Bathroom Spray Cleaner Recipe

Bathroom Spray Cleaner Recipe

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Bathrooms.  We all have ’em and we all have to clean them.

Have you ever looked at the ingredient label on your bathroom cleaners?

The first time I really read the back of my bathroom cleaner, was about 10 years ago.  I was cleaning my tiny, unventilated bathroom while my one year old was napping.  I planned on giving him a bath first thing after he woke.

While cleaning the bathroom, my eyes started to sting and my throat began to burn.  I looked at the label and it said scary things like, “Warning. Keep out of the reach of children” or “Do not breathe spray” and best yet, “Eye and skin irritant. Do not get in eyes, on skin or clothing.”

That’s when it hit me.  I was scrubbing my tub with this cleaner with all of these crazy warnings, that caused my eyes and throat to burn, and then planned on sitting my baby’s little naked bottom directly on the same tub. Granted I would rinse away the cleaner but trace amounts would still be left behind. That was my aha moment that led me down the path to clean living and using non-toxic products.

Once you start learning about the potential dangers of the ingredients in conventional products, there is no going back.  The knowledge snowballs and before you know it, you start researching the chemicals in body products, then in food and on and on.

Our bodies fight off all of these dangers and filter out a lot of the harmful chemicals.  But when they are in our food, our cleaning and body products and our air, the body can’t keep up and the chemicals start to take a toll.  You can’t be 100% toxin free but proactively limiting the chemicals will help you feel and stay well.

 

Health is priceless.

 

Below is a list of the most common toxic ingredients in most commercial bathroom cleaners.

 

2-BUTOXYETHANOL: A skin and eye irritant also associated with blood disorders. This chemical is listed as a toxic substance under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act due to the understanding that it is harmful to human health.

Ammonia:  Vapours may irritate the skin, eyes, throat, and lungs

MEA (monoethanalomine): Known to induce asthma in workplace settings

DEA (diethanolamine): Mild skin and severe eye irritant.

Fragrance: More than 3000 chemicals are used in fragrance mixtures. Many are irritants and can trigger allergies, migraines, and asthma symptoms.

Buying a bottle of $3.99 cleaner from the store is super easy and convenient.  I get it. People are busy. Easy and convenient is pretty awesome. The following bathroom cleaner recipe is still very easy and convenient after you build up your cleaning and body products inventory. Plus, you can really save some dough after your initial purchase of bulk ingredients.

The following is a bathroom spray cleaner recipe.  If you need to do some heavy cleaning, this DIY Soft Scrub will do the trick.

 

Bathroom Spray

Cleaner Recipe

 

Ingredients:

Spray Bottle – Glass is best because essential oils can break down plastic. These are my fave.  I also use these labels for my homemade cleaning (and body) products.

2 cups water

2 cups white distilled vinegar

40 drops of essential oil – You can use single oils or combine based on smell and cleaning ability.  I personally use doTerra oils for their potency and purity.  If you would like to learn more about the oils, just let me know and I will be happy to elaborate.

  • Lemon fresh, clean scent.  Antiseptic and disinfectant properties.
  • Tea Tree – antimicrobial, antibacterial, antiseptic and antiviral.
  • Lavender – delightful, summery scent. Disinfectant properties.
  • Eucalyptus – natural germicide.
  • Peppermint – antibacterial.

 

Directions:

  1. Mix water, vinegar and oils in a spray bottle.
  2. Shake gently to mix.
  3. Spray surface and wipe with a damp cloth.

 

Now you can rest assured that your bathroom cleaner will not warrant a visit from the hazmat team if it gets spilled. 😉

If you are not into making your own bathroom cleaner, check out these more natural alternatives to conventional products.

Method All Purpose Natural Surface Cleaning Spray

Green Works Multi-Surface Cleaner, Spray Bottle, Original Fresh

Seventh Generation Disinfecting Bathroom Cleaner

 

Here are a couple of other natural ways to keep your home clean. 

 

 

 

 

Do you make your own cleaners?  I would love to hear about them!

 

 

25 Easy Ways to Live Green on a Budget

25 Easy Ways to Live Green on a Budget

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Living green doesn’t have to be expensive. In fact, you could actually save green by living green, all while staying healthy and protecting our planet.

This list will get you well on your way to living greener and cleaner.

