DOWN TO EARTH SIMPLE LIVING FORUMS

DOWN TO EARTH SIMPLE LIVING FORUMS
I have a forum attached to my blog where people from all over the world meet to discuss simple life. There are about 7000 forum members now so we have an enormous amount of good information about growing food, cooking from scratch, family, simple living, routines, budgeting, baking and much more. Please click on the image above to go there. Newcomers will have to register. It's free, friendly and we're waiting for you.

18 December 2014

Cleaning up for Christmas

Here is Jamie with his little red Hamburg overnight bag.  He wanted to know why Santa left those presents at our place. 

We have a surprise visitor staying with us. Last night Jamie had his first sleepover with grandma and opa, while Sunny and her mum overnighted on the Gold Coast. Sunja goes home to Korea tomorrow so it was nice for the two of them to have that time together. As I knew he was coming over, I took the opportunity during the day to wrap presents and set up our very small Christmas tree. Lights went up, the reindeer is out and it's looking a lot like Christmas. I knew he'd be excited when he saw the tree but on the way home from kindy, he fell asleep and instead of running in, Hanno carried him in. But the excitement was there when he woke up and he wanted to know why Santa left presents for Alex and him at our place. I sometimes forget how innocent and sweet young children are.

Before I have a break for Christmas, I want to encourage those of you who haven't yet tried any green cleaning to make up this very easy creamy cleanser and see how well it works.  When I first made my move to a more simple life, I worked hard to remove as many chemicals as I could from my home. I had a real bee in my bonnet about dish washing powder, I thought about how caustic is was and that you couldn't touch it with wet hands and in the end it wasn't good enough to come up with a replacement, I got rid of the dishwasher instead. That was many years ago, and I've washed up a lot of dishes since then, but I'd never go back to machine-washing my dishes. I viewed all commercial cleaners the same. I knew they made my hands red and itchy and the thought of the invisible harm those chemicals did helped move me towards green cleaning. 

That was before the days of eco cleaners and ethical companies such as my wonderful sponsor eco store. I use their dish liquid and hand wash everyday. But I still make my own laundry liquid, soap and creamy cleanser - and I use white vinegar in a spray bottle for wiping down the kitchen bench and other small cleaning jobs. If, like me, you're well and truly into the habit of making your own cleaners, if there comes a time when you can't do it, I recommend ecostore to you. They sell their products online - see my sidebar link - and in most major supermarkets. Woolworths has a 25% off special at the moment. Thanks Sue.



This cleaner will replace your Jif or Gumption or whatever you use to clean the bath or kitchen sink. It's a simple mix of bicarb soda (baking soda) and a soapy liquid. I have used my homemade laundry liquid in the past (recipe here), I also use Dr Bronner's Citrus Castile Liquid Soap.  To make it up, place about half a cup of bicarb soda (baking soda) in a small bowl that has a lid. Mix enough of your liquid - either the laundry liquid or liquid soap - to make a paste.  Mix it up well. It will look like frosting, so make sure it's kept away from the children. Make only enough to use for about a month. If you want to make a larger amount, you have to add a couple of teaspoons of glycerin to it to keep it from drying out. Store the paste with the lid on.

This is my kitchen sink after I cleaned it with this paste.

You might also add essential oil such as eucalyptus or tee tree oil. They're both powerful antiseptics. That will help kill some of the germs in the bathroom and around the kitchen taps and sink. But the paste will work well with just the two main ingredients.

So what are the advantages of using this cleaning paste and other green cleaning pastes and liquids?  You know what's in them, they're much cheaper than buying a commercial product, and you'll be reducing the number of chemicals you live with in your home.  Please let me know if you try this. I'd love to know what you think of it.


