Friday, March 18, 2011

Organised Home Project 6: Eco-friendly Cleaning

Hello all, I hope you've had a good week. This week's challenge is more of a cleaning one than an organising one but it's definitely one that makes the house feel really good! After reading 'A Home Companion' by Wendyl Nissen I've been thinking a lot about having a more eco-friendly and healthy home so I got stuck in this week to making some home-made cleaners. I really enjoyed making them - it was like being a kid again mixing up potions and making 'perfume'! - and it's going to save a lot of money by buying less cleaning products.

Because it's an organised home challenge, here are some 'before' and 'after' pics...
and After!
For the recipe's I used this liftout written by Wendyl (it came in an issue from the NZ Women's Weekly last year) as well as Wendyl's 'A Home Companion' book and a few other online recipe's.
To make the cleaners I made this week you'll need a few 'ingredients'.
-baking soda
-essential oils- lemon, eucalyptus, lavender, orange and tea tree oils
-eco-friendly baby bath wash (I used Eco Store's)
-eco-friendly dishwashing liquid (I used Eco Store's again here too)

First I made some lemon dusters- I really enjoyed making these and maybe I'll even dust more now that I have a cute jar of them to use!

Then I made some spray cleaner- so far I've used it for the bench and the high chair, as well as cleaning the oven top (which it worked a treat on) and also my craft desk which had glue stick bits and other grubbiness on it and it looked good as new after using the spray.
Next I made some anti-bacterial spray which smells divine (my hubby used to complain about the smell of the Dettol germ spray as it is pretty strong!)
Then I made up some more baby wipes spray. I use this with flannels by just spraying the flannels with the spray.  I still use baby wipes as well but I'm going to try to use the flannels and spray a lot more. 
I also use Honeychild cloth nappies (which I mix with using disposables) so for when they get a bit stinky I made up a spray of just a cup of water and 10 drops each of tea tree and eucalyptus oils  It's a good spray for cleaning the toilet too. 

Next up I'd like to make some dishwasher powder and some laundry detergent but I'm going to need a few more ingredients for those ones.

Because I love having a crafty project for each of these 'challenges' I thought I would have a go at making some crochet dishcloths. I have seen them on heaps of blogs but have never used them, in fact I'd never heard of them until I started reading blogs! My sister was even asking me if I was going to crochet around a sponge as she had obviously never heard of them either!! Thanks for the ideas and comments on my blog post yesterday about them - I went to the knitting shop and bought some cotton yarn and made a cloth using single crochet stitches last night. If you want to have a go there are heaps of patterns and ideas here and also here.
After reading Angela's 'Eight household habits' I put up a hook in our kitchen for the cloth- much nicer than draped all over the tap getting smelly- thanks for the tip Angela :)

So if you're inspired to make some of your own cleaners now I've made up a little giveaway prize to help you get started...
...a ball of cotton yarn to make your own dishcloths, a tea tree oil soap,  tea towel, spray bottle and some cute sticker labels.
To be in to win...
 * leave a comment telling us about some organising you have been up to lately (leave your URL if you've posted about it) 
or *leave a comment telling us some thing(s) you'd like to do this year to make your home a bit 'greener" 
 or * tell us some of your eco-friendly cleaning tips

You can leave a comment on my mousehouse facebook page under the link to this post if you're a non blogger :)

I'll draw the winner next Friday the 25th March. I still have heaps of ideas and projects for my 'Organised Home' challenge but as I am nearing my due date I'm just going to start posting them whenever I can rather then every Friday as I think some weeks I'm going to be a little bit busy soon!
Thanks for reading along and joining in the challenge so far, have a great weekend :)

To see more of my 'organised home' projects, click here
Megan x

Edit: have just come across Sarah and Cat's "Gift of Love" appeal for mums and children in Christchurch- they are asking for knitted/crochet dishcloths among other things- check out their appeal here


Ann said...

Perfect polishing cloths for a glossy black door - have been having a lovely catch-up read of your blog... will just settle in for a few (maybe many) more minutes... A x

meg said...

