Archive for October, 2013


floors

When cleaning your home the ‘natural’ way it can become confusing as to what to use, when to use it and how…in this article I will give really simple ways to clean various types of floors from tile, natural stone, laminate, wood/bamboo and vinyl. Each type of floor has its own quirks and as always, if in doubt about something, try in a small spot first before doing the whole floor.

First up the basics that you will need:

Liquid Castile Soap (how to make)
Hot/Warm Water
Mop (your choice of type)
Optional: Spray bottle if you use the micro cloth type ‘mop’
Essential Oils (tea tree, lavender, lemon, eucalyptus)
Recipes for Natural Spray Cleaner (floors, counters, etc.)

OF NOTE: if you use citrus essential oils it is essential that you do NOT use them on any type of vinyl flooring as citrus oils will eventually break down the petroleum based flooring. Also, please note that I do NOT include orange essential oil, this seems to really break down any type of petroleum based flooring very quickly.

OF NOTE: do not use Castile soap on waxed wood flooring unless you intend on ‘waxing’ them again in the future. Safe to use on ‘sealed’ floors.

To start, ALWAYS sweep/dust mop your floor well to eliminate as much dust, dirt, etc. on the floor to make cleaning it easier.

On all TYPES of flooring (except for waxed wood floors) simply put 1/8 of a cup per gallon of water of the liquid castile soap (made from my recipe which is very concentrated). If desired, add 40 drops of tea tree, lavender, lemon or eucalyptus essential oil. Stir this well in your kitchen sink or bucket. Damp mop only especially with wood, laminate or bamboo flooring. A wet floor of any type can be a hazard so use wring that mop out well…but with wood, laminate and bamboo too much water left to ‘dry’ will eventually cause problems. If you really want to be extra careful use an old towel to dry the floor.
This will work on tile, marble and natural stone floors…just remember to follow manufactures instructions on properly SEALING your natural stone floors as needed to keep them looking new!

If you have a micro mop/swifter type mop use as you would normally use but instead of using the commercial brand sprays see this Liquid Castile Spray recipe for direction on making your cleaner. You will use a damp pad or towel (I have been know to use those cheapie wash rags you can get from Walmart for use with my ‘swifter’. Be sure to change out as needed. I typically change ‘pads’ out after using one for about a 50 square foot area just to keep from spreading dirt around .

Alternatively I found this on Mamatron for laminate, tile and vinyl flooring:
(DO NOT USE ON WOOD, BAMBOO or STONE FLOORS)
How to Make Your Own Homemade (DIY) ‘Pergo’ Laminate Flooring Cleaner
To a measuring cup or jar, add the following:
• 1 part Water
• 1 part White Vinegar
• 1 part 70% Isopropyl (Rubbing) Alcohol
• Few drops of liquid dish detergent
Mix all ingredients together and pour into a fine mist spray bottle.
How to Use Homemade (DIY) ‘Pergo’ Laminate Flooring Cleaner
1. Sweep or vacuum your floors first
2. Spray the cleaner in a fine mist, low over the surface area to be cleaned
3. Allow to set for a few minutes, then use a microfiber mop or towel to wipe it up.
You’ll notice right away that this mixture cleans effectively and with ease, dries quickly, and it is so simple to use. NO BUCKET REQUIRED!
When you have finished mopping, just toss the microfiber mop head or towel into the laundry until next time. Do not use fabric softners with your microfiber mop heads…stops them from absorbing water!
I also found this on TipNut for harwood floors and have used on my own natural stone floors. REMEMBER when using vinegar on natural flooring to always follow up with damp mop clear water just in case. I have edited amounts based upon previous experience with vinegar on natural flooring. BE SURE TO DRY THE FLOOR (WOOD).
Here are several different recipes for mixing up your own cleaners for hardwood flooring, just a few simple ingredients are all that’s needed. Keep in mind that a little goes a long way, you just need enough liquid to dampen the mop (or cloth) and scrub away.

