Non-Toxic Cleaning Spray

Supposedly the current cleaning sprays that dominate the market kill 99.9% of bacteria and germs in our homes – their adverts show comfortingly white surfaces with food touching them, and we are all meant to sleep a little better in our beds knowing the horrible germs can’t get to us. However, looking at what makes up these sprays, I don’t know what these ingredients are, and I certainly wouldn’t want to ingest the products – in fact it tells you not to on the bottle!

Now I am by no means saying that these products are not safe, nor am I saying they shouldn’t touch our food. However, what if you could clean your home with more natural products – things that can be ingested safely – isn’t it more comforting to picture your food touching something else you would eat, rather than chemicals you wouldn’t?

Equally, I truly believe that there is no good to come from killing every single germ, particularly around babies and children, but also adults. We build up immunity to bacteria and germs by experiencing them, and by allowing our bodies to fight the infections that these bugs may pose. Killing all exposure to germs opens up an issue when we eventually do have to experience them.

I have tried and tested this product, and am happy to state that I believe it works, and I won’t go back to my previous plastic bottles with dubious liquids. I use this spray on my kitchen side, on my leather sofa, even on my floors – I have an excitable puppy, and sometimes the excitement doesn’t quite make it outside in time! It makes me much happier thinking that I am cleaning my sides and floors (and whatever else needs it) with a product made entirely of edible ingredients that aren’t going to harm my dogs when they lick their paws, than something that might.

SPRAY

Ingredients

White Vinegar (this is available cheaply from supermarkets)

Lemon Peel

 

It is very simple – fill a glass jar with lemon peel, and top up with white vinegar – let it sit for a few weeks, and then put the vinegar into a spray bottle with an equal amount of water – easy peasy!

I like to put some peels in the spray bottle too, for aesthetics (although my bottle is dark), but otherwise the peels can now be disposed.

We are told to keep all cleaning products out of the reach of children – I don’t have any children yet, but (hopefully) as and when we do, I will still keep products like this out of the way even though they are not particularly harmful – it still would not be good for little tummies to try and digest a lot of vinegar – or get their mittens on glass bottles!

DISCLAIMER – I hope that this is informative to you, and please let me know if you have any questions about this – I would like to just highlight, I am not a scientist, and I have not tested the qualities of this product from any aspect other than knowing I am using non-toxic ingredients, and for me, it makes my house clean to a standard that I am happy with.

Old Fashioned Services

No one in my house drinks a lot of milk. There are occasional uses in cooking, the odd bowl of cereal, and sometimes a couple of hot chocolates, but we were buying milk and then throwing it away – unused – in its plastic container. It just seemed such a waste, and I wondered if there was anything we could do.

I remembered when I was a small child my parents used to get a milk man to bring glass bottled milk to the door with little foil caps, but after a while they swapped to supermarket milk in bulk because my little brother got through 18 pints a week!

I assumed no one delivered milk in this way anymore, but a little bit of googling showed me that Milk & More (https://www.milkandmore.co.uk/) do exactly that, along with a whole host of other options that you can add to your delivery up to the night before!

Our area has David deliver on a Tuesday, Thursday, and on a Saturday, (I have never seen David – he comes very early!) so we have milk twice a week, and on Saturday we have a treat of some freshly squeezed orange juice! There are also bakery options, breakfast options, even sweet treats and cleaning products! So if you realise on a Friday night at 8pm, that you’d like bacon baguettes and scrambled egg for breakfast, you can add them to your delivery (before 9pm) and they will be there waiting for you in the morning!

Having the milk delivered this way is a little more expensive that the shops – but it is so much better for the environment, and it makes me smile as I open my front door in the morning. The bottles are glass, not plastic, and once you have emptied them, you rinse them, and pop them back outside your front door, and they are taken away again at the next delivery. It also saves the fuel cost and time at the shops, if that is all you are going for. It may be slightly more expensive, but for me, it is worth the cost.

MILK2

Homemade Napkins – the simplest sewing!

Me and my husband moved into our first home together three years ago (he wasn’t my husband then!) and as it was the first ‘away from parents’ home for both of us, apart from my time at university, we didn’t have a lot of ‘stuff’. I’m sure our family would laugh at that as it certainly felt like we had a lot when we moved in, but most of it was personal items. We took the afternoon off from work, and had some basic kitchen equipment we had mainly been gifted, a rolled mattress from IKEA, a sofa and a bed frame that were given to us second hand by a family member, and a TV that was in my husband’s bedroom previously.

