Power Up Your Vinegar to Kill Germs

IMG_4837.JPG

Have you seen this? This image is very similar to the ones that have been blowing up Pinterest & Facebook –
20120607-163029.jpg

What is it? Just orange peels in vinegar – soaking for a week or so to make a natural cleaner. It extracts the essential oils of orange and really kicks up the cleaning power of the vinegar a notch.  Not to mention makes the stinky vinegar smell really good!  What do you usually do with citrus peels? Just toss ’em? Well, now you can reuse them to infuse your vinegar for cleaning! Perfect.

Try using peels of orange, clementine, tangerine – and dare I say, try grapefruit or lemon for fun. Lime? Sure, why not. For as much as you clean, have fun and save some money by making your own homemade cleaners.

The next jar of vinegar sitting on my windowsill is a recipe from The Bulk Herb Store for 4 Thieves Vinegar –

Here’s a way to kill some germs!

20120607-163039.jpg

Recipe
2 tablespoons Rosemary
2 tablespoons Sage
2 tablespoons Lavender
2 tablespoons Wormwood (i only had fresh)
2 tablespoons Peppermint
2 tablespoons fresh, chopped garlic **to be added after herbs have soaked for 2 weeks!!
2 quarts of apple cider vinegar (i only had white)

20120607-163047.jpg

Just put everything in a jar, cover with vinegar of some type & let it sit for 2 weeks.  Then add the garlic – whoops, I already added mine – I’m such a rebel with directions.  Okay, maybe just a huge over-looker when reading quickly.  Oh.  Well.  IT WILL BE OKAY!!  Don’t you think we all get caught up in the WAY to do it.  Seriously, it all works out fine in the end.  Just throw some stuff in the jar and add vinegar!!

Shake when you think about it, shoot for every day and when you are done with your vinegar concoctions – strain them out into a spray bottle.  Add water to dilute to the strength desired and get your spray on.

20120607-163055.jpg

Not sure if this is Martha Stewart approved decor – but I like having domestic science experiments on the windowsill 😉

Ideally, you should store them in a dark place or refrigerator.  Personally, I’ll use these up pretty quick cleaning up all our kiddy, kitty, crappy, muddy messes so it won’t matter a bit – Ha!  Home sweet home!! 

20120607-163104.jpgSadie_Sig

 

Natural Ways to Dry Clothes without Static

A brisk winter walk down Coolspring Lane reminded me about doing a non-toxic dryer sheet post.  If you’ve ever stepped out for a breath of fresh air only to walk right into your neighbor’s dryer smog, you know what I mean.  It literally makes you hold your breath, which is probably a good idea considering all the crap that they put into dryer sheets and fabric softener.

So first thing, why are you using dryer sheets?  It’s either for the smell or for static (maybe both).  If it’s for the fragrance, you can easily go All Natural Me with this one and start using a few drops of your favorite essential oil on a cloth.  Just pop it into the dryer with your clothes.  If you can wait for the last 10 minutes, you’ll get more scent because the heat will zap some of the oils if it’s in there too long.  Although my favorite one to use is clove oil and it’s lovely no matter what time you put it in.  A few drops on an old cut up towel will do you.

The other reason to go searching is for static… bloody static.  We all hate it and here are a few easy tips that will help:

1.  Air Dry

Okay, maybe not totally doable all the time.  But even using a dryer for most of the drying and then air drying the last bit, will help.  Over drying is like the static breeder.

For inspiration, re-visit Line Dry Clothes to Save The World

2.  Keep Natural and Synthetic Separated

During laundering, we must segregate the cotton from the polyester.  Those synthetics are probably what’s giving you all the static grief.  So put them in different loads and see if that helps.  Now, who really knows what to do about the cotton polyester blends….

3.  Vinegar

Claimed to soften clothes and reduce static, put 1/2 cup of vinegar into your washing cycle.  And why not – all good natural people use vinegar for everything, so pour it in and shout hooray.

The only other thing that I do when a garment is static ridden is to slap or swipe it on something wooden.  Even laying it on the wooden dresser or door seems to neutralize the bugger.  When we had our old canvas and wood laundry hamper, I’d slap the static out on that.  Sounds kinda rough, but I wasn’t the one who actually stood on it and broke it.

ahem.

Okay, now is when I send you out into cyber space to other lovely green websites who will tell you what I just did and more!

Grinning Planet ~ Who has a lot to say in a funny way, which we love!

Michael Bloch at Green Living Tips.com ~ Who likes to make herbal dryer baggies which, just to drop a subtle hint, Sadie would love for her upcoming birthday.  Useful gifts are the best!  Agree?

And Annie B. Bond at the Gaiam Blog suggests making your own dryer sheets with natural conditioner or trying some dryer balls.  Annie is also a huge fan of vinegar!  And it just so happens that after watching Home Enlightenment Made Easy, Sadie is now a huge fan of Annie!

