Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Puj Nubs Review

A while back I was given the opportunity to test out the Puj Nubs.

I’m a huge fan of the Puj Company and have had the opportunity to test out several of their products including the Flyte and the Hug. Puj makes innovative, kid friendly products that are also practical and helpful for parents.

The Puj nubs come in two different color packs.
Cyan, Magenta, and Yellow Or White, Grey, and Yellow.
They’re made from a soft, slightly flexible material which makes them very kid friendly and the texture of them keeps things on the hooks even though they are a straight peg.

The nubs work on lots of different surfaces. They recommend hard smooth surfaces like glass, tiles, porcelain, and even shower walls. They can be used in wet or dry environments which make them great for tons of things! Simply peel and stick and wait 12-24 hours to cure and use for anything you can come up with up to 3lbs!

The house we live in is one that we rent so I didn’t want to put the nubs somewhere I might never be able to remove them from or damage the surface. They are removable but most of our surfaces are the few places they don’t recommend putting them on. We have wood paneling or drywall throughout the whole house. I didn’t have a great spot on my fridge to put them and I wasn’t sure how much use they would get being in our shower.
I had thought about placing one on the back of our highchair for bibs but it didn’t hold as many as I wanted to put there, and certain small people who shall remain anonymous enjoyed pulling all of the bibs off every chance he got. 

Then I had an idea!

I have posted about my laundry systems and how much I dislike laundry. Part of it has been that I don’t love my laundry room. While it’s a great space and has some great potential, it just wasn’t working for me. I knew I wanted some beautiful artwork in the laundry room and I needed some way to keep the diaper stuff better organized. My husband had this shelf he’s had for years that his mom gave to him but it didn’t have any way to hang it up. I asked his permission to paint the shelf and hang it up as well as put the nubs on it. He was really happy to hear that I was going to find a way to use his self in our home that has been sitting for 5+ years.

I looked at color combinations on Pinterest (ahhh I love pinterest!) and since I 
already had the white, grey, and yellow nubs, I looked to see what other 
pinners had put with those colors.
Teal. Teal. Teal.
We went to Walmart and bought some paint.
I decided I wanted the top portion of the shelf to be grey and the underside to be teal with the white, grey, and yellow nubs on the teal.
Eeyore’s rain cloud and Sully’s fur were the color winners. <- It's ok to admit it, these are cutest paint color names ever.

After the shelf was all painted and had 24+ hours to fully dry, I peeled and stuck my nubs down. I let them sit for 12+ hours to cure and fully adhere before using. I now have a pretty space in my laundry room that is organized and functional.

Print from NaptimeDiaries, bin with Cloth WipesSilky bottoms powder, normally there is also Clear bottoms cream, bin full of the items the kids I babysit need/use. I use the nubs to hang my kid's tees/onesies on while folding laundry and I keep a laundry bag hanging with lost socks inside.

There are so many great ways these could be used. You can check out Instagram for even more ideas. This is one of my favorite ways a momma used the nubs with the kiddos.

Also they work perfectly with the Puj Hug and Puj Flyte. The Flyte tub has a smaller hole so it doesn’t fit on the hanger I have on the back of my door. So this is perfect.

Overall I think the Puj Nubs are a wonderful multipurpose item.
They've really helped me keep things more organized in my laundry room.
You can buy nubs and other Puj items on amazon.
How would you use the puj nubs?

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

31 Days to a Cleaner Home Recap

Thank you all for joining me in the 31 days to a cleaner home challenge.

I hope and pray this was an encouragement to you and helped you.
I had a lot of fun writing it and honestly was challenged by it too.
I have never blogged for 31 days straight like that before.
It forced me to figure out a new normal during this season.
I really found a good rhythm for me during the course of the 31 days and while I know at different times in our lives it will need to change and adjust again but for now it's great.

I'm enjoying living with less and feeling more freedom.
I'm finding I have so much more time to learn new things and spend time with the people who are important. I'm finding it's more relaxing and when a friend popped in the other day I didn't even think "oh no! What does my house look like?!"  Because while yes there were still some groceries needing to be put away (from the day before) my dishes were done, my stove top was clean, and the house felt pretty good. It was clean enough.

I really enjoyed spending some time really learning about the items on the six list.
I love making non-toxic cheap cleaning supplies that really work.
It's so nice knowing exactly what is around my family and not worrying about toxic fumes.

