Healthy Cleaning Tip of the Day

Cleaning The Safe and Natural Way

6/16/12 Another great cleaner Castile soap : castile soap is all natural and organic, made strictly from vegetable oils not animal fat or chemicals. You can buy castile soap on the market in products such as Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap.Here are a few ways to use castile soap:
Scrubbing cleanser: take a few tablespoons of baking soda and mix it with a few drops castile soap for scrubbing cleaner, you can thin it down by adding more soap for a toilet bowl cleaner.
Floor cleaner: take one part castile soap to 40 parts water, stir gently to not create too much bubbling.
Laundry detergent: Use 1/3 cup straight liquid soap for a full load of clothing. For a laundry boost, sprinkle in a little baking soda.
Dishwasher liquid: Mix ½ cup liquid soap, ½ cup water, 1-2 teaspoons of lemon juice and ½ cup white vinegar. mix well and pour into a bottle or container for future use-use only 2 tbsp for one load of dishes.
General Purpose Spray Cleaner Use 3 tablespoons liquid soap, 2 tablespoons borax, 6 cups water, and 2 cups white vinegar for a great cleaner. Bring water to a boil and pour over the soap and borax to dissolve. Whisk in the vinegar and let cool. Store in a spray bottle.
General Purpose Spray Cleaner simpler version: Same as above directions for general purpose cleaner, but exchange vinegar with 3 tablespoons baking soda.

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6/17/12 Streak Free Mirrors with no cleaners needed! : To get your mirrors looking their best, use a clean microfiber cloth, dampened it lightly with just water. wipe down the entire surface of the mirror. when the mirror is completely wiped down, take a dry microfiber and polish in circular motions across the surface again without water. Watch the clarity appear!

6/18/12 Cleaning Fabric on Your Couch or Loveseat: Is your favorite seat made of fabric? If so, use cool water to clean up a stain that isn’t greasy. Even though it is usually noted that heat sets stains into fabric, you will need to use a hot water for stains that are from a greasy substance. If you have access to a small deep cleaner, this can be quite helpful in successfully removing any stains on your fabric. Everyone has access to water, and water definitely is environmentally friendly! When just water is not cutting it: try 3% Hydrogen Peroxide. Dab a small amount onto the stain, but do not rinse the peroxide off. If the stain is still there, repeat. Hydrogen Peroxide also doubles as a great disinfectant too. Remember, as with any cleaning product, always spot-test the product in an inconspicuous spot on the fabric. Who knew that a basic first-aid product could handle tough fabric stains?

6/19/12 Cleaning Your Fruits and Vegetables: According to a recent study, any cleaning is better than none to get the grime off your produce. But try this to ensure your produce is as free as can be… do a 1:3 ratio of vinegar to water and spray or soak your produce then rinse with water. Whether you use a spray bottle for the smooth skinned fruits and veggies or a sink or basin to soak, just get the surface wet, soak and then rinse.

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6/20/12 Cleaning Soap Scum from glass showers..Naturally to a clear shine!:
Combine 2 teaspoons borax,1 teaspoon castile soap,3/4 cup white vinegar, 1 1/2 cup hot water, and 10 drops tea tree oil in a spray bottle. Shake to blend. Spray mixture on glass and allow to penetrate. Follow with a sponge or brush. Rinse off. Dry.
When the job calls for a more heavy duty scrub here’s my favorite soft scrub alternative -It can also be used to scrub a toilet :
3/4 cup baking soda mixed with enough liquid castile soap to form a paste, add 5 drops tea tree oil and 5 drops of lemon oil (optional). Apply scrub to sponge for use on shower doors. Allow paste to stay on glass for 5-10 minutes. Spray with vinegar and wipe off with sponge. Rinse off and then dry.

6/21/12 Making a safe bleach alternative: When cleaning a client’s house, I was really wishing I could just use bleach because the job just needed that kind of strength. So I did some homework and this is what I came up with…try this for a natural, safe “bleach”- it works!!
– 1 ½ cup 3% hydrogen peroxide
– ½ cup lemon juice
– Pure water to fill gallon jug
– 10 drops tea tree or other essential oils
Pour hydrogen peroxide,lemon juice, and essential oils in gallon jug. Add water to fill. Cap and store.
Notes:
-This is a color-safe bleach alternative.
-Add a cup of homemade bleach alternative to the wash for brighter, softer clothing.
-May be used in bath, tub, and toilet cleaning.
-No need to dilute.
-For tough-on stains soak clothing in a bucket with this solution. You may also spray on stains prior to washing.

