Top 10 Cleaning Tools


Homemade cleaning supplies are the best! We are all tired of those toxic cleaning supplies which can make us sick and can lead to health problems.   Eco-friendly, homemade cleaning recipes are a much needed answer for a chemical free clean home and so are the cleaning tools that you use:

Top 10 Cleaning Tools

  1. Scrub brush
  2. Gloves
  3. Squeegee
  4. Butter Knife
  5. Spray Bottles
  6. Broom
  7. Vacuum
  8. Sponge
  9. Rags
  10. Toothbrush
If you liked this, you might like our Natural Housecleaning Kit.
Happy Cleaning.

 

DIY Softscrub Recipe II


One of our first posts was a recipe for homemade soft-scrub.  We are pleased to introduce a new variation on soft-scrub to our all natural house cleaning recipes. This recipe is designed to make the the toughest house cleaning jobs go quickly.

This recipe’s biggest difference for our original soft-scrub recipe is the addition of Borax, and the omission of white vinegar. We found that the vinegar broke down the baking soda over time, compromising the cleaning power of the scrub. Our new recipe works great for scrubbing out showers, sinks, and tubs, anywhere you would normally use Softscrub  in your housecleaning routine. To add extra kick and some fizz, use in tandem with our Lemon Lift Off! counter top spray. Here is the recipe:

The Cleaning Crew Soft Scrub II

homemade softscrub

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup Borax
  • 1/2 cup baking soda
  • 1/4 cup liquid Castile soap
  • 3-4 TBS of water, or enough to make a paste
  • 15-20 drops of essential oil of your choice. Some nice options are: lemon, orange, pine, bergamot.

Stir all ingredients, and store in a tightly sealed jar or container

Lemon Countertop Cleaning Spray


Our latest natural house cleaning recipe:

bottle of DIY Counter top spray, Lemon Lift Off!

This recipe has quickly become my number one go-to cleanser in the kitchen. The grease cutting power of this cheerfully colored concoction is amazing.

Stuck on bits of food and grime on the stove top? Spray a bit of Lemon Lift Off!, let sit for less then a minute, wipe, and done!  Works great as a spot cleaner on my linoleum floor, appliances, and cabinet doors.

Directions:

16 oz Spray Bottle

2 cups Lemon Vinegar

1/2 cup rubbing alcohol

Water to fill

Combine the vinegar and the rubbing alcohol first, and then fill the rest of the way with water. If you prefer a lighter solution, cut the vinegar down to 1 cup instead of 2.

Directions for making the vinegar can be found here:

Lemon  Infused Vinegar for Natural House Cleaning

This stuff works better than any of the store bought brands I have tried, and best of all, its inexpensive and easy to make, and does not contain harmful chemicals.

Not recommended for granite counter tops, stainless steel appliances, or glass, as the lemon oil leaves faint streaks on shiny surfaces. I have not tested it on wood, caution is recommended.

Happy House Cleaning!

Lemon Infused Vinegar for Natural House Cleaning


Lemon Infused Vinegar

White vinegar is an excellent all natural house cleaning product. Not only is it non-toxic and inexpensive, it has a multitude of uses, and can be scented naturally with citrus peels. Classic and cheery, the scent of lemon is a favorite.

Occasionally I make lemon juice ice cubes; to be stored in Ziploc bags in the freezer for use later. This is a great time to make lemon vinegar, but you can also layer lemon peels and vinegar in a mason jar as you go.

Directions:

1: Remove all inner pulp from lemon (or any citrus) rind

2: Pack loosely into a 1 quart Mason Jar

3: Pour distilled white vinegar over rinds, leaving about 1/2 inch at top.  Gently push rinds down to remove air bubbles if needed.

4: Let sit for 1-3 weeks.

5: Use to add a delicate scent of lemon to your house cleaning routine.

 

So far my favorite use for this bright yellow and mildly scented vinegar has been in a recipe for a DIY counter top cleanser and disinfectant spray, stay tuned for the recipe, coming soon!

For ideas and inspiration on other homemade cleaning recipes, check out our Pinterest Board: 

Follow The Cleaning Crew, LLC’s board Homemade Cleaning Products on Pinterest.

Natural House Cleaning in the Kitchen: Lemon and Salt Cutting Board Care


Natural house cleaning methods in the kitchen help ensure food preparation areas are both clean and chemical free. This post is the first in a series of natural cleaning recipes and tips focusing on the kitchen, just in time for the Holiday cooking season.

To remove strong odors from your cutting board, as well as administering some germ busting scrubby action, salt and lemons are the perfect combination.