If you’re happy to damp mop with straight water, try adding about 10 drops of essential oil per gallon of water for extra cleaning muscle. Some suggestions: lavender, tea tree oil, pine or eucalyptus oil will add antiseptic qualities.
You’ll also find tips on this page for removing scuff marks, how to test for wax (and remove it), a few DIY polish recipes and a scratch repair method that may surprise you.

Getting Started: Sweep or vacuum surface to remove as much dirt and dust as possible.
Directions:
• When using one of the recipes below, damp mop only. Saturating the floor with liquid may cause spotting or warping of the surface. You can either lightly spray one section at a time or lightly spray the mop head.
• Scrub in the direction of the grain of the wood to grab and remove as much of the dirt as possible.
• Wipe dry with a soft cloth after washing.
Mix 1 gallon warm water with your choice of the ingredients below…

Solution #1
• 1/8 cup vinegar
• 1 TBS Castile liquid soap

Solution #2
• 1/2 cup white household vinegar (*Is it safe to use? See notes below)

Solution #3
• 1/4 cup borax
• 1/2 teaspoon liquid Castile soap

Solution #4
• 1/2 cup vinegar
• 10 drops essential oil of choice

Solution #5
• 1/8 cup liquid Castile soap
• 1/4 cup vinegar

Solution #6
• 1 TBS liquid Castile soap
• 1/8 cup vinegar
• 1/4 cup brewed black tea

Tea Mixture:
Steep 1 bag of tea in 2 cups of boiling water and leave until it comes to room temperature. Remove tea bag and soak cloth in liquid, wring out then wipe floor clean. Dry with a soft cloth. The tannic acid in the tea will help bring wood to a shine.

For Oil-Finish: Damp mop with straight water after first cleaning with the recipe below.
• 1 TBS rubbing alcohol
• 2/3 cup hot water

*Is vinegar safe to use? Isn’t it too acidic for hardwood?
If you poured a bottle of vinegar directly on the floor and allowed it to sit, it would most likely damage the surface. However, in the mixtures above it is well diluted and only used as a damp mop (meaning excess liquid is squeezed out). Vinegar is an excellent household cleaner and brings a lot of muscle to the job. If you’re concerned about the effects it may have on the finish over the long-term, consider doing a clear water rinse after wiping floor with a mixture that has vinegar as an ingredient (then wipe dry as usual).

Removing Scuff Marks
• Keep a spray bottle with a mixture of 50/50 vinegar, water and about 15 drops of essential oil of your choosing.
• Sprinkle scuffs with baking soda then spray solution, let fizz for a few seconds.
• Scrub marks until they are removed then dry with a soft towel.

Wax Testing & Removal
• Wet your fingers with water then flick into a corner of the floor where there’s not much traffic. If there’s wax on the surface, the floor will turn white under the water beads (may take a half hour or so to turn white).

To Remove Wax:
• Scrub the surface with mineral spirits using a household sponge with a nylon scrubby side. Wipe dry with a soft cloth as wax is dissolved. Repeat process a second time if needed.
DIY Polish

Wash surface as usual and dry thoroughly. Using one of the mixes below, apply polish to surface then wipe dry with a soft cotton towel.

Recipe #1
• Mix equal parts olive oil and white household vinegar.

Recipe #2
• 1/4 cup vegetable oil (or olive oil)
• 2 TBS cider vinegar
• 3 TBS vodka

Recipe #3
• 1 TBS olive oil mixed with 1 tsp lemon juice. Apply to a clean, dry mop and treat floors after cleaning.
Quick Tip: You can also spray commercial furniture polish onto the mop head and then wipe over surface.

Scratch Repair
• Rub a crayon that is the same color as the flooring into the scratch, filling the space as full of the wax as you can.
• To seal in place, heat with a hair dryer to soften the wax, allow to cool for a few seconds then buff with a soft cloth.

