Awesome Natural Cleaning Brands

greatnaturalcleaningbrands

  1. Sonett
  2. Bondi Wash
  3. Method Products
  4. Natures Organic
  5. Eco Store

While making  your own natural cleaning products out of your cupboard is easy and cheap, sometimes its easier to buy certain products.

Here’s a list of really great cleaning brands that are Eco friendly, and won’t harm your health.

Any other great brands that you use at home? Let me know in the comments below!

D.K.

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Replace Mothballs with this oh-so-good smelling alternative

mothball

As we (finally) head into the warmer months of the year and pack away all our thick woollen blankets and coats, instead of using toxic chemicals to protect our belongings from moths, you can easily make your own natural alternative.

The way mothballs work, is they are made of solid chemicals that when exposed to the air, slowly become gases which kill moths.

This recipe for a DIY alternative doesn’t use any toxic chemicals, and is very very simple and easy to make. Not to mention, you wont regret it when you pull out your blankets come next winter to be pleasantly surprised by the herbal/floral scent rather than the pungent mothball smell.

What you’ll need:

Lavender buds (you can buy fresh lavender and strip the buds off the flower and leave to dry for a couple of weeks)

Cinnamon sticks

Small cloth bags

Directions:

Fill small cloth bags with a cinnamon stick and lavender buds and place in-between blankets and coats.

Lavender is a fantastic natural bug repellent and a beautiful addition to a garden. If you are having moth problems elsewhere in your house, you can even put these little bags in other nooks and crannies to stop the moths.

D.K.

DIY Natural Fabric Softener

fabric softner

There’s a LOT of really different methods for DIY fabric softener out there on the net.

I’ve found this one is the easiest, most effective recipe that you can make in bulk and store each time you put a load of washing on.

You can use any essential oil you like as well, so all your clothes come out smelling like your favourite scent.

What you’ll need:

  • 4 Cups Salt
  • 20 drops essential oil (of your choosing, I love lavender)

Mix together and store in an airtight container.

Use 5 tablespoons a washing load.

Tell me readers, what’s your favourite essential oil?

D.K.

5 Household Uses of Lavender Essential Oil

lavender-399273_640

Lavender oil is a beautiful smelling essential oil that be be added to so many household recipes. It has strong disinfectant properties, so it can be added to just about any home-made cleaning product to make your house smell amazing.

Here’s a list of just a few:

Surface Cleaner:

Add 10 drops to a spray bottle of vinegar, for an all-purpose surface cleaner

Carpet Cleaner:

Mix 1 box of bicarb soda with 20 drops of oil. Spread onto carpet, leave for 10 minutes and vacuum up.

Air Freshener: 

Place 10 drops of oil into small container filled with dried lavender, for a beautifully smelling natural air freshener

Insect repellent: 

Fabric soaked swatches can be placed in pantries or areas with lots of bugs to deter them away.

Linen spray: 

Mix 80mL of alcohol with 1 1/2C of water and 10 drops of oil in a small spray bottle. Spray your sheets to freshen them up, and make them smell gorgeous.

I hope you have a lavender-scented Spring.

D.K.

Controlling Pests: the Natural Way

controlloing pests

Keeping the pests away all year long can be a challenge.

Theres so many chemicals out there to buy, but do you ever think that they could be harming you as well?

The best way to prevent pests, if you can, is the non-toxic way.

Here’s some tips to get you started:

  • Instead of using mouse baits, use mouse traps. (Mouse baits usually have toxic chemicals in them.)
  • Avoid pest strips: they have pesticides in them that are chemical based, which get released into your home (not nice for us to breathe)
  • Mothballs contain naphthalene, which can contribute to respiratory problems. Instead, use cedar chips (can be bought of Ebay)

You can also make your own insecticide spray for plants:

In a spray bottle, combine:

– 1 ½ TBSP soap

– 900mL water

– 2 drops of essential oil

This soap solution, suffocates bugs and deters them. Simply spray on all sides of the plant.

D.K.

Have any other natural ways of deterring pesky bugs? Let me know in the comments below!

5 Reasons to Love SoapNuts (& how to use them)

soapnutsRecently, in a Laneway Learning class I took in Melbourne, ‘Cupboard Cosmetics’ with the Green Genie (side note: Laneway Learning classes are awesome, if you want to get involved in some cheap classes, check them out) I was introduced to the magic of Soapnuts.

What are Soapnuts you ask?

Soapnuts are a small brown leathery looking round fruit that get up to 2cm in diameter and are so incredibly magic, because they lather in water!

Yep, a natural soap!

Here’s reasons why I love Soapnuts and why you should to:

  1. No waste. Since they are 100% natural, after being used, they can be tossed in the garden or compost
  2. Non toxic. Unlike other soap detergents, there are not complex, harmful chemicals. They have even been know to use as a great soap alternative for eczema sufferers!
  3. Effective: Soapnuts are amazing at cleaning. Approx 4-6 whole soapnuts placed into a small drawstring bag, or tied up sock will be sufficient for 4-6 loads of washing. They can even be used to clean cloth nappies! and are super great for sensitive baby skin.
  4. Affordable: Soapnuts can be bought in bulk to save money. A 500g bag can last 6 months!
  5. Multi-purpose : They can be used as detergents, body washes, shampoos… the list is endless.

For more info and where to buy soapnuts check out this site.

How to use Soapnuts

For the laundry: Place 3-6 whole cracked shells (or equivalent in pieces) into a washnet (or tied up old sock), close with an elastic band around the top and place into the tub with your laundry

To Make a concentrate:

Place 100 grams of soapnuts with 3 litres of water in a large saucepan or stock pot  to make 2L of concentrate. Bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer for an hour or so. Strain the liquid through cloth and compost the nuts.

