Category Archives: Cleaning

HOMEMADE SILK PLANT CLEANER – CHEAP & SIMPLE

IMG_1802

I have an admission to make…history proves that I have not paid much attention to my silk plants.

True confessions; It has been 10 years since I cleaned the silk plant in the pictures below.  I am extremely Type-A in most areas of my life and like to keep a very clean home, but I never seem to know what to do with my silk plants.

Once upon a time I bought an aerosol silk plant cleaner, but I didn’t like it very much because it seemed like it was just an aerosol oil of sorts and it was really expensive.

I spent the last week redoing my son’s room and was forced to tackle his silk plant.  I couldn’t have a dusty plant in his newly refurbed room!

So I went to work on Google and looked-up how to clean silk plants.  I came across several ideas, but there was one that stood out to me as being really cheap and really simple.

It was time to test it out.

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HOMEMADE SILK PLANT CLEANER

Spray bottle
Isopropyl alcohol (I bought a two pack at Costco)
Water
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METHOD

  1. Fill the spray bottle with equal parts isopropyl alcohol and water
  2. Liberally spray the plant with the solution
  3. Repeat as necessary

The dust should run right off of the plant and the alcohol makes the plant dry quickly.

Silk Plant Cleaner Collage 1

So did it work?  I tried this method with all of the silk plants in my home (I have about 6) and it worked beautifully with most of them.  The plant in my son’s room still had a film on some of the leaves (see the bottom right image in the picture above) which I needed the rub off with a cloth, but the plants in my home which were not 10 years thick with dust did have a successful outcome with this method.

Silk Plant Cleaner Collage 2

Since this fix is so cheap and easy, I will most definitely keep up with the cleaning on my silk plants and I know if I do this regularly, all I will have to do is a quick spray and they will stay nice.

How often do you clean your silk plants and which method/product do you use?

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A STICKY PEANUT BUTTER SOLUTION

As I mentioned a little while ago, I have become a “Pinner.”  Pinterest is such a wonderful source of neat tips and tricks.  One of the people I follow on Pinterest pinned something about natural cleaning solutions and that pin brought me to it’s original source, a blog called “One Good Thing By Jillee.”  I have learned a lot from Jillee these past few months.  Though we don’t follow the same eating plan (her cooking posts aren’t usually relevant to me), her cleaning posts, sewing posts, crafty posts, make your own bathroom products posts, etc. are nothing short of inspiring.

At the beginning of May I received a post in my inbox from Jillee explaining how to remove sticker goo.  I have 30+ jars in my cabinets that need to have their stickers removed.  For some reason I can’t bring myself to even recycle them because I feel like I will come-up with a way to repurpose them for gifts or storage…I have a problem…I am a hoarder of glass containers (and plastic strawberry baskets…is there a classroom in need of these???).

Jillee’s photographic evidence prompted me to give her method a try and it worked like a charm.  I picked a Vegenaise Jar as my first victim.

  1. Peel off the paper / plastic coating (No need to be perfect here)
  2. Run the offending jar through the dishwasher in an attempt to get rid of some of the offending glue (I opted to just run my jar under warm water and scrub it with a scrub brush to get rid of the paper).
  3. Rub a thin layer of PEANUT BUTTER over all of the stickered (Is that a word?) areas.
  4. Leave the jar and peanut butter alone for 10-15 minutes.
  5. Rub off the peanut butter and use the abrasive side of a soapy sponge to scrub off the remaining sticker goo while running it under warm water
  6. Voila…sticker free jar!

It totally worked.  I now have plans to tackle the rest of my sticker-laden jar collection.  I plan on placing them in the sink to soak in warm water so the paper comes off easily and then will lube ‘em all up in PB and be rid of their stickers once and for all so they are ready for whatever I can think of to repurpose them.

Here’s a public apology to all of you who have received gifts of food from me in glass jars covered in brown paper labels because I was too lazy to scrub at the sticker goo for hours.  I promise it will never happen again because I now know how to tackle this problem!!!

And now I finally have a need to purchase the ultra-cheap by icky hydrogenated fat peanut butter…my jars are getting the artery-clogging peanut butter treatment because it is too hard for me to part with my beloved Organic All-Natural PB…but it was worth it for this trial.

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NOTE – I also recently tried this with coconut oil and was happy with the results as well!!!

Click HERE to see Jillee’s original post.

Click HERE to go to my Pinterest Boards.

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Filed under Cleaning, Quick Tips, Vegan, Vegetarian

SPICE PANTRY REDO

My Organized Spice, Vinegar, and Oil Pantry

My Organized Spice, Vinegar, and Oil Pantry

Many of you may remember my great pantry and freezer clean out (to read the post click here).  I think I made mention during that post that my spice pantry was is massive need of cleaning and organizing.  I tend to be very Type-A (I sometimes think they modeled Monica Geller after me), so I am not sure how it got so out of hand in the first place.  My excuse is going to be that when you have young kids and all the activities that come with that, something has to give…I guess it was my spice pantry.

A few weekends ago we had a much-needed day at home.  NOTHING was planned.  Sometimes that is so blissful.  The kids were given the rare opportunity to veg in front of the TV for longer than their allotted hour, and I took to cleaning out the spice pantry.

I am embarrassed to say that there were multiple duplicates (does anyone really need 3 half used jars of oregano?) and quite a few spice jars that had completely caked together, thus rendering them totally unusable.  It was so cathartic to combine the duplicates and trash the caked jars (that part wasn’t fun…I hate waste). 