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6/22/12 If you prefer to just buy cleaners:
If you are buying cleaners, here’s some things to avoid to ensure you are purchasing safer products:
Look for “green” and non-toxic cleaners that don’t contain chlorine, alchohols, triclosan, triclocarbon, lye, glycol ethers, or ammonia. Choose ones that say “petroleum-free,” “biodegradable,” “phosphate-free.”, “VOC-free,” and “solvent-free.” But be careful of “green” labels. Know the ingredients or just don’t buy it.

6/23/12 Removing rust spots: you will need 1 lime and salt.Sprinkle a little salt on the rust. Squeeze a lime over the salt until it is well soaked. Let the mixture set for two to three hours. Use the leftover rind to scrub the residue. While it soaks, and you have the lime and salt out, make a Margarita!

6/24/12 Getting Rid Of Fruit Flies: Its that time of year, fruits and veggies ripen and rot quickly and fruit flies come to visit. The little buggers can come in from the store with your fruit or they can seem to appear magically out of nowhere! Prevention is the best way to stop them: by not having food sit too long, clean out the drains, and get rid of any fruit that’s getting too ripe. However once you have fruit flies, there’s a simple way to get rid of them… make a cider vinegar or fruit juice trap. Take a small dish (creme brulee or sauce dish) and fill half way with the vinegar or juice. Tightly cover it with saran wrap and poke a few small holes with the tip of a toothpick- just large enough for them to get in but not get out. They will be attracted to the sweetness and then be trapped.

6/25/12 No Need for Chemicals or Cleaners: Another alternative are microfiber cloths which lift off dirt, grease and dust without the need for cleaning chemicals, because they are formulated to penetrate and trap dirt. Microfiber cloths will pull the dirt and grime away from the surface with little or no effort. You can just use water and the microfibre cloth for all your cleaning needs. However if you want to disinfect further (for peace of mind-although the cloth really does remove the germs!) after cleaning, mix 2 teaspoons borax, 4 tablespoons vinegar and 3 cups hot water and pour into a spray bottle and shake. Spray onto sink handle, door knobs,etc and let it sit while you finish your other cleaning. With a clean cloth, wipe down any remaining residue.

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6/26/12 About Essential Oils: Essential oils, often used in aromatherapy, are volatile liquid aroma compounds taken from plants. While essential oils are not oils in a strict sense, the  flavonoids they contain is what makes them so effective and amazing!   For the next few days we will tell you about our experience with these special, natural magicians. We’ve used them for so many things from cleaning to first-aid and from pest control to mood control. Stay tuned!

6/27/12 Peppermint Oil: The smell reminds me of the days before Christmas. Candy canes hanging on the Tree, a fresh and clean aroma. It’s been used and documented for centuries. In fact, Greek mythology (1 BC.) connects the Greek god Pluto to the herb. It was also note by the British Medical Journal in 1879 that peppermint “relieves headaches and nerve pain”.

We have been using the essential oil around the perimeters of the houses we clean as a natural pesticide with much success … One week after treatments we’ve noticed the ant population (of the worst infestations) is reduced to almost ZERO!

In one study, Peppermint has been found to enhance memory, which is GREAT since it will help our clients remember that they actually HAD an ant problem before we met them! A few other benefits of Peppermint that that we know of: Anti-inflammatory; relieves pain, muscle spasms, and cramping; relaxes the nerves; kills viral infections; decreases gas and indigestion; clears lung congestion; reduces fever. (taken from Howstuffworks)

6/28/12 Clove Oil: The next essential oil we want to talk about is clove oil. Some people love the smell while others just don’t. But it is a very powerful oil and has many beneficial uses:relieving toothaches, earaches, nausea, hypertension and pain from burns and wounds. Also helps respiratory problems, great air freshener, mosquito repellent, fly deterrent, and ant killer. One drop of clove oil will kill ants instantly! My aunt used to take cloves and decorate an orange by piercing the skin of a whole orange with cloves. You can use this same method, tie a ribbon or string around it and hang it in your house to be used as an effective respiratory aid, air freshener and fly deterrent for approximately 6 months.

