DIY Natural, Disinfecting Cleaning Solutions

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Image courtesy of The Sans Serif
Image courtesy of The Sans Serif

 

As a semi-crunchy mama, some of my favorite things to find are “recipes” for more natural cleaning supplies. Plus, with our current renovation, we’re trying to save money when we can. Making your own cleaning products has two HUGE perks! One, you know exactly what ingredients are in your cleaning products. Two, they’re cheaper and you can make big batches!

This week, we’re sharing some awesome “recipes” for natural DIY cleaning products that disinfect- SUPER important when you have kiddos around who love to make big messes with things they shouldn’t be touching ;)

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Try them out and let me know what you think! Thanks to our wonderful guest blogger for giving us these awesome “recipes”!


DIY Natural, Disinfecting Cleaning Solutions

It sometimes seems impossible to maintain every room of your home and always keep it clean without store-bought cleaning supplies. A lot of people think this way, but, the truth is that there are many other options. The cleaning supplies you purchase regularly from the store may work, but, they also leave unpleasant residue and contain various dangerous chemicals that could endanger your health and the health of your family. Switching to natural cleaning supplies is a good alternative. This way you will save yourself money and time because you will prepare the special products yourself, using cheap ingredients that are very easy to find.

There are many reasons why you shouldn’t rely on toxic store-bought cleaning supplies and test the effectiveness of the natural homemade cleaners. After the first cleaning you will immediately notice a big difference. The eco-friendly products will not only eliminate the microbes and the grime faster, but, they will also leave a nice smell that will freshen up the air in the premises of your home. The disinfection of all surfaces and fabrics will be easier than ever, when you don’t have to worry about the effect of the chemicals or how much product you use. We are happy to help by presenting several recipes for effective natural cleaning solutions.

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Citrus All-Purpose Cleaner
This is a simple but very effective recipe that will allow you to keep every area of your home always thoroughly disinfected.
You will need:
(1) Clean jar with a lid
(1) Orange
(1) Bottle of white vinegar
Remove the peels of the citrus fruit and put them in the jar. Then fill almost the entire jar with white vinegar. Leave the jar in a dark place for about 10 days and then use the liquid to disinfect the counters in the kitchen, the bathroom tiles, bathroom counters, and anything else you like.

Baking Soda Cleaner
The baking soda will miraculously remove all unpleasant stains and grime from your bathroom and kitchen.
You can mix a little water with baking soda in a bottle or in some other container and apply the solution on the tiles in the bathroom, on the tub, on the sink, and other similar areas. Rinse with clean water and a clean rag. Before you know it, you will have a sparkling clean home. If you want to make the product smell better, you can add several drops of your favorite essential oil, too.

Disinfecting with Essential Oils
Essential Oils can be very effective when it comes to disinfection. You can count on them for the removing of pimples and other skin problems, as well as for the elimination of dangerous microbes and stubborn grime. Each essential oil has its own special qualities.

For greasy stains, for instance, you can prepare a solution of 12 drops of lemon oil and water.

You can combine several essential oils too and use the product for the effective disinfection of the toilet. Just mix together 5 drops of lavender, lemon and peppermint.

The results will surprise you for sure.

Thanks to those special natural cleaning solutions, you and your family will be always protected. As you can see, they are not only easy to prepare, but, also require simple ingredients that you will be able to find without any problems. That is enough reason to give up the expensive detergents and various other cleaning supplies and start making your own products. This is a great way not only to save some money, but, also guarantee your safety and the safety of the other members of your family. There is no need to hesitate any more, so start making your own cleaning products right now.

The article is kindly contributed by N17 CarpetCleaning


What are YOUR favorite essential oils and homemade cleaning products?
Tell us here or on our Facebook page!

“Renovation on the Cheap” Series- Post #3

We have been BUSY BEES, everyone. Some days, it seems we are TOO busy. Ha, typical right? I don’t think we ever have enough time in the day to do everything we want and need to do!