33 comments:

  1. I think that will be my next step towards a more self sufficient way of living. My first step of many yet to come was making my own dishcloths. Can't even think of ever running out of these great household-helpers! ;o)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Bicarb often gets hard in our humid climate, so is no longer effective for its baking use, but still works wonderfully for cleaning purposes. Purchasing the 50% or more discounted rock hard boxes of baking soda saves on my pocket book. I grate the bicarb and store it in plastic peanut butter jars with mouths the size of two piece canning lids. For ease in using, I cut a circle the size of the flat from a screw top juice or milk carton and secure it with the band part of the lid. Shake a bit in the sink, wet it with a bit of liquid soap, and it is an absolutely wonderful cleaner for the various surfaces. Using an empty Parmesan cheese container with a shaker lid, also works well for shaking out the bicarb. I use plastic bottles for storing the bicarb because they help keep out the moisture, I can see through them, and they do not normally break if dropped by young helpers.

    Remembered your oven cleaning post from last year and made some bicarb and water cleaner and my oven is sparkly clean for the holidays! Granddaughter enjoyed helping because it was safe, easy and best of all FUN!!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Rhonda your story about Jamie brought to mind an incident several years back when my niece wanted to stay overnight on Christmas Eve. You see she was after evidence that my husband was Santa Claus. My husband has a white beard and sometimes young children can be heard in December saying “Look mum, it’s Santa.” Anyway my niece’s plan was to stay overnight on Christmas Eve and to sneak into our bedroom during the night. If my husband wasn’t in bed then it would prove he was Santa. Her plan never came to fruition, but I thought it was very cute that she thought her uncle was Santa. With regard to natural cleansers I sprinkle bicarb on my sink, basin, and laundry wash tubs and wipe over with a cloth. I try to do this every evening to keep them looking clean and fresh. The main reason I use the bicarb soda is to reduce the use of chemicals that I am using. But I also like that the one product has so many uses.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi Rhonda,

    I'll give it a go and let you know. I've just been using plain bi-carb, but I imagine the Castille soap will make really dirty jobs a bit easier. Thanks for the tip about Ecostore products being on sale al Woollies. I am about to rebuild my stockpile which has dwindled over the last school term, so this will get me started :)

    Have a wonderful day,

    Madeleine.x

    ReplyDelete
  5. Nothing to do with your post really (but I do use Eco Store products - thanks for the sales tip ��), but as Christmas is a week away, I want to wish you, Hanno and your family a merry and safe Christmas. May the Christmas Season fill your home with joy, your heart with love and your life with laughter. And, thank you Ronda for giving so much of yourself to me via your blog which I find inspirational. Merry Christmas.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Gail. Merry Christmas and Happy Trails to you and Nick. xx

      Delete
  6. Thanks for this Rhonda. Gumption is one of the few cleaning products I will buy so it's nice to have a recipe for a homemade replacement. I too abhor all the chemicals in conventional cleaning products, though I confess I don't think I will ever be able to get rid of my dishwasher. I just love it. I think one of its best functions is as a hiding place for all the dirty dishes that accumulate during the day!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I haven't seen the citrus scent from Dr. Bronners! I use the peppermint! I love citrus though. I have been making my own cleaners for many years now too. Easy, I know the ingredients, and it is not expensive at all.

    That Jamie is darling. So lovely for you to be close by and able to help out!

    Deanna

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Deanna. I hope you can find the citrus soap, the fragrance is beautiful. Merry Christmas dear. xx

      Delete
  8. Oh definitely going to try this paste! Things are looking quite a bit gunky around here ;)
    -jaime

    ReplyDelete
  9. Thanks for the great paste how to.. Christmas is such a family time and it looks pretty happy at your house.. Have a great week, dear. xo

    ReplyDelete
  10. I am deffo going to try this recipe for cleaning cream, Rhonda. You always have some great ideas; and this is yet another. I like the idea too, of using something less toxic and cheaper.