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6/29/12 Juniper Oil: Juniper oil is an anti-rheumatic, astringent, antiseptic, digestive, detoxifying, diuretic, emmenogogue, purifying, sedative, tonic. For household use it can be used to disinfect and clean when used as an essential oil base (see previous blogs for recipes). Juniper Oil has a fresh, woody smell, reminiscent of pine.

6/30/12 Thyme Oil: Thyme has potent antiseptic properties. One way to put this to good use is to combine 10 drops to 1 cup of water in a spray bottle. Spray on area to disinfect, no need to rinse

7/1/12 Eucalyptus oil: this oil has antibacterial and disinfecting powers — a few drops added to your mop water can make your floors smell and look better. Eucalyptus oil also works well as an effective insect repellent. However, it does yield a stronger scent than, say, lavender oil. When using it as an air freshener, first dilute it with water. The Eucalyptus is quite amazing to me. Click the link to find out why.

7/2/12 Lavender oil: Lavender oil often used in homemade sprays and sachets. It not only freshens rooms and closets, it keeps away mosquitoes, flies, gnats, and other biting insects. It is also bothersome to moths; when combined with cedar chips or slivers, lavender oil makes a powerful moth repellent. Sprays or lotions made with lavender oil can be used directly on the skin as chemical-free insect repellent. However, be sure to reapply often; depending on the suspension medium (alcohol versus lotion), it may evaporate faster than typical commercial bug repellents. Lavender oil in soy candles, placed around the home or garden, has a bug-repelling effect th­at is more powerful than citronella — and it smells nicer, too. For maximum effect, combine lavender oil with eucalyptus and clove oils. Lavender is also a highly effective disinfectant with antibacterial properties and can be used in garbage and diaper pails. It can be used in a solution to refresh and disinfect nonporous surfaces like countertops and porous surfaces like draperies, upholstery, and bedding. (taken from TLC Home)

7/3/12 Citrus oils: such as lemon, lime, and grapefruit oils, including lemon juice. These oils can be used in a variety of applications such as polish for wood floors and wood furniture. Depending upon how severely dry the wood is, citrus oils can be either applied directly or mixed with another inert oil medium. Citrus oils can be used for removing stickers and other gooey items — by rubbing the oil on to the tacky surface w­ith a damp cloth until the adhesive is gone. No need to buy expensive bottles of marketed products to do this job!

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7/4/12 Tea Tree oil: Tea tree oil is one of the most versatile household and medicinal essential oils. My podiatrist even uses it for his patients! Tea tree oil is also known as melaleuca oil. It is from the melaleuca trees in Australia. There are many varieties of this oil but we are talking here about Australian tea tree oil, or melaleuca alternifolia. This oil is versatile and powerful. You can see for yourself how well it works to kill mold and mildew with this simple test: Put 2 teaspoons of Australian tea tree oil in a spray bottle with two cups of water. Don’t rinse. The oil mixture will continue to work. For musty items, try this: spray the musty item with the oil mixture, let the smell dissipate (it will take a few days). The smell of mold and must will be gone, too, never to return as long as the source of moisture has been removed. Tea tree oil can also be used to clean grout, as a laundry booster, and as a disinfectant spray…just to name a few!

7/5/12 Chamomile Oil: ‘Chamomile’ is the common name given to plants of the Asteraceae family, however, there is NOTHING common about this essential oil. A 2 oz. bottle (that’s 12 teaspoons) of 100% pure oil would cost you about $150 wholesale!. There are two types available, German and Roman. We use German since it has a has a calming effect on the mind and body. Mixed with Lavender it has an amazing effect on restlessness and promotes restful and sound sleep and it smells great … Naturally!

7/6/12 Pine Oil: Anyone who has spent any amount of time outdoors will easily identify the sweet, woodsy scent of pine trees. Most people can relate the aroma of pine to “clean” as its used so often in market cleaners. But did you know that oil from a pine tree has many other uses such as cleaning, medical uses, aromatherapy and massage? Being that pine trees are abundant in nature, the oil is inexpensive and readily available, and it is an important essential oil to have at home. Pine oil contains phenols, which are acidic chemicals that have germ-killing properties. Pine oil disinfects effectively against yeast spores, & E.coli. Other household germs like mildew and mold can not withstand the power of pine oil. Try the following steps to make your own pine oil cleaner: add one cup soap flakes to 6 cups hot water. stir gently and while stirring add one cup pine oil. This will make a concentrated cleaner. When you are ready to use: mix equal parts water to cleaning solution in a sprayer or bucket.