  1. Recycle. Check you local county website to see if your area offers curbside recycling.  If not, there may be a recycling location where you can drop off your recyclable.  Recycling greatly cuts down on waste that ends up in the landfills. 
  2. Save water. Take shorter showers or install a low-flow shower head. Faucet aerators conserve heat and water and you will earn your money back quickly with the money you save.
  3. Use non-toxic cleaning products. Making your own cleaning supplies is easy and very affordable. Not to mention all of the toxic chemicals that you will keep out of your home. Here are a few homemade cleaners to get your house spic and span.
  4. Switch to non-toxic body products. If your body products contain harmful ingredients such as toxic chemicals, colors, and fragrances, those ingredients make their way into your body, your blood and lymphatic system. When you make your own products, you know exactly what is in them. You can easily make products like dry shampoo, body wash and toothpaste.
  5. Essential oils.  Essential oils are organic compounds extracted from plants.  The oils contain healing properties for relaxation, beauty products, home cleaning and natural medicine. I use essential oils in every body and cleaning product on top of using them topically for colds. These are the oils I use.  They are pure and of the highest quality.
  6. Read ingredient labels. Know what you are eating.  What are those long, unpronounceable ingredients doing to your body? Food labels provide key information like serving size, calories, total fat and vitamin content.
  7. Shop local. Support the little guy instead of companies that make millions of dollars. Shopping local creates a healthier environment because the goods are located closer to residents and create less traffic nd air pollution.
  8. Reuse. The most effective way to reduce waste is not to create it in the first place. Reusing items reduces the need to harvest new raw materials (think trees), saves energy, money, and keeps wastes from the landfill.
  9. Buy Organic. There are fewer pesticides on food, it’s better for the environment, and organically raised animals are not given antibiotics, growth hormones or fed animal byproducts. Organic food can be more expensive but you can save money on food with these 10 super easy tips on eating organic.
  10. Grow your own food. No room for a garden? No worries, grow veggies in pots on your patio or herbs in your kitchen window.
  11. Compost. Free, easy to make and good for the environment.  You can compost vegetable scraps, coffee grounds and tea bags. You can learn more about composting in this article from NRDC.org.
  12. Install energy-efficient lighting. LED bulbs last 10 years and use 40% less electricity than traditional incandescents. Produce less waste and save more money. Sweet. 
  13. Buy a jar of Coconut Oil. Coconut oil can be used so many ways! Here is a list of 14 awesome ways to use it other than cooking.
  14. CSA. Community supported agriculture is a partnership between farmers and consumers. You pay a fee at the beginning of a growing season and receive a portion of the farm’s produce each week. Support local farmers instead of huge commercial companies.
  15. Switch to cloth diapers. Disposable diapers take 250-500 years to decompose. Switching to cloth will save you over $1000 dollars and keep the chemicals off your little ones bottom.  When my kids were babies, we used BumGenius.  The start up cost was $250 but that’s all we spent until they were potty trained.  If traveling, then we would use Seventh Generation disposable diapers. They are chemical free.
  16. Car pool. Find a buddy and take turns driving into work.  You will save money, time, the environment, wear and tear on your car and reduce traffic! You can also use a ride share service like Lyft or Uber.  Of course, I am partial to Lyft. 😉
  17. Buy rechargeable batteries. Save money, conserve resources, protect the environment and improve performance by buying recyclable batteries like these. You can use rechargeable batteries hundreds of times! They cost more initially, but save money over time.
  18. Have plants to clean the air in your home. Did you know that houseplants can actually clean indoor air of airborne toxins? These 10 houseplants will work extra hard to clean up your indoor air.
  19. Use your dishwasher. It uses less water than hand-washing. For an extra bonus use a DIY dishwashing detergent.
  20. Invest in experiences instead of things for special gifts. Take a family trip instead of expensive Christmas presents.  Or maybe go see a musical instead of an anniversary present. The memories will last longer than a physical present.
  21. Wash clothes in cold water. Washing your clothes in cold water uses less energy and clothes last longer.  If you want to take it a step farther, purchase and energy-efficient washer.  These washers measure the amount of water needed to wash per load.
  22. Buy Used. You can find really good deals on barely used products. Start shopping at thrift stores, consignment stores and garage sales. You can window shop online at sites like Thredup, Craigslist or Varage Sale.
  23. Switch to an aluminum or stainless-steel sports bottle.  Most plastic containers have a chemical called BPA, which is under investigation for its effects on the health of humans. You can opt for a BPA free plastic bottle but they are known to leach phthalates, a chemical thought to disrupt the endocrine system.
  24. Keep food in glass containers. Most plastic containers have a chemical called BPA, which is under investigation for its effects on the health of humans.  When heating in the microwave or washing in the dishwasher can break down the plastic allowing BPA to leach into food.
  25. Replace vinyl shower curtains. There are more than 100 different chemicals vinyl shower curtains emit into the air. Trade out the vinyl curtain for a PVC-free plastic shower curtain.


