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How to Clean Toilet Stains Without Chemicals

Cleaning toilets has got to be my least favorite household chore.  As a result I don’t always clean them as well or as often as I probably should.  During one stretch last year our toilets got particularly funky and even I admitted that something needed to be done.  So I rolled up my sleeves and gave them all the elbow grease and natural cleaning action I could muster.  But to my dismay, the rings at the top and along...

Smelly Spot Spray

Anyone with animals or children knows how often smelly stains pop up around the house.  Dog pee on the carpet?  Food spill on the couch?  Mysterious unnamed substance on the rug?  This spray neutralizes odors and has some stain fighting ability as a nice bonus.  It can also be used on hard surfaces such as stinky trashcans or litter boxes.  It uses ingredients that most people keep on hand and it works really, really...

How to Make Reusable Swiffer Pads – Super Ea...

I bought a swiffer for the convenience of cleaning the kitchen floor but got seriously annoyed by the price of replacing the swiffer pads and stopped using it.  However, I missed my handy little gadget and started brainstorming simple ways to make my own reusable pads.  I considered lots of different materials including old terry cloth towels and cloth diapers (the flat kind).  Both materials clean well but require sewing...

How to Make Foaming Hand Soap

The cost of commercial hand soap is highway robbery.  Most places charge the same price for regular and foaming soap, even though the foaming version is diluted with over 75% water!  Fortunately this is one of the easiest products to make at home.  For less than $1 you can make a 10 oz bottle of soap and use essential oil to customize the scent however you please.  It cleans beautifully, takes about 2 minutes to make and...

Where to Find Homemade Cleaning Supplies

Most ingredients in homemade cleaners are simple and very easy to find (the majority can be found at the grocery store).  Here’s a list of the most common ingredients and some notes to help you find the best stuff! Baking soda – this handy cleaner is typically found in the baking aisle.  Save money by buying the large box – it’s sure to be put to good use! Borax – this is typically sold in the laundry detergent...

How to Keep Happy Houseplants

I love houseplants.  They can’t be beat for cheering up a room or providing an all-natural source of air purification.  Most people choose houseplants based on looks.  They buy a plant that catches their eye, stick it on a random windowsill, throw away the care instructions and just water it from time to time.  The plant does okay for a couple years, then gets straggly and eventually finds it way into the trashcan. ...

Top 12 Low Light Houseplants

Houseplants are amazing – they beautify your home, clean your air and generally just make me happy.  We recently moved into a condo that faces northeast, not a good direction for growing plants!  We get some nice morning sun, but not nearly enough to sustain most sun loving houseplants.  So I’ve been on a mission to find shade tolerant houseplants that will brighten up our new place.  Below are some tough cookies –...

Making It – Book Review

Making It is the latest book by Kelly Coyne and Erik Knutzen (they also wrote The Urban Homestead and the blog Root Simple).  They’re big time advocates for the do-it-yourself lifestyle and demonstrate how living closer to the land is possible, even in urban environments.  They live on a small property in Los Angeles where they’ve built a true urban homestead.  They grow much of their own food, raise chickens...

Furniture Polish Recipe

Furniture Polish Spray (Time: 3 minutes) Ingredients: 1 Tablespoons light olive oil 1/4 cup white distilled vinegar 1 3/4 cup water 25 drops Lemon essential oil Supplies: 16 oz spray bottle Directions: Mix the olive oil, vinegar and essential oil in the spray bottle. Fill the rest of the bottle with water and shake well to mix. Use: Give the bottle a quick shake before using (olive oil and vinegar separate) then...

Ant Spray Recipe

This handy, non-toxic spray kills ants and cleans your counters while you’re at it, talk about multi-tasking!  Every fall our kitchen gets attacked by ants and I keep this on hand at all times.  The soap dries up the ants and the peppermint is a natural ant repellent.  Now you  can feel good about zapping those little invaders without exposing your family to nasty chemicals.  Oh yeah, it also smells really...