Hey thanks for the link! I've been using my own "greener cleaner" for a while now but will try her recipe as I've just run out. I never considered making an anti-bac one though, great idea. I've been using the janola wipes around the toilet (those flushable ones).

Leonie said...

Oh I just love your blog!! we are totally on the same wavelength!
I am currently reading 'A home Companion' and I totally LOVE it!!! It just fits in so much with my thinking.
We spent last weekend 'organising' our very small space - one room, four/five bodies. Im really excited at how we have it sorted and I will do a post in a day or two.
I usually make my own washing powder which is lovely with Dr Bronner Peppermint castille soap - yum!
i have also been washing my girls hair with castille soap (or goats milk) and rinsing it with apple cider vinegar - just lovely!!

Jo said...

Well done you! I was inspired by Wendyl's book that I've tried her laundry detergent and powder, both are great, the liquid lasts for ages and saves you heaps!! Have yet to try some of her other recipes. But its your blog, I love reading all you have to say and all you neat ideas and everyday thoughts - I've been inspired and have started my own, early days but you can see my cleaner success!! Thank you for being inspiring!

Rochelle's Lenz said...

Yay so good to read your experiences with these cleaning products. Was just reading the green goddess website this morning and was very keen to get into the cleaning and antibacterial spray, as well as the dog cleaner too. I am reorganising our room spaces. Guest room is becoming my craft space as well, while being a temporary change table room for my daughter - as her room is a bigger girls room now! And my old office is being made a blank canvas in preparation for our next baby's room. We have til the end of August - but I just know how long it all will take me! My tips - if you have a front loader washing machine you only need to use half the recommended powder, just 2 tbsp and we have invested in a hot steam mop which we love and does such a wonderful, clean job with just water.

Stacia said...

I have been reading and loving your organised home challenge, it is VERY inspiring.
I have both the Wendyl Nissen books and love love them, the lemon dusters are my absolute fave, they make the house smell wonderful. The cloth hook idea is great, might have to steal that one.
Thanks for the inspiration :)

elizabeth said...

Hi. I like your blog. I'm now a follower. I have a way for unclogging our sinks without using any of the caustic store bought cleaners, and I get to use one of my favorite tools in the whole wide world. I first carefully remove the stopper thingie from the sink drain. I have broken these before so you have to be patient when trying to remove it. I then take my longest crochet hook and remove all the hair and other various debris that may be caught in the pipe. Icky job, indeed, but I have been more successful using this method than I have ever been using a bottle of dangerous chemicals! : )

nz green buttons said...

I have both of Wendyl's books, they are great aren't they? I make her laundry powder and those great lemon dusters. But I'm keen to try more. Thanks for that link for the CHCH gift of love, I've spent the day crocheting some dishcloths!

Johanna said...

oh wow this is so great. House hold cleaners are SO expensive also. I'd much rather make my own. I'd like to tackle toilets, dusting and cleaning my oven. I almost died inhaling the oven cleaner the other day.

Rachel B said...

Oh I love it - and feel all inspired. When my eldest daughter was a baby she was covered from head to toe in eczema and so I went completely homemade/eco with all my cleaning, including doing all the washing in soda and tea tree oil.

One of my favourite things to do was to clean and deodorise the dishwasher by placing two heaped tbs of baking soda in the powder compartment and 1-2 halved lemons, cut-side down in the top tray and run an empty cycle - voila - a fresh, clean dishwasher.

I love your cloths - I'm going to try and get some 8ply cotton to make some of my own. I think a couple of those cloths with some small bottles of homemade cleaning products would make a really nice gift too - might have to remember that around Christmas time!

Thanks for sharing! x

Jodz said...

My daughter wanted a Harry Potter room(a room under the stairs) so being the great mummy that I am I cleaned all of my junk out of the under stair storage and we made it her own space for all those things the younger siblings shouldn't get into.

Lesley said...