What are some ways that you live green? Let me know below. 🙂

10 Houseplants That Purify Indoor Air

10 Houseplants That Purify Indoor Air

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I love being outside.  The winters, although mild in Nashville, give me cabin fever because they cut into my outside time.  I would rather be out by the lake, hiking, or working in the yard. Mad props to those of you who get cold and snow for months at a time.  I would never survive and you are my heroes.

Whenever possible, I bring the outdoors in. I love having the windows open to let the outside air in and the addition of houseplants adds the comfort of nature within the home. Now, my husband would kindly disagree with me on the houseplants, which he affectionately calls bowls of dirt. They are growing on him though.

Did you know that the color green has a soothing, healing effect? Green is the predominant color in nature and people naturally feel the most at ease in settings with this color. I have heard of people who sit under lamps with green bulbs for 10-15 minutes to help them relax and center.

Not only do houseplants brighten a room, they work hard to clean our air. Let’s take it back old school to 5th grade science class. Plants breathe in carbon dioxide and release oxygen and it as it turns out, some plants are doubling down to also clean toxins out of the air we breathe.

In 1989, NASA conducted a clean air study to determine which indoor plants filtered harmful toxins and pollutants from the air. NASA discovered 5 common pollutants found indoors.

  1. Trichloroethylene – Found in printing ink, paint and varnishes. Symptoms of exposure include excitement, dizziness, nausea and vomiting.
  2. Formaldehyde – Found in paper bags, facial tissues, paper towels and plywood paneling. Symptoms include irritation to nose, mouth and throat.
  3. Benzene –  Used to make plastics, synthetic fibers, detergents and pesticides. Symptoms include irritation to eyes, drowsiness, dizziness and headaches
  4. Xylene – Found in printing, rubber and paint. Similar to Benzene, symptoms include irritation to eyes, drowsiness, dizziness and headaches.
  5. Ammonia – Used in window cleaners, floor waxes and fertilizers. Symptoms include eye irritation, coughing and sore throat.

 

10 Houseplants that

Purify Indoor Air

 

 

1. Aloe Vera

 

  • It has the ability to heal cuts and burns.
  • It absorbs carbon dioxide and releases oxygen at night.

 

 

2. Spider Plant

  • Helps remove benzene, formaldehyde, carbon monoxide and xylene from the air.
  • Safe for pets.

 

3. Gerbera Daisy

  • Beautiful, bright blooms
  • Most plants respiratory cycle decreases in the evening. Gerbera Daisies continue releasing oxygen through the night to help you breathe and sleep better.

 

4. Peace Lily

  • Thrive in low light with moist soil.
  • Helps remove benzene and trichloroethylene from the air.
  • Mildy toxic to people and pets if ingested.

 

 

5. Ficus

  • Effective at cleaning the air of airborne formaldehyde, xylene and toluene.
  • Low-maintenance and requires bright, indirect sunlight.
  • Poisonous to animals. Take extra precautions that your pets do not ingest any part of this plant.

 

 

6. Philodendron

  • Easily tolerates the dry conditions found inside most homes.
  • Among the best houseplants for removing higher concentrations of formaldehyde.
  • Considered poisonous if ingested by children or pets.

 

7. Orchids

  • Thrives in high humidity and with thorough watering.
  • Removes formaldehyde from the air.

 

 

8. Rubber Plant

  • Enjoys indirect light and infrequent watering.
  • Rubber plants emit high oxygen content and purifies indoor air by removing formaldehyde.

 

 

9. English Ivy

  • Helps to reduce mold in your home.
  • Cleanses formaldehyde, xylene, benzene, and toluene from the air.