I want to have a clean home but I don't want my children to look back and say that I was always cleaning and never playing with them.
I am first and foremost a mom. A clean enough environment will do just fine.
And some days my babes need me a little extra and so I try to be sure to get just the essentials done while they're resting and spend the time they're up focused on them.
A little comical as today my oldest wasn't feeling well and wanted me near by and my youngest wanted attention. So tonight there are a few dishes left in the sink and I'm ok with that. I'll do them tomorrow. I'll get some sleep tonight so I can care for my family tomorrow.

Series Recap - 31 Days To A Cleaner Home:

Day 1//Why Clean?

Day 3//Less is Less

Day 4//Overwhelmed

Day 5//Perfection-the enemy of completion

Day 7//Seasons

Day 8//Feeling Dull

Day 10//Fresh Start

Day 11//Who Are You?

Day 12//Keep Going

Day 13//Planning for the Week Ahead

Day 14//Self-Discipline

Day 15//Time Vortex

Day 16//Habits and Routines

Day 17//Distractions

Day 18//Cleaning Binge

Day 19//Help!-It's ok to ask for or hire help.

Day 20//Life Happens.-Even on Sundays.

Day 21//Clean Enough

Day 22//Clean Smart

Day 23//The Cleaning Six List

Day 24//Cleaning With Vinegar

Day 25//Cleaning With Baking Soda

Day 26//Cleaning With Oxygen Bleach

Day 27//Cleaning With Rubbing Alcohol

Day 28//Cleaning With Dish Soap

Day 29//DIY Cleaning Solutions

Day 30//7 Organization Tips

Day 31//A Time For Everything.

I would love to hear from you.
Let me know what post was your favorite or what challenged you.
Show me pictures of a project you finished or an area you organized.
And know that I'm still here cheering you on.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

31 Days to a Cleaner Home-Day 31: A time for everything.

Friends, in closing out this 31 days of talking about and working towards a cleaner, happier, healthier, life-giving homes, I'm going to talk about an area I really struggle in.

Getting rid of stuff.

I struggle with this.
I can and will openly and honestly admit that I have a hoarder mentality 
and could easily be overrun with stuff if I let it.
I think "Well what if I need it some day?!"
But really that thing that I've been holding on to for 6 years that has gone unused is really not likely to get used in the next 6 years.
I always felt guilty if I got rid of something that was given to me.
Afraid that I would hurt their feelings.
I've talked about chaos cleaning several times on my blog over the years. 

I can honestly say I have lived in chaos.
I have allowed stuff to overtake me and my home.
But I refuse to be buried by stuff any longer.
I have always loved Ecclesiastes 3 but when I read it again a year or two ago I was really convicted by verse 6.

photo credit: thelearningcurvedotca via photopin cc

It's ok to throw things away.
To donate them.
To let them go.

When my friend Melissa helped me take control of some overrun areas in my home I had to get rid of a lot of stuff. It wasn't easy. But oh friend it was so worth it.

And honestly out of the whole car load of stuff I took to donate at salvation army (Seriously there wasn't room for anyone but me in the car!) I only had two items that I thought of ever again. TWO ITEMS.  And really those two items are not things that I haven't been able to live without.

Sometimes it is more important to throw some things away.
Sometimes by holding on to the little things we start saying 
that things are more important than people.

I will be the first to admit that I am a very sentimental person.
I kept every birthday card I had ever received.
I kept every ticket stub to every movie my husband and I ever went to.
I kept receipts from dinner dates or even gifts I had given.
I kept things that I didn't even like simply because someone gave them to me 
and I felt too guilty to get rid of it.

But those things are not what matters.
What matters is that my home gives life to my family and to all who enter here.
I got rid of the birthday cards that were simply a signed card with no personal note in it.
I got rid of the ticket stubs and receipts.
I have passed on things that I don't like or honestly will never use to someone who will love them more.
And I'm letting go of the guilt.

And really I want my family to know what is really important to me.
I want my children to know and see that God comes first in my life, then my husband, and then them. I don't want them to think that stuff is more important to me than anything else.

I want my home to be a place of life.
I want for them to want to bring their friends over.
Heck I want my friends to want to come over!

So I'm letting go of stuff.
I want to encourage you to do the same.
I would really recommend keeping a small donation station always set up in your home.
We go through seasons in our lives and sometimes things no longer work for us.
It's ok. Let it go. Let it free you and your home.
Take it to salvation army, trash it, sell it.
Do what you've got to do and get it out of your house.

