If you haven’t gotten around to cleaning out every cupboard in your house it is not too late. I had a false start a few weeks back and have spent the last week and a half making up for lost time in a dramatic Marie Kondo fashion. Having already gone through her program in full once before I had somewhat of a head start, and as we are hosting an engagement party for my cousin in a little over a month I had all the motivation I needed to start pulling my house together! And while tidying up your house and getting rid of clutter is beneficial to the environment (especially if you recycle, donate, think hard about buying a lot of replacement clutter, etc.) it got me thinking about how much of our day to day cleaning can be really hazardous to the earth. It may seem innocuous when you spray the counters and sinks down with Clorox Clean Up, but all those chemicals will eventually make there way into the water table. I’ve been on a journey for the past few years trying to lessen the toxin load in my home, and while my system is still not perfect I have come a long way in the earth friendly cleaning department.
What has amazed me most as I have switched to more earth friendly options is just how versatile most of these products are, and many of them are probably already in your cupboard. Take vinegar for instance, it’s excellent for hardwood floors and is an all natural fabric softener. Baking soda will get your sinks squeaky clean and is a critical part of my homemade laundry booster as well as my chocolate chip cookies. And the all natural cleaner that I have been using for the past 4 years comes in a concentrate that allows you to mix it in the appropriate strength for just about any cleaning project you have to face.
I use Thieves household cleaner concentrate for most of my household cleaning chores. Thieves is an all natural plant based cleaner, and it is perfect for the kitchen because it is safe to use around food. I wish I had know about it when my kids were little as the warning label states that if you accidentally ingest it you should drink a lot of water, way different than the harsh chemicals I had locked away under the sink when I had toddlers. Just 1-2 cap fulls in a 16 oz. spray bottle is the perfect counter and window cleaner. I like to add a few drops of lemon essential oil which is a great de-greaser. Lemon oil is also the most amazing goo-gone you’ll ever use. Just one drop on a sticky label and it peels right off! I used it to remove the adhesive tape residue from my skin after my surgery and it worked like a charm.
I also make a soft scrub cleanser with 2 cups baking soda, 10-12 drops lemon essential oil, 1/2 cup Thieves household cleaner, and 1 tablespoon white vinegar. It is the best for cleaning sinks, tubs, and the stove top and no need to wear rubber gloves as it is gentle on your hands. A word of warning, do not increase the vinegar in this recipe at all, baking soda and vinegar have a chemical reaction and it foams up a bit. This makes it great for stirring and getting the mixture all together, but add much more and it will foam all over the place.
The Thieves line is also excellent for laundry. They have a great laundry soap that is safe for your HE washing machine and super concentrated, so one small bottle lasts a long time. I have an automatic soap dispenser on my washing machine, so after filling it I just set the concentration level to the appropriate level and forget about it. If you have a top loader, or just can’t bring yourself to use such a small amount of detergent per load, there is a recipe for diluting the detergent that you can find here. I also fill the fabric softener slot with plain white vinegar which is a natural fabric softener. Bet you didn’t know that! (And no, your clothes will not smell like vinegar.) You can save a lot of money as well as the planet by making that simple switch as a gallon of white vinegar is about $3.00 and a bottle of Downey is $12.99 here in Petaluma.
I stopped buying stain removers and instead got a couple of 2oz. spray bottles. I filled one with hydrogen peroxide, which is the best for getting out blood stains. I learned this trick from Jason’s uncle, who was a nurse before he retired, and it works like magic. You can literally watch the stain disappear! The other bottle I used to make and all purpose stain remover by filling it 1/3 full of Thieves dish soap, 1/3 full of Thieves household cleaner, and 1/3 water. It’s great for everything from grease to grass stains, but do shake well before using.
I also make my own laundry booster, which smells just heavenly! I use equal parts baking soda and epsom salts (my jar allows for a cup and a half of each with room left in the jar for it to mix well while shaking) and 10 drops each of lavender and lushious lemon essential oils. You can also use a few drops of essential oils on a wool dryer ball to give your laundry a little earth friendly fragrance, which is a good example of why it is important to use quality essential oils. Did you know that many essential oils are chemically extracted? These oils by Young Living are pure therapeutic grade oils that are steam distilled or cold pressed, using only the first distillation (kind of like extra virgin olive oil which is only the first press), which means they are not flammable. Those oils in the dollar bin at Target?… not so much! Best to avoid those if you don’t want to start a fire in your dryer.
I am so excited for you all to try these products that I am giving away this bundle of goodies. It includes a sample pack of Thieves household cleaner and a glass spray bottle for you to make your own counter spray, Thieves dish soap, Thieves foaming hand soap, and a bottle of lemon essential oil. To enter the raffle simply make sure you subscribe to my blog by entering your email address on the home page of my website and comment below with either something you learned or your own favorite earth friendly cleaning hack. Winner will be chosen on Monday so you have all weekend to get your comments up!
If you don’t want to wait and would like to get started right away, simply click this link to browse the Young Living website for any of the products I mentioned in this post. I am also including a link here for the total bundle where you can get everything I talked about in this post. I have two 10% off coupon codes that I would love to share with the first two people who would like to sign up! Email me at [email protected] to get the code, I will send them to the first two emails to land in my inbox!
Now that the kitchen is clean my mom and I are heading off on a road trip to visit my boys and my Aunt Jayme. I’ll be back next week with a recipe to liven up your Cinco de Mayo celebrations!