Happy New Year!

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In Gratitude and Grace,

The Cleaning Crew

Homemade Softscrub named in Top 10 DIY Cleaning Recipes

The Cleaning Crew’s Natural Homemade Soft Scrub Recipe was recently included in the Top 10 DIY Cleaning Recipe list compiled by Nicole on her wonderful blog, Live In Art. 

Nicole’s blog is well worth checking out! … She has plenty of  interesting articles in addition to this great collection of cleaning recipes.

If you have favorite recipe, or ideas on improving this one, we would love to hear from you!


Check out ideas for natural, homemade cleaning products on our Pinterest board:
Follow The Cleaning Crew, LLC’s board Homemade Cleaning Products on Pinterest.

How to Clean Glass Jars

Cleaning the inside of glass jars with very narrow necks is quite a challenge! We recently discovered two quick and easy house cleaning tips on how to get those hard-to-clean glass containers sparkling.

Using uncooked rice, hot water, and a bit of dish soap does the trick. Combined with removing the sticky residue left after peeling off labels, the results are spotless and shining. Inside and out, quick, easy, and simple!

There are two steps: removing sticky label residue and cleaning the inside of a jar:


Step 1: Remove Sticky Label Residue

natural house cleaning tips

You will need:

  • Olive Oil
  • Cotton Balls
  1. Peel off as much of the label as possible.
  2. Pour a small amount of olive oil onto a cotton ball.
  3. Dab the oil generously on the residue, paying particular attention to the areas where small bits of paper remain.
  4. Let oil sit for a minute or two, then scrub with the oily cotton ball. You may need to use your fingernail to remove the remaining paper bits.
  5. After all the residue has been scrubbed away, you are ready for the next step!

Step 2:  Clean Inside Glass Jar Using Uncooked Rice

You will need:

  • Uncooked Rice
  • Dish soap
  • Funnel (optional)
  1. Add a tablespoon or so of rice to the bottle or jar, a dash of dish soap, and about 1/2 cup very hot water.
  2.  Shake vigorously until all the gunk on the bottom and sides has been scrubbed away.
  3. Rinse with hot water.
  4. Repeat if necessary.
  5. Drain, dry, and enjoy!

Any kind of uncooked rice will work fine; however, you may want to keep a small sack of bargain basket rice on hand just for this purpose if you re-use bottles frequently. This method also works on small mouth Mason jars; very useful for the home canning enthusiasts out there who prefer to re-use last seasons emptied jars.

Re-using glass containers for homemade salad dressings, cosmetics, and house cleaning products is a wonderful way to recycle, as well as a cost effective storage option for homemade concoctions or liquid items sold in the bulk section. Cashiers are happy to  record tare weight before you fill up, so no worries on paying for the extra weight of glass.

We hope that you enjoyed this post, and all of us at The Cleaning Crew, LLC send best wishes for a great summer!

Use these photos to see the step by step process for cleaning glass jars:

Like this post? You might enjoy other Kitchen Cleaning Ideas we’ve collected on Pinterest:

Follow The Cleaning Crew, LLC’s board Kitchen Cleaning Tips and Recipes on Pinterest.

Natural Homemade Softscrub Recipe

We are always looking for the most eco-friendly house cleaning products possible and we have a wonderful new recipe to share!

Our latest homemade all natural cleaning product recipe is a bleach free version of Soft Scrub. We could not believe how quickly it cuts through soap scum and grime, and it rinses much quicker and cleaner than the store bought versions, which usually sticks to the surfaces and requires rinsing and wiping repeatedly, a huge waste of water and time.

I added tangerine essential oil, and it was like scrubbing my shower with a big juicy tangerine. So lovely I was sad when the job was over! You can use whatever essential oil you like, or none at all. Here is the recipe:

All Natural Soft Scrub

  • 1 1/2 cups baking soda
  • 1/2 cup BioKleen All Purpose Concentrated Cleaner (or liquid castile soap like Dr. Bronners)
  • 2Tbls white vinegar
  • 10-15 drops of  essential oil

Mix the baking soda and BioKleen in a bowl until it is thoroughly blended. I found that a fork is the best option for this step. Do not add the vinegar until the soap and baking soda are thoroughly mixed, or it will explode with fizziness!


