Friday, July 31, 2009

Introducing The Good Baby

You may have noticed that I have been absent for the last few weeks. Don't I know my blog turned a year old and there was no comment? Where have I been? What have I been doing? And what is so damn important that I don't update the blog?

This little thing came into my life a little over a month ago.

I am finding that newborns like schedules, just not your schedule. I am finally getting some sleep and hope to be blogging again soon.

In the meantime here is more Good Baby cuteness.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Go Green - Green Cleaning

The biggest bulk of our green living comes from switching to non-chemical and natural cleaning products. I always believed before that a good cleaning requires chemicals to really clean and I should have bought stock in Comet, for as much as I used.

But after getting pregnant and with The Good Baby here, I wanted to lessen her and my exposure to household chemicals. After all elbow grease is free.

Before my cleaning supplies looked like this:

Now they look like this:
You will find that several ingredients can accomplish what all the previous cleaners did. Baking soda, borax, salt, lemons and vinegar will go a long way in providing for a clean house.

All Purpose Kitchen Cleaner (instead of Comet)
2 tablespoons vinegar
2 cups hot water
1/4 cup liquid soap

~Mix everything but soap in a spray bottle and shake. Add 1/4 cup liquid soap last. Mix gently. Apply and wipe clean. Good for counters, wood work, appliances, etc.

Scouring Powder (instead of Comet)
Baking soda

~Pour in shaker and sprinkle in sink or on pans. Scrub with a pad and rinse.

Scouring Paste (instead of Comet)
2/3 cup baking soda
1/2 cup liquid soap
2 tablespoons vinegar

~Mix soda and soap to form a paste. Add vinegar and stir. Keep paste in a tub at the kitchen sink for scouring pots and pans or the sink itself.

Drain Cleaner
1/2 cup baking soda
1/2 cup vinegar

~Pour baking soda down the drain followed by vinegar. Let it bubble for 15 minutes, then pour down a teakettle full of boiling water.

Garbage Pail Deodorizer
1 teaspoon tea tree oil
1 cup baking soda

~Mix and work out all the lumps with a fork. Sprinkle in bottom of pail after liner is removed. Periodically rinse pail with vinegar and water and let dry.

Oven Cleaner (instead of Off!)
1 tablespoon liquid soap
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup salt
3/4 cup baking soda

~Spray oven surfaces with soapy water. Mix salt and baking soda and sprinkle on wet surface. Spray again so that the mixture is damp and pasty. Let stand overnight. Scrape off with putty knife or wet pumice stone.

Floor Cleaner (instead of Mr. Clean)
1/2 cup vinegar
1 gallon water

~Combine in a bucket or sink and use on vinyl or title floors

Fabric Softener

~Add 1-2 cups of vinegar to rinse cycle to deodorize and soften fabrics.

Tub and Tile Cleaner
1 2/3 cup water
1/4 cup liquid soap
1/4 cup baking soda
2 tablespoons vinegar
A few drops of essential oil (optional)

~Add soap to water and let dissolve. Stir in baking soda, then add vinegar. Store in a squirt bottle and shake before using. Rinse thoroughly to avoid leaving a residue.

To clean grout, mix lemon juice and baking soda and apply to grout. Let dry and then rinse.

Mold and Mildew and Soapscum
Equal parts vinegar and water

~Spray and wipe clean.

Toilet Bowl Cleaner
Tub and Tile Cleaner (see above)
1/4 teaspoon tea tree oil (optional)

~Spray inside of toilet bowl with cleaner. For tough stains, sprinkle baking soda on a wet bowl brush, scour and rinse. Clean bowl thoroughly and often.

TIP: Drain water from the toilet bowl for better cleaning. For serious stains or rust, empty water out of bowl and scrub with a wet pumice stone. When wet, the stone will not scratch porcelain.

To remove hard-water rings: spray undiluted vinegar around the inside of the toilet then sprinkle borax onto the vinegar. Let it soak for about half an hr. Repeat if necessary.

Wood Polish
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup vinegar
10 drops essential oil (optional)

~Mix and apply. Wipe clean.

Glass Cleaner (instead of Windex)
1/8 cup vinegar
1 cup water

~Mix ingredients in a spray bottle. Shake and apply. Wipe clean with newspapers.

Carpet Deodorizer
1 pound box baking soda
1 teaspoon essential oil

~Mix using a fork to work out lumps. Sprinkle on carpet. Vacuum after 1 hour.

Carpet & Upholstery Stain Remover
Equal parts vinegar and water

~Mix and use to remove tough stains including grass, perspiration, rust, jam, coffee, orange juice, wine, beer, ketchup, barbeque sauce, chili, urine and pet stains.

TIP: Never use warm or hot water on stains containing sugar!

Powder Laundry Detergent (not recommended if you cloth diaper)
1 bar of soap (I use Dr. Bronner's Mild Baby)
1 cup borax
1 cup baking soda
1 cup washing soda

~Grate the soap on a cheese grater and combine all three. Use 1 tablespoon for small loads or in high efficiency machines and 2 tablespoons for regular loads.
*Soap tip- Grate it and let it sit for a few days to dry out the soap. Use your fingers to crush the soap to a finer consistency. This will help it dissolve better.

Powder Dishwasher Detergent
1 cup washing soda or baking soda
1 cup borax

~Mix thoroughly and store in a plastic container, use approximately 2 tablespoons per load. Use vinegar in the rinse compartment as a rinse agent to help prevent residue

To deodorize microwave, place a bowl of water with a few slices of lemon or a couple of tablespoons of lemon juice. Cook on high for about a minute. Doing so also makes it easier to clean the interior of the microwave (the steam it creates loosens hardened spills).

To clean the refrigerator: use a sponge moistened with vinegar, it helps prevent mildew. For hardened spills, make a paste of lemon juice and baking soda, scrub and wipe with the cloth moistened with vinegar.

To clean the coffeemaker glass pot: use lemon juice and salt and rub with a sponge or lemon juice and baking soda. Rinse well.