    I want to wish you and your family a very Happy Christmas and a Splendid New Year: much Health, Wealth, and Happiness for all of you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you hopflower. Seasons greetings to you too. XX

      Delete
  11. I have been making that homemade gumption for ages, and I add the glycerine and eucalyptus oil, I find that helps water to sheet off in the shower.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Thank you for the recipe. I'm going to give it a try!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Thanks Rhonda I will try that. I have Dr Bronner and EcoStore liquid soap so I'll pick up the castile.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Rhonda,
    what a cute little boy and a wonderful question ... :)! Thanks for the cleaning recipe - sounds fantastic - will try it!
    Have a happy happy holiday season and all my best from Austria
    Elisabeth

    ReplyDelete
  15. Rhonda, thanks to you and your recipes we now only use homemade soap and laundry liquid; and I use bicarb, vinegar, tea tree oil, Ecover green cleaners in our home. It's great. I really find that commercial cleaners smell far too strong - you can smell them over the whole house; and they tend to irritate my skin. Making my own cleaners is not only cheaper but feels really empowering and I know what's in them. I can't recommend it highly enough.

    I hope you and Hanno and the rest of your family have a wonderful christmas and a happy, healthy and fulfilling new year.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Thank you for this recipe. I'll add it to the natural cleansers that I keep in spray bottles under my sink. I don't use any commercial cleaning products, but do still use my dishwasher. Your comments about the washing powder really made me think and I might just start washing dishes by hand.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Like the recipe for cleaning paste and will make some. Would nt it be better to use some of your handmade soap instead of Dr. Bronners which is nice but quite pricey ?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Lizzie, you can use any kind of soapy liquid. I bought this citrus soap 3 or 4 years ago to trial as shampoo. I used it as shampoo a couple of times and decided my homemade soap was better. So now I use the citrus soap for odds and ends just so it isn't wasted by just sitting on the shelf. I'm not saying you should buy this soap specially for this job, you can use whatever you have on hand - which for me, is this soap. :- )

      Delete
  18. I tried this cleaning paste today and I absolutely love it! Used it on my kitchen and bathroom sinks and on my bathtub. It did a fantastic job of cleaning and shining, was easy to rinse off and the best part was my hands actually felt softer when I was finished! Thank you for this and all your tips, recipes and wisdom this year. Wishing you a blessed Christmas and a very happy New Year. Blog on dear lady!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So pleased it worked well for you. It's a simple cleaner that does a great job. Merry Christmas Nese. xx

      Delete
  19. I was wondering where you got the castille soap from as its suppose to be really good for homemade laundry liquid. But it may not be available seeing you bought it some years ago.. hopefully it can still be bought...and you will know where from as I have been unable to find it! Thanks for the great reading and inspiration!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I bought this bottle a few years ago in a Katoomba health food store. I've seen it fairly recently at my local co-op in Maleny. So look in your local health food shops and co-ops. If they don't stock it, they may be able to get some in for you. Good luck, Aroha. xx

      Delete
    2. Thank you so much Rhonda will have me a look see! Awesome!

      Delete
  20. I also use home made products to clean. I use a baking soda paste to make my cooktop sparkle and a vinegar-orange cleaner for most everything else. Have a delightful and love filled Christmas - to you - and your readers.

    ReplyDelete
  21. I love your creamy scrubber! Since discovering it I won't use anything else. I use it on almost all my surfaces and it works better than commercial products.

    ReplyDelete
  22. I use bicarb and vinegar in my hair, works a dream an l nolonger have a sore scalp from reactions to shampoo. Pam

    ReplyDelete
  23. I like this! Isn't it impressive how natural products can do a wonderful job in the house. I am gradually transitioning to all-natural products as I will not allow myself to buy any in 2015. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  24. I only use Ecostore dish washing detergent now, its so good! I make my own Miracle Spray for my shower screens and bench tops - it always leaves my jewellry sparkling too!

    ReplyDelete
  25. Hi, can you tell me where you purchase the liquid castille soap? I'm having trouble locating it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I bought mine in a health food shop in Maleny, Queensland but I've also seen them in the health food shop near where my sister lives in the Blue Mountains. So if you have a co-op or health food shop nearby, have a look there.

      Delete

Thank you for your comment today. I love reading your opinions and thoughts. We have built up a wonderfully diverse community here that I'm very proud to be a part of.

A link to your blog will be automatically added to your comment. Please don't add another link to your blog in your comment. Those comments will not be published.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...