Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Got Fruit Flies? Get Rid of them Fast with this Simple Natural Ingredient!

No one likes those pesky fruit flies, especially when they are swarming around our food and our kitchens! Maybe it's the extra warm summer we had this year, but for some reason, they have been particularly problematic this season.  Well, take heart, there is something incredibly simple you can do to rid your home of them once and for all!  And likely you even have what you need already in your kitchen!  So what is the trick?

Yep, another one of our natural cleaning superstars stepping up to do the job again - Apple Cider Vinegar!

And the solution is so easy you'll wonder how you missed out on this little secret before!  All you do is pour some Apple Cider Vinegar in a few little dipping size dishes, add a tiny dab of dish soap and set out where the flying pests seem to congregate - around fruit, near the window, next to plants, and so forth.  The bugs are drawn to the Apple Cider Vinegar like crazy and they will flock to it to drink it down.  The dish soap will kill them and very soon you will see less of and eventually no more little flying pests!

FYI:  This also works somewhat well for house flies, which is how I first discovered this trick.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

12 Simple Ways to Keep Home Cleaner between Cleanings

Whether you spend your valuable time cleaning your house yourself or you spend hard-earned dollars paying someone else to do it, isn't it always nice to have that fresh and clean house feel last as long as possible?  Well, here are 12 easy tips which can help you do just that and best of all, once you get into the habit, it will only take minutes of your time each day!

  1. Shoes stay at the door.  
  2. Making a habit of washing hands will prevent the spread of dirty, grimy fingerprints everywhere.
  3. Wipe down kitchen stove and counters immediately after cooking. (Spraying with vinegar will cut the grease!)
  4. Move the tea kettle off the stove when cooking with grease or oil and it will stay clean and pretty.
  5. Place an old towel on the floor in front of the oven when frying to keep grease and oils from splattering all over the floor- only to be tracked all over the rest of the house, making for grimy floors everywhere!
  6. Cover your food when using the microwave and you will rarely have to clean it! (Read more about keeping the Microwave clean.)
  7. Brush Fido! A daily brushing can do wonders in helping keep the hair at bay, instead of all over your house, clothes and furniture.
  8. Everything in its place! That's including clothes, to the hamper or back to the closet.  Make the kids get into the habit of picking up after themselves and cleaning up before bedtime.  It will work even better if they are able to follow their parent's example!
  9. Mother knew best! Make your bed in the morning and your whole bedroom will automatically appear neater.  And it only takes a minute or two.
  10. Give the sink a quick once over the scrubby sponge after dishes. Also, giving it a real quick rinse after you dump things into it (especially that super staining coffee!) will help keep it always looking decent.  Likewise, giving that coffee pot a quick rinse after dumping it will help keep it from getting horribly stained.
  11. After draining the tub, giving it a couple quick rinses around will eliminate the hair and dirt from drying to the surface of the tub, as well as lessen the ring of dirt.  Applying that same principle to the sink, give it a quick rinse after using for messy things like brushing teeth and shaving.
  12. Giving the shower a quick spray over with a cleanser after getting out will help cut down on the film of soap scum from drying on  the surface.

Naturally, I could think of many more things which I do so routinely that it feels as though I hardly even need to clean my house on actual cleaning day.  I hope this will get the ball rolling for you in the right direction so that you may develop some of your own routines which apply to you!

Monday, September 14, 2015

Eliminate Stinky Trash Syndrome for Good!

Garbage…. It's the things which we have to deal with, have to have in our kitchens whether we like it or not.  At times, it can seem a bit contradictory to trying to maintain a clean environment.  But, believe it or not, there are ways of getting along with your kitchen trash.   All it takes is establishing a nice, working relationship with it.  Did I say relationship?!  With my trash?!  Yes, I did, and I am going to tell you exactly what I mean.

The way you do that is through a simple system.  Here is what it looks like at my house:

1. Recycling Can.  For glass, plastic, metal and cardboard.  Rinsing out containers first will help eliminate any stench from developing there.  
2. Main Trash Can.  In here, we put things which can't be recycled, but also aren't food or any messy type stuff.  It actually takes us quite a while to fill up this can.
3. Compost Pail.  This is where we put our fruit and vegetable scraps, coffee grounds and tea bags, bread scraps, etc.
4. Food scraps Can.  Since we don't use a garbage disposal at our house, we use this small can to scrape the remnants of our dinner plates and basically anything yucky that we can't put in the compost, like prepared meals, dairy, oils, dressings, meat, sticky things, etc.  Get the picture?  Being a small bathroom size waste can, this is actually the can we dump the most often (about every other day). You may ask, why don't you just use a bigger can?  Because, then it would just get to stinking, right? This is what makes this whole system work like magic.  Another thing you can do to eliminate/prevent odors, is to soak a piece of bread in vinegar and place it in the bottom of your can. Finally, a good use for those heels!

It may sound like a lot, but it really isn't.  And it doesn' t have to take much room either. Believe me, when I started this system, I had a small, inefficiently laid out kitchen in an old house, but I managed to make it work.  My recycling can is actually in my laundry room (which is connected  to the kitchen), my compost pail lives under my kitchen sink, and the other two cans are side by side in the kitchen. 

It may seem a bit awkward at first, but trust me, stick with it, and once you have it down, it will feel wrong not to do it!

Friday, September 4, 2015

Make Your Own Tile Floor Spray Cleaner

Are you still spending money on store bought floor cleaning products such as floor sprays and Swiffer mop pads?  I did, too, (for far too long, I might add) before I discovered there was a better, far less expensive, more eco-friendly way.  And its super easy to boot!  You probably have all the ingredients on hand already!

Here's what you need:  (For a typical size spray bottle)

  • 1 cup Distilled Water
  • 1 cup White Vinegar
  • 1 cup Alcohol
  • Squirt of Castile Soap or Dish soap
  • (Optional) Add choice of essential oils such as Tea tree, known for its antibacterial properties.

  1. Just pour all ingredients into the bottle and give a shake. That's it! 
  2. If you want to make a gallon size, like I do, just make triple the recipe.

To use:
  1. You'll want to be sure to give it a quick shake each time you use it to distribute the soap inside sufficiently. 
  2. Simply spray and mop.  I use a large hardwood floor mop with washable pads (less waste, more eco-friendly).