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My husband ran into some car trouble and was without his car for a little over a week and a half. He was taking my car to work so I was home and getting stir crazy with our little one! Tonight, he FINALLY got the problem fixed and we are back to having two running cars- WOO HOO!

The car was definitely interfering with our renovation progress. However, we are truckin’ along on the downstairs and making some great progress! This week, my dad and husband picked up the drywall and insulation and unloaded it. My dad finished up some wiring, plumbing work, and insulation on Saturday while my husband battled his car all morning and afternoon. Today, my husband took a break and the drywall hanging started this morning! The guys made some great progress while my mama played maid and cleaned up drywall dust after them :) If you don’t have a shop vac for your home reno projects, GET ONE. Rent one. Borrow one. Buy one. You won’t regret it.

We’ll be working on the drywall the rest of the week and we’re hoping to be done with that step by this weekend. Then comes taping, plastering, texturing, and painting! Ahhh…painting, the funnest thing of all…*enter sarcasm*. :)

We’ve also got a lot of painting to do in the rest of the house (touch-ups, painting another layer in the bathroom upstairs, etc.). We’re enlisting the expert painting skills of my Gram during that phase! Thanks, Gram!

If you want to check out the photos so far, see the slideshow below! I’ve been trying REALLY hard to keep up with the photo taking, but, some days our insanely busy toddler distracts me from my photo taking duties.

Keep checking back for more updates and photos! We’re so excited that you’re following our journey!

 

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DIY Bathroom Cleaning Wipes

We all like clean bathrooms, right!? As a parent with a toddler and a husband who is a mechanic, I feel like my bathroom is CONSTANTLY dirty, but, I don’t have the time to deep clean every other day to fight the grime and dirt!

If you want an incredibly easy way to keep your bathroom clean on a daily basis without forking over a ton of money on pricey, chemical- laden cleaning wipes, this is it. Minimal ingredients, minimal time, and easy? I’ll take it! Plus, they’re so easy, you really can’t mess them up. No Pinterest fails here :)

Try them out and let us know what you think! Thanks to our wonderful guest blogger from House Cleaners London, for giving us this awesome recipe!


DIY Reusable Bathroom Cleaning Wipes
Edna J. Thomson

Buying cleaning wipes all the time will cost you a fortune. You possibly think that purchasing one pack every other day is nothing, but, once you calculate how much you spend for this product every month, you will be surprised for sure! There is another problem with the cleaning wipes offered in the stores, and, that’s the dangerous ingredients they contain. It’s enough to look at the label to see just how harmful they actually are. There is no need to endanger your health and the health of the other members of your family any more. Instead, we can offer you a safer and cheaper alternative.

DIY reusable cleaning wipes are easy to make and also more effective than the regular ones. There is no need to spend a lot of money every month for packs of dangerous cleaning wipes when you can simply prepare your own special product for general house cleaning. You will need a couple of simple and cheap ingredients, as well as a little free time. We can promise you, however, that once you try this amazing homemade product, you will permanently stop using store-bought wipes.

Below you will find a useful recipe for bathroom cleaning wipes that will make the disinfection of this part of your home much easier.

Courtesy of Wikimedia
Courtesy of Wikimedia

Ingredients
The first thing you have to do is to gather all ingredients you will need for the preparation of your homemade bathroom cleaning wipes. You can make a list in advance, so that you don’t have to go to the shop again.

What you’ll need is:

White vinegar

Essential oil of your choosing

Water

Large container or big jar with lid

Pieces of cloth (the best part is that you can use some of your old t-shirts, sheets or other things to make the cloths- just make sure that all pieces have the same size)

Preparing the special blend
The next step is to mix together the ingredients, so that you can make a special cleaning solution. You can mix 1/2 cup of white vinegar with several drops of essential oil and water in some kind of vessel. If you are using a jar, you will have to arrange the pieces of cloth in the jar first and then add the special blend until the jar is almost full.

