Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Spring Cleaning: Getting Your Supplies Together


I hate cleaning. It has to be done Right? I hear groans emanating through out the internet.. Yeah Yeah Yeah.. I don't want to either.
It is that time of year. It is time to Clean away the winter blahs and welcome in spring!

Now I run into the feeling of being overwhelmed & unsure where to start. So this year I going to start with baby steps. Many people love FlyLady and her programs. She has a great site. Flylady Baby Steps. Check her out.. She has great ideas and plans.

Using green cleaners are fantastic. Making in expensive and easy cleaners are even better. I have a hard time with chemicals, So I have to keep things simple, I also like to infuse my cleaners with essential oils and magickal intent. That is the purpose of living a magickal life right?

Lets Start with getting your tool box of cleaning supplies ready:

The Essential Oils and Herbs that are useful around the home



  • The Essential Oils:  Cedar , Citronella, Eucalyptus, Lavender, Lemon, Lime, Mints, Pine, Rosemary, Sweet orange, Tea Tree.
  • Household Herbs: The herbs and essential oils that you’ll find most useful for various household tasks include those that inhibit the growth of microorganisms such as bacteria and fungi, those that repel or kill insects, and those that act as fixatives.
    • Herbs that inhibit microorganisms: basil, bay, benzoin, bergamot, camphor, cardamom, chamomile, cinnamon, clary sage, clove, eucalyptus, fir, ginger, grapefruit, juniper, lavender, lemon, lemon balm, meadowsweet, myrrh, myrtle, nutmeg, orange, oregano, patchouli, peppermint, Peru balsam, pine, rose-scented geranium, rosemary sage, sandalwood, savory, spearmint, spruce, tea tree, and thyme.
    • Herbs that kill or repel insects: basil, benzoin, cajeput, white camphor, cardamom, eucalyptus, juniper, lavender, lemon, lemon balm, myrtle, orange peppermint, rose-scented geranium, rosemary, sage, savory, southernwood, thyme, wormwood, and yarrow,
    • Fixative herbs: benzoin, calamus root, red cedarwood  copal, costus root, deer’s-tongue, frankincense, myrrh, oak moss  patchouli, reindeer moss, sandalwood, sweet grass, sweet woodruff, tonka beans, vanilla grass, and vetiver.

Cleaning Supply Ingredients:  

Now you do not need all of these products. This is a helpful guide in understanding home cleaning ingredients.
  • Baking Soda: Baking soda is a chemical compound that appears as a fine powder. It releases bubbles of carbon dioxide when it interacts with an acid and a liquid. It’s most commonly used in baking, where it acts as a leavening agent.
  • Beeswax: Beeswax is a natural wax produced in the bee hive of honey bees of the genus Apis. It is mainly esters of fatty acids and various long chain alcohols. As a component of furniture polish, dissolved in turpentine, sometimes blended with linseed or tung oil
  • Borax Sodium borate:  How Does Borax Clean? Borax has many chemical properties that contribute to its cleaning power. Borax and other borates clean and bleach by converting some water molecules to hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). This reaction is more favorable in hotter water. The pH of borax is about 9.5, so it produces a basic solution in water, thereby increasing the effectiveness of bleach and other cleaners. In other chemical reactions, borax acts as a buffer, maintaining a stable pH needed to maintain cleansing chemical reactions. The boron, salt, and/or oxygen of boron inhibit the metabolic processes of many organisms. This characteristic allows borax to disinfect and kill unwanted pests. Borates bonds with other particles to keep ingredients dispersed evenly in a mixture, which maximizes the surface area of active particles to enhance cleaning power.
    • Risks Associated with Borax: Borax is natural, but that does not mean it is automatically safer for you or for 'the environment' than man-made chemicals. Although plants need boron, too much of it will kill them, so borax can be used as an herbicide. Borax may also be used to kill roaches, ants, and fleas. In fact, it is also toxic to people. Signs of chronic toxic exposure include red and peeling skin, seizures, and kidney failure. The estimated lethal dose (ingested) for adults is 15-20 grams; less than 5 grams can kill a child or pet. For this reason, borax should not be used around food. More commonly, borax is associated with skin, eye, or respiratory irritation. It is also important to point out that exposure to borax may impair fertility or cause damage to an unborn child.
    • Now, none of these risks mean that you shouldn't use borax. If you do a bit of research, you will find risks associated with all cleaning products, natural or man-made. However, you do need to be aware of product risks so that you can use those products properly. Don't use borax around food, keep it out of reach of children and pets, and make sure you rinse borax out of clothes and off of surfaces before use.
  • Carnauba Wax; Is a wax of the leaves of the palm, Can be blended with beeswax. Carnauba wax can produce a glossy finish and as such is used in automobile waxes, shoe polishes, dental floss, food products such as sweets, instrument polishes, and floor and furniture waxes and polishes, especially when mixed with beeswax and with turpentine.  
  • Castile soap: Olive oil based soap made in a style similar to that originating in the Castile region of Spain.
  • Cream of Tartar: Potassium hydrogen tartrate, also known as potassium bitartrate, has formula KC4H5O6, is a byproduct of wine making. In cooking it is known as cream of tartar. It is the potassium acid salt of tartaric acid, a carboxylic acid. Potassium bitartrate can be used with white vinegar to make a paste-like cleaning agent.[citation needed] This mixture is sometimes mistakenly made with vinegar and sodium bicarbonate (baking soda), which actually react to neutralise each other, creating carbon dioxide and a sodium acetate solution.It is a common ingredient in Play-Doh.
  • Washing Soda (Laundry): Sodium carbonate (also known as washing soda or soda ash), Na2CO3 is a sodium salt of carbonic acid. It most commonly occurs as a crystalline heptahydrate, which readily effloresces to form a white powder, the monohydrate. Sodium carbonate is domestically well known for its everyday use as a water softener. It can be extracted from the ashes of many plants. It is synthetically produced in large quantities from salt and limestone in a process known as the Solvay process.
  • White Vinegar: This is one of my favorite cleaners!
    Vinegar is a natural bi-product of vegetables, fruits, and grains. It's both edible and biodegradable. Vinegar has a basically unlimited shelf life. In addition, literally any alcoholic beverage left exposed to the air will eventually become vinegar. It's cheap to make, cheap to clean with, and cheap to cook with. Vinegar can also be diluted easily with water, added to a multitude of food, and can clean even the messiest greasy mess. It's an all around versatile liquid. Vinegar is also environmentally friendly. It's biodegradable and won't harm the environment in any way. It's even effective and safe enough to use to kill grass or weeds in place of spray weed killer. One study showed vinegar kills 99 percent of surface bacteria, 80 percent of germs, and 82 percent of molds on a counter. That's with a 5 percent solution just like you could purchase at the grocery store. Since vinegar is natural, it won't harm your plumbing.