 

 

10. Chrysanthemum

  • Helps cleanse the air of formaldehyde, xylene, ammonia, benzene, toluene and trichloroethylene.
  • Poisonous to animals.

 

 How to improve air quality in your home.

 

  1. Add air cleansing houseplants to your home.
  2. Air purifiers are effective in your home to remove a large range of airborne pollutants like dust, smoke, pollen, animal dander, and tobacco smoke.
  3. Eliminate the source of pollutants. Dust and vacuum often to stay on top of dusty situations.
  4. Open your windows often.  The air in our homes is more polluted than fresh air from outside.  Even in winter, open a window or two occasionally to let the fresh air in and the stale air out.

 

DIY Soft Scrub – 3 Ingredients

DIY Soft Scrub – 3 Ingredients

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Soft Scrub is a must have in your household cleaning supplies. It’s perfect for powerful cleaning on sinks, showers, and toilets and removing tough stains from bathroom and kitchen surfaces.

Conventional Soft Scrub has the following ingredients. Water, Calcium Carbonate, Sodium Dodecylbenzenesulfonate, Alcohol Ethoxylate, Sodium Chloride, Sodium Hydroxide, Sodium Bicarbonate, Fragrance, Preservative, D-Limonene, Linalool.

The ingredient list above is really not as bad as most conventional cleaners. The worst ingredient being fragrance.  The term “fragrance” is unregulated by the FDA.  So basically, companies can put any chemical concoction under the fragrance ingredient label.

DIY Soft Scrub is super easy to make and you can skip all the cost and unpronounceable ingredients of the conventional version by making your own.

Soft Scrub Ingredients

Ingredients:

    • 1 cup Baking Soda
    • 3 tbsp Castile Soap
    • 10 drops Essential Oil (Optional. Lemon, Grapefruit or Lavender would be nice but it’s really up to you.)
    • Glass jar with lid.

Directions:

  • Just mix all three ingredients and done.

 

I divided this batch into 2 4oz mason jars so that I could have one in each bathroom.   When ready to use, scoop some onto a sponge, add a little water and scrub away.

This looks and smells good enough to eat. And you really could, if you don’t mind a couple of quick trips to the restroom. 🙂

 

Natural All Purpose Cleaner Recipe

Natural All Purpose Cleaner Recipe

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An All Purpose Cleaner is a must have in the house.  They are so handy.  You can clean your kitchen counters, bathrooms, and table tops with one product. With so many surfaces of your home coming in contact with this all-in-one cleaner, it is important to know what is in it.

Most all purpose cleaners do not list ingredients. So another way to find out if your cleaner is toxic, look for clues on the label.  If you see the following terms on your commercial cleaning products, you may want to consider using green alternatives. The terms “Danger, Warning or Caution” indicate the level of toxicity.

  • Danger or Poison – most hazardous
  • Warning – moderately hazardous
  • Caution – slightly toxic

Besides the terms above, you will usually find a phrase that describes the nature of the hazard, such as “flammable,” “may cause burns on contact,” or “may cause skin irritation.”

Yowza, causing burns on contact?  No, thank you.

According to the Organic Consumer’s Association,

Some all-purpose cleaners contain the sudsing agents diethanolamine (DEA) and triethanolamine (TEA), which can react with nitrites (an often undisclosed preservative or contaminant) to form nitrosamines – carcinogens that readily penetrate the skin. Skin also easily absorbs nerve-damaging butyl cellosolve (also known as ethylene glycol monobutyl ether), present in some cleaners. Fumes from ammonia-containing cleaners may cause respiratory irritation. Sodium hydroxide and sodium hypochlorite (bleach) are highly caustic, and sodium hypochlorite should never be mixed with any product containing ammonia or acids, or toxic gases will result. To prevent chemical accidents, it’s best to simply avoid.”

Did you get all that?

Now, if you are completely freaked out, here is a simple recipe for an all purpose cleaner that is non-toxic and effective.

All Purpose Cleaner Recipe

Ingredients:

1/2 tsp Washing soda
1 tsp Castile soap
20 drops Essential oil (lemon/orange is a good combo) – optional
2 cups warm boiled water

Directions:

Step 1: Boil 2 cups of water.

Step 2: Once cooled to warm, pour into a sturdy spray bottle.

