be used to clean, whiten (it doesn’t bleach, just removes stains) and deodorize your bathroom or kitchen and even used to rid your home of ants naturally!
Citric Acid (or Lemon Juice) – Citric acid is a natural, eco-friendly and cost-effective cleaning agent/ingredient, especially effective at removing stains and hard water buildup. Citric acid is also found in lemon juice and while we may not all have citric acid laying around our home, many of us have lemon juice in our fridge! (Note: Lemon essential oil does NOT contain citric acid) You can order citric acid through Mountain Rose Herbs here: https://www.mountainroseherbs.com/produ…/citric-acid/profile
Essential Oils – I’ve already discussed how awesome I think essential oils are as additions to homemade cleaners (because of germ-fighting properties and ability to prohibit bacteria and fungal growth) and cleaning the toilet is no exception! Oils such as Tea Tree and Thieves are especially effective. But others oils, such as Peppermint, Eucalyptus, Lavender, Rosemary, and Citrus oils, also have germ-fighting properties as well!
Vinegar – Vinegar is a natural acid that is mild enough to not irritate the skin but is effective at cleaning, disinfecting, and eliminating odors. Use in combination with Baking Soda or Borax for an especially effective toilet bowl cleaner!

Another wonderful way to help rid your toilet of those awful rings (especially if you get the hard ones around the rim of the toilet that never seem to come out no matter how much you scrub) is to invest in a natural Pumice Stone (just like the one your grandmother uses on her feet!). I found mine on Amazon for less than $5. Buy it here:http://www.amazon.com/Pumice-Scouring-S…/…/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1…

I found several great methods of using the above ingredients to clean my toilet over at DIY Natural but opted for my own method, which I’ve included below.

How to Clean Your Toilet Naturally:

Ingredients:
• Borax (or Baking Soda)
• Thieves cleaner (find my recipe here)
• Pumice Stone

Directions:
• Pour ½ – ¾ cup of Borax (or Baking Soda) in toilet bowl. Let sit for 15 minutes to 1 hour. Use toilet brush to scrub inside of toilet then flush.
• Use Thieves cleaner to spray the inside and outside walls of the toilet bowl and clean with sponge.
• Use the Pumice stone on any hard surface stains or toilet bowl rings that did not come out with the above methods.

Keep the conversation going! What’s your favorite all natural method of cleaning the toilet? Comment below!

Did you miss Part 1 and 2 of my Clean Your Home Naturally Series? Find them below:

Intro: Clean Your Home Naturally (without Toxic Chemicals) this Summer!

Part 1: How To Clean Your Microwave Naturally

Part 2: How To Clean Your Stainless Steel Appliances Naturally


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How To Clean Your Stainless Steel Appliances Naturally (without Toxic Chemicals)!

Part 2 of my Clean Your Home Naturally (without Toxic Chemicals) series: How To Clean Your Stainless Steel Appliances Naturally.

Our microwave of 20 years finally bit the bullet late last year and we had to find a replacement. I bought my house from my mom who historically has always sworn against stainless steel appliances because they get so dirty and show fingerprints more than any other color. But I hate my (20 year old) almond color appliances and thought now is the time to start replacing them with appliances I like. So, naturally, I wanted stainless steel – pretty sure I’m a glutton for punishment sometimes. And of course, mom was right (shh! Don’t tell her I said that!) and my microwave shows fingerprints and collects grease from the stovetop below way worse than my old almond colored one… Ah well. 😦

So, since I was all about spring cleaning this week I set out to the interwebz to find out how I could clean my stainless steel appliances naturally (a good test before I run out and drop a ton of money replacing our old appliances with stainless steel since we have a child now who will soon be running around getting little grubby fingerprints on everything!). Imagine my surprise when I found out that one of the best ways to clean your stainless is… Olive Oil!?! I thought “Surely, they must be kidding… but hey, might as well give it a try!” So, I grabbed a microfiber towel from our stash (we get ours at Costco and use them for everything!) and pulled the Olive Oil down from the cabinet and set to cleaning my microwave. I just took the olive oil container and turned it up with the microfiber under the top so I had a little circle of oil on my towel. I only had to do this twice to clean the whole microwave so it uses very little oil. Sure enough, the oil broke up all the sticky from the grease splatters with minimal effort and left the microwave with the most amazing shine!!! Don’t believe me? Here is my before and after:

microwave outside - before and after

Try it for yourself and post your results in the comments below!!!

Did you miss Part 1 of my Clean Your Home Naturally Series? Find them below:

Intro: Clean Your Home Naturally (without Toxic Chemicals) this Summer!

Part 1: How To Clean Your Microwave Naturally


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How To Clean Your Microwave Naturally (without Toxic Chemicals)!

Part 1 of my Clean Your Home Naturally (without Toxic Chemicals) series: How To Clean Your Microwave Naturally.