The Concentrate can then be used as: Laundry Liquid, hand soap (in a foam pump bottle), shampoo, general surface cleaner, carpet cleaner, dishwasher soap, pest spray, glass cleaner (mix equal parts liquid, vinegar & water) and the list continues!

You can practically get rid of nearly everything in your cleaning cupboard!

D.K.

Comment below for more ways you use Soapnuts!

Why You Should Add Indoor Plants to Your Home

Albert Melu

Indoor houseplants are an inexpensive way to purify the air that you breathe. Research has found that some indoor plants in 24 hours, can remove 90% of chemicals in the air!

Not only that, adding a bit of greenery to your home can make a room complete.

Here’s some great indoor plants:

plant-post copy
Aloe Vera

Easy to grow, place near a sunny window. Not only is Aloe air-clearing, but the gel inside plants can help heal cuts and burns

Spider plant 

Very resilient (if you tend to neglect plants) and is great even if you have pets running around

Areca Palm

Likes partial sun, and is also quite resilient.  A really great air purifier!

 

plant-post

Boston Fern

Said to be a natural air humidifier and one of the best air purifying houseplants!

Ficus alii 

Likes indirect sun, and not too much water- easy care!

Elephant Ears Plant

Grows quite big, so requires a large pot and indirect sunlight.Creates a great focal point in a room.

What plants do you have in your home?

D.K.

Cheap, Effective Ways to Clean with Baking Soda

baking soda

Have you noticed that cleaning is much more bearable when you feel good about the products you are using?

So many cleaning products available in supermarkets are full of hazardous chemicals. As well, the sheer amount available for the number of different uses they have is extensive and unnecessary.

Did you know, that with baking soda, you can make a lot of your own cleaning products? A cheaper and natural alternative that is healthy for you and the environment!

Here’s some awesome ways to use baking soda for cleaning:

Bathroom Scrub

This recipe is from a fantastic book: The Naturally Clean Home. 

Simply, mix herbs, spices or essential oils with baking soda, sprinkle on bathroom surface and rinse. Done!

Cinnamon Clove Scrub:

1 cup baking soda + 2 tablespoons cinnamon + 1 tablespoon whole cloves (loosely ground)

Combine ingredients and store in an airtight container

All purpose Cleaner: 

Mix 1/2 cup vinegar and 1/4 cup baking soda and 2L of water. Store and keep. Use for removal tiles stains, windows, mirrows etc.

Air Freshener: 

Baking soda with lemon juice in small dish absorbs odors around the house

Bleach Alternative:

Add ½ C of baking soda to laundry load (with detergent, or SoapNuts) can give you whiter whiter whites and bright colours

What else do you use baking soda for at home when it comes to cleaning?

D.K.

Breathe Happy: Ditch your Toxic Air Freshener and DIY

Milo McDowell

Did you know air fresheners and scented candles are full of artificial scents and harmful chemicals that can irritate our skin and lungs.

It’s super easy to make your own fresheners, leaving your home smelling fantastic. They can also be made for a unique DIY gift!

Cheap, easy and delicious smelling, heres some recipes to try:

Herb/ Orange  Deodorizer

Use orange or lemon skin rinds in a pot of water and simmer for 1-2 hours, leaving the aromas to spread.

Once simmered, the solution can be stored in an airtight container and re-simmered to re-use.

The same recipe can be done with cloves, or cinnamon sticks instead of citrus rinds for a more spice aroma base.

Vanilla, Citrus, Herb Deodorizer Essence 

Simmer for 1-2 hours: 1C of water, 4 sprigs of rosemary, 1 teaspoon of Vanilla extract and sliced lemon.

Citrus Spray

Dissolve 1tbsp of baking soda in 2C of hot water with a squeeze of lemon juice and pour into a spray bottle

Lavender Spray

In a bowl, mix 1 Tbs of baking soda with 5 drops of Lavender essential oil (Or an essential oil of your choice), and place into a spray bottle. Fill the bottle with water and shake.

Do you have any other recipes for awesome natural deodorisers? Let me know in the comments below.

D.K.

Why you need to stop cleaning with bleach now!

bleach

A recent report released has linked infection in children with cleaning with bleach.

Bleach is used in so many households in Australia. It could be the cause of child infections on the rise!

An alternative bleach is cheap, easy to make and doesn’t have a health risk associated with it!

I hope this post inspires you to toss your bleach bottles and make your own safe, natural cleaning bleach.

The study included over 9000 children, who completed a questionnaire regarding infection and bleach use. The study was completed in the Netherlands, Spain and Finlands, and the results were the same for all countries.

With homes that cleaned with bleach, the study found the risk of

– Flu was 20% higher

– Tonsillitis 35% higher

– Recurrent infection 18%

These figures are alarming! 

“The process of cleaning with bleach could generate volatile or airborne compounds that could damage the lining of lung cells, sparking inflammation and making it easier for infections to take hold”

Check out this Sydney Morning Herald article to read about it in detail.

But what can we use instead of bleach??

Believe it or not there is a cheap, easy alternative. Here’s how:

Natural Homemade Bleach Alternative

12 cups water

1/4 cup lemon juice

1 cup hydrogen peroxide (You can purchase this from most supermarkets.)

Directions

– Mix the ingredients together.

You can use it as a  household cleaner or you can add 2 cups per wash load to make your clothes sparkling white.

Do you think you have developed an infection from use of bleach in your household cleaning? Will you be making this super easy alternative at home? Let me know in the comments below!

D.K.