The next step is adding the white vinegar and mixing until you have a nice creamy paste.Finally, add the essential oil of your choice, but keep in mind the scent of the liquid soap you are using. Because BioKleen has a light citrus cent, a citrus oil like lemon, tangerine, orange, or grapefruit will blend nicely.

If you want a different type of scent like peppermint or tea tree, I would suggest using an unscented liquid castile soap. If you do decide to make this with BioKleen, make sure it is their concentrated all-purpose cleaner, not the all-purpose they sell in a spray bottle. Most health food stores carry it in the household supply section, but if you can’t find it a good liquid castille works great too.

homemade softscrub

The final product, ready to scrub!

This recipe does not create a lot of suds. This was a little strange when I first started cleaning my shower, but my misgivings were quickly laid to rest, as the built up grime came right off. (I had been saving it up for just this occasion;).

Almost all of the recipes that I found online also added 2 tablespoons of water; I opted not to do this because I like a thicker paste. Also, I like to store my scrub in a glass Mason jar, as essential oil will break down the polymers in plastic. Adding water does make the scrub looser which allows it to be stored in a plastic bottle with a squirt top, but I just scoop a bit out of the jar when I am ready to use it.

Many of recipes I have found for this stuff use liquid castile soap, but as I did not have any on hand I used one of our favorites, Bi-O-Kleen All Purpose Concentrated Cleaner. This stuff rocks! By far the best grease buster I have ever used that does not have nasty chemicals in it. Also has a nice light citrus scent, and this worked great paired with the tangerine essential oil. I made this recipe for the first time years ago with castile soap, but I don’t remember if there are any differences. Maybe the next batch I will try out the castille again, but I think it would be hard to beat the scrubby wonderfulness of this recipe.

If you decide to try this out, we would love to hear about your experiences! Also, if you would like to see a recipe or idea covered in our blog, let us know. Better yet, please feel free to share your favorite recipes or tips with us, we love to hear from our readers!


Update: We are learning that shelf life is limited by the interaction of baking soda and vinegar. The two ingredients counteract each other over time, making it less and less effective the longer it is stored.


Good, Better, and Best All-Natural Homemade Glass Cleaner

House cleaning with natural products is becoming more important than ever to many people, both to maintain healthy homes and a healthy planet. The Cleaning Crew, LLC focuses on using natural products because we believe it is the right choice and we find that many of our clients value eco-friendly house cleaning as well.

With this in mind we have been trying out a few new house cleaning recipes, starting with a variation on an old standby of vinegar and water glass cleaner, something that I have come back to time and time again despite the occasional test run of store bought glass cleaners. This simple recipe has proven to be a great combination of economy and efficiency. Keep reading for an updated version of this recipe that has become a new favorite  glass cleaner for The Cleaning Crew, LLC.

Good Homemade Glass Cleaner Recipe

  • 1 c. filtered water
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar

Combine  vinegar and water in a spray bottle, and mist surface evenly. Use lint free cotton cloths for the best results on glass. This basic solution is best suited for light cleaning on most surfaces.

Don’t get me wrong, I loved this simple vinegar and water solution, and planned to go on using it for the rest of my cleaning days. Never mind that it takes a little bit more elbow grease than the smelly blue stuff, and never mind that its really only effective for cleaning glass and other slick surfaces, I still loved it for all of its earth and people friendly simplicity.  Also, it costs just a few pennies to make, always a nice bonus!

However, about a year ago I came across a suggestion to add rubbing alcohol to the mixture, and my oh my, what a difference! My appreciation for homemade, natural cleaning products has reached an all time high! The boost of rubbing alcohol elevates this humble glass cleaners effectiveness and provides disinfecting properties as well. My mirrors and other shiny surfaces sparkle like they have never sparkled before, and counter tops and faucets handles are squeaky clean, nary a germ to be found!

Better Homemade Glass Cleaner Recipe

  • 1 c. filtered water
  • 1/8 cup rubbing alcohol (70% or higher isopropyl content)
  • 1/8 cup white vinegar


Combine all ingredients in a spray bottle, and use lint free cotton cloths to clean and polish. Also works great for stainless steel and other slick surfaces, or for light cleaning on most surfaces.

