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Window Spray

Window Spray

By now, those of you who follow me will be well aware that cleaning companies are not required to openly disclose the ingredients they use. Those that do are doing so off their own bat (and even then it can be tricky to find complete lists rather than broad terms like ‘preservative’ and ‘plant-based surfactants’).

Of course, you can contact a company and ask for the Material Safety Data assessment, but even then, the information can be difficult to interpret, and I know many people, understandably, wouldn’t have the time (or concern) to follow this through.

Products, intended to be used on the body are required to disclose a complete list of ingredients used at a concentration of over 1%. That’s good, we can make educated decisions, yay.

But, I’d like to know what the difference between a body mist and window spray is? Yes, I know one is intended to clean windows, but you couldn’t tell me that those who use it wear protective equipment and masks to ensure they’re not inhaling/absorbing the product. Do you do this? I know I never did.

So, aren’t we entitled to know what we’re spraying in our homes considering that it will make contact with our bodies and land on surfaces we touch? I think so! If you agree with me, join thousands of other concerned humans and please sign my petition.

Rather than leave it to chance, why not make your own safe and non-toxic sprays?

This Citrus Cleaning Spray recipe is great for general surface cleaning, and although I know some people use it on windows, I find it sometimes leaves streaks. So, here is a ridiculously simple DIY spray alternative for windows. Getting a streak-free finish on glass is traditionally hard work, however, if you’re using a good quality microfibre cleaning cloth and this window spray, you should have success.

Window Spray

Makes: 250 ml | 8.5 fl oz Prep time: < 5 min.

Ingredients

1/2  cup | 125 ml | 4.2 fl oz water

1/2  cup | 125 ml | 4.2 fl oz white vinegar 

20 drops of essential oils 

My choice of essential oils…

My favourite essential oils in this recipe are lemon and orange, but don’t be limited by my suggestions. Use oils that fit your budget, or those that you already have in your collection. Read here for more information.

Method

1. Add all ingredients to a bowl and mix until combined.

2. Transfer into container of choice (I like to use a glass trigger spray bottle).

To Use

Spray directly onto windows as required. Wipe over with a damp microfibre cleaning cloth, and if necessary, polish with a clean, dry one. Newspaper also makes a fantastic polishing tool. Shake well prior to each use.

Recipe Notes

You might find it easier to add ingredients directly into your chosen container and shake to combine. Add essential oils first to lessen the risk of them overflowing when you secure your lid.

If your windows are particularly grubby, you might need to give them a light wash with water, before using this window spray.

Krissy Ballinger

Krissy Ballinger

Author, Advocate & Founder

Krissy wants to see a world where people make conscious, educated decisions that honour both humans and habitat. With a background in education and health promotion, she devotes her time to passionately increase awareness on common and avoidable toxins, in everyday items like washing powder and deodorant, and to educate individuals on how they can easily reduce their daily exposure, through simple and realistic do-it-yourself ideas and recipes.

Krissy has sold over 40,000 copies of her natural DIY recipe books, including her award-winning book, Naturally Inspired - Simple DIY Recipes for Body Care and Cleaning, and her newly-released kids book, Make & Play - Natural DIY Recipes for Kids. She offers honest and gentle guidance, education and 100+ natural DIY recipes on her website The Inspired Little Pot.

 

Soapberry Master Stock

Soapberry Master Stock

I love soapberries. If you don’t know a lot about them, check out this blog. They grow on a tree, are completely biodegradable and can be used for cleaning and body care purposes.

Yes, you can throw a few soapberries into a bag and run up to five loads of washing, but making a ‘stock’ like this one just makes these little berries all the more versatile and loveable!

Soapberry Master Stock

Makes: 1.2 lt | 40.6 fl oz  Prep time: 30-60 min.

Ingredients 

5-6 soapberries

1.25 lt | 42.3 fl oz water

Special equipment required… 

Muslin cloth or nut milk bag

Method

1. Add all ingredients to a saucepan and heat until boiling (leave lid on), then reduce temperature and simmer for 20 minutes (with lid partially off).

2. Allow mixture to cool (with lid on).

3. Strain liquid through a muslin cloth or nut milk bag over a clean bowl, squeezing soapberry shells before discarding (in your garden).