If you haven't yet taken your stuff in your donation station you set up at the start of the 31 days I encourage you to take it today. Get it out of your home. Stop looking at it and start living more.

Take some time to day to look at the hard work you've done this month.
You've done a good job.
Don't stop.
Continue doing the things that bring life into your home.
Continue letting things go when they no longer serve a purpose or you realize you're just holding onto for that "someday."

It might not always be easy, but it's worth it.

Friday, February 7, 2014

31 Days to a Cleaner Home-Day 30: 7 Organization Tips

Let's talk organization for a little bit here.

These are all pretty simple. It takes just a few extra minutes to do these things right away instead of the time it takes later to do all of these things. Let's talk about it for just a minute.

1. Putting the item completely away when you're done using it. It seems like a lot of times items almost make it back to where the belong but not completely. If items are not put away and more and more slowly get stacked up and added on it takes a lot more time to put everything away later.

2. Clothes are quick to get piled up. As women we like to try things on and decide what we're actually going to wear. Take a few seconds to just hang them up and put them back right then. It also saves you from wondering if the items are clean or dirty and the time washing clean clothes.

3. Salvation army will be your best friend. Or if it's worth selling then take a few minutes to take a few pictures and post them online. Give it a deadline that if they don't sell to then donate.

4. Ok so you tried it on and decided you don't like how it fits (or rather doesn't) donate or sell the item. (You are exempt from this if you are pregnant or just had a baby. Give yourself some time and grace to see where your body will be post baby.

5. Expired medications, salad dressings, and cleaning products. If it's expired GET RID OF IT. There are expiration dates on there for a reason. Don't hold onto it because you feel guilty that it's past the date. You're not going to use it so just let it go.

6. Toss the junk! Really. I'm totally guilty of doing this at times. Something that is just plain junk somehow doesn't end up actually find it's way in the garbage. Again, don't feel guilty about letting junk go. Just let it go and feel the weight lifted off you.

7. If there is something you want to do or plan to do take a moment to write it down.
You're more likely to complete the task if you write it down. This also goes for plans with friends and family or other commitments you have. Being able to just look at a calendar or a to do list for one is less daunting feeling than trying to remember everything all the time.

Now just because you organize something once doesn't mean you'll never have to organize it again. Sometimes you outgrow the system you've been using or you just find a better way of doing it. And guess what, that's ok!

I have organized and reorganized our laundry room shelf a few more times than I would like to admit. And honestly it's in the process of being reorganized to better suit my needs.

I love using little boxes, tins, fabric bins, and plastic bins around my house to organize.
You can find some really cute ones at the dollar store and not only do they help keep things organized they also look beautiful and classy in a space.

If you're cheap frugal like I am you try to find and use items you already have around your house to organize. 

I have a paper covered oatmeal container to store toilet paper in.
Fabric covered tin cans from beans to keep pens stored in.
And even tin cans from tuna to hold paper clips and other small odds and ends.
I love the way that blogger Jen from iHeartOrganizing.blogspot.com used the bottom of cereal boxes to organize her office drawer.

Honestly I know I have a ton of organizing to do around my home.
I have created a cleaning caddy to keep all of my mixed up cleaning supplies in. It makes it easier to take all of them with me as I clean the house instead of wasting time walking back and forth to get the item I need. I highly recommend if you don't have a cleaning caddy, get one or make one!

I have a whole pinterest board you can check out for other tips and ideas on organization.

Today's challenge is to find a way to use something you already have to better serve you in your home. Use it to organize something in your home better. Figure out what you need for a cleaning caddy or if you have something already that would work well for it.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

31 Days to a Cleaner Home-Day 29: DIY Cleaning Solutions

So now that we've talked about the six must haves to clean your home I'm going to give you my favorite DIY cleaning product recipes. Simple, safe, effective, easy to make cleaning solutions for your home that don't use any harsh chemicals. 

One of the biggest reasons I really felt this was important for me to start doing myself was because someone I know ended up in the ER after cleaning with certain chemicals.
Now I feel I must put this disclaimer as well as educate others on this, There are a few things people use for cleaning that should NEVER, let me say that again, NEVER mix.