Step 3: Add the baking soda, Castile soap and essential oils.

Step 4: Shake gently to mix.

Step 5: Try it out.

If making a cleaner is not your thing, the following list of natural cleaning products are good choices.

Green cleaning alternatives

Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day All Purpose Cleaner – earth-friendly, cruelty-free and not tested on animals.

Seventh Generation All Purpose Cleaner – Kills 99.99% of household germs botanically.

Puracy Natural All Purpose Cleaner – plant-based, safe for children and pets, natural, non-toxic and biodegradable.

Have a great one and let me know if you try out this recipe! xo

10 Sweet Ways to use Castile Soap

10 Sweet Ways to use Castile Soap

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Castile Soap is life.

Castile soap is made from 100% plant oils and does not contain any chemical detergents, making it totally biodegradable and earth friendly.

Dr. Bronner is the king of Castile Soap.  Dr. Bronner offers several varieties such as Lavender, Tea Tree and Almond.  His soaps are scented with essential oils and help give the castile soap an extra boost of cleaning power.  You can find Castile Soap at your local grocery or online here.   Castile soap typically will run you around $17.00 per 32 oz bottle. It’s pricey but keep in mind that it is concentrated and you will dilute the soap a lot.

Castile soap is super versatile and here are only 10 of the ways to use it.

10 ways to use Castile Soap

1. Floor Cleaner:  ½ c of soap in 3 gallons of hot water.

2. Toilet: Predilute 1:4 with water in a spray bottle. Add 1/2 tsp tea tree oil. Empty toilet, squirt bowl thoroughly, sprinkle baking soda on the brush, scrub bowl, let sit 10 minutes, turn water on, flush. (If you use soap with Tea Tree oil then you can omit using the essential oil.)

3. Fruit and Veggie Rinse: 1/4 tsp in 3 cups of water. Dunk produce and swish. Rinse in clear water. Rinse the bowl with water because it is already clean too!

4. Dog Washing: Due to various sizes of dogs and their different hair situations, soap amounts vary.  Just wet your dog completely and massage in the Castile soap until you work up a lather. Rinse. It is such a good feeling knowing that you didn’t have to rub chemical shampoo into your dog to get them squeaky clean.

5. Makeup Brush Cleaner: Get the brushes wet and rub a few drops into the bristles and swirl them around in a cup of water.  Let them set for 5-10 minutes and rinse. Gently squeeze the water out of the brushes and air dry.

6. Dish Soap: Pour a small amount onto your sponge and wash like normal.  This soap will not get real sudsy, but no worries, your dishes will be really clean. Bonus, you will be washing your dishes with non-toxic soap.

7. Tub Cleaner: Add 1 cup of baking soda to 3 tbsp of Castile Soap for a DIY Soft Scrub that will power clean those tough stains.

8. All-purpose Cleaning: Add 1/4 c of soap to a quart of water in a spray bottle.  Adding 1/4 tsp tea tree oil will give an added antibacterial boost. Add a couple more ingredients and this recipe for a natural, all-purpose cleaner will knock your socks off!

9. Face Wash: Wet face. Put 2-3 drops of Castile soap onto wet hands and wash.

10. Body Wash: Squirt a few drops onto a wet washcloth and apply to a wet body.  If you want to add a few more ingredients, you can make yourself this mighty fine body wash.

Do you use Castile Soap?  Tell me how you do it. 🙂

xo

Spider Repellent

Spider Repellent

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This place has a lot of spiders.

And by this place, I mean our newish house that we moved into last summer.  We love our new house and the big, flat yard that has a ton of trees.

 

 

Woods separate our property from the lake and when my day has been stressful, I make the walk through the trees to the water and feel the stress from my day melt off with every step I take.

 

Path through the woods to the lake.

 

Seeing the seasons change at our new house has been amazing.  Last fall we witnessed the trees showing off their dazzling leaves and even got record snowfall in winter.  Nashville got a full 9 inches!  Of course the city was shut down and even grown ups got a snow day.

 

 

Spring has been my favorite so far.  So many surprises as the plants and trees wake from their cold slumber and greet us for the first time with their happy, bright blooms.

 

Daffodils. First sign of spring!

 

I still pinch myself to make sure that this is really my home.  I love it so much.