4. Transfer into container of choice.

Thermal Appliance Method

1. Add all ingredients to thermal appliance bowl and heat: 8-10 minutes | approx. 100˚C (212˚F) | low speed, in reverse (measuring cup on), or until mixture looks like it may boil over.

2. Reduce temperature and continue to simmer: 20 minutes | 80˚C (176˚F) | low speed, in reverse. Leave measuring cup partially off.

3. Allow mixture to cool (with measuring cup on).

4. Strain liquid through a muslin cloth or nut milk bag over a clean bowl, squeezing soapberry shells before discarding (in your garden).

5. Transfer into container of choice.

To Use

Wash clothes – add 1 cup of stock to your washing machine and run your usual cycle.

Wash dishes – add ½ cup to a sink of running water.

Clean surfaces – add liquid to a spray bottle with a few drops of lemon or eucalyptus essential oil and spray onto surfaces, before wiping over.

Shampoo hair – massage ½ cup into wet hair and rinse.

Recipe Notes

Leaving the lid on prevents excessive evaporation, but it is imperative you ensure the liquid doesn’t boil over (when this happens, it happens with a vengeance!).

If you are after a stronger concentration of soapberry stock, increase the number of soapberries to 10-15, or halve the amount of water. I like to keep stock in the fridge between uses.

Watch me make some here!

Krissy Ballinger

Krissy Ballinger

Author, Advocate & Founder

Krissy wants to see a world where people make conscious, educated decisions that honour both humans and habitat. With a background in education and health promotion, she devotes her time to passionately increase awareness on common and avoidable toxins, in everyday items like washing powder and deodorant, and to educate individuals on how they can easily reduce their daily exposure, through simple and realistic do-it-yourself ideas and recipes.

Krissy has sold over 40,000 copies of her natural DIY recipe books, including her award-winning book, Naturally Inspired - Simple DIY Recipes for Body Care and Cleaning, and her newly-released kids book, Make & Play - Natural DIY Recipes for Kids. She offers honest and gentle guidance, education and 100+ natural DIY recipes on her website The Inspired Little Pot.

 

Dishcloth Deep Clean

Dishcloth Deep Clean

Tell me I’m not the only one who gets manky-smelling dishcloths, face washers and sponges? Like me, do you do all the right things, like washing them frequently and drying them in sunlight to tackle lingering germs, but still find that they hold a less-than-pleasant odour?

Well, problem officially solved! This simple Dishcloth Deep Clean ‘recipe’ is a beauty. It’s immediately effective, requiring little effort and ingredients! Give it a whirl and let me know what you think.

DISHCLOTH DEEP CLEAN

Makes: enough for one use Prep time: < 30 min.

Ingredients  

~2 – 4 lt | 68 – 135 fl oz water

1 tbsp sodium percarbonate (see notes)

Method

1. Add the water to a deep, saucepan (my pot is 9 lt capacity). You need enough to completely cover your dishcloths.

2. Get the water boiling, then reduce the heat to moderate, and add the sodium percarbonate.

3. Throw in your dishcloths, give it a bit of a stir and allow it to simmer gently for 10-15 minutes, agitating periodically.

4. Turn the heat off, wait for the saucepan and its contents to cool down a little before carefully taking the dishcloths out and throwing them into the washing machine and running your usual cycle (hopefully with this washing powder and this fabric softener!).

5. Marvel at how icky the water is (these pics are not made-up, and my dishcloths were clean!) before discarding!

  

Recipe Notes

Sodium percarbonate definitely gave me the best results. But I have also tried liquid hydrogen peroxide (good) and washing soda (better).

Be careful when adding the Sodium percarbonate as it releases oxygen and foams and fizzes up to almost double the volume! Evidence (🙈🙈🙈):

I recommend only using this technique on items you’re not too precious about (colour-wise mainly). I haven’t noticed a major ‘bleaching’ effect on my dishcloths, but it is possible, depending on the colour-fastness of your items. When I tried it on the kids’ school socks, the grubby soles were dealt with, but so were the green stripes around the top of the socks, which have definitely faded, so it’s not ideal for everything!

If you have fancy, expensive dishcloths, make up your own mind on whether you want to try this technique. I personally would, but I am me and you are you!