Lots of different ways to get the job done and many can be used to clean walls, cabinets and other items in your house…have fun!

castile spray

Castile Soap Multipurpose Spray:
Floors and Everything Else!

What you will need:
Spray bottle
Essential Oil of tea tree, lavender, eucalyptus, etc. (optional)
Liquid Castile Soap (how to make)

This has been adapted from:

This castile soap spray is great because you can easily clean multiple surfaces with it from fabric to fixtures! Also, because it’s so easily biodegradable, it’s great for not only cleaning indoors, but outdoors, too! You can easily rinse away the soap without worrying about harming plants or waterways. It’s also very safe and gentle on the skin, so no worries about harmful chemicals.

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

Ingredients:
• 1 cup distilled water
• 1/2 tbsp. unscented castile soap
• 5-10 drops of essential oil (1/3 ml. approximately)

Preparation:

This recipe makes 8 ounces, so multiply the ingredient amounts as needed to fit the size of your spray bottle. If you don’t wish to customize the spray with your own essential oils, simply omit the essential oils.
1. Choose one or a combination of essential oils. (See more information below.)
2. Using a measuring cup and funnel, pour the water into a spray bottle and then add the castile soap.
3. Add the essential oils directly to your spray bottle. Note: A range is given because the size of drops depends on the essential oil dispenser cap.
4. Shake the bottle to incorporate the essential oils and soap.
5. Label with a permanent marker.
6. Store the bottle out of direct sunlight or heat, which can change the chemical constituents in the essential oils.
7. To use, spray any areas that need to be cleaned and wipe with a damp cloth. For tougher cleaning jobs, like grout, use a toothbrush or scrub brush.

IMPORTANT!!! Remember to come back after you spray and use a DAMP Rag to wipe with otherwise you wind up with soap build up . I do NOT recommend using the below on real wood or bamboo flooring as many of the ingredients are drying to wood fibers. If you choose to use this on real wood flooring remember to come back with a damp mop and then dry.

Alternatively:
1. 1 cup water
2. 1 cup vinegar
3. 1 cup isopropyl alcohol
4. ¼ Tbsp. Liquid Castile Soap
5. 5 drops lavender essential oil
6. 5 drops orange essential oil
7. 3 drops tea tree essential oil
8. Fine-mist spray bottle – 24oz

Instructions
1. Add all ingredients to spray bottle and shake to combine.
2. Sweep/vacuum the floor.
3. Spray cleaner on the floor (or other surface).
4. Wipe up with a microfiber cloth or damp rag

Surviving off the land…fact or fiction?…do you believe, that in the event of an emergency situation that you could simply go out into the woods and survive? Or that in order to get food on the table that you will take that old .22 and go kill some meat in the woods or that simply dropping a fishing hook in the water everyday that you and yours could live? That foraging alone in the woods and fields will get you what you need on a daily basis? That all you have to do is throw some seeds out there and presto, within weeks you will have an abundant selection of veggies to eat daily? This is a myth…and the golden hordes (read that city dwellers) that may or may not come out if and when the supply chain or money dries up don’t know it is a myth.

Dream on and don’t come knocking on my door when you figure out that its all a lot harder than you thought it would be and you are starving because you failed to ‘get’ the fact that subsistence living or living ‘survival’ style in the woods just won’t get it no matter what the ‘professionals’ say. Remember that word ‘professional’ and what that means, it means THEY DO WHAT THEY DO FOR A LIVING AND DO IT WELL AND REGULARLY!!! And they always have back up…which you don’t see…just in case (hmm, 3 is 2, 2 is 1 and 1 is none).

Fact is that hunting, fishing, gardening and foraging are all SKILLS that must be developed and even then, it is HARD WORK that takes a lot time. And even if you have the skills do any hunting, fishing, foraging or gardening, there are no promises at the beginning or end of the day that you will get what you need for that day, let alone for future days when you get nothing on a particular day.