We have definitely gained in ‘stuff’ over the past three years, and now have everything we need to get along just fine, and as time passes, we update things that we were given second hand or acquired free on Gumtree, to items that are more to our taste, or less worn out. We still tend to buy furniture second hand as new furniture is very expensive, but we can afford to pay a little for it now, and pick and choose the pieces we like.

There are not many things that we haven’t got, but I was looking though the John Lewis website (a bad habit) and saw some beautiful napkins that I absolutely loved! We don’t have napkins, and these were a sort of sturdy linen, and were a classic, plain, navy blue, and were lovely. However, when I looked at the price, they were £20 for two napkins! I considered the cost for a few seconds and then told myself to snap out of it – that was ridiculous, I must be able to make a napkin myself – they are just a piece of fabric, right?

I did some research, watched a couple of Youtube how-to videos – there are lots on there – and went and delved into my fabric box. I wanted to make the exact ones I had seen, but I didn’t have any navy linen fabric – finding that would be a task for another day. However, I did find a nice cream sturdy fabric, with grey bees printed on it that I bought about a year ago in Dunelm – they may still have it.

napkins

I set to work, thinking I’d make four, but it was simple and therapeutic, so I just kept going, and used up all of my fabric, and ended with 12 napkins! I’m not sure I’m ever going to have that many visitors, but there you go.

Equipment

  • 18 inch fabric in squares (enough squares for how many napkins you want)
  • Scissors
  • Pins (optional)
  • Sewing machine

This is one of the videos I used, and found it really useful – clear and simple:

If you have a go, I hope you find the sewing as simple and as therapeutic as me! May you and I have many fancy dinner parties with fabric napkins to come!

Rose Sugar Scrub

Rose

In the summer someone special to me gave me the gift of a perfect rose. It was straight from her rose bush and was beautiful – and helped me during a particularly difficult evening. The flower smelled as a traditional rose should – unlike many shop-bought roses do now, and it sat, unchanging, on my dining room table for longer than I’d expected. When it started to wilt, I didn’t want to let it go to waste, and I decided to make an exfoliation sugar scrub with the flower.

I hadn’t done it before – but how hard could it be? I had an old jar from a coffee bean company that my Husband’s Nan gave me, I had my rose, some granulated sugar and some baby oil already in the house – any non-pungent oil should be ok I would think, but this one is designed for skin, and I haven’t got as far as making oils yet!

I removed the petals from the rose, put them, some sugar and some oil (I played around with the quantities a little until I was happy) in our blender and pressed go. It only needed a second as I didn’t want the petals mushed to nothing, and I wanted to keep some of the colour. I emptied it into the jar, and.. done!

sugar-scrub-e1538237216683.jpg

That was all it took, and I have now used it twice while bathing to exfoliate my legs – obviously above the water – it will dissolve below! The colour has gone a little from when I first made it to when I took the photo, but I am happy with it – next time I may add a little Rose Essential Oil to the mix, as the baby oil smell is equal to the rose smell currently. I might also try using brown sugar, as I prefer this in my cooking, so why not here? Making this was a two minute job from items already in my home – saving money and the waste of another plastic bottle of product!

The First Step

Products, as a whole, are a huge part of modern life. They aid in beautifying the body, cleaning the house, and simplifying day to day life. This is no bad thing, and I love a product that makes my life more beautiful, cleaner, or simpler, as much as the next person, but when I look at the ingredients on the bottles, and recognise less than half, I start to feel uncomfortable.

I have always been a believer in following your instincts, and if you can’t identify a huge number of the ingredients within your products, you probably shouldn’t be putting them in or on your body, or cleaning your home with them, where they can be breathed in or ingested through transfer (especially by babies and pets who will be touching floors and sides, and putting hands and paws into their mouths).

As such, I have begun changing our home into a more natural, less chemical space, for me, my husband and my two cocker spaniels to reside in, and hope to change the vast majority of the products I use to be kinder to the environment, and kinder to our bodies. Equally I am attempting to be less wasteful, to adopt the ‘make do and mend’ mentality that is slipping away, and reduce our plastic and rubbish output, both for economic and environmental reasons and benefits.

I hope you will join me on this journey where I begin to look at ways to achieve this more natural way of living, and also to try to lessen the impact our household has on the environment in general.

Please let me know if you have any questions, comments, or suggestions, and in the mean time, I will continue to start changing my life, a small step at a time, and dragging my husband with me, to begin to make our lives more healthy, less guilty, and more.. naturally homely.

daises