Live long… Laugh often… Love always.
I love a house that smells good when you walk in! There was a time in my life where I would have used a plug in, a scented candle, the potent melted wax, or air freshener sprays, but now I know better. Keeping an artificially fragrance free house is tough because I still want to remove food or other stinky odors from my house but you can’t brainlessly spray a chemical to pollute your indoor air. Did you know that the EPA estimates that indoor air is 4 times more polluted than outdoor air in most homes in the winter time when houses are closed up tight?
I have used many different natural products that I have laying around my house or my yard. I have used pine needles and lemon juice, I have used cloves and citrus, I have used cinnamon and apple cores but one of my favorite scents is orange peel and cinnamon. The smell of cinnamon smells like fresh baked goods, and the citrusy smell of orange smells like sunshine.
You can use a small pan on the stove but you have to make sure that you dont simmer all of the water out and start a fire, instead I have this potpourri warmer that I have had for about 10 years that is really awesome for natural air fresheners.
My old school potpourri warmer, some ground cinnamon, and an orange
Peel an orange, eat the orange and put the orange peel into the pot.
Add 1 tablespoon of ground cinnamon, or eyeball it.
Add water to fill up the pot, mix the cinnamon and orange peel, put it on the stove to simmer, or if you have a potpourri warmer plug it in. Enjoy a fresh smelling house without adding any chemicals, phthalates, petroleum products, or chemical fragrances and protect your indoor air quality.
Since I stopped using toxic dryer sheets a few years back I have had them sitting in their box in my basement collecting dust. I heard a rumor that you could use dryer sheets to remove dried bugs from your car. I thought that sounds like a good thing to test out so I put on a rubber glove, grabbed one dryer sheet out of the box and went outside.
After driving around all summer long, collecting bugs, letting them bake on, my car looked like this.
After wetting the front of the car with the hose, rubbing one dryer sheet over the front of my car, headlights and grill with very little effort, it looked like this. (I guess they don’t remove the scuffs you get when your son runs into your car with a big wheel.)
So if you are like me and don’t use dryer sheets in your dryer because you refuse to put dangerous chemicals and hormone disrupting fragrances on your clean clothes, you can bring those extra dryer sheets to the garage as a very simple and effective bug remover.
I am proud to be cheap! I also love knowing that what I clean my kitchen with ingredients that I can eat.
I clean with an antibacterial microfiber cloth and my cleaning mixture. If it is something that is extra sticky or dirty or left bacteria behind, I let the solution sit for a few minutes to kill the bacteria before I wipe it off.
But vinegar stinks! It only stinks until it dries! It removes odors in the air like cooking odors and helps keep your house smelling clean without adding any fragrances or chemicals. You will never hesitate to set food on your counter because there are no harmful chemicals that will ruin your food.
Vinegar kills 99% of bacteria naturally and lemon juice is also antibacterial.
Here is what you need to make a few months of cleaner.
-1 heavy-duty spray bottle. I bought a Rubbermaid bottle at Target in the laundry basket or iron aisle.
-Bottle of White Distilled Vinegar, I buy the generic because I am cheap and I am only cleaning with it.
-Bottled Lemon juice, again go ahead an buy generic, you are not eating it!
Vinegar All Purpose Kitchen Cleaner-
Fill the spray bottle up 1/2 way with vinegar
Add 1/2 cup lemon juice
Fill up the rest of the way with warm water
Shake it up and start cleaning!
I use my Vinegar spray cleaner in my living room and bathroom as well.
I have been buying Seventh Generation dishwasher detergent for a couple of months and it gets my dishes clean but it is expensive. I spend about $5 on a box that maybe lasts me a couple of weeks. In the past I have researched home made dishwasher detergents, but everything I have read is that they don’t get your dishes clean or that they leave a film on your dishes, or that they make too many suds. I did not want to use anything that would be bad for my kids to breathe in while the dishwasher was running like bleach, so I kept buying store bought detergent.
Yesterday I ran out of detergent and I forgot to pick some up at the store while I was out. It was nap time and I wanted to run the dishwasher but I could not leave the house to go pick up more. I decided I needed to figure out a green automatic dishwasher detergent recipe that would work from stuff I already had in my house, at least something I could use in a pinch.
I found about 20 different recipes online but this one made the most sense to me. I made a batch, I have ran my dishwasher twice and the results are great! Sparkling clean dishes, clean smelling dishes, no harsh chemicals, environmentally safe products, no film, no residue and no suds spilling onto my floor! Two thumbs up!
I thought about taking a photo of my clean dishes but I realized that my old, well used dishes would never look like the sparkling dishwasher advertisements, so I say you have to trust me, my dishes are just as clean as if washed with regular dishwasher detergent.
Here is the recipe for homemade automatic dishwasher detergent!
1 cup Borax
1 cup Washing Soda
1/2 cup salt
4 packages of lemonade flavor, unsweetened kool aid mix (need the citric acid)
Mix the above four dry ingredients, store in a clean sealed container.
Use 1-2 tablespoons of powder to each dishwasher load depending on how dirty the dishes are.
I read that you can use as few as 2 kool aid packets with soft water, If you have hard water add more unsweetened lemonade flavor kool aid packets.
I also filled my jet dry reservoir with white vinegar for the rinse cycle.
This recipe makes 40 Tablespoons of dry dishwasher detergent, if you use 1 tablespoon per load that would be 40 loads. I guess the total cost of this was about $1.20.
I am thrilled with the results of my cheap, home made, environmentally safe dishwasher detergent.
Before I left for on vacation for 10 days, I canceled my newspaper because I did not read it and it was easier than putting it on hold and then having to deal with canceling later. I felt guilty about having the paper in my house, and I did not like the space required to recycle it especially when I did not read it. The same ads and information is online and if I view them online I am not contributing to the destruction of trees and the energy and cost of recycling. Since I did not read the paper this was a good decision for me. The only reason we signed up for the paper to begin with is my husband answered the phone when a sales person gave him an amazingly low rate for a year. We paid for one full year and no longer wanted any more papers after that period.
When I was on vacation I was getting multiple messages on my cell phone each day alerting me to the fact that I had voice messages on my home phone. I would call the house phone to listen to the message and there was only multiple clicks or just plain silence recorded for up to 60 seconds on the voice mail. The same thing happened each day, most days multiple times from one of the two numbers, 1702-554-1465, 1715-254-0345. It made me concerned that someone was calling our house to try to scope it out to verify that we indeed were not home, or I was actually concerned that someone was trying to get a hold of me for an emergency, so I looked up the number. It turns out that I am not the only person receiving these calls because other people were complaining about these numbers calling their homes multiple times each day as well.
I have documented how many of these calls I have received and how many voice mail messages were left from the automated service and will be contacting Pioneer Press directly to tell them to take me off their phone call list forever. I will never subscribe to the Pioneer Press again due to the harassing nature of these phone calls. I am writing this in case someone else is trying to figure out who keeps calling them, maybe they will find this post and realize it is not an emergency, just Pioneer Press.