The Do Not Mix List.
Bleach & Vinegar.
Bleach & Toilet bowl cleaners.
Bleach & Ammonia.
In fact don't mix bleach with anything unless you're a chemist and know what is safe. Most things people typically think to mix with bleach end up causing a toxic vapor that can be deadly and at the very least are toxic and cause lung issues. Just don't do it.
Same product made by two different brands.
Acids and Bases as they can have a violent reaction and could be a splash hazard which could cause a chemical burn.
Disinfectants with 'quaternaty ammonia' listed in it with a detergent. The disinfectant may be neutralized and no longer effective.

Now that we've gotten that out of the way I want you to all know I have actually researched to be completely sure that the combinations in my list are safe to mix. So here are the best cleaning solutions ever that you can make for yourself for mere pennies a bottle. All of the ingredients for the cleaning solutions are items from the six list. And it's always best to use the simplest cleaning solution first.

Window Cleaner.
1/4 cup White Vinegar
1/4 cup Rubbing Alcohol
1 tablespoon Corn Starch (optional but it does make a big difference.)
2 cups Warm Water.
Combine all items in a spray bottle. Shake well to mix. Spray on glass and wipe down as you normally would. Microfiber or black and white newspaper work the best for cleaning windows.

The reason for the cornstarch is because on a microscopic level glass isn't completely smooth.
While it feels smooth to the touch it actually has little peaks and valleys to it. When you spray water onto glass water molecules get caught in the pits. Water also clings to itself so water stuck in glass and water sticking to water creates streaks. The cornstarch disrupts the water bonding (hydrogen bonding) and thus prevents streaks. WOHOO!

Alternately you can use 1/2 teaspoon of dish soap in place of the cornstarch.

This window cleaner can also be used on
Any glass
Stainless steel

Floor Cleaner.
1 cup Water
1 cup White Vinegar
1 cup Rubbing Alcohol
2-3 drops Dish Soap

Add everything to a spray bottle and shake to mix.
Just a reminder to do dry before wet so be sure to sweep first!
Spray on the floor and use a microfiber mop to wipe up.

Mop and Bucket Floor Cleaner.
2 gallons of very warm Water
1 cup White Vinegar
1 cup baking soda
1 tablespoon Dish Soap
Mop as usual.

1 cup Water
1 cup Rubbing Alcohol
Combine in a spray bottle.
This is used on already clean areas to disinfect. Not all cleaners disinfect and not all disinfectants clean. So this would be something to spray and leave to dry on an already clean area. (Think toilet handle, light switches, and other points of contact.)

Mild All-Purpose Cleaner
1 tablespoon Dish Soap
1 spray bottle full of Water.
Safe to use on all surfaces. 
If you find you have a little residue you may need to reduce the amount of dish soap.

Degreaser. Perfect Tub/Tile Cleaner
1 cup White Vinegar
1 cup Dish Soap
Really good at removing soap scum off of tiles, glass, and other greasy areas such as the top of the fridge. Spray on and let it sit for 5 minutes. Clean away. A non-scratch scrubby sponge is great for this.

Stain Remover
2 parts Peroxide
1 part Dish Soap
Spray on stain, rub it in, rinse it out.
You can also pre-treat stains using this.
This also works EXTREMELY well for yellowed underarms of shirts.
Just put it on, you can even add a little baking soda if you want for scrubbing, work it into the stain for a few minutes then let it sit for an hour. Then just was the shirt as usual.
Works great on blood and grease stains.

Hard Water Stain Remover
1/2 spray bottle White Vinegar
1/4 cup Lemon Juice (I know it's not on the six list but it is a great natural cleaner)
Almost fill the remaining spray bottle with Dish Soap
Shake it up, Spray it on and soak the stains. Let the solution sit for 30 minutes.
Scrub the icky grime away and be amazed!

Kitchen utensil hard water spot/dishwasher soap scum remover.
1/4 cup Baking Soda
Add Peroxide till you have a paste
Rub it in and then rinse it off. Works really well to make them look good as new.

The best part is you really only need the mild all purpose cleaner, disinfectant, and window cleaner mixed up for regular cleaning and mix up the other items as needed!
Be sure to ALWAYS mark your spray bottles with the name of the product. I love to include the ingredients and or the recipe on the bottle so I know exactly what I'm cleaning with.
These are my favorite spray bottles. They're aluminum and are just a nice size to use cleaning. You can get them on amazon here.

Remember you can always add some essential oils to make your home smell good and help cover the vinegar or rubbing alcohol smell if they bother you. 10-15 drops should be enough. My favorite scent is lemongrass. You can shop for essential oils here.