Floor Cleaner Recipe

This recipe makes a cheap, effective, non-toxic floor cleaner you can whip up in less than a minute. Floor Cleaner (Time: 2 minutes) Ingredients: 1 bucket of warm water (about a gallon or so) 1/2 cup white distilled vinegar  OR  2 Tablespoons dish soap 30-50 drops essential oil (optional – see http://youngmotherhubbard.com/http:/818/top-essential-oils-for-cleaning/ for...

Tub Scrub Recipe

Tub Scrub (Time: 5 minutes) Ingredients: 1 3/4 cup baking soda 1/2 cup liquid castile soap (regular dish soap leaves too much residue for this recipe, see  http://youngmotherhubbard.com/http:/870/soap-vs-detergent/ for clarification) 3 Tablespoons water (approximate) 2 Tablespoons white vinegar 25 drops essential oil (optional – see http://youngmotherhubbard.com/http:/818/top-essential-oils-for-cleaning/ for...

Basic Cleanser Recipe

This cleanser is just a scented baking soda and you’ll be amazed at how well it works.  Baking soda is a must have ingredient for anyone interested in making their own cleaning supplies.  It has countless cleaning uses around the house – it cleans, it deodorizes, it scours, it softens…  Plus it’s non-toxic and super cheap!  Read on to take advantage of this great ingredient: Basic Cleanser (Time: 2...

Liquid Soap vs. Liquid Detergent Clarification

Nowadays most products we think of as soap are actually detergents.  The dishwashing “soap” at your sink is a common example of a detergent.  Many recipes on this site give you the option to choose between liquid soap or liquid detergent.  Although most work well with either (I try to note any exceptions), there are some significant differences between the two: Liquid detergent is the stuff most people hand...

Ultimate Glass Cleaner Recipe

Once you try this recipe you’ll never use Windex again.  It really isn’t a recipe at all – just plain old club soda and some essential oil if you want it to smell nice.  No chemicals, no weird smells, no complicated recipes, no high price tag and it works better than any commercial cleaner I’ve ever tried! Ultimate Glass Cleaner (Time: 1 minute) Ingredients: 16 oz (2 cups) club soda 25 drops...

All Purpose Cleaning Spray Supercharged Recipe

This recipe is a more powerful alternative to the All Purpose sprays listed earlier.  The addition of borax boosts its cleaning power and helps inhibit mold and mildew.  It’s a good spray to use on particularly dirty jobs or in moist places such as the shower and bathroom where mold and funk thrive. All Purpose Cleaning Spray Supercharged (Time: 5 minutes) Ingredients: 3 Tablespoons white distilled vinegar 1...

Top Essential Oils for Cleaning

Essential oils are concentrated, fragrant oils derived from plants.  They smell fantastic, can improve the effectiveness of your cleaning products and positively affect your mood.  A few drops of your favorite essential oil can turn a blah cleaning product into a pleasant experience.  Below is an overview of my favorite essential oils for home cleaning products: Must haves at our house: Lavender – this is one of the...

Sticky Fingers Cleaning Spray Recipe

This is a super easy, non-toxic cleaning spray that’s a hit with kids.  Kids young and old love the smell of sweet orange.  It’s great for all those sticky fingers (and fingerprints) of childhood.  Toss a bottle in your car and you’ll be prepared for many impromptu messes.  This is also a good product to teach kids about cleaning.  Most kids like to spray things and once your little ones are old enough...

All Purpose Cleaning Spray Recipe

This is a wonderfully simple, low chemical cleaning spray you can use all over your home.  It’s non-toxic, easy to make, works great and is way cheaper than store bought alternatives.  Scent it with your favorite essential oil and it’ll smell so fantastic you’ll (almost) want to clean! All Purpose Cleaning Spray (Time: 2 minutes) Ingredients: 2 cups (16 oz) water 1 1/2 Tablespoons dish soap or 3...

All Purpose Cleaning Spray Recipe #2

This is the simplest cleaner I have found, it takes seconds to make and will clean just about anything. All Purpose Cleaning Spray Recipe #2 (Time: 2 minutes) Ingredients: 1 cup (8 oz) white distilled vinegar 1 cup (8 ox) water 25 drops essential (see http://youngmotherhubbard.com/http:/818/top-essential-oils-for-cleaning/ for recommendations) Supplies: 16 oz spray bottle Directions: Pour vinegar and water into spray...