4
Sep

The Many Ways You Can Use Castile Liquid Soap

by Tiffany in A Green Home

Many Ways to Use Castile Soap - naturemoms.com

I have been using castile soap around my home for about 10 years now. I loved it then and I love it now. I use it straight up for all kinds of cleaning and I also use it as a base for several of my favorite green cleaner recipes. I like that the same product I use to scrub my toilet and wipe down my walls is the same product I use to clean my carpets and wash the dishes. I also use it in the bath, on my hair, in the garden, and on my food even. How is that for simple and easy?!  The best part though is that a single bottle lasts and lasts making it a great value for the money. Here are some of my favorite ways that I have used castile soap in my home.

Uses for Castile Soap

Laundry  - Use 1/4 cup for top-loading machines or an 1/8 cup for front loaders.

Dishes  - Great for hand washing dishes and for dishwashers.

Homemade Fruit and Veggie Wash – Add a teaspoon to a spray bottle full of water and spray as needed. No need to buy veggie wash products in the store.

All Purpose Cleaner – Add water and perhaps some essential oils and you have a great all purpose cleaner to clean just about any surface in the house.

Soft Scrub – Add to baking soda and you have a great abrasive paste with which to scrub sinks, toilets, and tubs.

Carpet Cleaner – Add a tablespoon or two to the water container of your carpet cleaner and skip the conventional carpet cleaning detergents. Castile soap works just as well and it makes your whole home smell divine if you use a scented variety like peppermint. I also have a natural carpet cleaner recipe if you want to give that a try.

Washing wool – Use castile soap to wash and lanolize wool diaper covers and longies for cloth diapers.

Garden Pest Control - Mix 1 tablespoon of peppermint castile soap with a 1/2 gallon of water. Spray the solution on plants being eaten by insects.

Shampoo – Use a small amount of the liquid and let it lather in your hands. Apply to your hair as you would regular shampoo.

Body Wash – Add a small amount to a loofah or bath sponge and scrub a dub. Also great for a baby’s bath water!

Shaving Lubricant – Mix with a bit of water and rub onto your legs/arms/face and shave as usual. Makes your skin all slippery so that shaving is a cinch.

Dental Care – Okay, so I have not personally used castile soap for this as I have an aversion to any kind of soap in my mouth but I have heard others swear by it. A drop of Peppermint, tea-tree, or citrus on the toothbrush or a drop or two inside a rinse cup for a rinse is usually how I hear it recommended.

How do you use castile soap??

Wednesday, September 4th, 2013

13 Comments

30
Jul

Homegrown Collective – Homestead Skills Delivered in a Box

by Tiffany in A Green Home

Homegrown Collective Box

I have made no secret of my adoration and fascination with subscription box services. I have tried many… green mom products, eco friendly products, healthy snacks, supplements, etc. The idea is that each month you get a box filled to the brim with sample products to try, all of which fit within a larger theme. An eco friendly products box for instance might be filled with organic fair trade snacks, natural toothpaste, green cleaner samples, soap samples and the like. Every month you get a different box with different treasures inside it. It is a fantastic way to try new products without paying full price for each and you get exposed to products you might not otherwise have tried.

So yeah, I love subscription boxes. My latest find tops them all though.

This box leaves all other boxes in the dust. It manages to integrate homesteading/homemaking/homegrown love and put it all in a box. You not only get to TRY new things you get to LEARN new things. Holy moly! I also have a bit of an obsession with homesteading and homemaking skills long since forgotten in this day of modern convenience and this box manages to capture all of it perfectly. A box of food and eco products pales in comparison to a box of new skills hand delivered to your door….skills that will make you more self sufficient, reduce your environmental impact, and save you money. This is an ingenious product concept and I simply ADORE it.

It’s called The Homegrown Collective. The box for month of June had the theme Vim & Vinegar and it came packed with artisnal balsamic vinegar, white vinegar, organic dried blueberries, organic dried orange peels, a mason jar, baking soda, a glass quadra bottle, a pourer, and a spray nozzle.

Vim and Vinegar Homegrown Collective Box

With all of this the idea is to make some useful products from scratch. First up is Blueberry Infused Balsamic Vinegar… a yummy vinaigrette to put bottled and processed dressings to shame. Perfect for summer!