Do you make your own cleaning solutions?
Do you make them to save money, use less chemicals, or both?
Do you have a favorite recipe that I don't have listed?
Leave a comment and let me know about it! I read every single comment.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

31 Days to a Cleaner Home-Day 28: Cleaning with Dish Soap

Dish Soap.
It comes in a variety of scents and colors.
Really when I walk down the liquid dish soap isle there is everything from 
clear, pearl white, purple, blue, green, yellow, pink, and even orange.

Dish soap is pH neutral.
pH is the measure of acidity or basicity of solutions.
Any pH less than 7 is acidic and anything greater than 7 is basic or alkaline.
Pure water has a pH close to 7 where as white vinegar has a pH of about 2.4.

It's always best to clean with the simplest, safest, and most basic product you can first.
What better way to do it than with basic dish soap.
There are tons of ways to use dish soap.

Use on fabrics to fight stains.
I feel like I always manage to spill SOMETHING on my clothes and if I don't well then my kids help me out and make sure something usually greasy ends up on my clothes.
Dish soap is my go to whenever something oily gets on clothes. Butter, oil, you name it, my go to is always dish soap first. Apply it directly to grease stains and gently rub it in. Let it sit for a few minutes, rinse it out, and wash as directed. (Top Secret: It can even be done on older stains.)

Simple Floor Cleaner.
A few drops of dish soap added to a bucket of really very warm, almost hot, water is a simple yet effective solution to clean hardwood, laminate, tile, and even cement floors looking great.

Clean Natural Stones
Marble and Granite can be tricky to clean. Being very hard and usually requiring special cleaning solutions. Instead of worrying and over thinking cleaning these stones just use dish soap and warm water. It'll leave them clean, haze free, and you'll be able to enjoy less time cleaning the counter and more time doing things you really WANT to do.
Also works great for bathroom and kitchen counter tops and sinks.
Any woodwork just remember to dry as you go, wood and water for extended amounts of time aren't friends. And the tub and toilet.

Pre-Manicure Soak
Love doing your nails? Want them to last longer?
Soak your fingers in 1 part dish soap 20 parts water for 5-7 minutes.
It helps remove the oil and any dirt particles that are on your nails allowing the polish to better adhere to your nail.

Clean your Kitchen Cabinets.
I know this sounds too simple but really 1 part dish soap to 10 parts water with a non-scratching sponge works really really well. Just dunk your sponge in the mixture, do a wipe down of the area you're going to really clean to allow the soap and water to start doing the work for you. Go ahead and give it a little scrub and they'll look pretty.

Greasy oils and product build up in your hair.
Use a little dish soap when you shower about once a month to remove any build up from products or overly greasy hair. Or for those times when your 2 year old has peanut butter hands and rubs it in his hair...or yours. Mild enough to use on you and the kids but strong enough to break up the toughest grease.

 Make the best homemade bubble solution
Giant bubble solution:
1/2 cup dish soap
1/2 gallon warm water
1 tablesppon glycerin OR white Karo syrup.
Stir gently then skim the foam off the top.

Clean windows
You can use just 3 drops of dish soap to 1 gallon of water. Fill a spray bottle, then spray and wipe your windows the same way you would with other window cleaner.

Houseplant insect repellent.
Safe and effective to protect your houseplants from insects is to put a drop of dish soap in a spray bottle then fill with water. Shake it up and mist your household plants. It'll repel aphids, spider mites, and mealy bugs. Ick. You can also use it around the house if you see ants.

You can use dish soap on your furry friends too. It kills flees and its a cheap and easy way to clean your furry friends. Plus way less chemicals than whats in expensive dog shampoos.

Cloth diapers.
You can use blue dawn dish soap to strip cloth diapers. Add a squirt or two of original dawn to your washer and run a hot cycle. Rinse like crazy until the water runs clear. Dish soap is a degreasing agent remember? So it'll help my removing any oils and residues.

Unclog the toilet.
Instead of spending tons of time plunging the toilet next time just put a cup of dish soap into the clogged toilet. Let it sit for 15 minutes then pour a bucket of hot water into the toilet. Pour it in from waist high so the force of the water helps things move on down the drain.

Clean the driveway or garage floor.
Sometimes motor oil or gas ends up on the garage floor.
Remove the access oil with kitty litter and then use a hot soapy water mix to remove the rest of the oil from the pavement.

Clean the pool
This is pretty awesome. Just squirt some soap in the middle of the pool and it'll push the dirt and sun screen to the edge of the pool for easy clean up. 

