Clean Without Toxins And Clean On The Cheap!

To clean my home can be a challenge seeing how not only are there humans running around (and a revolving door for friends); there are eleven furry beings, one reptilian, and oh I can’t forget the itty bitty dwarf hamster my son got me for a birthday gift almost 4 years ago. I clean, clean, and when I think I am done, I clean some more.

There are many products we buy at the market that can be very poisonous to our pets and if they are poisonous to our pets just think how toxic they are to us. I’ve been making my own cleaners for better part of two decades as my daughter came into this world sensitive to most everything. Before my little bouncing joy was here I can remember as a girl getting out the mop bucket and vinegar. What vinegar didn’t clean away there was baking soda. Over the years I learned and added some other things to my arsenal cleaning; peroxide and essential oils, oh and can’t forget the power of lemon (yep the whole fruit and nothing but the fruit, skin and all!

I will be posting recipes and what I do to clean my home in a part one, two, three…well you get it? I don’t want to bore you completely by giving it to you all at once!

Okay this is what I do for my sinks and tub (anything with a drain that can get gunk build up over time).

Drain cleaner—A great drain cleaner I use is baking soda, white vinegar, and hot water. I boil two pots of water. Pour one pot down the drain to loosen up debris, oils, just normal gunk that accumulates in a drain. Then I sprinkle 1/2 cup baking soda around the area (I usually take the time to rub the baking soda around (sink bowl) and clean (sink bowl) while I’m at it. Follow up with a cup of white vinegar poured all around the sink bowl. Then I pour a second pot of hot water down the drain. (You don’t have to follow up with a second pot of hot water; I just do). I do this to all sinks and tubs. Kids love watching the foaming action between baking soda and vinegar. Science project! (btw…I do this once a week or two. Better to keep the drains clean and clear then to call a plumber!)

This cleans brilliantly and just smells clean. 🙂

     Hint: If you want a “smell good” smell; drop a drop or two of lemon, orange, or lavender essential oil down during last pot of water.  These essential oils disinfect too; killing those nasty germs!

Baking soda is awesome! It scrubs nice and easy without scratching. It removes most stains (I have yet to meet a stain in my house I couldn’t get out) and gunk. It is amazing polisher for shiny things like my faucets. What I love…it deodorizes! Does all that and is inexpensive too!

White vinegar is my workhorse. Gets through a lot of scum. It disinfects and is a deodorizer as well. Oh and that stuff is inexpensive as well.  Love that!

Try the drain cleaner and please let me know how it works for you…

……In fabulous health, Koko

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Don’t Let Household Products Harm Your Pets

Did you know there are household products that can poison your pets?  First off, I urge you to look at all your “cleaners” and products like bug sprays and weed killers and really try to find another solution to the problems in which you use those things for.  If they are not good for your pets, most likely they are not good for YOU too! Please use caution when using them or reconsider using them at all.  There are many books and websites on the subject of making your own cleaners, bug and weed killers, and many other things we used day-to-day.  I will be posting on some recipes I’ve used since I was a kid.  (I come from a line of resourceful people.)  Here are some things to really consider when around pets; I mean humans as well, but for purposes of this post I will just refer to pets. 🙂

Drain cleaners—A great drain cleaner I use is baking soda, white vinegar, and hot water.  I boil two pots of water.  Pour one pot down drain to loosen up debris, oils, just normal gunk that accumulates in a drain.  Then I sprinkle 1/2 cup baking soda around the area (I usually take the time to rub the baking soda around (sink bowl) and clean (sink bowl) while I’m at it.  Follow with a cup of white vinegar.  And then pour second pot of hot water down.  I do this to all sinks and tubs.  Kids love watching the foaming action between baking soda and vinegar.

Oven cleaners—*CHEER* for oven that self cleans.  No need for those toxic sprays.  I remember way back using a can of oven cleaner.  I remember gagging and coughing so badly I had wondered why we had it in the cabinet under the sink.  What did I know?  My mom didn’t use it either so why was it there?  No clue, but it was a good lesson and really got me thinking about chemicals.  I was about ten at the time.

Toilet cleaners—I don’t use this at all. I just squirt a bit of cheap shampoo in toilet and scrub away.  Stays very clean. I also use baking soda too.  Sprinkle about 1/2 cup in and scrub.  I do this about 2 times a week.

Insecticides—Get rid of insect “bait” boxes.  Or make sure they are hidden safely away from pets.  Pets love to play with these boxes and if chewed on can be very bad.  I use diatomaceous earth to get rid of ants, fire ants, fleas, silver fish, etc.  (I don’t have roaches, but some of you have asked about this and yes DE is great for that.  Sprinkle around cabinets/behind/inside.  I just sprinkle about a couple of inches wide of DE all around the outside of my house.  We did under the house the first year.  DE dries out the exoskeleton of the insect; subsequently kills it.  Do your research on how to handle this stuff.  You don’t want to inhale the dust, and know that once it gets wet, it doesn’t work anymore.  I love how I can sprinkle this around my garden and it won’t harm the earthworms!

Lime-removal products—For hard water I use white vinegar and baking soda made into a paste.  Apply let sit for a bit and scrub.  May have to repeat depending on how much deposits are on there.  A half of a lemon rubbed around faucets works very well too.  Lemon juice made into a paste with baking soda is another go-to.  I try my best to clean often so I don’t have this problem in the first place.  I dislike having to spend a lot of time cleaning, and I’ve found, the more I clean, the less time I actually spend doing it.  My sink for instance takes about one minute to wipe clean.  For rusty colored stains; a paste of cream of tartar and peroxide.  Let sit and scrub clean.  Works for brownish and blackish stains.  Just remember white vinegar, baking soda, and lemon juice is your friend!

House plants/outdoor plants—Azalea, many types of lily, bird of paradise, boxwood, carnation, dieffenbachia, daffodil, daisy, elephant ears, gardenia, english ivy, hosta, hydrangea, mum, oleander, primrose, rhubarb, taro, tropic snow, tulip, vinca, weeping fig, yarrow, yucca.  Of course there are many more that are toxic to pets, so do your homework.  I personally have some “toxic” plants in and around my home, but non of my pets feel the need to eat them.  The only greens they eat are what I give them and grass they gather on their own.  The ASPCA has a good list of plants to avoid.

Medications—Keep all medications up and away.  Bottles make very tantalizing toys to pets and if they get the bottle open and consume the contents, it could have dire consequences.

Car solutions—Such as; antifreeze, window washing liquids, waxes, cleaners, all need to be put up in an enclosed cabinet.

Flea products—My animals are highly allergic to them, so I avoid them entirely.

Silica gel pack—If I purchase something, like shoes for instance, I get rid of the packets immediately.  In my house my kitties love to inspect what I’ve brought home.  They especially love boxes and it isn’t unusual to find one sleeping in one even with lid closed! Yes, I’ve jumped at that surprise.

Penny—Yep, one cent piece, Abe Lincoln, copper piece, penny, you get it.  And yes, this coin which is the lowest of our money value can have a very expensive price when it comes to our pets.  A penny’s composition after 1982; 97.5% zinc, 2.5% copper (core: 99.2% zinc, 0.8% copper; plating: pure copper).  What does that mean to our pets?  Well glad you asked.  Zinc is highly toxic to dogs and cats; in dogs it can be fatal.  The stomach acid dissolves the penny pretty quick and the zinc gets released.  Zinc prevents the production of red blood cells.  The longer the penny stays in the stomach the more damage it causes.

There are many more things that are toxic to our furry friends; be knowledgeable and proactive.  Our pets look to us to care for their well-being and safety.