Now that my spice / vinegar / oil pantry is organized (yes, it is alphabetical), I find that it is so much easier to cook.  I can see everything I have and I don’t have to go hunting for the ingredient I need.

Are any of you in need of a spice pantry clean out?  If  so, take the time and do it.  You will be so happy that you did.

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CLEANING HOUSE – Results

A Big Mess

A Big Mess

It has been a month since I challenged myself to only buy produce and bread products (to see my original challenge post click here). I am sooo happy I did this.  My pantry feels so much more manageable and it really forced me to get creative with my meals and use things that I already had in the pantry, freezer, and fridge.

I did end-up buying some things that I was not supposed to, but let me explain… while on this challenge my meat-loving husband decided to try living plant based for a month (with the occasional bit of seafood).  He was not ready to jump into eating plant based AND eating all whole foods, so I did buy him some mock meats.  I am so proud to say that he has been sticking with it and doing really well! 

What is clear to me is that even after completing this challenge I still have a lot of food in my pantry.  I also still have a bunch of food in my freezers, but a lot of the food in there is food I always use (I am a big fan of making big batches of meals and freezing them for another night).  I also still have a bit of meat and seafood in my fridge that I plan to share with others because I don’t see the point in throwing away food (Although I’s LOVE to throw away the chicken wings…no one’s heart needs that!). 

I really think this challenge has changed me.  I am going to try much harder to plan out my meals and not impulse buy.  I don’t need to have so much on hand.  Fresher is better!

So, here are the pantry results…

Pantry BEFORE

Pantry BEFORE

Pantry AFTER

Pantry AFTER

Pantry BEFORE

Pantry BEFORE

Pantry AFTER

Pantry AFTER

And the freezers…
Freezer BEFORE

Freezer BEFORE

Freezer AFTER

Freezer AFTER

Garage Freezer BEFORE

Garage Freezer BEFORE

Garage Freezer AFTER

Garage Freezer AFTER

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10 WAYS TO CLEAN WITH SALT

This article was written by Janelle Sorensen for Healthy Child Health World.

Forget the hundreds of toxic products that are uniquely created for specific cleaning needs. Typically, most cleaning can be addressed with safe kitchen staples.

Today, consider the wonders of salt. Many of you on the DIY cleaning train are used to reaching for baking soda or vinegar, but salt is also a magnificent multi-tasker.

Here are but a few of the superpowers of salt:

1. Hand helper. Mix salt and vinegar and rub over your hands to remove garlic or onion scents from your skin.

2. Shine time. Mix together equal parts salt, flour, and vinegar and apply to brass, copper, or even gold with a cloth. Let sit for an hour, wipe off, and buff.

3. Burn buster. If you burn food in a metal pot or pan, add salt immediately after removing the food to help the burnt bits loosen easier.

4. Chimney sweep. Toss a handful of salt on your fire here and there to help keep your chimney clean.

5. Wicker whitener. Brighten wicker by applying saltwater with a brush and drying in the sun.

6. Oven and stove stain annihilator. Cover spills immediately with salt. Let stand for a few minutes (adding a little water if necessary) and then wipe up. The salt absorbs the liquids and helps loosen them from the surface. Salt is especially effective at absorbing grease and oils.

7. Dish duty. If you run out of dish soap, sprinkle about a tablespoon into a sink full of water and just make sure to rinse the dishes well afterwards. Because salt water dries out your skin, be sure to wear gloves or use moisturizer afterwards.

8. Mildew manager. Mix one part salt and one part lemon juice and apply to mildew in bathrooms and kitchens.

9. Red wine remediation. If red wine is spilled on a rug or carpeting, immediately blot up all moisture and then sprinkle the area with salt. The salt should absorb any remaining wine in about 15 minutes (turning pink as a result). Wipe up the salt and clean the area with a mixture of 1/3 cup vinegar and 2/3 cup water. Moisten and blot. Moisten and blot.

10. Countertop cleaner. Dip a cloth in vinegar and then in salt. Rub over countertops to erase tea and coffee stains.

Have you used salt for cleaning? Share your tips!

To read the article on Healthy Child Healthy World’s website click here

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CLEANING HOUSE

Suffocating Beans
Suffocating Beans

I have a problem…

Some people have a show addiction, some people have a substance addiction, I have a pantry and freezer stockpiling issue.  I think I could run a neighborhood bomb shelter for an entire month and we would all eat like kings and queens!!!  I am putting myself into rehab.  I have now made the commitment to ONLY BUY PRODUCE, BREAD, or DAIRY ALTERNATIVES for the next month.  Yikes!  Putting my goal out there in the cosmos is going to help me stay accountable. 

I took a trip to Mother’s Market today (where my husband likes to say I am amongst “my people.”) and I have to be honest, I actually had to put three things back on the shelves.  My daughter who has a gluten allergy ran out of her box of flavored gluten free (GF) oatmeal, so I absent mindedly put its replacement in the cart.  I had to stop myself and realize, “Nope, Gretchen you have plain old GF oatmeal at home.”  I am perfectly capable of flavoring plain old oatmeal for her.  My second boo boo came when I saw some vegan hamburger patties I just read about in Kris Carr’s new book (more on that later this month) and again, they went into the cart.  Ugh…back onto the freezer shelf they went.

So, here goes.  Here are the pictures of my pantry:   

More Clutter
More Clutter
More and More
More and More

And my freezers:

Kitchen Freezer
Kitchen Freezer
Outside Freezer
Outside Freezer

I’ll check back at the beginning of February and show my progress.

What are your addictions???

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