So I really need to get hold of Wendyl's book don't I! I've been organising my socks off round here - thanks for your comment on my "progress" post : ) I'll post about my kids space and bookshelf sort-outs tomorrow.... thanks again Megan, for the inspiration.

louise said...

i am a wendyl convert and am just about to make my second batch of lemon dusters - love them - and isn't she just so generous with all her recipes. i am never without her spray wipe or glass cleaner either. i might go and make them right now!

Sunnybec said...

Hello I am a new follower. I have just come over from Stitchbird. I have spent some time reading all the recipes for cleaning and I am definitely going to try some, thank you for the tips. I live in France so not expecting this giveaway to be open to me but wanted to comment anyway. Hugs Linda

Wendyl Nissen said...

Just wanted to say how lovely it is reading all your positive comments about my website and book. When I started doing all this my hope was that a movement might start where women would reject chemicals and return to the old ways. Which is why when I made the products for sale I insisted on putting the recipes on them so that people might refill and be encouraged to make them themselves. Judging by what you guys are saying the movement has really and truly started. So thank you. You have made my day.

Rochelle's Lenz said...

Hey Megan, this might be a silly question but I have been in all the places i thought I would find essential oils and have failed!! Arrghhh where did you find yours?

tartankiwi said...

Well the organising has finally started in our house. I can see ALL of the kitchen counter for the first time in MONTHS- YAY! We have minimal surface space in the kitchen so this is really important. Thanks to my new peg bag I don't have a trail of broken clothes pegs around the house and garden thanks to miss 2. Now to tackle the HUGE pile of washing that needs to be folded and put away...

Jen said...

I love your ideas, but really love the dishcloth. Functional and oh so cool as well.
My Mum gave me a great book for my birthday or xmas a while ago called "Bicarbonate of Soda" and it basically explains all its uses from cleaning to laundry, personal care, outside uses, kids fun & food. It really is amazing what plain little old baking soda can be used for!

Katie said...

Hi Megan - thanks for the inspiration :-)

I dug out my Domestic Goddess book and had a flick through and I've made some lemon dusters and also lavender carpet shaker (for the bedrooms) and lemon carpet shaker (for living areas) - you mix baking soda with essential oil and put it in a shaker to shake over the carpets and leave for a while before you vacuum. Smells amazing!

I've also been busy in the garden - you can see some pics here:

Caryn said...

Hi, I've recently purchased Wendyl's books and have started making some of the recipes. I really want to try the lemon duster's recipe next.

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for your comments on my blog!

The lip balm is very good, tastes so good when you put it on and really easy to make.

The dusters look good, might give those a go next. I have had great success with Wendyl's handwash and baby bath which I make up at the same time as they use similar ingredients!!

Have my eye on an old Bernina and when I do get it I will be coming back here for inspiration!! Love your blog!!

You would love "Little Green Dresses" by Tina Sparkles, it's a book about repurposing vintage dresses to make them modern!! Very cool!!

Unknown said...

I LOVE Wendyl Nissan's books too and her products. Try cleaning the toilet with 1 c baking soda and then tip on 1c white vinegar. Does a great job. Gilmore's is a great place to buy white vinegar and baking soda in bulk. They are taking anyone as a member now.

Anonymous said...

you hear so many amazing things about this book - glad to see you getting in there "up to your elbows". And they even look pretty with your lovely presentation x

tartankiwi said...

so excited about the weekend that is just past. We finally got going organising our study. The desk is now all set up (computer at one end, sewing machine at the other) and we have a plan of action not only to turn the wardrobe in the study into a useful storage space, but also to transform the wardrobes in the kids bedrooms. It is so refreshing to finally have some progress... I may even blog about it when I get the chance.

Karlene said...

I've just found your blog site last night - LOVE it! I'm feeling very inspired. May I ask where you bought your blue stripped cloth for your dusters from?

Karlene :-)

Karlene said...


I've had it on my mind for a while now to go green. I was on Wendyls site last night and through that came across yours. You've inspired me! May I ask where you got the blue striped cloth for the dusters from - looks so pretty!


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