There were also instructions for making a couple different all natural cleaners including a citrus spray using vinegar and organic orange peels. The box has recipes and instructions but also useful knowledge in the form of facts sheets. It empowers you with information and teaches you how to make the products you see in stores at home and with healthy ingredients. It encourages self-sufficiency and promotes environmental stewardship and sustainability. Rather than a box filled with stuff you will use once, you get knowledge and skills you can use from then on if so choose. Past boxes have included items such as a mushroom growing kit, heirloom seeds, water kefir supplies, DIY cheese kit, DIY herbal tinctures, DIY homemade cough syrup, kombucha bewing kit, raw honey, beeswax, gourmet treats and more.

I am in love…

Try it yourself and use code GREENMOM10 for $10 off your first box!

Join Now
 

Find them also on Facebook and Pinterest.

Tuesday, July 30th, 2013

8 Comments

25
Apr

Healthy Home Makeover $500 Giveaway

by Tiffany in A Green Home

healthy home makeover
 

I always like to say that to go green or to make your house a healthier place to be you don’t need to break the bank. You do usually do need to spend a little though to makeover your home. Mainstream products are made as cheaply as possible and with little regard to the safety of the consumer. Products that are made to last and that are safer usually have a higher price tag attached. That quality costs a bit more unfortunately but it is well worth our time to consider. We can of course get by where we can using old tees for rags and dishcloths or using bar soap and baking soda to make homemade laundry detergent. That frees up some money to invest in some quality home products that are safe and green.

It is a constant, gradual process too. When I started searching for greener and safer alternatives I didn’t throw all my old stuff away and replace them with better alternatives. I started with one thing at a time and took it step by step. I got rid of all Teflon coated pans and bought up stainless steel and cast iron ones. Out went the dryer sheets and in came the wool dryer balls. I replaced my plastic food storage tubs with glass ones I picked piece by piece at yard sales. I still make changes here and there. I don’t have a perfectly safe and green home, I just do what I can and make changes where I can.

I was inspired by the Healthy Home Makeover Contest being offered by Mighty Nest to make a Healthy Home Makeover board on Pinterest and highlight some of the products I think are important to a home makeover. Some I would like to have myself and some I already have but all are good places to start when you want to make some changes.

If you want a chance to win a home makeover from Mighty Nest worth $500 enter below. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

MightyNest_Logo

Disclosure: I was compensated by Mighty Nest for participating in this blog campaign.

Thursday, April 25th, 2013

6 Comments

25
Apr

3 Steps for a Home Sweet-Smelling Home

by Tiffany in A Green Home

Looking for quick and easy ways to freshen up the home? Of course you are. There is nothing that helps lighten the mood more for me than smell. I love fresh clean flowery scents in spring, coconutty fruity smells in summer, the smell of spices and apples in Fall, and various scents in winter such as pine and sugar cookies. When the house smells good I am more than likely to want to tackle my to-do list and stay productive throughout the day. With that in mind I often try to consciously make sure my house smells good. Other times I am working in emergency mode because the garbage sat just a bit too long in the kitchen or the laundry basket in the bathroom is emitting a musty smell. Either way here are some ways to make your home sweet home just a bit sweeter…

Step 1: Get Rid of the Stinky Stuff

You have to remove the source of any unsavory smells before you can bring on the fresh. Don’t try to mask odors, get rid of them. This often means doing a bit of cleaning…

  • Use vinegar, Castile soap, baking soda, and citrus oils (lemon, sweet orange, lime) to thoroughly clean surfaces, sinks, tubs, garbage cans, and any other areas where smelly stuff lurks
  • Launder bedspreads and pillows
  • Clean your carpets, upholstery, rugs, and drapes – Try this Natural Carpet Cleaner Recipe
  • Pour boiling water down drains and crush up some lemon peels in the garbage disposal
  • Clean up any pet areas thoroughly
  • Clean underneath couches, recliners, and other big pieces of furniture

Step 2: Improve Air Circulation & Ventilation

  • Open doors and windows whenever you can, even if it is for 5-10 minute increments
  • Change your furnace/AC filter
  • Bring live plants indoors
  • Run an air purifier

Step 3: Bring on The Sweet Smells

  • Bake/Cook – Put some beef stew on the crockpot or bake some Banana Zucchini Bread
  • Put cut flowers and herbs in vases
  • Add 10 drops of your favorite essential oil to two cups of baking soda, sprinkle on the floor, leave for 5- 10 minutes and vacuum up
  • Burn a beeswax or soy candle with a natural cotton wick – I am loving Caldrea candles at the moment
  • Wash laundry and sheets with essential oils (tea tree, peppermint) and then hang outside to dry
  • Simmer sweet stuff in a pot… try things like cloves, cinnamon, apple peels, orange rinds, dried lavender, bay leaves, etc.