Case in point, I have for a few years tried my hand at gardening. All the knowledge in the world doesn’t mean diddly when it doesn’t ran or rains too much…or frost comes early or you get an attack of bugs (or critters!) that kills your plants or eats your hard won fruits and veggies before you can get to them. Have had it all happen plus other interesting things…such as some veggies and fruits just won’t grow on my property despite how much work I put into them. Some methods of gardening just don’t work in my area. It is has been and is still a process of learning my own land and area that has led to some successes and a lot of failures that teach me what not to do and sends me back to the drawing board to try something else/different the following year.

Another case in point that I have recently learned….hunting and fishing are hard work and frankly, start up costs are EXPENSIVE. Now you could argue that you don’t ‘need’ a lot to get going with either and I would agree with you, but you need the basics…A fishing pole, bait and that’s all right? Hmm, well, if you think so…depends on what you are after and if you are innately talented at fishing to get by with just any old fishing pole and bait. How are you gonna clean it? Do you know how to use that pole? Or even tie a fishing hook onto the pole? Yeah…are you getting the idea now? And by the way, there is skill involved, tricks to the trade if you will…last time I went fishing (see the bluegill video) my friend caught 5 in minutes and me, well, lets just say that once I could get a cast off those little suckers ATE THE BAIT and I got nothing.

Now we can go onto hunting…where do I start there. I was kinda one of those persons until recently that thought all you did was get the rifle and go out. First off, you better be able to hit what you are aiming at…so do you know your ‘weapon’? are you good with it? Because the last thing you want to do is take a shot and spook dinner down the hill or forbid this from happening, you don’t make a clean kill and the thing runs off and dies somewhere and you either don’t find it or have to go miles trying to track it (do you know how to do that?). Did you know that an animals senses are super sensitive? The can, in general see us, hear us and smell us long before we see or hear them. So can you sit still? Walk quietly in the woods? Do you know how to blend in smell wise or better yet, NOT SMELL? (try that one when you haven’t had a bath in days and its 90 degrees outside). Okay, now, do you know how to get up in a tree? Trust me when I tell you that if you think a climbing tree stand is EASY to use you got another thing coming and from what I am told, hunting from the ground is iffy at best, though doable if you can hide yourself well enough. Good luck sneaking up on a deer or rabbit or even a squirrel. Can you find a trail or the signs that an animal is a frequent visitor? If you can’t then you are relying on luck and stupidity of an animal that is used to being hunted one way or another. And lets not forget that there are most certainly others out there looking for the samething as you are.

I have spent the time, effort and energy to get my self set with gear for hunting and fishing. Archery season just started last weekend…I got the bruises and weary muscles to prove that I now know how to use a climbing tree stand. So up I went last Saturday after getting up at 4:30 am to get to a spot that my friend, who has hunted for years picked out for me beforehand. And I will tell you that just GETTING to that tree that I had to climb was interesting (lesson learned: make sure all gear is secure on the body otherwise you will be chasing it in the dark). Then up the tree I went right around dawn, get settled, get the gear up to me (do you know how to safely do that???) and there I sat, watching, waiting, just sure a deer or turkey would come through…okay, next thing is this, its hard to stay alert when you can’t move. Think I nodded off a couple of times. Then after a few hours of sitting in my ‘perfect’ spot I hear some people further down the trail yelling and then a dog barking, not to mention it was getting hot. (Did I forget to mention did you think about what you were going to do when nature called?? Haha! Yeah…) I sat there so long and still enough that the squirrels were paying me absolutely no mind. And those things are sensitive suckers (never did get one earlier in the season, but there they were this time, lots of them!). I could go on and on and on, but long and short of this story is that hunting IS NOT WHAT YOU READ ABOUT OR SEE ON TV. Its hard and iffy in good times, now imagine that if a good hunter can’t get a kill during the good times (such as my friends that I went with last weekend) then what will it be like when you are hungry, tired and stressed out to the max? Back to the drawing board and practice more and cross my fingers that next time providence is on my side. Oh, by the way, do you know how to clean that animal and field dress it? I think you get my point…And I will tell you this, when it hits the fan I am NOT stepping out into the woods for a few weeks, I want to live and with a lot of people thinking they will just go out and kill to eat all I can foresee is a lot of accidents happening and none of them ending well. Every year people are killed and maimed hunting by accident and this happens in the ‘good times’.

