Monthly Archives: October 2014

Non-toxic Recipes For A Greener Clean

Saving time and money is important to all of us these days. However, when you can save time and money and still remain true to your eco-friendly beliefs, the benefits are truly amazing. Creating your own DIY home cleaning products is one way to accomplish this worthwhile feat.

Here are three DIY versions of home cleaning products, that are extremely effective and inexpensive, as well as being non-toxic.

Common Household Cleaning Ingredients (2)

Powerful Multi-Surface Cleaner

Using a funnel, add 2 teaspoons borax, 1 teaspoon washing soda and 2 cups hot water to a spray bottle, then cap and shake until dissolved. Next, add 1 tsp tea tree oil and 4 tablespoons household vinegar and finish filling bottle with warm water.

To use, simply spray on dirt, grime and grease and wipe off. For really stubborn dirt, let the solution sit for a few moments before wiping.

Everyday Citrus Spray Cleaner

Fill a quart jar with citrus rinds, such as grapefruit, lemon and orange. Pour in enough white vinegar to cover the citrus rinds and then cap tightly and let sit in a cool, dark place for one week. Strain the liquid into a spray bottle and use as a fragrant, antibacterial spray cleaner for counters, appliances, and everyday spot cleaning. For an additional benefit, grind the discarded citrus peels in the garbage disposal to freshen it or add them to your compost pile.

Odor Removal

Perfumed spray deodorizers are expensive and designed to only mask odors. Instead, keep your home smelling fresh by keeping small jars of white vinegar on windowsills and bathroom counters, as well as in the laundry room and kitchen. The vinegar removes odors from these rooms, while leaving a fresh clean scent. For even more appeal, use small, colored glass jars or vases.

These are just a few of the DIY cleaning options you can create. Once you see how well they work and how inexpensive they are to make, you will wonder why you waited so long to go green with your home cleaning routine.

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Incorporating a Green Lifestyle Into a Rental Home

When people think about incorporating a green lifestyle into a home, they usually call to mind images of the expensive modifications that they need to make in order to do so. Making these modifications to a home that you own is one thing – many people balk at the idea of spending that type of money on a rental property. In reality, going green isn’t necessarily the huge financial commitment that it once was. Additionally, a green lifestyle is about more than just saving as much money as possible – it’s about doing your part to help protect the planet. You can incorporate a green lifestyle into a rental home in a number of different ways depending on your preferences.

Green House

One great way to incorporate a green lifestyle into a rental home involves installing a digital thermostat soon after you arrive. This is especially true if the home is located in an area that experiences both extreme highs during the summer and chilly lows during the winter. You can automatically program the thermostat to regulate the temperature at certain times of the day so that you don’t need to leave the air conditioning or heat running all day long while nobody is around. The air conditioning can turn off soon after you leave in the morning and turn back on soon before you arrive home, allowing you to experience the same cool climate conditions at a fraction of the cost.

Another way to incorporate a green lifestyle into a rental home is to adjust the techniques and products used to clean. Instead of using chemical-laden cleaning products, you can use natural items like distilled white vinegar, baking soda or lemons. These types of products act as wonderful sanitizers and can clean just as well as store bought products. Professional cleaning companies, such as Mopfrog, also recommend checking the labels and using environmentally preferable products that are certified by leading designations, such as the Environmental Protection Agency’s Design for the Environment program. 

Finally, incorporating a green lifestyle into your rental home should always involve recycling. Use reusable plastic containers when putting away leftovers, for example. Make sure that you are separating items that can be thrown away from plastic bottles, aluminum cans and others that should be recycled for the benefit of green living. The odds are high that your neighborhood already has a recycling program that you can easily take advantage of.

Incorporating a green lifestyle into a home is not as difficult, time consuming or expensive as it once was. By making a few key modifications to your own personal habits and integrating a few new elements into the home, you easily transform your rental home into a greener property.

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Changing Seasons & Your Cleaning Strategies

As the seasons changes so should your cleaning strategies. Here are some of the most important tasks to check off your list to keep your home clean and organized.

Colorful Spray Bottles

Ceiling Fans

Are your fans turning in the right direction to properly circulate air? Rotating the airflow on ceiling fans during summer and winter will not only help create a more comfortable living environment, but also allows you to adjust your thermostat in order to reduce energy consumption and lower monthly utility bills. For a cool, summer breeze effect during the warmer months, fan blades should rotate counterclockwise in order to force the air down. In the winter, ceiling fans should run in reverse or rotate clockwise at a low speed, to pull air up and redistribute warm air throughout the room. Today, most ceiling fans include remote controls that make rotating the direction of the fan blades easy. If your fan does not have a remote, shift the switch or button on the base of the fan.

 Air Filters

Changing your air filters is crucial to the proper performance of your HVAC system and protecting your family’s health. Air filters significantly affect your homes indoor quality. Dust, pet hair and other allergens often get trapped in your home’s HVAC registers and air vents. Additionally, if moisture is present, it is possible that spores from microbiological growth, such as mold, can be released into the home’s living space. As a general rule of thumb, replace air filters every thirty to ninety days. If you have pets or suffer from asthma and allergies you may need to change your filters more frequently.

Mattresses

To help alleviate allergy triggers, use an upholstery brush to vacuum mattresses in order to remove dead skin cells, pet dander and dust mites. Additionally, improved technology has enabled us to stopping flipping mattresses; however, to prolong it’s life and to prevent sagging and body impressions, it is important to rotate the mattress every three to six months. Do not forget to rotate your box spring while you are at it.

Fridge and Pantry

Next, turn your attention to the refrigerator and toss out any food that is expired. Remove all of the items and give the shelves and drawers a good scrubbing with a natural cleaning solution, such as vinegar, to sanitize the surface before replacing them. Then, inspect all items in the pantry and discard those that are expired. Pay special attention to spices and baking goods, which are not used as often.

Bathroom

One area of the bathroom that is often neglected is the shower curtain and liner, which can harbor soap scum, mold and mildew. While different factors come into play, such as ventilation and how many are using the shower, it is important to wash the shower curtain and replace the liner between three months and one year. For a greener approach, wash the curtain on a gentle cycle with mild detergent and ½ cup of distilled white vinegar and hang dry.

Wardrobes

The changing of the seasons should be your cue to evaluate what’s in your closet. You are more likely to wear what you can see. Accordingly it is important to swap out seasonal clothing, storing items you don’t need and hanging or folding ones that you do. Organizing and rotating your clothing will also enable you to see what you have and identify classic pieces that you will want to preserve. Sort clothing into keep, donate and toss piles to help declutter at the same time.

Safety First

Finally, your bi-annual cleaning ritual is a great time to test and replace the batteries in your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors.

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