It may not feel like Spring yet, but damn it! I’m gonna clean like it is! Even though I’m still dressing in more layers than normal for this time of year, my body and mind are in transition and I ACTUALLY want to clean and tackle all those little organization projects I’ve been putting off. So while I’m taking advantage of this motivation, this week is gonna be dedicated to Spring cleaning! 😀
Over the past few years, I’ve been on a mission to try and use less chemicals in my life. I’ve done better in certain areas than others, and sometimes fall off the wagon for a quick solution. But like everything in life, I work my way back to where I want to be eventually. My first foray into household care products was more out of curiosity and cheapness than anything else though. As I started reading more recipes I realized a lot of them tend to have similar ingredients, all of which are not that much money up front.
- Baking Soda
- White Vinegar
- Distilled Water
- Essential Oil
- sometimes some kind of oil for conditioning
Well… because of my holistic personal care mission I also have going on, I already had baking soda, coconut oil and essential oils. The rest was a quick and inexpensive trip to the store for a gallon of each distilled water, white vinegar and the cheapest vodka I could buy. I just keep these items handy, and I’m able to make most of the stuff I use on a daily basis.
Three of the things I use ALL THE TIME happen to be about making the home smell fresher. With an active pup we allow to get on everything, I’m used to being proactive about keeping things smelling fresh so we don’t become the smelly dog house. My arsenal is all homemade since store bought products always smell overwhelming or chemically to me, and potentially could not be ok for Finn. I had an experience early on with Tealy and carpet deodorizer where I had to rush her to the vet. She started wheezing, sneezing and loosing a lot of hair shortly after I cleaned our apartment’s carpets. There I found out that’s one of the main culprits for major allergic reactions in dogs. Even though the product was specifically for pet odor… That was my first realization that cleaners are not always made with health in mind.
Vinegar Water Spray
The first item I use is a vinegar water spray. I use it to neutralize odors around the house, on fabrics or just into the air if there is a disagreeable scent happening I want to get rid of quickly. It will smell like vinegar for a few minutes, but then wears away taking the smell with it. This spray is super easy to make:
- Grab an empty spray bottle. I use bottles left over from store bought cleaners that had a nice spray experience I enjoyed (Yes, I’m a snob. I can’t stand a wimpy spray bottle… or the ones that make that annoying noise…YOU KNOW WHAT I’M TALKIN’ BOUT!) If you use a recycled bottle, be sure to clean it out really good before mixing your new cleaner.
- Using a funnel to make your life easier, pour a 50/50 ratio of water to vinegar into the bottle.
- Go nuts using your new spray!
Note to NEVER use tap water for any of these since it can grow mold over time. Just go spend the $1.50 on a gallon of distilled water so you don’t bring mold into your home and endanger your health.
DIY Fabric Refresher
My favorite! I got this recipe from Yellow Brick Home several years ago – which they affectionately call “Febooze” – and I love this stuff! Ever since I’ve been using my own mixture, I can’t stand the smell of actual Febreze. There is just no comparison. They call it Febooze because it uses vodka to help clean and take care of any bacteria that may be causing the offending odor. The fun comes in making your mixture smell however you like! If you haven’t used essential oils before, the upfront cost will be here. But then you have the oils you can use for so many other things. As I said, I already use essential oils all around my home and have slowly learned what each kind is good for. Be mindful if you have pets though, because some oils are not safe to use around them. Eucalyptus is fatal for cats even just to smell, since their livers can not process the toxins. Tea tree oil can do the same to dogs with skin contact. Just do a little bit of research before you dive in for the first time. There is plenty written on the subject.
So how to make this amazing stuff!?
- Grab your spray bottle!
- Using a funnel, add a 50/50 mixture of distilled water to vodka.
- Add 15 – 30 drops of your essential oil. The more drops, the stronger the scent. I like a blend of lavender and peppermint myself.
- Shake the bottle and spray away anywhere you would typically use Febreze!
Last but certainly not least, is the latest thing I’ve been trying out. Between carpet cleanings – because that’s expensive and/or a pain in the a$$ – I started using carpet deodorizer. It’s the powder kind you sprinkle on and vacuum up. Again, I could never use the store bought cleaner ever again. This homemade version smells soooo much better to me, and I know does not contain anything harmful to my pup. Although he does resent me for getting rid of his smell he worked so hard to fuse into the rug. #sorrynotsorry
- Get a mason jar or parmesan cheese shaker – any kind of thing you could turn into a shaker jar. I used a mason jar I had and punched holes in a lid I already used for canning and wouldn’t be able to use again since the seal is shot.
- Fill your jar with baking soda. Leave a little room to be able to shake and mix everything together.
- Add 15-30 drops of your choice of essential oils. Again, I like lavender and peppermint.
- Mix everything together real good and let it sit for at least 20 minutes.
- Sprinkle the powder onto your carpet and let sit for 20 minutes.
- Vacuum it up and enjoy the bliss of your wonderful smelling rug!
Yes, all of these really are that simple to make! Saves you time, saves you trips to the store, saves you money, smells better than the other stuff, you can have fun making your own scent blends, is safer to use in your home for yourself and any pets you may have… where are the negatives here!? This is why these three products are the ones I never buy at the store. They are my ride-or-die household care products! If you are looking to start bringing holistic home care products into your life, these are a great gateway drug. Next thing you know, you’ll be getting a steam mop like me! Happy Spring freshening!
Last modified: April 10, 2018