Lastly, foraging…forget depending upon it for long term survival. It’s a good fill in IF you know what you are looking for (and you had better be good at plant identification unless you want to get sick or die) and can then find it…but it is what it is…foraging for survival and again, it is a skill and takes time, practice and knowledge…if you think that just having a few books on hand will get you what and need without actually going out there and doing it…good luck…And did I mention that you will be out there with the critters competing for the same food?

There is a reason why humans gathered into groups and began establishing formalized agriculture and animal husbandry (raising animals). It created conditions in which civilization could be established and more reliable food sources. But even then, things happen and fail (look at the hippies for confirmation of this). Can you imagine the hundreds of people who ‘think they can’ only to finally conclude that they can’t? Then what? Failure happens more often that success, remember that.

I am not trying to be a Debbie Downer, but what I am doing is trying to point out some basic facts, that IF YOU FAIL to do something now, learn how to do something NOW and PRACTICE that NOW you will not just be able to go out and ‘do it’ and in fact, you may just get yourself killed in the process since you will be under stress and most likely tired and low on energy and most likely there will ALOT of others ‘trying’ to do the same thing, in the same place, at the same time as you are (and I won’t tell you the stories about idiots who will shoot at a noise in bushes…hmm…is that the bush you are picking berries from?)

And that brings up one last skill that we as a collective have laid by the wayside…situational awareness…basically that means you know what is going on around you and are alert to potential dangers and CONSCIOUS enough to identify them and take the appropriate action, at the appropriate time.

Instead of playing video games or going to the mall, start to practice growing a garden…go find someone who can hunt or fish and partner up with them to learn how to do this NOW. Do you really need that new iPhone? Or a ‘new’ car? Or that extra night out eating? Invest your money in the best equipment you can afford now or trade for it. Take the time to go out and actually do what you think will help you in the future to get by during the hard times. The learning curve is steep people, because trust me, its not as easy as you think and even those with the can do, do or die attitude will fail at some point in time. Learn skills now while you can, when it doesn’t count so much and when the time comes, you will have the advantage.

Anybody can catch a bluegill. Right????.

kitchen

In an effort to save money I have posted on making my own liquid laundry detergent…it works and works well, taking out stains, no smell left and is safe for the environment and septic systems. If this interests you please visit:

Going forward to save money and have just a few ingredients that are relatively cheap and easy obtain at this moment I will be doing a series based on ‘areas’ in the home that we are looking to keep clean.

Today, we will be looking at keeping the kitchen area clean, including dishes, floors, windows, etc.

What you will need:
Vinegar
Borax
Baking Soda
Washing Soda
Containers/Spray Bottles
Someway of measuring (spoon, cup, etc.)
Essential Oils
Castile Soap or other natural soap (liquid and bar)

How to make liquid soap from bar soap

Dishwashing Detergent Powder:
Very simple and works great!

1 part Borax
1 part Baking Soda

Mix the Borax and baking soda together. I like to make large batches at a time and use a ‘repurposed’ plastic container with a tight lid that once held pretzels and I do keep a dedicated large tablespoon for ease of use in the container itself.
Add to your dishwasher’s detergent compartment, and run as usual. I typically use about 1 Tablespoon per load of dishes in the dishwasher. Borax and baking soda are both natural disinfectants and mild abrasives – just what you need to blast away stuck on food and germs.

If you have hard water add a rinsing agent to get rid of spots:

What you need:
White Vinegar

To make the transition from commercial to natural dishwasher rinsing agent:
1. Finish using up any commercial rinse agent that remains in your dishwasher.
2. Instead of refilling with the commercial rising agent, fill the well with white vinegar.
3. Run your dishwasher as usual.
4. Refill the dispenser as needed.