When I catch the cleaning bug I always start in the kitchen because it seems like there is no end to stuff to clean.  I try to keep the dishes done and the counter tops clean on a daily basis but so much other kitchen cleaning just falls to the wayside because I simply don’t have time (or the baby decides I’m done cleaning even when Mommy still has some motivation left to clean!). I’m embarrassed to admit how long it has been since cleaning the inside of the microwave… it’s probably my least favorite cleaning activity (I’d rather clean the toilet). Part of why I hate it so much is that food splatters (because honestly, who uses those nifty little food covers for everything you microwave?) then gets cooked on by repeated microwave use and is super hard and crusty when it comes time to clean. I’d heard many times that you could use vinegar to clean the microwave so naturally with my love of all things vinegar I had to give it a try. I looked at many sources and they were pretty much all the same: Use a mixture of 50/50 vinegar and water, put in microwave for 5- 10 minutes so that it boils and makes steam (this is what moistens and loosens the caked on food), then wipe clean. The one variation I saw said to put a toothpick, or something wooden, in the water.

I chose to use a 1 cup glass measuring cup with ½ cup DWV and ½ cup water. I first microwaved for 5 minutes and still felt like the baked on food was a bit harder than I hoped it would be so I put it back in for 10 minutes, which was a bit too long. It never made it to 10 minutes before it scared the hell out of me by popping and actually blowing the door to my microwave open!!! Perhaps this is why that one author said to put a toothpick or something wooden in there, I don’t know… But next time I’ll start with like 7 minutes, then add 1-2 minute increments if I feel like it needs more time. Thankfully, nothing was hurt – the glass didn’t break and the microwave door still opens and closes just fine. It did mean that the vinegar/water solution sprayed all over the inside of the microwave, however. After I mopped up the excess solution I took my sponge and just wiped the inside of the microwave down and I’m pleased to report that there was NO scrubbing!!! Every little bit of baked on food wiped right off without the slightest resistance! Check out my before and after photo!

microwave inside - before and after

Do you have favorite non-toxic household cleaning tricks? Share them in the comments below to keep the conversation going! Also, make sure to check back daily this week for more DIY non-toxic cleaning recipes and household hacks!!!

Did you miss my introduction to my Clean Your Home Naturally (without Toxic Chemicals) series? Find it here.


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Clean Your Home Naturally (without Toxic Chemicals) this Summer!

So I’m a little behind on the Spring Cleaning kick.  I’d love to blame my 4 1/2 month old and say that I was a stellar housekeeper (like my Mom) before she was born but that would be a lie.  Quite honestly, I’m a bit lazy (as you will see in some of my before and after photos) and just don’t enjoy cleaning.  But my crunchy journey and adventures in trying to live a more natural lifestyle have made me hyper-aware of the toxic chemicals that I expose myself, and my family, to when I do get around to cleaning.  So before we had company over for our first BBQ of the season on Memorial Day I set to learning more about how to clean my home naturally.  I’ve already shared about my love of Thieves oil (see my previous post All About Thieves) and my DIY Thieves Cleaner (find my recipe here!).  I had only used the cleaner in the bathroom at the time of writing that post and while I was impressed with its cleaning power my husband was still a bit skeptical that it would be as effective at cleaning grease and kitchen grime as it was at cleaning soap scum. I’m pleased to report that my DIY Thieves Cleaner cleaned my kitchen counters and glass top stove better than any cleaning product we’ve used recently (that includes the Clorox Green Works all purpose cleaner – remember how I told you I tended to get caught up in sketchy advertising for “natural” products – and Greased Lightning – which is wonderful at cleaning but has super scary warnings on it “THIS MATERIAL IS HAZARDOUS UNDER THE CRITERIA OF THE FEDERAL OSHA HAZARD COMMUNICATION STANDARD 29CFR 1910.1200.”). My DIY Thieves Cleaner even passed muster with the hubby when he got home! Winning!

So, inspired by the success of my DIY Thieves Cleaner I set out to find other natural, non-toxic, chemical free ways to clean my home, which I’ll be sharing with you throughout the week.  In the process, I’ve discovered that I have a new favorite essential oil: Lemon!!!

Lemon

 

Lemon essential oil is a wonderful addition to your non-toxic cleaners because of its ability to deodorize, cut through grease, eliminate hard water stains, remove sticky residue, even to clean crayon off your walls!!!

Other all natural cleaning ingredients you’ll want to have on hand as you follow my Summer Cleaning recipes this week are Distilled White Vinegar (DWV) and Baking Soda.  See my post 5 “Must-Have” Ingredients for why I love these two, among others!

Don’t have Thieves oil or don’t want to make your own cleaner? Young Living has a Thieves cleaner already made! It’s pre-diluted and only a capful or two will make an entire spray bottle! Available in 14.4 or 64 oz sizes.  Order yours here!

infographic_clean_safely

 

Stay tuned this week for my daily updates on ways you can clean your home naturally (without toxic chemicals) this summer!!!