  • Simply pour on some salt, and scrub with a piece of lemon, making sure to hit all of the surfaces.
  • Rinse with very hot water for good measure, and let dry.
  • And finally, condition board with a layer of coconut oil, which  has antibacterial and anti-fungal properties, and will help keep your board from drying out and cracking over time.
  • lemons and salt on cutting boardlemon salt and cutting board With Thanksgiving right around the corner, we hope you find our little tidbits interesting and useful, and we would love to hear about your favorite natural cleaning tips and tricks!

Enjoy other Kitchen Cleaning Tips and Recipes that we’ve pinned on our Pinterest board:

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

Bring the Scent of the Seasons into your Home….Naturally!


scents of the seasonsmall crockpot with spice mixture envelope

Holiday Scents for the Home

Christmas is almost upon us yet again, and these last few days will no doubt be spent by many in the bustle of last minute shopping, wrapping, cooking, and visiting with family and friends.

Bringing the spicy scent of the holidays into your home can help create an atmosphere of warmth, comfort and cheer for you, your family, and guests.

You will need:

  • 3-4 Cinnamon sticks
  • 2 Tbls. whole cloves
  • 1 Tbls. allspice berries
  • 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg

Place all ingredients in a pot with water and simmer gently, taking care to add water as needed so the pot does not run dry. If you have a wood or gas stove for heat, this is ideal, but if not the kitchen range will do nicely for short simmer sessions. Another option is a crockpot; the very small ones are particularly nice. Make sure to remove from heat before leaving the house, whichever method you choose.

Other ingredients to try:

  • Orange peel
  • Ginger root
  • Star anise
  • Cranberries

Another great option is to use packaged mulling spice mix and if you have a mini crock pot, even better.

Do you have a favorite recipe or idea for the holidays to share? We would love to hear from you!

Enjoy ideas we’re collecting about Natural Scents in the Home on our Pinterest Board:

 

Follow The Cleaning Crew, LLC’s board Scented Home on Pinterest.

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.

DIY: Multipurpose Glass & Surface Cleaner


All natural homemade multipurpose cleaner

All Natural Cleaning Product Recipe from The Cleaning Crew:  Elisa’s Minty Multipurpose Glass & Surface Cleaner

This recipe is a the latest version of the Homemade Glass Cleaner we shared a few months ago. It has quickly become one of our favorite all natural homemade  cleaning products. Easy on the environment, your health and your wallet.

Not only does it work wonders on glass and mirrors, it’s a great disinfecting all-purpose cleaner in the kitchen and bathroom and other high traffic areas in need of germ busting action. The addition of mint essential oil leaves behind a refreshing and invigorating scent, and makes cleaning more fun.

You will need:

homemade multipurpose cleaner

  32 oz spray bottle

If you are re-using a bottle,  make sure it has been well rinsed (how to clean used bottles).

Add the following ingredients:

  • 1/8 cup rubbing alcohol (70% or higher isopropyl content)
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 3 to 10 drops of mint essential oil, depending on how much minty freshness you want.

Fill the rest of the way with water, shake well.

Optional:

Mark the bottle to each fill line as you add each ingredient, this will make refilling the bottle much quicker the next time. Or, simply add the recipe to the label.

We really like peppermint or spearmint essential oil, but of course you can add whatever essential oil you like.

To spread the minty goodness, spray and wipe with a dry or slightly damp cloth.  Use in the kitchen on counters, sinks, appliances, and linoleum or tile floors. Use caution on wood floors, as the alcohol may dry out the wood finish over time. Use a mild solution of plain old white vinegar and water on wood floors, instead. The same thing applies to wood cabinets, or any other wood surface. Using this once in a while for spot cleaning is fine, but repeated use over time can cause the wood to dry out.

Elisa’s Minty Multipurpose may also dry out unfinished slate or stone surfaces if used to often, but we have found it to be REALLY effective at pulling off build up on these types of surfaces. We suggest using it occasionally, when you want a really good, deep clean. For daily cleaning, use a mild all purpose soap, such as Mrs. Meyers, diluted BioKleen, or vinegar and water.

For the bathroom, use on mirrors, chrome fixtures, sinks, counters, tub and shower, toilet, and linoleum or tile floors.

We do not suggest using this solution on  delicately painted or lacquered surfaces, it is best on nonporous and durable surfaces. Keep in mind the drying properties of rubbing alcohol when deciding what surfaces to use this on. Feel free to post a question on our blog if you would like advice, as well!

A great big Thank You to Elisa for creating this wonderful recipe for our clients!

Happy house cleaning from all of us at The Cleaning Crew!

 

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.

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