Liquid Dishwashing Soap:

What you will need:
Pan/Pot
Water
Castile Bar Soap
Liquid Castile Soap
Washing Soda
Essential Oils (optional)
Squirt Bottle Container

Ingredients
1. 1 1/4 cups boiling water
2. 1/4 cup (tightly packed) castile bar soap, grated
3. 1 tablespoon washing soda (use a little more for a thicker soap)
4. 1/4 cup liquid castile soap
5. 10-30 drops essential oils (optional; I use 20 drops orange and 10 drops tea tree)
Instructions
1. Add grated castile soap to boiling water and stir until dissolved.
2. Add washing soda and stir.
3. Add liquid castile soap and stir.
4. Let mixture cool, then add essential oils.
5. Transfer to repurposed soap dispenser and use as regular dish soap.
Notes
1. Soap mixture will harden as it sets. If it’s too thick to pour, just add a tiny bit of warm water and give it a good shake to loosen it up.
2. The amount of washing soda you use will dictate how thick the soap gets, so adjust accordingly. The temperature of your kitchen is also a factor.
(taken from naturesnurtureblog.com)

Stainless Steel or Appliance Cleaner:

What you will need:
Spray bottle
Vinegar
Cleaning Cloth/Cotton Rags

I like to reuse spray bottles (you can reuse one if you clean it out well! Windex bottles or other spray bottles that had multipurpose cleaners in them, just be sure to clean/rinse well) or if you are very cautious you can buy new ones fairly inexpensively. And instead of paper towels use either washable ‘rags’ or even cut up old tee-shirts (you can buy a bag of ‘rags’ on amazon by the the pound for just under $7).

Fill a spray bottle with undiluted white vinegar. Then, spray on all of your stainless steel surfaces, and wipe dry with a soft cleaning cloth. Simple and effective!

Marble Counter Tops:
What you need:
Natural Liquid Soap Or Grated Natural Bar Soap
Spray Bottle
To make a safe cleanser for a home marble countertop, fill a spray bottle with 1 tablespoon of natural liquid soap, such as Castile soap, (how to make liquid soap out of bar soap) and 1 quart of warm water. Shake the bottle to mix them thoroughly. Alternatively, grate 1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons of your favorite natural or organic bar soap, and dissolve that in the same quantity of water.
To clean the countertop, mist it lightly with the mild soap solution and wipe it clean with a soft, damp, lint-free cloth.
Use a second cloth to buff the stone dry if you wish.
DO NOT USE LEMON JUICE, VINEGAR OR ANY OTHER NATURAL CLEANER THAT IS ACIDIC AS IT WILL ETCH THE MARBLE AND/OR GROUT!
ALSO, ESSENTIAL OILS SHOULD NOT BE USED ON MARBLE OR GROUT AS MANY OF THEM WILL ‘EAT’ GROUT.
Some acidic and highly pigmented liquids, such as red wine and fruit juices, can quickly stain marble. Remove these stains with a poultice. First, wipe the stained area with bottled or distilled water. Then mix up a thick paste of more water with an absorbent material such as chalk, white flour or kaolin clay. If the marble is white, you can use a bottle of 6 percent hydrogen peroxide for your liquid, instead of water. Tape plastic over the poultice to keep it from drying out, and leave it for 48 hours. Wipe away the poultice with water, and repeat if necessary.

Porcelain, Tile, Kitchen Counter Tops: (not marble)

What you need:
Spray bottle (optional)
Baking Soda
Salt (optional)
Tea Tree Oil (option for spray only)
Water
Rag/Towel

Dust surfaces with baking soda (just a little!), then scrub with a moist sponge or cloth. If you have tougher grime, sprinkle on some salt, and work up some elbow grease.
Just like using Comet or other commercially available cleansing powders. Keep that in mind…a little goes a long way and to avoid residue you will need to rinse/wipe well.

