Friday, July 5, 2013

Cleaning, Not A Chore Anymore

Having children has changed the amount of cleaning I do in a day. Prior to children I would go to work, come home, clean, go to bed and wake up, go to work and come home to a clean house. As anyone with children knows, that's not the case anymore. With five children at home that is definitely an hour by hour, minute by minute accomplishment to have a clean house. I now look at cleaning in sections of the house vs. having the entire house clean at once. 

When I was pregnant for the first time with our sixth child (ha, just fun to say even if it is true), I decided that I would attempt to make my own cleaners. My initial hopes were that if I had a new baby I could rest easy knowing I wasn't using toxic cleaners around my baby. The knowledge that he would soon be exploring his world and using his mouth as a means to do that weighed in the back of my mind.  Little did I know that the fun of making my own cleaning products, choosing my own scents and the research to find one that would work as well as the 409 I was currently using, would be more fun than why I was doing it. 

I read a lot of different recipes and started out with just simply using Dr. Bronner's Castile soap and water mixed into a spray bottle. It worked great and I still sometimes use that. But I wanted something more. That was the first time I came across Andrea's site Frugally Sustainable. I made every one of her cleaner recipes and LOVED them. The fun of making my own and then using them to clean far outweighed my need to be "chemical free" ( Sad but true story on that). I was hooked. 

I have now gotten to the point that I want something more when I make my cleaners. Most cleaners take vinegar to make so I have begun infusing my vinegar to help not only the cleaning properties, but also allowing for natural scents to be in my base ingredients to help cut down on my ever increasing essential oil consumption. Being I use a lot of lemons and oranges in cooking and the kids eating fresh fruit at meals, I now keep the peels and add them to a jug of vinegar and set them out to infuse so I can use them in all my cleaning products. Not only do I get double usage out of my fruit and have a great use for my garden herbs, I also don't waste nearly as much. Fresh Eggs Daily did a post about how she infuses vinegar with different things such as cinnamon, vanilla and orange peel to clean out her coops. Not only does the orange peel help with cleaning but in adding the cinnamon and vanilla bean she gets bug control properties added in also. I had already done the lavender vinegar but her addition of mint was perfect. So now I have those infusing as well as my lemon and can't wait to start using those not only for my chicken coop but in my home cleaning recipes also. 

It has actually gotten to the point that my infusions are becoming part of my decorations in my house...

Making my own cleaning products has definitely changed my views on this daunting task. I enjoy using all of them and the smell is far more fresh and clean than I have found with store bought cleaners. Let's not forget that the toxic chemicals that I used to have now are replaced with products that I feel great about using around my children. All in all, I continue to experiment and add to my list of cleaning products. As I do I will post what I find to work. 

You can find a lot of the ingredients for these cleaners in my Amazon Store, I do receive a small compensation for buying from this store. This cost doesn't effect your price and only goes to help me as I continue to share tips, resources and ideas in the future. THANK YOU!!

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