Keeping a clean home (naturally!)

I hope each and every one of you had a wonderful Christmas celebrating with friends and family!  We sure did and although there was a close call when Jeremiah got called out to Rockford, IL after a blizzard hit we were still able to celebrate together and create new memories as a family.  I am pooped though and the house is showing it!  We have another family gathering at our house this Saturday so as soon as I muster enough energy I’ll be cleaning it from top to bottom.  All with my cleaning companions:

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Slowly I’ve been moving away from store-bought, ingredient-laden cleaning products for our home and wouldn’t you know our house is just as clean as when I used those name-brand products! Now I’m feeling much better about what goes into the laundry or sprayed on the counters and I’m never left wondering what effect it’s having on our health.  All of these cleaners have been tested in our home and I love them each for what they do.

Laundry Detergent

IMG_0524What you do: grate your soap.  I use Trader Joe’s tea tree glycerin soap.  It works great and it’s really inexpensive, double win!  You could also use Ivory (doesn’t dissolve as well) or Fels Naptha (not very natural).  Then add the Borax, Washing Soda (in the cleaning aisle, I got mine at Wal-Mart), and Oxyclean (or knock-off brand).  Use 2 tbsp. for a full load and add 3-4 drops of essential oil to each load to get a light scent.

Variation for cloth diapers: leave out the bar of soap.  I have used this as a diaper detergent for over a year now and always get fresh, clean diapers.  Easy and inexpensive!

Dishwasher Detergent

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This is a new addition to my arsenal and it has not disappointed.  One thing you’ll want to do is rinse your dishes well before putting them in the dishwasher.  If I have a pile of dishes I put a little bit of water in the sink and scrub them all at once without running the water the entire time.  I got the citric acid and coarse salt at our local co-op in the bulk foods section.

All-purpose every-purpose soap

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I LOVE this soap! I use it as hand soap and body wash.  I don’t even know how much money I’ve saved by making this stuff.  It is simply fantastic and so easy to make.  Grate the bar of soap (I use Trader Joe’s glycerin soap for this as well but you can use Dr. Bronner’s, etc.) and combine it with the water and liquid glycerin in a pot on the stove.  Heat it up on medium until everything is dissolved and then remove from heat and let sit until cloudy and thick (a few hours-12 hours).  You might need to mix in a little water to it before you pour into your container if it gets too thick.

All-purpose cleaning solution

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I use this cleaner for the kitchen, bathrooms and even spray a little on a rag when I dust.  You can add essential oils to make it smell better (I have lavender right now).  Put it in a spray bottle and store the rest in a separate container.

I’m still on the search for a good heavy-duty cleaner for things like the scummy buildup that happens in the bathtub and a toilet bowl cleaner.  Once I find them I’ll make sure to share!

Happy cleaning!

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