Placing the wipes in the clean container
In case you have a container instead of jar, you will have to soak each piece of cloth in the solution and then place it in the empty container until it becomes full. You can arrange your new bathroom cleaning wipes any way you like. You also have to make sure that the lid of the container closes well.

Cleaning and Maintenance
You can use your homemade wipes for the disinfection of pretty much everything. Whenever you want to remove old stains from toothpaste, shampoo or something else from the mirror or another part of your bathroom, you will have a reliable and effective cleaning product. When you finish with the cleaning, all you have to do is wash the pieces cloth and you can use them again.

Maintaining and cleaning your home, and more precisely your bathroom, can be a challenge sometimes. With the right cleaning supplies, however, this task will be easier than ever. The DIY bathroom cleaning wipes will remove any grime, especially different kinds of stains. If you want to make sure that this part of your property is also free from mold, you can add a couple drops of tea tree oil to the special blend for the wipes. Then, you can clean the area around the toilet, as well as all corners in your bathroom.

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“Renovation on the Cheap” Series- Post #2

Welcome to Post #2 in our “Renovation on the Cheap!” Series!

This week, we’ll be telling you about how we’re staying frugal during these seemingly expensive projects!


If you missed our first posts, you can check them out below!

Household Renovation on the Cheap!

Renovation on the Cheap- Post #1


When you think of home renovations and upgrades, you typically associate it with tons of expenses that will leave your wallet with a big, fat hole in it. It doesn’t have to be that way though!

If you enter into a project with a solid plan, you can save tons of money, still have an amazing outcome that LOOKS like you dropped a few thousands on it, and you won’t have a gaping hole in your wallet!

Sure, it takes a little more hard work to stay on a frugal budget, but, it is SO worth it. Trust me.

So, in our first post, we detailed our project list. Our biggest and most important project is finishing our lower level in our tri-level home. We’re going to be adding:

2nd bathroom
Large 3rd bedroom
Walk-in closet
Office/den space
Small closet
Enclosed laundry room
Storage closet
Plus, the givens such as painting, adding flooring, fixtures, etc.

Just looking at that list, my brain jumps to $$$$$$$. But, since we are putting in a little extra work, it’s really only a couple dollar signs! Whew!


Here’s how we are saving a ton of money:

My dad is doing the majority of the work along with my husband- electrical, plumbing, framing, you name it. My mom, gramma, and I will be doing the painting and other things here and there
Cost: Free 
How you can do it: Ask around your community (your church, etc) and find people who are willing and able to help you out at minimal or no cost. Just make sure they actually KNOW what they’re doing so you don’t end up with a disaster on your hands when Jim So-and-So claims he can wire your addition with no problem, and, instead, starts an electrical fire. Yikes. Have a painting party- enlist a bunch of friends to help you paint. They provide free labor and you provide the pizza and beer! 

Salvaging lumber to do all the framing.
Cost: Free
How you can do it: Check out local dumps for tossed lumber that is still in good shape. Scout out construction dumpsters for perfectly good lumber (just make sure the dumpster isn’t on private property- you don’t want to be paying any fines, or worse, be arrested for trespassing!). Visit local “re-stores” and see if they have any lumber that people donated. Browse your local online resources like Craigslist- you’d be surprised what people give away for free or for a minimal cost!

Finding free materials on Craigslist.
We found a nearly brand new Kohler toilet for free and just had to haul it home ourselves.
Cost: Free (except the minimal gas to and from pickup- don’t waste your time if you’re going to have to drive an hour away to get something. Stay local so it’s cost effective)
How you can do it: Again, scout the Free page on Craigslist. You have to be quick because the good stuff goes fast (sometimes within minutes of someone posting it!), but, you can find some amazing things for nothing at all. Also, post in the Wanted section on Craigslist or your local online “garage sale” sites. Check these sites DAILY and I can guarantee you’ll snag some great things.

