Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Kid, earth & budget-friendly cleaning solutions

I have one sweet word for my bottles of Windex and 409: goodbye!

I  used to think I would never be able to survive without those trusty solutions at the ready. It didn't even occur to me that there were alternatives to traditional cleaners until I started reading books and magazines about frugal, simple living. My interest was piqued.

I started small: a vinegar and water spray to clean my kitchen counters, windows and mirrors. It worked like a charm (albeit with a bit more elbow grease than usual). I also didn't have to worry about my kids eating off of the surfaces after they were cleaned. And, to boot, it was way cheaper than buying a bottle of cleaner at the store. (Not to mention that it didn't require a trip to the store in the first place.) I was sold.

A few years later I am still making a vinegar and water solution for windows and mirrors, but have graduated to a "heavier duty" antibacterial cleaner for surfaces like kitchen counters and the dinner table. No bleach or harsh chemicals here - instead the workhorses are vinegar, tea tree oil (the anti-bacterial agent), washing soda and lavender.

The best part? My kitchen smells heavenly.

Truth be told, there is still a bottle of hallmark blue liquid lurking in my hall cabinet for emergencies. But I'm finding that there are fewer and fewer times I need to pull out the "big guns." The reality is that my homemade cleaners get the job done 95% of the time.

Cheers to a clean and happy home!


Vinegar & Water Solution

It doesn't get simpler than this. Fill an empty spray bottle with 50% water and 50% white vinegar. Spray on surfaces and wipe down with a clean cloth. A microfiber cloth works wonders on windows and mirrors.

All-Purpose Kitchen Cleaner

2 cups hot water
1/4 cup white vinegar
1/2 teaspoon washing soda
15 drops tea tree oil
15 drops lavender oil

Mix ingredients together in a spray bottle. When you add the washing soda to the liquid it will fizz, so make sure you leave space in the bottle for a reaction.

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