Hello friends, Jenn here again. The holidays were hectic as usual, and the gloom of January has settled in by raining of all things (this is Wisconsin, right?) With the rush and gift giving of the holidays, Adam and I were blessed to receive some very nice gifts from our family. However, as we received new things, we decided to make a policy-“one thing in, one thing out.” As I said before, giving things away isn’t the hardest part, the hardest part of keeping things simple is choosing what to allow in your home. So, we were quickly able to fill our box for the month with a few ornaments and holiday decorations we don’t use, some older clothing, and a mix-match of other items.
Now, on to the fun part!
One of my favorite things about simplifying my home is that it makes cleaning so much easier. If I’m being honest I don’t mind cleaning, but there are better ways to spend my time than cleaning clutter in my home ( I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels this way).
Enter cleaning products!
Living as a better steward of this world not only means streamlining material belongings, it also means taking a good, hard look at the cleaning products hiding in the corners of your home. Our world is filled with a ridiculous amount of foreign and unnecessary chemicals that are harmful to our bodies and the planet at large. Thus, the second arena I have moved into on my journey towards being a better steward is eliminating every chemical from my home.
Ambitious, I know, but necessary. I have the tendency to be somewhere in the realm of “germaphobe” so this was quite the step for me. As I’ve moved through this process, I’ve learned that I don’t need to sterilize the heck out of everything, and that doing so is actually worse for my body. If I’m never exposed to anything, how can I build up a good immune system? Just as my muscles need to be worked or they get wimpy, so does my immunity. Also, my cleaning products now get things way more clean that the other ones, and I don’t have to wear gloves because I’m concerned about what’s in them. Instead of cleaning products with ingredient lists I can’t pronounce, I use two simple ingredients I can pronounce and eat: baking soda and vinegar.
These two are the power combo at cleaning. I use them in every room of my home. See below for ideas!
- For a clogged/smelly drain-pour 1/4 cup baking soda in sink drain (you can do this with any drain) followed by 1/2-3/4 cup of vinegar. Let this fizzle for a while before following with running water.
- Vinegar in a spray bottle with a couple drops of lemon essential oil cleans up just about anything. I use it for spills/accidents on the floor and furniture-including cloth.
- Toilet cleaner-sprinkle 1/4-1/2 cup of baking soda around the toilet bowl. In a separate bowl, mix 1/2-3/4 cup vinegar and 3-4 drops of lemon essential oil(optional: lemon just makes things smell cleaner), and pour over the toilet bowl before scrubbing. Use the spray bottle to get any areas you missed pouring. Scrub well and flush.
- Baking soda is a great replacement for soft scrub (think bath tub floors or sinks). Sprinkle some over the area in need of cleaning, dampen, and let sit for a few minutes. Use a dish scrubby (I use old ones that are beyond use in my kitchen) and rub stains/scum away. If the stain persists, mix some dish soap with your baking soda to form a sort of paste, smear it on, and let it sit for at least thirty minutes. Then scrub away as usual, and your stains should come out.
There are plenty more ways to use baking soda and vinegar, but these are some of my favorites. We buy both in bulk. They’re pretty cheap, they help limit what we bring into our home, and I never have to worry if I’m hurting myself or the planet. Talk about a win-win-win.
If you have a favorite way to use baking soda and vinegar, we’d love to hear it!