Reusing fixtures.
When my parents and gramma built their homes, they ended up swapping out a few fixtures that they didn’t like. Instead of tossing or donating them, they saved them for a situation just like this! Now, we have BRAND NEW fixtures at no cost to us.
Cost: Free
How you can do it: Check out those “re-stores” and thrift stores again to find fixtures at crazy low prices. Look on Craigslist to see what people are giving away. You may need to spend a little time cleaning pieces up, but, it will be worth it when you aren’t spending hundreds of dollars on new fixtures. Don’t bother buying broken items with the intention of fixing them- you’ll never do it because you’ll have tons of other projects. Buy items that are in good condition that just need a little elbow grease to get them clean again.

Getting unused paint from friends/family.
My gramma bought a 5 gallon bucket of paint for her home and only used a couple gallons of it. It’s the same color we already have in our house, so, now we have 3 gallons of free paint to get us started.
Cost: Free for the first 3 gallons + the cost of however many gallons more we need
How you can do it: Ask around your local Home Depot, Lowes, or local paint store for gallons of paint that was either returned, never picked up, or was the wrong mix for someone. Some places will offer HUGE discounts on custom paints because they can’t just stock it back on the floor with everything else. Just make sure you don’t settle on an obnoxious color because it’s the only thing they have. Keep looking and if a family member or friend is doing some painting with a color you like, let them know you’d love to take any extra off their hands when they’re done.

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Buying discounted items from our local Habitat for Humanity Re-Store
My mom and gramma found a great, brand new granite vanity counter-top with an under-mounted Kohler sink with hardware for a couple hundred bucks. It was a custom order from Lowe’s and the person ended up just donating instead of using it since they couldn’t return it. They also found a great mirror for under $40!
Cost: Under $300 for everything
How you can do it: Get familiar with your local re-stores and thrift stores. Ask about discounts too. I think some people feel weird asking for discounts because they think it will make them seem cheap. Well guess what!? If it saves you money, it’s worth it and who cares what anyone else thinks! They’re paying full price while you’re getting a percentage off ;) Our local re-store has a discount day where you spin a wheel and whatever it lands on, that’s the percentage you get to take off your entire purchase (my mom ended up getting 20% off!)

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Choosing good quality, yet, inexpensive flooring options
Cost: Dependent on your local options
How you can do it: Flooring is something that is a little harder to find used and in good condition. This will probably be something that you’ll have to purchase new. Your best bet is checking out local flooring stores and finding out what’s on sale or what you can get a discount for. You can still pick out a nice quality option without breaking the bank. In all honesty, if you are preparing to sell your home, choose a flooring that looks great and will attract a buyer, but, don’t feel like it needs to be the highest quality. If they want the highest quality option out there, let them spend the money after they purchase the home. Don’t make it your expense. 

Price match and search for the best prices
Cost: Dependent on the item you’re looking for and your local stores
How you can do it: For basic construction materials, most places are going to be pretty similar, if not exactly the same on prices. If you are military, you can get 10% off at Home Depot and Lowes so make sure you ask for the discount when checking out (you’ll need to show your ID). Keep an eye out for coupons too. For other items like fixtures, etc., check out the prices at all of your local stores. If one store is significantly cheaper, but, you want to purchase the item elsewhere along with some other supplies, see if the store of your choice will price match. Even though it takes a little more time and effort to check prices at multiple stores, it could save you a chunk of money in the long run. Just remember, make sure it’s cost effective- if the monetary difference is only a couple cents or a couple dollars, it probably isn’t worth it. 

Since we haven’t started our renovation yet, I can’t give you the exact dollar amount that we’re spending, because I have no idea what it will be! We’re aiming to stay under $5,000 which is a pretty conservative budget, but, I think we can do it! As we continue through the series and acquire more of our materials, I’ll be updating the cost.

One last tip…

Financing your renovation. If you take any tips away from this series, take this one- don’t sign up for the credit cards at the home improvement stores.