Keep glasses from fogging up.
Rub some dish soap on eyeglass lenses and simply wipe clean. Don't rinse them just wipe them. It'll leave a thin film that helps prevent them from fogging up. No more walking in the house from outside and not being able to see for 10 minutes. 

It's just all around great for tons of things.
Simple and effective.

Today just tackle a little project.
And spend the rest of the day enjoying your people.
Especially the little ones in your life.
They're only little for so long.
I don't know about you but I don't want them to remember me just cleaning all of the time.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

31 Days to a Cleaner Home-Day 27: Cleaning with Rubbing Alcohol

Rubbing alcohol.
A medicine cabinet staple.
The main ingredient in hand sanitizer.

It has tons of great uses! Here are my top 10 favorite uses.

1) Permanent Marker. 
It's a pretty great at removing permanent marker from walls and other things that the kids think they should draw on.

2) Dry Erase Boards.
Ya know when you've left dry erase marker on a dry erase board too long? The dry erase maker that decides it should be permanent. Then you think oh man I have to go buy some special stuff to remove it. Nope! Just use some rubbing alcohol.

3) Hairspray.
Ever missed and got your mirror? Well you can just use rubbing alcohol to remove it.
Rubbing alcohol is a great degreaser so it'll work on tons of stuff.

4) Clean your phone.
And electronics. Actually this should be number 1.
But seriously. Use some rubbing alcohol on a clean cloth to wipe down your phone.
It'll remove the icky grime buildup as well as disinfect it. Also you can use it on the remote, computer keyboard, and other electronics that need to be cleaned. It dries super fast and disinfects those really super dirty items.  Just don't drench it.

5) Shapeable Ice Pack!
1 part rubbing alcohol to 3 parts water in a ziplock bag.
The rubbing alcohol keeps the water from freezing completely. So it makes a slushy type ice pack which is perfect for molding to whatever area of the body you need iced. Plus it's cheep! 

6) Clean and Shine!
Clean chrome, stainless steel, and anything else you can think of.
It's perfect for removing fingerprints and water spots from stainless steel and chrome and leave it shiny and clean. It'll even help remove the grease off the top of the stove.
It dries streak free. Perfect! 

7) Keep Windshields from icing up.
It's winter. It's cold. And seriously guys I'm short. I have a really difficult time reaching the middle of the windshield and scrapping off ice. Fill a spray bottle with some rubbing alcohol and spritz it down a little. It keeps the snow and stuff from freezing to your windshield. Ohhh yeahh!

8) Clean your sponges and cleaning cloths.
Simply soak your sponges and or cleaning cloth with rubbing alcohol in a small bowl.
Just enough to saturate the item. Let it sit for 10 minutes then rise it off.
You can also do a quick spritz of your other cleaning tools before using them.

9) Remove Ink.
Get some ink on your favorite shirt? Just soak the spot with rubbing alcohol for a few minutes then blog the stain up with a clean paper towel. Wash the item however the garment's tag instructions say. If you need to go ahead and repeat it.

10) Microfiber furniture stains.
Microfiber furniture stains are a pain in the butt! Not anymore!
Just spray some rubbing alcohol over the stain, wipe with a clean white cloth (Don't use something dark on a light item...you could transfer colors.) and let it dry.
The rubbing alcohol doesn't penetrate the fabric and it evaporates quickly so it's perfect for going after stains. You don't want to use water as that will actually stain the microfiber. And if the microfiber is feeling a little matted just use a soft bristle brush in a circular motion. 

Just remember Rubbing alcohol is flammable so don't use it near fire.
Once the area is fully dry its no big deal but don't spray an open flame people. I will not be liable for that.

Also I know this is pretty stinky stuff. It totally bothers me. Just use it in a well vented area and remember it dissipates quickly, it won't stink for forever. If it really bothers you, you can always add in some essential oils to help with the smell.   

Today go clean some stuff using rubbing alcohol.
Make your sink shine.
Wipe down your finger print covered stainless steel fridge.
Prepare your windshield for the gross winter storm that is probably coming up.
You can do it! 

Tidy up any areas of your home that look messy.
Maybe you have a cluttered spot that is driving you crazy.
Tackle it. Sort everything. Find homes for items. Get rid of unnecessary things.
It's amazing how freeing it is to have your house be clutter free.