Lastly take a deep breath and enjoy…

Thursday, April 25th, 2013

8 Comments

15
Apr

5 Ways to Bring the Freshness of Spring Indoors

by Tiffany in A Green Home

kitchen table home

I was compensated for this post as a Filtrete Healthy Home Ambassador, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Are you in full spring cleaning mode yet? I sure am. I just spent the past weekend decluttering and donating stuff to Goodwill. I have been collecting stuff from around the house to sell on Craigslist or take to consignment shops but they sat around for about a month so that was my clue to just donate them and be done with it. What a relief! Now I can get down to the nitty gritty and really clean and freshen things up for spring. The house feels stuffy and depressing towards the end of winter and with a few warm days last week I am so OVER cold weather. I am ready to throw the windows open and let spring in with full abandon.

Spring is about renewal and rebirth…a fresh new start. So it is no wonder that we all get that itch to clean, redecorate, and otherwise bring some of that spring magic inside the home. Here are five ways to capture some of that spring freshness…

1. Open Windows and Doors – Let the fresh air in. Did you know that the EPA says that the air inside your home can be 2-5 times worse in quality than what is outdoors? Yikes! Freshening indoor air is such a simple and easy step and so effective. If you are worried about bugs just make sure all your windows and storm doors have functioning screens. Now is a good time to repair any that have holes. Doing this does wonders for the quality of indoor air. If it gets too warm then open them for 5-10 minutes only, a couple times day or do it at night when temperatures dip.

2. Use Natural Air Fresheners –  According to the EPA, air fresheners release Volatile Organic Compounds or VOCs into the air so don’t buy those nasty plug in fresheners or the ones you spray. Scented candles and incense may contain particulates, soot and chemicals that end up in the air and in your lungs. These also only provide temporary relief from odors by masking them, not getting rid of them. I suggest using essential oils to scent the home via diffuser or making scented carpet freshener with baking soda and essential oils. Try a Lemon + Lavender blend for a spring time boost!

3. Bring Plants Inside – Now is a great time to bring in some potted bulbs (hyacinth, daffodils, and tulips) or some regular old houseplants that will help freshen air and remove odors. Try English Ivy, Pothos, and Spider plants. Cut flowers in mason jars also make you feel at peace and ready to welcome spring with open arms.

4. Use Fans For Air Circulation - Ceiling fans as well as strategically placed box fans can help move the air around and create cool, cross ventilation.

5. Change Your Air Filter –  If you have a central AC/Furnace unit you are supposed to change filters every quarter. So now that winter is behind us it is time to replace our current filter before we have to turn on the A/C. A good one for spring is the Filtrete Odor Reduction Filter (1200 MPR). Don’t mask odors or use fresheners that make the problem worse, get rid of odors. This is the most effective filter for reducing odors from sources such as pets, tobacco, cooking, mildew, etc. it is 65 times more effective than carbon filters. Also important for this time of year is the fact that it helps capture airborne allergens like pollen, mold spores, dust mite debris, pet dander, and smog. It lasts for 3 months, right up until it is time to change it for Summer. Find a location for Filtrete filters at FindMyFiltreteFilter.com.

I decided to change mine just a day or so ago. Ew! I like to change them with the change of each new season but we fell behind schedule when our furnace was replaced mid Fall. It was seriously gross and made me horrified to think we could be breathing that stuff!

changing gross filter

If you are looking to freshen up even more this spring you may be interested in the Filtrete Healthy Home Remodel Contest on Facebook. You will need to “Like” the page, go to the giveaway tab and enter your essay (1,000 words or less) about why your home is worthy of a healthy home remodel.You can submit two photos supporting your essay. The grand prize is pretty awesome…Mike Holmes from HGTV will choose a winner and they will receive $30,000 worth of home inspections, repairs, and renovations by a Holmes Group approved contractor. Four other first prize winners will get $500 towards renovations. It ends June 30, 2013.

Learn more: Twitter / Web Site. The web site offers an e-newsletter with reminders to change your filters. If you commonly forget, it might be a good idea to subscribe and get those reminders!

Wishing you a wonderful spring!!

 

Monday, April 15th, 2013

No Comments