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Why you ask? The interest rates are ASTRONOMICAL and you will end up paying 3x+ the amount you wanted to for your renovation. If you must use a credit card, choose one with the lowest interest rate. If you must to take out a loan, find one with the lowest interest rate. Ideally, avoiding credit cards and loans is the best route, but, sometimes you need to go that route- just be as smart as you can about it. If you have a family member or friend who is willing to front you the money, take them up on it and set up a payment plan if needed. If you have a super flexible time frame to complete your project, slowly acquire your materials by putting aside extra cash each month so you can avoid credit, loans, or other debt. Instead of using that $4.00 a day for a latte, put it in a jar or a separate account and use it for materials. My husband and I were not fond of taking the money from my parents to do the downstairs, but, we both felt better about it since we know we will be able to pay them back in a couple months when our home sells.

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“Renovation on the Cheap” Series- Post #1

If you missed the story about our renovation, check out our first post below for the details!

 Household Renovation on the Cheap!


To kick off our first series post, we’re going to fill you in on the projects we are working on and planning on doing before listing our house on the market.

Our biggest tip so far is find a realtor you can TRUST and make sure you feel that they have YOUR best interest at heart. We love our realtor and she is not only an established and accomplished realtor, but, one of the most knowledgeable people I have met in regards to the real estate market in general! If you are in Northern Colorado and need a wonderful realtor, look up Jenny Kindsfather with Coldwell Banker and you will not be disappointed!

Now, the reason I started with the realtor point is for this reason:

Before you go all crazy with upgrades and remodeling your home to sell it, have your realtor come by and assess your property. Knowledgeable realtors know the market and will know what comparable homes are selling for along with what features they have. You, of course, want to make your home stand out among the rest, but, you don’t want to go overboard with upgrades and overprice your home. This will most likely turn into a situation of having to reduce your sale price and lose out on lots of money that you put into your home. You do not want to upgrade your home to the point of it being “too nice” for the area and not selling or becoming “stale” on the market.

Before we started on our bigger wishlist projects, we contacted our realtor and she pulled comps before even coming by our home. When she came over later in the week, she had already familiarized herself with other homes nearby that were for sale or had sold recently. She gave us solid input about our project list and what upgrades she felt were necessary and which ones she thought were unnecessary.

So, first rule of thumb- FIND A GREAT REALTOR WHO KNOWS WHAT THEY’RE DOING (even better if you get some solid recommendations from people you trust).


Now, onto our projects and timeline…

  1. Complete the lower level of our tri-level home which will include adding:
    • 2nd bathroom
    • Large 3rd bedroom or family room
      • Walk-in closet
    • Office/den space
      • Small closet
    • Enclosed laundry room
    • Storage closet
    • Plus, the givens such as painting and adding flooring
  2. Landscaping in front yard and backyard
    • Cut down a dying tree in the backyard
  3. Reinforce side fence
  4. Painting and adding shutters to the front of the house
  5. Possibly repainting the house and front door- we aren’t decided on this since our realtor didn’t feel it was necessary, but, we feel the house needs it!
  6. Touching up paint/filling holes on walls
  7. Replacing a piece of trim in the bathroom
  8. Swap out any fixtures that we are planning on taking with us to our next home

Ready for our timeline!?

You may think we are insane (maybe we are!), but, we are planning to start the renovation downstairs at the end of this month and have it completed by the first week of August (give or take a couple days).

Yep. Reading that definitely makes us look insane when we have a ridiculous list of things to do while balancing work and a rambunctious toddler who chooses not to nap lately. Oh. my. goodness.

So there you have it. A quick look into the projects we will be completing before listing our home and jumping into the madness of home showings while trying to keep a routine with your dog and toddler.


Next week, we’ll fill you in on how we are keeping the cost of these projects low, while some are even FREE. If you’re thinking of jumping in the same boat as us, you’ll want to check it out!

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