The world keeps getting smaller and greener 🙂  I love it.

Alternatives to Chemical Air Fresheners

Commercial air fresheners that are loaded with chemicals suck.

I’m going to skip picking a fight with you and assume that you already know all about the nasty chemicals like phthalates that are in them and DO NOT use them yourself. And of course it would be silly for me to even think of the possibility that you might have a gross country candle burning on your stove… you don’t, do you?

Actually, You are probably so very much an All Natural Me that you have loads of creative organic ways of keeping your home and car smelling so lovely that you don’t even need me to list my favorite all natural air fresheners but, I will anyways, just so you can forward this info along to your friends and family who haven’t quite gotten the hint to lay the F – off of the damn air fresheners and scented cleaning products!

My gawd people! (not you, your dumb friends) What the heck are you trying to cover up anyways? A dirty house, funky garbage, your husbands feet, the sixteen litter boxes? For those specific smells, I would recommend cleaning every once in a while, taking it outside, encouraging good hygiene and supplementing with zinc and downsizing. And for the love…

Don’t Offend Others With Second-Hand Chemicals!

stinkynose.jpg Next time your home smells like ka-ka-poo-poo, try these all natural ways to freshen the air:

1. Open your windows and get fresh air into your home. In with the new, out with the stinky.

2. Grow indoor plants and aromatic herbs to help clean the air and infuse good green smells.

3. Turn to your friends Mr. Baking Soda and Miss Vinegar. They are great for homemade cleaning recipes and, if you just leave some sitting out, they absorb odors. Yeah, no kidding.

4. Buy a couple extra bars of handmade soap and display them in a pretty dish until you need a new bar. It will naturally freshen your bathroom all the time. And it’s so Martha Stewart, who can resist?

5. Use essential oils diluted with water in a spray bottle as a natural air freshener to spritz a room back to lovely after someone leaves a stinker.

6. Place a few drops of your favorite essential oil on a clay stone to naturally scent an area and wear oils on yourself. You’ll be like a walking air freshener wherever you go.

7. Throw out your Apple Pie scented candle and BAKE a Freakin’ REAL Apple Pie!

8. And as a last resort, when your place really does smell like crap, burn a stick of all natural incense. Not the best thing you can do for air quality control but certain occasions may demand it. Even if you never light them up, incense cones & sticks do their part to infuse natural scents if you strategically place them around your home.

Like up in your stinky Aaaaa… ummm, attic.

All Natural Me Chemical Free Cleaning

All you really need to know is Baking Soda and Vinegar!! Pair these guys up with essential oils and natural based soap and you are ready to give your home an aromatic cleaning you will both appreciate!

ROSEMARY SOFT SCRUBBER ~ Great for bathrooms!

1/2 cup Baking Soda
1/8 cup liquid vegetable-based soap
10 drops Rosemary essential oil

MIX up then Scrub the crud!

The next homemade recipe:

TEA TREE MOLD -n- MILDEW ZAPPER

1 cup white vinegar
25 drops Tea Tree essential oil

Spray on ~ go put your feet up for 10 minutes ~ wipe or just spray it and leave it!

HANDY KITCHEN SPRAY

Fill your spray bottle up with naturally disinfecting white vinegar along with a good squeeze of natural dish soap and 20+ drops of your favorite essential oils. Lemon, Pine or Clove are great!! Spray on counters, table, high chair and greasy messes!

SUNSHINE WINDOW CLEANER

In a spray bottle add:
1/2 cup white vinegar
2 cups of water
1/2 teaspoon or less of natural dish soap
5 to 10 drops essential oil of LEMON, ORANGE or GRAPEFRUIT essential oils

AROMA~CLEANSE AIR SPRAY

Brace yourself for this genius breakthrough…
Get a bottle, fill it with water, add naturally disinfecting essential oils,
shake it and spray it….. wow.

Use single oils alone such as Lavender, Sweet Orange, or Clove or make complimenting combinations such as Patchouli~Rose or a Citrus Blast with Grapefruit, Lemon, Orange and Lime! Make an air purifying sick room spray of Eucalyptus, Thyme and Lemon.

LOVELY LAVENDER CARPET DEODORIZER

In a glass jar with a tight lid combine equal parts of baking soda and dried Lavender flowers.
To remove the stinkers, Sprinkle this mixture on your carpet. Let it sit for at
least an hour, then vacuum.

GROUNDING SPICE MOTH REPELLANT

1/4 cup Dry Thyme
1/4 cup Whole Cloves

Combine and separate into clothes bags to put in drawers, chests,
or to hang in closets.

All recipes are all natural, smell fresh and are very effective.

Happy Cleaning!