And so do the spiders apparently.

They are everywhere.  Evie saw one run across her toothbrush the other day.  Oh boy, it was bad.  It wasn’t a huge spider but to a little girl, it was big enough to eat her.  That was the breaking point, something had to give.  It was time to do something to tame this spider situation.

Conventional spider repellents are full of chemicals that we don’t want in our house or around the kids.  This spider repellent is super easy to make and very effective.  With only two non-toxic ingredients, you should totally give this recipe a shot.

DIY Spider Repellant

Ingredients:

  • 20 drops peppermint essential oil
  • 12 oz water
  • Sturdy spray bottle – these are good.

 

Directions:

1. Add 12 ounces of water to a spray bottle.

2. Add 20 drops of peppermint essential oil to water.

3. Shake to mix.

 

Before using, clean the area to get rid of old webs and debris so that the spider repellent can get down into the door cracks, corners of window frames and dark, creepy places where spiders may be hanging out.

 

Sayonara spiders.

 

Spider Repellent
 
Say goodbye to spiders with this DIY spider repellent.
Ingredients
  • 20 drops peppermint essential oil
  • 12 oz water
  • Spray bottle
Instructions
  1. Add 12 ounces of water to a spray bottle.
  2. Add 20 drops of peppermint essential oil to water.
  3. Shake to mix.
  4. Spray repellent in the corners of doors and windows and any dark, creepy places spiders like to hang out.

DIY Dishwasher Detergent

DIY Dishwasher Detergent

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You should see how sparkly this DIY dishwasher detergent gets my wine glasses.

I have tried several different recipes; powder ones, hard cube like concoctions and even a liquid or two but this one, this one’s a keeper.  There are only five non-toxic ingredients and they are easy to find and affordable.  This recipe works out to about .09 cents per load.

Cheap and easy.

The way I like it.

DIY Dishwasher Detergent

Ingredients:

1 cup Baking Soda
1 cup Washing soda
1 cup Citric Acid
1/2 cup Table Salt
TBSP of Rice or an unopened Silica packet

*Distilled White Vinegar

The rice or silica packet will keep the citric acid from turning your detergent into a hard rock. You could also pour a couple of tbsp. of rice into the toe of a pantyhose, tie it off and cut it before adding it to the detergent.  I like the concept but pantyhose sceeve me out and feet sceeve me out.  To think of making a rice ‘baggie’ out of the part of the pantyhose where your feet would be, totally puts me over the edge.  So I omit that part and just pour the rice in my detergent.

Directions:

1. Put the baking soda, washing soda, citric acid, table salt and your rice/silica bag in a large mixing bowl.

2. Mix to distribute ingredients evenly.

3. Put in an airtight container.

Use 1 tbsp. per load of dishes.

*The distilled white vinegar is used in the rinse aid compartment.  The vinegar will ensure that your glassware does not come out cloudy. Remember the wine glasses?

Bonus tip:  Pour a shot of vinegar at the bottom of your dishwasher to clean it during the wash cycle.

If you have hard water, then cloudy glassware may be a problem with this recipe.  One solution is to double the amount of citric acid.  Another option is to turn the water onto the highest heat setting on your dishwasher.

So, this DIY dishwashing detergent is easy to make. Check.

Budget friendly. Check.

Most importantly, non-toxic. Check.

Most commercial dishwashing detergents contain similar toxic ingredients such as:

1. Synthetic Fragrances – there are over 3,000 chemicals that can hide behind the word “fragrance.” Phthalates are the most common chemical fragrance.  Phthalates are known for endocrine disruption (hormone disruptors linked to reproductive system issues).  The EWG (Environmental working group) considers the toxicity of phthalates as one of their key issues and here you will find pages of articles discussing it.

2. Dyes – Color is added to make detergents pretty blue or green colors. Those dyes are the same as food coloring and have been linked to behavioral issues in children.

3. Triclosan – Disrupts both the thyroid and the endocrine system and bioaccumulates in the body. Overall bad for our hormone systems.  Companies will label this ingredient as an “antibacterial agent.”

4. Sulfates – SLS (sodium lauryl sulfate)/SLES (sodium laureth sulfate). These foaming agents are inexpensive and effective grease cutters. Sulfates absorb easily through the skin and are often contaminated by 1, 4 Dioxane.  1, 4 Dioxane is considered a probable carcinogen to humans by the EPA.

