Monday, February 26, 2007

A few "recipes"

Just thought I share a few of my favorite frugal and natural cleaning "recipes"

All Purpose Cleaner:
Mix equal parts vinegar and water (I like to boil and cool tap water to add to prevent bacteria buildup) in a spray bottle .. use for everything, counters, bathrooms, windows (dry with crumpled newspaper) there's no need to rinse and fixtures will shine .. the vinegar smell will go away as it dries.

Laundry Soap:
I've been able to find everything at local stores .. however, Meijer is the only store that carries the washing soda. Of course Amazon carries it here. Even with pretty heavy laundry this seems to last 2-3 months and doesn't take up too much room.

one bar Fels Naptha soap (about $1)
one box (55 oz) Washing Soda (about $3)
half of a 76 oz box of Borax (the whole box is around $3.50)

*Grate the Fels Naptha (I use the finest side of a box grater I found at a resale shop for $.50 that is just for this purpose .. not for food!)
*Combine the grated soap, Washing Soda and Borax in a large container .. I use a candy jar with a screw on top.
* Use about a 1/8 cup per wash. Be sure to add before you add the water and "swoosh" it in the machine to dissolve.

Fabric Softner:

I simply fill a Downy Ball slightly past the line with plain old vinegar. Works great and helps keep the washer clean too!

For scouring / oven cleaning / showers ect ..

Wet the surface with water or your all purpose cleaner and sprinkle with baking soda .. Scrub away without the worry of scratching anything!

Drain Cleaner:

After cleaning the trap of hair or other debris (a bent metal hanger works great) Pour a bit of baking powder down the drain followed by a bit of vinegar and super hot water!


Vinegar uses and tips: Vinegartips.Com
Baking soda uses and tips: ArmandHammer.Com
Downy Ball:

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

First Post

Well, here goes my first venture into blogging. I've gained so much from reading others blogs that I hope to pass on the same to others. I'm going to try to provide an account of our life and pass on things of interest to me in hopes it will spark something in someone else .. I'm not trying to preach or convert anyone to anything but maybe this will help those realize that it's not hard or expensive to healthier and more "down to earth".

A little more background on me .. I'm the oldest of 7 and grew up in rural Northern Michigan and being "close to nature" was only natural :) It's all around and without the distractions of television and computers my sisters and I spent the majority of our time exploring woods, beaches and creeks in the summer and see the changes that a northern Michigan winter can bring. Now as a mother, my kids are outside as much as possible and have been from the beginnings of their lives .. Maddy has loved to play in the dirt and snow since she could crawl and as she approaches 3 years old she's learning to understand why we recycle and why the brightly colored, processed sugar filled boxes of cereal with Spongebob on the front are as we say in our house "Not good for kids". I love that she tells her sister to put a piece of paper in the recycle can and not in the trash .. It's been harder to convince my husband who grew up with so many delicious goodies and who loves the processed, canned foods like spaghettios and potted ham .. but as we make creative subtitutions for the junky food we all like he's more and more into and really likes the ideas but the practice is a little harder for him.

Not that's I'm perfect .. I'm the first to admit my favorite food is chocolate in any form and I like to drink a Coke now and again.. and I have to confess to using disposable diapers. But as Rome wasn't built in one day neither is a completly green family. Each step to a healthier alternative from what ever "bad" food or "bad" cleaning product or "bad" whatever is a step to a better life for us all.