Happy Coffee Day! Making Homemade Cleaners

Hello Coffee Girls!  Thanks for stopping by.  I’ve got a pot of medium-roast Breakfast Blend on (and the kettle on for you tea lovers) – help yourself to a pumpkin scone while you’re here!

A few weeks ago I wrote about making Lotion Bars among other things.  I did in fact make them, BUT because I didn’t have a great measuring system for the beeswax, I’ve had to remelt them down and grate in some additional wax.  The oil left things extra oily and the bars were more malleable in my hand than they should be.  So the re-newed batch is setting up now, and I’ll share the recipe when I’ve mastered it. LOL

I found some other household cleaning recipes that I wanted to share.  I really have been thrilled with using Vinegar and Baking Soda for many household cleaning projects.

Here are a few recipes I found in my Homemade recipe book from Reader’s Digest:

Creamy Scrubbing Cleaner

2 cups baking soda
1/2 cup liquid castile soap
4 tsp vegetable glycerin
5 drops essential oil

Mix well and store in sealed glass jar.  The shelf life for this cleaner is 2 years!  (I get my baking soda at Sam’s Club – got my Dr. Bronner’s liquid castile soap at Kroger’s, and my vegetable glycerin at a local health food storeIf you use a scented castile soap, it probably isn’t necessary to add the essential oil for scent…)

All Purpose Cleaner

2 Tbsp vinegar
1 tsp. borax powder
1 cup hot distilled water + additional water
1/4 cup liquid castile soap
1 16 oz. spray bottle

Mix vinegar and borax in bottle.  Add 1 cup hot distilled water and shake until all is dissolved.  Add more water until almost full.  Add 1/4 cup liquid castile soap and swirl until mixed.  (I’ll just plug the peppermint castile soap as my favorite cleaning smell.  It is fresh and clean and I love cleaning with it. )

Liquid Fabric Softener

2 cups baking soda
2 cups white vinegar
4 cups distilled water
10 drops essential oil

Stir all together and store in plastic lidded container.   Use 1/4 cup per wash load.  (Plain vinegar alone is a great fabric softener, but if you would like to add a nice scent to your load, this liquid recipe may work well for you!)

Hope you enjoy these recipes.  I really enjoy using more natural products in my home and spending MUCH LESS money on cleaners and cleaning products.

Do you have any homemade cleaner recipes you rely on?

*If you’re on the fence about trying homemade cleaners – you’re not alone.  Try starting with one recipe and see how it works for you.   No need to go gung ho with switching out every cleaner until you see how one works for you. =)


What’s Up Wednesday? Product Review & Giveaway from Ecostore!

Not having done a formal product review before, I was only a little bit hesitant when I was contacted by someone from Ecostore products to try their products.  I wasn’t hesitant to try the products so much as to put together a product review. =)  So here goes:

Ecostore USA, in their own words:

“is an extension of a 20 year old New Zealand company http://www.ecostore.co.nz that makes plant based , non-toxic Household Cleaning, Baby and Personal Care Products that contain No Nasty Chemicals(tm). Now more than ever we believe that the voice of the Mom Blogger relative to the health of her family and the planet coincide with the Ecostore mission.”

Kudos to Ecostore USA for jumping on the Mom Bloggers wagon!!!  The store is just now getting products from their e-store onto shelves at Meijer stores.  So you will see these products (as I already have) at Meijer’s or can purchase them online.

PRODUCT REVIEW

I selected three products from their lines which include Baby Care, Bath & Body, Hair Care, Household, and Pet Care.  The box was delivered a week ago (in all environmentally friendly packaging!) and I have used these products for a week.  To be honest – I’m impressed and very happy to share my results with you.

The Baby Sleepytime Bath Aromatherapy was the product I was most excited to try.  My girls love baths, and sometimes bathtime is more exciting than calming, so baths before bed are not always a good idea.  However, the addition of the Baby Sleepytime Bath was lovely for both them and me.  The scents of Geranium and Lavendar filled the bathroom, and although there were no bubbles, there was no oily residue or tub ring after use.   And I can say that it seemed to have the acclaimed “sleepytime” effect on both girls, and made settling down much easier.  The pricetag of $11.00 retail is higher than you would pay for a competitive brand – BUT it does NOT contain any harsh chemicals or dangerous ingredients  and that is worth every penny!  This is something I will keep on hand for our girls for a long while.

I also selected their Toilet Cleaner.  We have been using naturally-derived products in our home for over a year, but did not have a product specific for toilet cleaning.  While I was confident in the safety of the products we’ve been using, I wanted to try something specifically targeting the toilet.  The pine scent was NOT overpowering and the liquid gel was a cinch to apply.  With the angled neck, it was easy to target under the rim, and with just one use, I saw under-the-rim stains disappear!  This is a cleaner I will use once a week for serious cleaning, along with my (almost) daily “swish & swipe” routine.  At $8.00 retail a bottle this will last me quite some time, and won’t hurt the waterways or environment!

The third and final product was actually the one that impressed me the most.  The Pure Oxygen Whitener was so successful that even my husband commented on how much brighter everything looked!  The powdered form must be mixed with water prior to use, and at 2 Tbsp per 7+/- quarts of water, this container is going to last us at least several months.  Since I didn’t have a 7 quart container on hand, I reused an empty 24 oz container bottle (left over from my dish soap) filled with water and mixed with 1/2 tsp of the whitener.  I can squirt it into my washer quite easily and am very pleased with the results.  I did follow the directions for an overnight soak on a small load of miscellaneous white clothes (including my girls socks which get very dirty) and have not seen them get whiter.  For $12 retail – this product will not only save money but will give you great results and a SAFER alternative to bleach.

All in all, I’m really excited to have tried these products, and will look for the other products in our local Meijer’s whenever I need anything more.  For more information about Ecostore USA, click here.


GIVEAWAY

I’m also thrilled to announce my first-ever contest – a $25 gift certificate to Ecostore USA.   Take a visit to their site, leave a comment telling me which product(s) you would like to try and I will draw a winner on Tuesday, April 14.  Contest ends Monday, April 13, at 11:59 p.m. EST.  One comment per person.  (Be sure to leave your name, email address &/or blog address so I can contact the winner.)

*** Plus – Ecostore USA is offering free Shipping for the month of April on orders of $25+!!!