***I was reading an article online about going green and why it is good to use essential oils. I found it to be a very simply put way of understanding why this is all important. So here it is:http://www.experience-essential-oils.com/going-green-in-your-home.html

7/7/12 Bergamot Oil: Bergamot is a citrus fruit. The oil is extracted from the rind. Bergamot Oil has a very sweet smell and a number of medicinal and industrial uses. The essential oils of Bergamot are antibiotics and disinfectants. They inhibit growth of germs, virus and fungus. They also effectively prohibit infections. If regularly used with bathing water or in soaps, the skin and hair remains protected from infections and become shiny. It also cures infections of colon, intestines, urinary tract and kidneys. In household use, due to the disinfectant nature of Bergamot, this oil can be used to clean and disinfect in the kitchen and bathrooms, on door handles and door knobs and on shared devices such as telephones and remotes. Just add a few drops of the oil to water and shake. If you like the aroma of Bergamot one trick to try: Put a few drops on the cardboard ring inside the toilet paper roll. The cardboard soaks up the oils and releases the scent when the roll is turned.

7/8/12 Lemongrass Oil: Lemon grass is one of those aromatic versatile herbs. Did you know that it’s most popular and well known name is..CITRONELLA??
Citronella is known for its calming effect that relieves insomnia or stress. It is also considered as a mild insect repellant. But there’s more! Lemongrass provides many health benefits. Studies have shown that the lemon grass has antibacterial and antifungal properties. There are various recipes that have come down through the ages – such as mixing lemon grass with pepper, it makes for a home therapy for menstrual troubles and nausea. Drank as tea, it can be an effective diuretic. Because it strengthens vascular walls and helps with poor circulation, it is indicated for edema, fluid retention, some kidney disorders, hemorrhoids, and varicose veins. And of course for household use…what else? If its common use is as citronella, its only a natural course to discuss pest control. Mix 3-5 drops of lemongrass oil to a 4 oz 50/50 mixture of rubbing alcohol and distilled water and shake in a sprayer bottle. Do not apply this oil wihtout diluting, even diluted it can cause a rash, so try it first! You can also make your own citronella without buying it packaged. Just take the lemongrass oil and burn in a diffuser on the tables on your patio.

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We’re back!! It was a summer filled with heard work and long hours. While there is a pace of “normal hours”, thought we’d post a few new tips. While we were not posting..we were cleaning, building a website and getting certified. In our training there was a lot of input from other professionals working hard to make a difference. Its truly amazing the outpouring of support and enthusiasm to make our world Green!!

Air fresheners We all like a “clean” or “fresh” smell in our home. After all isn’t the impression if it doesn’t smell clean, it’s not clean? When in fact, most of the safest cleaners have no smell at all. However, the fact still remains, we like the aroma. The best air freshener of all is just plain, ol’ fresh air- open up the windows and let it in. As we all know that’s not always possible though. First let me say a few words about the air fresheners sooo readily available to us: most are aerosol- toxic to our indoor air quality, our health and our environment (even those plug ins aren’t healthy). And then not to mention what’s actually IN that air freshener…toxins like camphor, phenol, ethanol, formaldehyde, and artificial fragrances (see our website for more info). Now. Do you really want to compromise health for just a temporary fix of a wiff? Try these instead:
Bamboo reeds (diffuser) with a few drops of your favorite essential oil in the container (lavender, chamomile, peppermint are a few of our favorites)
Simmer a pot of water with cut up fruits and spices (adding more water as it steams away)
Simmer a pot of water with a few drops of essential oils (a few drops go a long way- AND choose the oil based on symptoms in the home at the time- thyme or eucalyptus is good for colds, lavender will soothe the moods..)
Make an air freshener spray from essential oil, water and alcohol (vodka is healthier to use than isopropyl alcohol), shake in a spray bottle and use around the house-avoid spray surfaces of wood though.