Alternatively, I have found that you can get a 1 quart spray bottle, fill with warm water, add 3 tablespoons baking soda, 20 drops tea tree essential oil. Shake well, spray, rinse.

Oven Cleaner

Conventional oven cleaning chemicals are loaded with toxic ingredients, including ethers, ethylene glycol, lye (sodium and potassium hydroxide), methylene chloride and petroleum distillates. The products are harmful to skin and eyes, and the fumes are unhealthy. Instead, go natural!
Baking Soda and Water: Coat the inside of your dirty appliance with a paste made from water and baking soda. Let stand overnight. Then, don gloves and scour off that grime. Make spotless with a moist cloth.

(taken from thedailygreen.com)

Disinfectant Kitchen Spray:

What you need:
Spray Bottle
Water
Liquid Castile Soap
Tea Tree or Lavender Essential Oil

Mix 2 cups of water, 3 tablespoons of liquid castile soap and 20 to 30 drops of tea tree or lavender essential oil. Spray or rub on countertops and other kitchen surfaces.

Let sit for a minute or two and then wipe off with a wet rag.

Can be used to clean the refrigerator including the seals. Do NOT use citrus oils on plastics or other porous materials as they will MELT or CORRODE them over time.

Glass Stove Top Cleaner:

What you need:
Preferred method of cleaning is a ‘magic eraser’

Otherwise you will need:
Water
Baking Soda

Take 1/8 cup warm water and add enough baking soda to make thin paste…scrub as you would using commercial glass stove top cleaner.

Kitchen Floor Cleaner:

Do NOT use on real wood or bamboo floors!!!

What you will need:
1. 1 cup water
2. 1 cup vinegar
3. 1 cup alcohol
4. 2-3 drops dish soap (Castile, Dawn, etc. click here on how to make your own)
5. 10 drops lavender essential oil
6. 6 drops tea tree essential oil
7. Fine-mist spray bottle – 24oz
8. Microfiber or other dry mop
YES, YOU CAN USE THIS IN YOUR SWIFTER MOP OR OTHER SPRAY AS YOU GO COMMERCIAL MOPS.
Instructions
1. Add all ingredients to spray bottle and shake to combine.
2. Sweep/vacuum the floor.
3. Spray cleaner on the floor (or other surface).
4. Wipe up with a microfiber cloth.
Notes
1. As with all cleaners, please do a spot test to make sure this will work on your floors!
2. For a mop and bucket version, try this: For a gallon of water, you could try 1/2 cup of vinegar, and 1/3 cup of alcohol, plus a few drops of dish soap.
3. Remember really wring the mop out so that you do not leave a lot water on the floor to ‘dry’.

Kitchen Sink Cleaner:
What you will need:
Baking Soda
Sponge or Rag

Sprinkle baking soda into sink and scrub out…rinse.


Garbage Disposal Cleaner:
Bonus: You also sharpen the blades at the same time!!!

What you will need:
Vinegar
Baking Soda
2 Lemon or Oranges Slices
OR
20 drops essential oils of your choice
OR
2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
Ice

Garbage disposals not only get really stinky if you don’t maintain them, the blades will also go dull. Here’s is a fast and easy way to eliminate odors and sharpen the blades.

Instructions:
Put ½ cup baking soda down garbage disposal
Put 20 drops essential oil of choice into ½ cup vinegar
OR
Put 2 thin slices lemon or oranges down garbage disposal and then add ½ cup vinegar to disposal
OR
Put 2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice into ½ vinegar and pour into disposal

Let sit for a minute

Then put 6-10 ice cubes down disposal
Turn on water
Turn on garbage disposal and allow to run until you no longer hear chopping.

Get Rid of Drain Flies:

What you need:
Vinegar
Pan/Pot

Instructions:

Gently heat 2 cups per drain of vinegar in pot/pan.
Pour down effected drain(s).
Let sit for a few minutes.
Run warm water to flush out.
Repeat as needed.

