16 April 2016

[Almost] Edible Spring Cleaning



There is something about the Spring that makes you want to clean and declutter.  After months of cool temperatures it feels wonderful to be able to throw open the windows on a sunny day.  The sunlight has the added disadvantage of showing how much dust is swilling around as it glistens in its rays, doing a merry dance.  I am the first to admit that I am not a huge fan of housework, I do the minimum I need each week.  I am reading a fascinating book at the moment, it is not about cleaning but it does mention our obsession to clean and in doing so we are ridding the world of good and bad bacteria and worryingly in the case of the good ones possible forever.  A bit of dirt is no bad thing it would seem, I am also doing my bit for the preservation of good bacteria.

I mostly* always use my own homemade products when I clean.  The cleaning product aisles in the supermarket are not ones I ever venture down.  When I inadvertently do, on the way to the checkout, the smell of chemicals is really strong and totally overpowering.  A recent study highlighted that whilst they might clean our homes the fragrance chemicals in these products react with the air effecting air quality in our homes, if you also use scented candles and air freshness you could be creating an interesting, and not terribly good for you, soup.

The two ingredients I use the most are ones that you might find in your food stores.  Bicarb [baking soda] and white vinegar, I use enough of each to justify buying it in bulk as the shops tend to only sell small quantities.  I use the bicarb to clean all surfaces, floors and the bathroom suite either sprinkling it neat and rubbing it in with a damp cloth or dissolving in water and using the solution which is what I do to clean the tiled and wooden floors.  A 50:50 mix with borax is my washing and dishwater powder.  I inherited a carpet in my bathroom which can get a little smelly at times, but this carpet deodoriser is perfect for removing the smell.  You may wonder why we don't just get rid of the carpet but the floorboards underneath are not a suitable flooring either, the bathroom will eventually need an overhaul so there is no point replacing the flooring only to rip it out again when we come to replace everything.

My oven doesn't get a clean inside very often, we eat very little meat so I can get away with it.  But when it does get a clean I make this:

Oven Cleaner mix 1/4 cup salt, 3/4 bicarb and a 1/2 cup of water and mix into a paste, apply into a warm and oven and let it sit for a least an hour or overnight and wipe clean.

I not only clean the house with bicarb, I also use it to make.....

Deodorant  1/4 cup deodorant, 1/4 arrowroot, 2tbsp coconut oil (you can also add drops of essential oil if you wish) melt the coconut oil and mix.  I use an old deodorant stick and keep refilling it, you might need to store this in the fridge in summer if your house gets warm.

I mentioned white vinegar earlier, this is great for cleaning glass you can spray it on neat or dilute with a little water, wipe off with some old newspaper.  It gets used neat as a fabric conditioner , 2 tbsp with a few drops of essential oil.  I use lavender which seems to be doing a great job of keeping the moths out of our house, that is not to say we were ever infested with them but I rarely see them in my house these days.  I also use it neat to clean the loo.   If you have mildew then mix 50:50 with salt to make a paste and wipe onto effected area.  I have read recently that you can use it as a weed killer anyone ever tried this?  I am not sure what effect it would have on the soil or on other plants growing near by, I will be doing a little more research before trying that one out I think.

You have probably had enough now, so I will leave you with one last recipe.  I mentioned recently that I make my own toothpaste, here is my recipe for that:

Toothpaste 4tbs coconut oil, 4tbs fullers earth /bentonite clay, 1/2 tsp fine sea salt, 10 - 15 drops food grade peppermint oil.  Mix together, add a little water if necessary to gain the consistency you like.

What cleaning products do you make?

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* I buy soap and washing up liquid

I will be back on the 20th (Wednesday) with this months In My Kitchen if you wish to join me.

31 comments:

  1. The windows have been open here, clearing out my home and it is awesome! I have to admit that I actually like cleaning my home, and taking care of it. I do make my own cleaners, using baking soda, vinegar and essential oils. It is simple to do, and so cost effective. Happy spring cleaning!!!!

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    1. I love that you enjoy cleaning. I do some of the time!

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  2. Thank you for this post, really interesting. I read somewhere about putting your orange peel in a jar of white vinegar to make it smell better so have been doing this for a while and use soap nuts with a little lavender oil sprinkled in the bag for my clothes washing. I have been very concerned about microbeads in the toothpaste so will be giving the toothpaste a try.

    I agree, a bit of dirt is no bad thing, I find this obsession with anti bacterial products worrying, even in laundry products now! How are kids going to build up a resistance if they are kept in a sterile bubble.

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    1. That's the worrying thing isn't it. My home is far from sterile!

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  3. Ohh I love this post & have quite a few bits to start making my own products. Thanks for the recipes xx

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  4. I use bicarb a lot too. a little mixed with hot water cleans out flasks really well, or burnt on pans, add a splash of vinegar if it's really burnt on. this works on the oven too. I just read a blog that made a mattress cleaner with bicarb and essential oils, you sprinkle it on and hoover it off a few hours later. I now have a lovely slightly scented bed x

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    1. What a great idea to use in flasks, thank you, they are really awkward to clean.

