Wednesday, September 26, 2018

my top 3 all-natural homemade cleaning products

Scientists predict that, unless we reduce our impact on the environment now, the damage we are creating will be irreversible. We all need to recognize the issue and jump in and make some changes. For me, making my own cleaning products was a start. Knowing I am doing something to reduce my household's impact on the world was key. Hopefully, by sharing these remedies with you, we will make an even bigger impact on the world. Of course, the fact that these products work amazingly well is a bonus! Here's to us and here's to Mother Earth!

LEMON DUST CLOTHS (my favorite)


This is my favorite go-to cleaning method for furniture and
painted woodwork, including kitchen and bathroom cabinets. 

You will need - water, white distilled vinegar, lemon or olive oil, dust cloths or old rags, lemons and an airtight jar with a screw lid 

1) Make a solution of two parts water, two parts vinegar, and two drops olive oil. Soak your dust cloths or rags in this solution. Squeeze out the excess, leaving them just damp.

2) Pare the rind from several lemons, depending on how many rags you are preparing, and lay a couple of pieces on each smoothed-out dust cloth.

3) Fold each one, or roll it up, and store in a clean jam jar with an extra piece of lemon peel. The jar should be airtight with a screw lid.

4) Prepare several dust cloths at a time, and store them until needed. Make sure to wash or boil the dust cloths regularly after use.

To use - pull out one of the rags, discard the lemon rind and wipe over furniture and painted wood.

GLASS CLEANER


I love this recipe - it is truly streak free!
I recommend making it after five - wink, wink.

You will need - water, white distilled vinegar, vodka, essential oil of your choice and a 16 oz. spray bottle

1) In your spray bottle, combine 1 1/4 cup water, 1/2 cup 80 proof vodka (the cheaper the better), 1/4 cup white distilled vinegar and 8 drops of any essential oil you like (I love using orange but change to peppermint during the holidays). Add nozzle - done! Now, while the vodka is out.....

To use - give the bottle a little shake before using, spray onto glass, then rub the glass dry with a soft cloth. Polish to a sheen using a crumpled newspaper.

ALL PURPOSE CLEANER


This works beautifully on counter tops, sinks, toys,
outdoor furniture, or anything that needs a good cleaning. 

You will need - water, your favorite eco-friendly liquid soap and a spray bottle

1) Pour 12 oz. of water into your spray bottle. Add 2 tablespoons of your favorite liquid soap. I like Mrs. Meyers and change up the scent depending on the season.

To use - give the spray bottle a little shake, then spray and wipe with a clean old rag.

Next week we will get into the nitty gritty of kitchen cleaning!

Until next time,

la chasse au bonheur

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Keeping a natural house - an introduction to a month long series for keeping a cleaner, greener home

Our lives have changed immeasurably during the past century and life has become so much easier, richer, and more comfortable for those if us lucky enough to be born in the affluent, developed parts of the world.

Because of this, I believe we've become entitled, lazier, more stressed and more dependent on quick fixes, with little or no thought to our environment.

With the availability of the thousands of toxin laden cleaning products our homes can be sparkling clean. Sadly, this clean and easy way of life is having a huge impact on our lives and our environment. It is, quite literally, making us and our world sick. The time has come to stop and smell the roses, to take stock of the damage we have done and are doing, not only to our environment, but ourselves and our families, and quietly, gently, wisely alter our habits.

The most wholesome path to take is to stop accepting the unacceptable. It is within the scope of every one of us to vote with our wallet and to protect ourselves and our families by making sure we know what we are introducing into our home.


Consumers are demanding good, honest, natural products from ecologically sensitive and sound, sustainable sources. In 2003 Greenpeace initiated a "chemical home" database. Its aim was to demonstrate that is was possible to substitute safer alternatives for the hazardous chemicals in cleaning materials. By 2006, many manufacturers had found effective and safer alternatives, but there is still a long way to go.

In this month-long series you will find effective and affordable alternatives to the thousands of 'off the shelf' chemical laden cleaning products and learn other ways to implement healthy change in your home.

Before going any further - here is a list of housekeeping and cleaning products I recommend you keep stocked in your cleaning cupboard (I never need anything more than this).

- Beeswax polish

- Baking Soda - buy in industrial size packaging

- Borax

- Chamois Leather

- Distilled White Vinegar - buy in large quantities

- Enamel Buckets - buy old/vintage - no need for new

- Long-handled Feather or lambswool Duster

- Jam Jars with Screw Lids

- Lemons - lot and lots of lemons

- Old Toothbrushes

- Olive Oil

- Rags - you can easily make rags from worn-out cotton dresses and T-shirts, towels, dish towels, and bed linens that are beyond mending. Cut cloths into squares. Wash or boil used rags regularly

- Refillable Spray Bottles

- Washing Line and Wooden Clothespins

- Wooden-handled Bristle Scrubbing Brush

- Wooden-handled Bristle Brush Brooms - hard-bristle is best for outdoors and soft-bristle brush for indoor sweeping

- Wooden-handled, Small Bristle Brush with Tin Dustpan

We will pick up next week once you've sourced all your supplies!

Until then,

la chasse au bonheur