Get Rid of Fruit Flies:

What you need:
Small wide mouth glass or ceramic bowls
Apple cider vinegar

Put small amount of apple cider vinegar into small wide mouth bowls and place around known areas where the fruit flies are. Let sit for a day. You will trap them by drowning. Personally I like to use an all purpose natural cleaner to sneak up on the small bowl before they notice me and spray real quick to make the ones on the rim wet so they can’t fly and then I rinse down the sink. Repeat as needed.

Alternatively you can make this trap for fruit flies:

What you will need:

1 pint mason jar or 1 recycled baby food jar, with lid if you still have it.
A hammer and standard nail (if you have the mason jar or baby food jar top)
OR plastic wrap, rubber band and a fork/skewer/toothpick if you don’t have the top.

1/4–1/2 cup apple cider vinegar, wine, stale beer or bourbon
Optional: small piece of old, overripe fruit
2-3 drops of dishwashing soap

Directions
Using the lid method:
Punch 8-12 holes into the lid, just big enough for the fruit fly to enter. Big enough you can get the tip of pen into it.
If you don’t have the lid:
Get plastic wrap, or wax paper (old sandwhich baggie?) and a rubber band to tightly cover the top of the jar. Poke holes into it with a fork, skewer or toothpick.
Fill the jar with about a half inch of apple cider vinegar, wine, beer or liquor. Stir in a couple drops of dishwashing soap (if you want), then place a small piece of overripe fruit into the middle of the liquid (if you have), if you do use fruit be sure that the fruit is sticking out of the liquid.
Set your traps where you see the fruit flies. Empty and repeat every 2 to 3 days. You can put down the drain, compost pile, etc. Just get them gone!

Preventing Fruit Flies/Drain Flies
1. Clean your produce as soon as you get home, and store it loose or in a new bag, rather than in the plastic bag you got from the store.
2. Cover your fruit bowl or store fruit in the refrigerator.
3. Don’t put food or beverage containers in waste paper baskets.
4. Use, freeze or compost all overripe fruits and vegetables.
5. Don’t keep any vegetable or meat scraps in your garbage can inside your home. Not only does regularly taking out the garbage keep flies away but ants and other creepies.
6. Take out your compost.
7. Wash all dishes and clear the drains in your sink.
8. Run garbage disposal regularly.
9. Don’t leave wet dishrags in the sink, on the countertops or in the washmachine.
10. Clean the seals of your refrigerator door, the top and under the fridge.
11. Clean under and around your dishwasher and stove.
12. Allow the first inch of the soil in your houseplants to dry out before watering.
13. Make sure you have good window and door screens.

liquid soap

Liquid castile so very versatile and can be used for almost everything. You will see that I reference it in many homemade, all natural products for cleaning. Hence, I thought it wise to share how to make it.

What you will need:
1 bar of Kirks Original ‘coco’ Castile Soap
Mason Jar/Bucket/Container with lid
Water
Way to heat water

Now here’s where it gets fun:
For different uses you will need different dilutions of soap to water, but here is the fastest and best way to make it quickly. You can dilute with more or less water as needed for other purposes.

Basic Liquid Castile Soap for Cleaning around the House:
1 Quart Mason Jar
1 Bar of Kirks Castile Soap
2 and 3/4 cups hot water

Bring your water to a boil.
While waiting for water to boil chop up your bar of castile soap or grate it. It will be very easy to do since it is very soft.
Put the chopped up/grated soap bar (yes all of it) into the mason jar.
When the water has come to a gentle boil pour into the mason jar over the soap.
Put lid on Mason Jar and let sit.
It will natural melt because this soap is oil based. Should take 10-20 minutes.
If some stubborn chunks remain at the bottom after 10 minutes, simply stir a bit.

All DONE! Now you have your liquid castile soap base for making cleaning products for the home.

Will be posting more ways to use around the home and for yourself as time permits and updating this page for other ways of making for various purposes as time permits.