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  5. I don't make any of my own cleaning products but these sounds so simple to make and use. I think the thing that puts me off is that I've heard of others who have tried home made and then gone back to bought because they haven't given the desired effect, I suppose it's just a case of trying different things out though.

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    1. I definitely think it is Jo. I have to make my as the ingredients in all bought products set off hives on my hands. They are never going to be quite the same but I guess it all depends on the results that you want/need.

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  6. Brilliant! Sounds like both my own philosophies on cleaning [here's to the preservation of good bacteria! :)] and how I do it. I haven't bought a cleaning 'product' in years. I also find the stink in the cleaning product aisle to be horribly overwhelming.

    My mum has used white vinegar for weeds -- it supposedly burns the intended victim so it's best to spray it on when it's sunny for best effect. I've used it on the ones that pop up between paving stones and have had varied success..probably due to application error! It's okay for the soil but any adjacent plants will suffer if you spray it on them accidentally. Still, far better than Round-Up.

    I have a great urge to spring clean the house...but it's warring with my great urge to get out into the garden...*sigh*

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    1. I think that is why my home is always messier and dirtier in the warmer months I would just rather be outside. I do enjoy it in the winter! I figure if I am in the house less it will need cleaning less.......it never quite works like tho' does it!

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  7. Some good ideas - thanks for sharing. I also do not go into the "cleaning" product aisle - it is a shame that society believes that so many chemicals are needed to keep their houses and bodies clean. Ever since I was a little girl, I have hated walking down that smelly aisle in the grocery store - it just smells toxic! I buy an eco-friendly dish detergent and dilute that with some water for general cleaning. During the summer I made a rosemary and lemon balm vinegar, which I use for cleaning also.

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  8. I never paid attention to ingredients list on the cleaning products until recently and I was horrified when I did :) I am not making anything myself, but I try to buy them in eco-shops right now. It is more expensive this way, but I guess it is a good investment.

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    1. I used to buy the eco-cleaning products but now they effect my skin so I had no choice but to make my own.

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  9. I am not a big fan of housework. I make all our soap but don't bother with much else. I like making soap. I do buy ecological cleaning products and absolutely avoid all things 'antibacterial', for example Dettol. Soap is good to kill unwanted germs, and those that are not killed are washed away. I am thinking hand washing here. The vast majority of bacteria are good for you, some are not but not in all contexts. Have a lovely weekend. x

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    1. I have not been brave enough to make soap, I would love too one day.

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  10. Very inspiring! I confess that I don't make any cleaning products, I just have to bleach the toilet xx

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    1. We have to use what works for us. I hope you don't think that I was standing on my high horse with this post. I have to use these products through necessity all bought ones make my hands in a terrible state.

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  11. What an interesting post! I use a lot of white vinegar too but I don't go as far as making my own toothpaste xx

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    1. I realise that won't be everyone's cup of tea! I have to as all bought ones make my hands come out in hives.

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  12. Taking note of some of your recipes. I used to make more of my cleaning products than I do now. One that I still make is a white vinegar and rosemary surface cleaner, which is used everywhere. I do use bicarb as a carpet cleaner and also bin and fridge freshner. I really ought to review my other products. You've got me thinking.

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    1. Glad you liked them! Not thought of using bicarb as a bin freshener might have to try that on the compost bin.

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  13. The cleaning products you make still have chemicals in them.

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    1. They do, that's true. But they are ones that I know I can tolerate and I have complete control over what I mix them with. All store bought products have ingredients in that bring my hands out in hives so I had to find alternatives and this is what I came up with :). I realise that they would not be everyone's cup of tea.

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  14. WE have so much in common. I'm a big believer in natural products wherever possible. I use baking soda and vinegar in many different ways. Lately, I've been using vinegar mixed with dish soap in one of those dish scrubbers with a fillable handle to scrub the shower and it works AMAZINGLY well! I'm so impressed. I gave up the bad cleansers when I really thought I had given myself lung burns from breathing in shower cleaner while I scrubbed. It was awful. The only commercial cleaners I won't give up are dish soap and laundry detergent. I found the homemade ones to work very poorly for my needs, probably because I have extremely hard water, full of minerals. Nothing got clean with natural alternatives, so I use commercial ones as sparingly as possible and I'm happy with that. Thanks for sharing your approach!

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    1. You are welcome Jennifer. I do think it is important that we find what works for us whatever that looks like. This was meant to be a sharing post not a thou shall not.

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  15. This is a really interesting post and one that has inspired me to get out the bicarb again. I used to use bicarb amto clean quite frequently until me and my other half moved in with each other. He is all about the chemical ladden cleaners that make your house shine with little effort. Over time I started clean with products more and more because it was easier and seemed to be appreciated more...but it is something that sits uneasy with me. It can't be healthy really.

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    1. Now that I use what I do I have to admit bought products do sit uneasy with me but it is all too easy to say that in hindsight. I had to change out of necessity and will admit that it wasn't the ingredients themselves that stopped me but the reaction that my hands had, over time, to them.

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  16. Gosh you put me to shame! I buy 'eco friendly' cleaning products, I have asthma so a lot of the very chemically ones make me wheeze, but I do burn scented candles! X

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