Supplies


  • Plastic Squirt Bottles
  • Containers with Shaker Tops
  • Spray Bottles
  • Coffee Cans, Glass Jars
  • Cotton Rags, Sponges, &  Buckets ( I like sing old clean cotton sport socks. You know the ones with wholes in the heal or toes. I mark them with a big R (for rags) with a sharpie)  

Recipes

Kitchen

Homemade Dish Soap
1 cup liquid Castile soap  
3 tablespoons water
a few drops essential oil (if using unscented Castile soap)
Combine in a vessel of your choice (I use an old vinegar bottle with a metal spout), mix well, and use.
For greasy dishes: add 1/2 of vinegar or lemon juice
Soap residue:  Brew 2 cups of White or green Tea, wash in brew.

Homemade Dishwasher Detergent

1 part borax  
1 part washing soda  
Combine the powders in a bowl and mix well, breaking apart any clumps. Transfer to an airtight container to store. Use 1 tbsp of mixture per load. you can add a few drops of essential oil to the mixture.

Hard water rinse: add 1 cup of Vinegar to the little rinse drawer. For that extra sparkle. Again, SO EASY.

Degreaser: Make a 3x strength of Tea (Black or green just make it strong) and as a little vinegar.

To Clean Microwave: Place 1/2 a lemon (make sure it isn't a dried out) or a mug of water, into microwave for 3-5 min and wipe out.

Living Room:

Rug Cleaner
1 c Borax,
1 c Baking Soda
1/2 c of cornmeal
10 drops of Essential oils.
Mix and store in a an air tight container.

Bathroom: 

Scouring Powder
1 c of baking soda
1/4 c dried herbs
2-8 drops of oil
Mix and store in a an air tight container.

Soft scrub:
3/4c baking soda
1/4 c of powdered milk
1/8c castille soap.
5 drop oil
Mix and store in a an air tight container.

Soap scum remover:
1Tbsp soda
1Tbsp salt
2 drop oil
Add vinegar to make a paste. Rub with damp cloth and rinse well.

Germ B gone Toilet cleaner:
2c water
1/4c castille soap,
1Tbsp Tea Tree oil
place in spray bottle. shake well. Wipe with clean cloth.

Making your magickal cleaning supplies:

There are many ways to customize your supplies. Check the correspondence of herbs and oil to create customized combinations to enhance home spells. Charge and or bless your supplies to assist in your intents. What better way to make your home a sacred place.
Next post will be ideas to get started on spring cleaning! 
-Brightest Blessings 

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