Sunday, February 2, 2014


Today I'm giving myself a little grace.
We had a very special wedding to attend yesterday and we are spending the day with family for the Superbowl.
Because of the timing of the events and some other unforseen things I have decided to give myself grace today.
I enjoyed and had a wonderful time at the wedding and am going to enjoy my time with family.
There will not be a 31 day post today and I will resume regular posts come Monday, though it might be late getting posted as we will be traveling a lot today. Thank you for your understanding.  Enjoy your Superbowl Sunday and have fun with friends and family.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

31 Days to a Cleaner Home-Day 26: Cleaning with Oxygen Bleach

Located in most medicine cabinets.
Used in the 90's to bleach hair.
Great for removing blood from fabrics.
Peroxide has a bleaching effect on organic substances.
Which is why it is added to some detergents and hair color products.

The main reason I mentioned peroxide is because it is one of the main 
components in oxygenated bleach.
Oxygen bleach chemically is like a solid form of hydrogen peroxide.
Hydrogen peroxide releases oxygen when water is added to it.
Oxygen bleach is made by simply treading baking powder with hydrogen peroxide.
Because of what it's comprised of and how it's made I'll tell you a secret.....
Don't worry about the name brand on this one! It's the same stuff in a cheaper package.

It works when the product is added to water. 
It's able to disinfect, remove stains, and deodorize.
It's much safer than bleach and won't cause bodily harm.
Plus it's safe for the environment as when it breaks down 
it turns into water, soda ash and oxygen. Simple!
It's pretty great stuff.

It's much safer than chlorine bleach.
While chlorine bleach does kill bacteria it is harmful to plants, animals, and people.
I don't know about you but I don't want that around my people unless it HAS to be.
Chlorine bleach contains sodium hypoclorite.
That would be an oxidizer. The oxidization process is corrosive and will burn skin, cause lung, nasal, skin, and eye damage. It also can discolor or rust metals, and change the color of finishes if it isn't used correctly.

Plus did I mention oxygen bleach is safe for colors? 
I'm guessing you already knew that but I just thought I would mention it in case.
So basically oxygen bleach is just as effective as chlorine bleach but it is so much safer.

Just keep in mind oxygen bleach has to be full dissolved in water before it'll work.
Seeing and hearing bubbles is actually a good thing. Remember how peroxide bubbles when it comes into contact with a cut or water? It's the oxygen being released. Oxygen=good.

Oxygen bleach is great for tons of stuff. 
Just remember it's better at cleaning up and removing naturally occurring stuff.
Think grass, dirty, blood, cooking oil, coffee, dairy, even wine.
It's not good at trying to remove paint, pen marks, motor oil, or other man made things.
Got it?

You can use it on tested fabrics, plastic, fiberglass, ceramics, carpet, concrete, wood, porcelain, and tons more. Just don't try using it on silk, wood, or other more delicate fibers.
And always test it in a small unnoticed area first if you're not sure.

You can use a scoop in your laundry to help brighten, deodorize, and remove stains from clothing. 

I think my favorite thing to use this for though is to clean the items that I clean my home with.  Simply put 1/2 a scoop of oxygen bleach in a bucket full of warm water and soak your cleaning sponges, brushes, and other cleaning tools. Just because you use your cleaning tools to clean doesn't mean they don't get dirty and need to be cleaned too.
After they've soaked just simply hang the items to dry and they'll be disinfected, deodorized and ready to tackle your next cleaning job. You can also soak your plastic tip brooms but don't soak a corn broom or you will probably ruin it completely.

You can also dissolve this into water to make a spray bottle for cleaning counter tops, points of contact in your home, and even add some to your homemade mop solution (recipe in an upcoming post.) for some disinfecting.

Today, give your cleaning products a good clean.
They're doing all that dirty work for you and you don't want them to be spreading nasties through out your house.

Also I know for many (including myself) this is a very busy weekend.
We're going to keep the challenge pretty light as it's Superbowl weekend.

Today as you do your prep-work for any festivities you have, be sure to clean up as you go.
A tip I recently read was to fill the sink with hot soapy water as you cook.
That way you can put dirty dishes directly into the sink. Remember how I talked about letting your cleaning products do most of the work for you? Same concept here! 
I did this tonight as I made 12 hour banana bread, dairy free scalloped potatoes, and prep-work for next weeks dinners. It made clean up go a lot faster.

Keep up with your current progress this weekend. Don't worry so much about doing extras. Enjoy your friends and family but try not to let yourself get behind.