Wrap-Up Part 2: Housecleaning Stuff

We also talked about making housecleaning products from household items, and basically it was an ode to baking soda and vinegar. SHOCK. Here are the recipes:

Annemarie’s Magical All-Purpose Cleaner

1 part water
1 part vinegar
a blob of dish soap (I use Sunlight)

Clean all the things!

More Complicated But Also Good All-Purpose Cleaner

-1 part vinegar
-1 part water
-dollop of dish soap
-3/4 c. Distilled White Vinegar
-1 c. Hydrogen Peroxide
-1 1/2 tsp. Castille Soap (Such as Dr. Bronner )
-30 drops Tea Tree Oil
-30 drops Essential Oil of choice (like lavender, lemongrass, rosemary, lemon verbena, spearmint, clove, cinnamon, anise, sage, grapefruit, lemon, or lime)
-water to fill

Other Tips
-Use baking soda as an abrasive to scour stainless steel pots and sinks, and to scrub scum off your tub
-Use Borax to clean your toilet – buy it in the laundry aisle, bottom shelf, green box
-To clean cast iron, cover with kosher salt and scour with a dry sponge
-For musty odours (from thrifted stuff, foot/body odour in clothing, etc) cover in kitty litter and leave overnight (Source)
-Rub half a lemon on wooden cutting boards, counters, and sinks to clean and get rid of bacteria
-I flush my sinks with boiling water regularly, and sometimes dump baking soda down, then vinegar, and after it’s fizzed out, a big kettle of boiling water.
A Note On Vinegar
You can infuse your vinegar with citrus peels to improve the smell and add the grease-fighting power of citrus oil.
To make: Stuff the peelings of 4-6 oranges (or other citrus) into a glass quart canning jar. Cover with vinegar and seal with a lid. Shake every once in a while for 1-2 weeks. Strain out peelings. When finished the vinegar should be a dark orange/green/yellow color.
It is okay to start the jar with your first peelings and add more to the vinegar as you eat them. Just be sure to leave room in the jar for the peelings when you pour the vinegar.
Use this in any of the recipes below in the place of white vinegar.

Liquid Laundry Detergent
4 Litres warm water
1 Cup washing soda
1 Cup Borax
¼ Cup Baking Soda

Mix all ingredients together in a container (I use an old vinegar jug).
Use ½ Cup per load, mix before each use.

Diaper Stink
If you use disposable diapers cover the bottom of the garbage in baking soda and this will help get rid of the smell. You can pour more in if you need to.

If you are using cloth diapers you can soak them in ¼ Cup baking soda and/or ¼ Cup vinegar in 5 Litres of water.
Keep in mind that vinegar weakens the PUL covers and is really hard on the elastic.

Diaper Rash
Dissolve baking soda in the baby’s bathwater let the baby soak and then air out the bum as much as you can.
Use coconut oil to moisturize baby’s bottom before putting a diaper back on.

Baby Wipes
¼ Cup aloe vera gel
2 drops Tea Tree Oil
2 Cups hot water

Stir or shake until this recipe is well mixed. Don’t use until the mixture cools. Spritz on wipe before using if in spray bottle. Swish solution around over wipes if using a wipes box.


4 thoughts on “Wrap-Up Part 2: Housecleaning Stuff

  1. This was a really helpful and invigorating topic to have. Thank you Coralee and Annemarie for your tips and recipes. Gina Unger mentioned buying beeswax at a place out by the airport. Do you mind posting the name of the place? Thanks, all, for another great Thursday!

  2. I’m glad you enjoyed it. I had a lot of fun putting it together and presenting. The place Gina mentioned is Beemaid the address is:
    625 Roseberry St.
    Winnipeg, MB
    R3H 0T4
    Ph: 1-866-783-2240 ext. 228

    I couldn’t find hours for the store, so I would just phone ahead before you go. Here’s the website as well, where you can find all the products they sell

  3. Great work, Coralee + Annemarie! Thursday’s session was so thought provoking and I learned SO MUCH. I’m excited to try some of your ideas!

    At the end of the day, though, I know that while I might try a few of the recipes I don’t have the energy or time to go entirely DIY – at least not right now. Just in case I’m not the only one feeling that way, I thought I’d share a few ‘better than’ options that I’ve tried + loved so far.

    Alternative to Lip Balm / Lip Gloss / Moisturizer – I’ve tried chemical-free products from Tiber River + Arbonne and have been VERY happy with both. (My friend Candace sells Arbonne and I’d be happy to hook you up if you’re interested! Their products are pretty expensive but super high quality. Tiber River is local [YAY for LOCAL!] and if there’s a product you like, get on their email list and then watch for their BOGO sales and pick up 1L sizes to get a crazy good deal.)

    Alternative to Cleaning Products – I’ve had wonderful experiences with Norwex and Method products for everything from all-purpose cleaning to toilets to laundry. (Corinna from our group sells Norwex. Let me know if you need her contact info! Method is available at Safeway, Canadian Tire, etc and I like that they do lots of refill products and everything is recyclable/biodegradable – I always watch for sales and then stock up. The Method toilet bowl cleaner is especially awesome.)

    Alternative to Spa / Esthetic Treatments – I see a FABULOUS girl named Erin with a home business in North Kildonan for waxing / sugaring, and she also offers a number of other esthetic services like manis, pedis, massage, facials, etc. She’s WONDERFUL, reasonably priced, and uses all natural products.

    None of these options are as earth-friendly (or as cheap!) as making it yourself, but I still think they are better alternatives to all the icky chemical stuff.

    Does anyone else have any recipes or alternatives to share?

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