Been a rough last week and a half. More problems with mom’s home health care agency. But I’m pulling all the files together to take to corporate and hopefully after that I can take her down a peg or two. She’s caused enough harm. I think getting her out of our hair and preventing her from harassing others the way she’s pestered my mom is for the greater good at this point.
But my personal life aside….lets get to it.
So I wanted to start a series that I could post on both of my blogs seeing as I’ve had so little time to do much else other than damage control for my mom. Last week was a blast to put together. And if we are looking to teach our children or ourselves pagan values, we have to live it. We can’t just walk the walk. We have to talk the talk and part of that is taking care of the earth. It also means taking care of ourselves.
Now, I used to think that cleaning supplies that you bought at Walmart were essential until I found out about all the toxins in them. Then we tried a wonderful company called Melaleuca, which uses tea tree oil and nothing has toxins in it….not even their makeup. It’s a great company if you have the money, but we were spending way too much on all the things we needed to keep our house Green, so we went back.
Ever since then I had been working on a way to get back to being Green. It wasn’t because I was pagan. I just felt that it was healthier for me. It just so happens that later I made a personal determination that being healthy and working towards freedom from toxins in my life was essential to my pagan path. I’m still working on it, with mixed results, but nothing worth doing happens over night.
However, I wasn’t at a place in my life where I really had the time or reason to focus too much on it. It was around then that I went to college and I really didn’t need many cleaning supplies as much of that was done by the housekeeping staff, but it was also when my health starting to get worse again. So when I got my apartment, I got back to it.
Now that I’ve explained why I want to clean Green, I want to start by talking about one room. The room that most of us hate to clean the most. It is the room that most of us often believe is the dirties in the house….even if Mythbusters has proven otherwise. The Bathroom.
So what do we have to clean in the bathroom?
Floors (hopefully not carpet as in our ensuite in my parents double wide).
So what do we clean them with if we remove all toxins from our house?
The following are some of the best recipes I found. Most of them come from thethrfitycouple.com blog. Particularly their cleaning challenge from back in 2013. They have a number of other recipes listed, but the ones listed here are the ones that have worked best for me in my personal experience. Some of my other favorites come from Wellnessmama.com
Window Glass and Stainless Steel
Vinegar and Water work just as well as windex and you don’t have to worry about your child getting into it. Just mix it 50/50 with water and use a rag to clean as you normally would. Simple enough right? Also, if you’ld like a little bit of an extra kick a little bit of baking soda in that spray bottle can really give that recipe a boost. And if you want additional antibacterial power you can add three to four drops of an essential oil. The ones I recommend the most often are Melaleuca (tea tree oil), Lemon, Orange, Peppermint or Lavender.
The oils are also a great investment as you will get a container that can last you a year or two for all of your cleaning supply needs. Just make sure that they are natural. It adds a bit to your start up cost, but some might find it worth it to have that clean smell they are used to. It also works that some of us may already have a collection of these oils for ritual use.
The original recipe I found also uses a drip of dish soap, but I found that this really made no difference and actually made it harder to get that streak free look.
Laminate Floor Cleaner
The recipe here is their third attempt with a few modifications. Again it was the one that worked best for me. It goes as follows:
- 1.5 cups Water
- 1.5 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
- Several drops of Orange or Lemon essential oils.
- Mix all ingredients together and pour into a fine mist spray bottle.
Now that I left out the dish soap….just a few drops and they used lavender oils. But any of the oils I mentioned earlier would work.
We also made our own swiffer pads so that we could use this with our original swiffer set I had for my tiled dorm room. We just bought some microfiber cloths at the Dollar Tree and cut it down.
Natural Mildew And Mold Remover
Every once in a while we all face the dreaded mold…especially if your life is like mine and you get busy. For this one I do follow their exact directions. For some reason the Tea Tree Oil worked best for me when we used it in our bathroom.
To make the remover put a TBSP of baking soda in a small bowl and pour a TBSP of vinegar (white) into it. You’re going to see it react, but just stir it until it is mixed. Once that has settled you need to add 5-6 drops of Tea Tree Essential oil and mix it again. It’s going to be a thin/medium paste. I apply it directly to the affected spot and let it sit there for a while. Once it has sat there for, lets say half an hour to an hour I come back and scrub it away. You may need to repeat this a few times but it will get the job done.
Homemade Soft Scrub
This is another great one from the thrifty couple. And it is the only one where I use even a semi toxic product and that is because I just haven’t found a good substitute for the dish soap, but I’m still working on it. Eventually I plan on figuring out my own homemade version of dish soap that is all natural as well.
Here’s how you make it. Take 2 TBSP (or more depending on how much you need just be sure to double the rest appropriately). and add five drops of lemon or orange oil. These oils are both known for their cleansing properties. Then add five drops of dish soap (hopefully in the same scent). Then add 1 TBSP of hydrogen peroxide. The original recipe recommends 3% but I’ve found that just about anything you can buy at Walmart will work.
It’s going to form a paste. If it’s not thick enough add pinches of baking soda until you get a medium paste. You may also find that the thickness you need depends on what you are cleaning. So you may have to experiment to find your happy medium.
This is one of the only recipes I haven’t had luck storing. It just doesn’t work after sitting around for so long.
Once it’s made apply to the surface you need to clean and scrub gently with a toothbrush before letting it sit for 20-30 minutes. Then scrub gently again and wipe away. I have used it on tile grout and a pesky oven stain but I’m not sure I would use it on wood, glass or painted walls just to be safe.
Total Supply List
Vinegar (White or Apple Cider) Note: I prefer the Apple Cider Vinegar.
Essential Oils: Lemon, Orange, Tea Tree, Peppermint, Lavender.
Labels for Spray Bottles
Spray Bottle for Window, Glass and Steel Cleaner
Spray Bottle for Laminate Floor Cleaner
Small Bowl for cleaning.
Also, not everyone is going to like every recipe. I went through a number of sites before I found a set that I liked. If mine don’t work to your taste, try doing your own research and see if you can find something that does work for you. All I’m trying to do here is remove the toxic chemicals from our home because our body is a part of our temple and we should all respect it. And more importantly, we have to teach our children this by our own example.
So there you have it. Aside from the essential oils (which are just a startup cost and easily sustainable once started) everything is easily obtainable. I’m also fairly sure that a good number of them might work without the oils, but I’ve never tried that. Also, I like the clean smell without the chemicals so I’m not sure I would like them without the oils.
Test out a few and tell me what you think.
Wednesday we are going to talk about some more bathroom cleaners to help you go Green in your home. Then after this week I’ll get back to some separate posts related more specifically to my individual blogs.