Start in your home!There is a lot of information on going Green and what we can and can’t do. Frankly at first, it can be overwhelming. Do you feel like you’d like to change, want a green lifestyle, or just want to make a little bit of a difference but just don’t know where to start so it goes on the back burner? Here’s an easy way to start at home:
Go through the pantry, bathroom drawers and cabinets, and under the sinks. Dispose of the poisons and chemicals you use to clean (check your local garbage pickup- there may be a procedure to get rid of dangerous or toxic chemicals). Start small. Just throw out the bleach, ammonia, and obvious products with warning labels. They are easily replaced with using vinegar instead of ammonia and hydrogen peroxide instead of bleach. If you want, before tossing these products- take an inventory of how many chemicals you have been allowing to enter your home environment. Do a little research on them if you would like a shocker. You know that ring on the bottom of the shelf from that nasty can that has been sitting there? That can has probably been outgassing all this time. It will be an eyeopener, and may just give you the push to keep going!

Another “must” in green cleaning HEPA vacuums. HEPA filtration is very important. The filters can trap dust, dirt, allergens, etc. They trap virtually all particles without a trace being sent back into your indoor environment. Many traditional style vacuums take dirt and dust in, and put out dirty air. You will know this because you can smell it. There should not be any odor from vacuuming. Using a HEPA vacuum is especially important for allergy and asthma suffers, needless to say healthier for all!

Quick and Easy Microwave Cleaning Before scrubbing out the microwave of caked-on particles, try this: in a small bowl, put a cup of water and a few drops of lemon essential oil or the juice from a wedge of lemon. Boil for 4-5 minutes. The steam will release everything from the walls of the microwave, then just wipe clean!

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http://www.taraspersonalcleaning.com

Easy Tip to Cleaning your Microwave:

Instead of those harsh chemicals and fumes, try this easy, little effort two-step process to clean your microwave. Take a bowl of water, and if you want extra cleaning power add a few drops of lemon juice from a lemon. Boil the water in the microwave for 5 minutes. This will create steam on the interior. Just take a microfiber and wipe clean!

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Cleaning around the holidays can be such a chore.

We’re all still working our regular schedule, taking care of the kids and all the homework. Trying to maintain the daily routine, AND we’re planning all of the stuff involved in holiday parties. Who has time to clean?

I’ve put together a few helpful tips so you can keep it clean and green without taking too much time away from the important stuff.

1. To clean a ceiling fan, hang an umbrella upside down from the fan mount or blades while dusting so the dust falls into the umbrella and not on the bed or floor.

2. To ease the pain of cleaning your fireplace, sprinkle a few dashes of salt into the fire each time you use it. The salt will keep the soot loose in the chimney making it easier to clean.

3. Baby spit up on your couch or your clothes? Sprinkle baking soda onto the stain before it sets in and then wash as usual. For extra cleaning power, add club soda or vinegar to the baking soda after shaking it on the stain. The baking soda will break down the proteins and neutralize the odor.

4. Hard to remove stains on your grout or tile floor can be removed with an old toothbrush and toothpaste. The toothpaste is a mild abrasive and works wonders! (This also works on jewelry and diamonds)

5. To clear a smoky odor, whether its cigarettes or a burned dinner, boil a saucepan of vinegar and water. The vinegar will neutralize the odor.

6. For that hard to clean microwave, boil a bowl of water and lemon juice for 5 minutes This will loosen the debris making it easier to just wipe clean.

7. To clean your iron, sprinkle some salt on the ironing board and run the hot iron over the salt. Ironing over the salt will help loosen anything stuck to the iron plate.

8. To shine up your stainless steel appliances, use a microfiber and a little olive oil, apply in circular motions.

9. To clean the inside of your decorative bottles that you just can’t get into, mix warm water, a few drops of dish washing detergent and crushed eggshells or small pieces of pumice, swirl and shake vigorously until the residue comes off the bottle; then rinse with clean water.

10. Have a copper sink that has stains? Use a crumbled piece of aluminum foil and gently rub the surface of the sink then rinse with water.

There you have it! These tips will save you lots of time so you can get back to wrapping presents and planning the holiday seating arrangement. Uncle Milton, you know the one who always likes to point out the fact that you haven’t cleaned up to HIS standards, will never know!

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