We are careful not to use the alcohol and vinegar mixture on delicate painted or lacquered surfaces, but counter tops, sinks, appliances, door knobs, and any other durable and high traffic areas are fair game.

Best All-Natural Glass Cleaner (from Crunchy Betty)

I have included the Crunchy Betty recipe below:

The Best Homemade Glass Cleaner Recipe

  • 1 c. filtered, very hot water
  • 1/2 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/8 c. rubbing alcohol (at least 70% isopropyl, if not more)
  • 1/8 c. white vinegar

Instructions: Boil your water and let it cool just a bit. Add cornstarch to your spray bottle, and then the hot water. Shake well to dissolve. Add the rubbing alcohol and vinegar, and shake again. Every time you use this, you’ll want to shake it up to avoid clogging the spray nozzle with undissolved cornstarch. Use liberally and happily. Smile.

Don’t ask me how, but something amazing happens with the addition of cornstarch to the mix. I have never seen anything like the polishing power of this recipe, it is amazing! We wondered if the cornstarch would leave a residue on other surfaces, like counter tips and stainless steel, but this is not the case. After a frenzy of house cleaning  with this stuff, everything comes up sparkling, and the disinfectant action of the alcohol is a welcome addition. I still keep a bottle of just vinegar and water for really delicate surfaces, but rarely is it called into action, as most of the daily house cleaning occurs in areas with durable surfaces.

Bleach now sits in the very back of the cleaning supply cabinet, only pulled out for areas with high germ populations. Since my house is regularly cleaned and low traffic, this means the bathroom. Although bleach kills a larger spectrum of germs, rubbing alcohol is less corrosive to the skin and lungs of  soft and pink mortals like ourselves, and it kills many germs. Of course you don’t want to expose alcohol to flame of any kind, but I don’t find myself going out of my way to make sure this doesn’t happen.

When I need a boost in the cleaning power of the glass solution, a dash of Bon Ami works wonders, especially on stainless steel appliances as long as you are careful to go with the grain. In the course of researching this article, I discovered that bleach breaks down fairly quickly into harmless components, mostly oxygen and table salt. Who knew? I certainly didn’t, and although I still prefer to use bleach as little as possible, I don’t feel as guilty about the eventual result of my bleachy house cleaning choices.

We hope that you try one of these recipes and would love to hear what you think! Do you have a favorite homemade house cleaning solution? Please let us know!

Enjoy more ideas about Window Cleaning on The Cleaning Crew, LLC’s Pinterest board.

Voted Best House Cleaning Business!

Thank you, Ashland, Oregon!

It is with deep gratitude that we look back on 24 years of providing professional house cleaning services in Ashland and the surrounding areas.

A special thank you to those of you who placed us as #1 in the “Favorite House Cleaner” category in the “Best of Ashland” 2012 edition of the Sneak Preview.

As we move further into 2012, we look forward to another great year of providing professional and dependable house cleaning services in the Rogue Valley.

We have created the official The Cleaning Crew, LLC blog to provide an additional service to our clients; useful links and cleaning tips for the daily upkeep of your home or office.

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year from all of us at The Cleaning Crew, LLC! Thank you to all of our clients for your business and support throughout the year.  Wishing all a happy, healthy and  prosperous 2012!

Natural House Cleaning – Headquartered in Ashland OR

The Cleaning Crew, LLC has been providing professional natural house cleaning and office cleaning since 1988. We are family-owned and operated and our service is personalized, dependable, and always consists of the same detailed cleaning quality. Our Cleaners are honest, friendly, and professionally trained to clean your home or office. Our guarantee is to provide a first-rate cleaning experience you can always count on.

We have created this blog to share about our Natural House Cleaning and hope that you find value in the DIY and Tips and Tricks for natural cleaning:

We’ve created our blog categories and we welcome you to dive in as if they are chapters to a book:

We will also use tags our blogs so that you can dive into the details, such as ingredients in recipes… here are a few of our favorites:

We also welcome comments, questions, and ideas – please reach out to The Cleaning Crew, LLC anytime!

Looking forward to hearing from you!

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