If making your own Dishwashing detergent isn’t for you, here is a list of effective, non-toxic cleaners on the market.

1. Seventh Generation Automatic Dishwasher Gel
2. Method Smarty Dish Dishwasher Tablets, Free & Clear
3. Earth Friendly Wave Auto Dishwasher Gel

You are going to pay a little more for non-toxic versions of conventional cleaners but your health is valuable and always worth it.

Consider it an investment. 🙂

DIY Fruit & Veggie Cleaner

DIY Fruit & Veggie Cleaner

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It’s Sunday and I need to go grocery shopping for the upcoming week.  The workweek is so busy that I save all of my errands and chores until the weekend. Laundry, cleaning the house real well, shopping, and meal prepping usually take up one entire day. I like to have a least one of my two precious days totally off of everything.  Everyone needs to have a Sunday Funday once in awhile.

What the world needs is a four-day work week. Can you imagine how much calmer and happier people would be?  World Peace, people.

Alas, I digress.  Back to groceries.

We eat a lot of produce, especially since we have been eating a more Paleo based diet. Fruits and most veggies are totally in season which means you can really stock up on good quality for really great prices.

Outdoor farmer’s markets are one of my favorite places to buy produce.  Be on the lookout in your area and you should start seeing signs that farmer’s markets are stocking up and opening for the season.  If you are not familiar with farmer’s markets, you should check one out. They rock.

Benefits of shopping at Farmer’s Markets.

1. Provide a large assortment of produce. You can find many fruits and veggies that your local grocery doesn’t provide.

2. Lower Prices. You don’t have to pay a bagger, stocker or their rent.

3. More than produce. In addition to food, farmer’s markets sell handmade soaps, eggs, baked goods, jams and jellies.  The list goes on really.  I go kinda crazy at these things and can rack up a pretty good bill.  Who knew I needed a goat’s milk, lavender, oatmeal face soap bar? Yeah, me either, until I got there and heard it’s siren song.  Just keep your head together and you will be fine.

4. Saving the planet.  The local grocery’s food is grown across the country and sometimes world (!), picked super early and sprayed with chemicals to keep it fresh until purchase and then driven or flown across the country to land at your grocery store shelf.  That’s exhausting. Think of all the energy and fuel wasted to make that happen. That is also why food is more expensive at the store.

5. Supporting local farmers.  Farmer’s work hard and we rely on them at least three times a day.  Farmer’s markets cut out the middleman and put more profit in the pockets of the farmers. Plus, it’s nice to meet the person who grows your food.  This is one of my favorite parts.  The last time the kids and I went shopping, we got to meet the farmer who supplied the eggs for that particular market. He even brought a few of his baby chickens for kids to pet. Xan was in love and promptly asked if we could get some egg laying chicks.  I am all about it but getting my husband on board is another story.

Farmer's Market

Once you get your produce home, you will need to clean it.  Not only is your produce usually covered with bacteria, non-organic produce has been sprayed with toxic pesticides.  You definitely will want to get that off.

Buy organic when you can.  For most of us, it is not alway economical to spend more money on organic produce, so using this fruit and veggie cleaner will not only remove the bacteria and little critters but up to 98% of the pesticide residue on the outside of your produce. The DIY fruit and veggie cleaner is super easy and you probably have the ingredients in your kitchen!

DIY fruit & veggie cleaner

Ingredients:

3 cups cold water

1 cup white vinegar

(That’s it!)

Directions:

1. Take a large mixing bowl and add 3 cups cold water and 1 cup white vinegar.

2. Add your produce.  Do like with like here.  For example, hard skinned fruit together (like citrus), berries together and leafy greens together.  That way the big grapefruit doesn’t bruise the soft blackberries.  I always wash the outside of produce even if we don’t eat the skin because most of my produce hang out together and could cross contaminate.

3. Let the produce set in the cleaner for 15-20 minutes.

 

4. Rinse with cold water and let dry completely.

All done and that bacteria, insects and pesticides are rinsed right down the drain.

Check out the funk that was left over after soaking the berries. The photo is a little dark but you can clearly see the dirt and floaty things left behind.


Peace out friends.  Try this DIY fruit & veggie cleaner and let me know what you think. xo