Krissy Ballinger

Krissy Ballinger

Author, Advocate & Founder

Krissy wants to see a world where people make conscious, educated decisions that honour both humans and habitat. With a background in education and health promotion, she devotes her time to passionately increase awareness on common and avoidable toxins, in everyday items like washing powder and deodorant, and to educate individuals on how they can easily reduce their daily exposure, through simple and realistic do-it-yourself ideas and recipes.

Krissy has sold over 40,000 copies of her natural DIY recipe books, including her award-winning book, Naturally Inspired - Simple DIY Recipes for Body Care and Cleaning, and her newly-released kids book, Make & Play - Natural DIY Recipes for Kids. She offers honest and gentle guidance, education and 100+ natural DIY recipes on her website The Inspired Little Pot.

 

Cleaning Your Shower & Toilet Without The Nasties

Cleaning Your Shower & Toilet Without The Nasties

It seems that you guys love to see photos of my icky toilet and shower because whenever I share before and after images on Facebook or Instagram, interaction is off the charts!

Here are photos of my shower screens before and after I used the following (very simple) method to clean them. (Note that I hadn’t actually cleaned my glass for a good 8-12 weeks – nope, not joking! ?)

Not bad, right? All it took was a few ingredients, 20-30 minutes of my time and the willingness to participate in a very light workout. I am the first one to encourage muscle-power over harsh chemicals, and some of my recipes require this, but not this one, no sir. I hardly broke a sweat, scout’s honour.

And how is this, from Kelly in the Facebook Discussion GroupMore proof that we don’t need to use heavy duty, store-bought cleaning products to achieve results like this!

Cleaning Your Shower & Toilet Without The Nasties

Makes: 270 g | 9.5 oz Prep time: < 5 min.

Ingredients

3/4 cup | 200 g | 7.1 oz citric acid

1/4 cup | 70 g | 2.5 oz sodium bicarbonate

30 drops of essential oils

My choice of essential oils…

My favourite essential oil in this recipe is clove but don’t be limited by my suggestions. Use oils that fit your budget, or those that you already have in your collection. Read here for more information.

Method

1. Add citric acid, sodium bicarbonate and essential oils to a bowl and mix until combined.

2. Transfer into container of choice.

To Use

In shower

Add mixture to a large bowl and slowly add enough water to make a paste. Use a microfibre cleaning cloth to smear over shower screens and tiles until covered. Leave for 20-30 minutes. Scrub well (with the same cleaning cloth or a scrubbing brush), then rinse well and dry.

In toilet bowl

Sprinkle mixture into toilet bowl and use toilet brush to scrub around sides and under rim. Leave for 20-30 minutes. Scrub again before flushing once or twice. Repeat process if necessary.

Recipe Notes

To avoid a sticky residue, make sure you rinse off all of the mixture completely.

If you have black tiles, test first in an inconspicuous area.

Krissy Ballinger

Krissy Ballinger

Author, Advocate & Founder

Krissy wants to see a world where people make conscious, educated decisions that honour both humans and habitat. With a background in education and health promotion, she devotes her time to passionately increase awareness on common and avoidable toxins, in everyday items like washing powder and deodorant, and to educate individuals on how they can easily reduce their daily exposure, through simple and realistic do-it-yourself ideas and recipes.

Krissy has sold over 40,000 copies of her natural DIY recipe books, including her award-winning book, Naturally Inspired - Simple DIY Recipes for Body Care and Cleaning, and her newly-released kids book, Make & Play - Natural DIY Recipes for Kids. She offers honest and gentle guidance, education and 100+ natural DIY recipes on her website The Inspired Little Pot.

 

Citrus Cleaning Spray

Citrus Cleaning Spray

This Citrus Cleaning Spray now my go-to for all cleaning. It is particularly awesome at cleaning greasy splashbacks and getting grubby marks off my walls (why do my kids insist on touching them, climbing them, rubbing their feet all over them???).

I’ve made a little video to show you just how easy it is to make. Yes, you need to be a little organised, but, if you’re mindful to put all of your citrus peels into jars and covering them with vinegar, you’ll always have some brewing.

Krissy Ballinger

Krissy Ballinger

Author, Advocate & Founder

Krissy wants to see a world where people make conscious, educated decisions that honour both humans and habitat. With a background in education and health promotion, she devotes her time to passionately increase awareness on common and avoidable toxins, in everyday items like washing powder and deodorant, and to educate individuals on how they can easily reduce their daily exposure, through simple and realistic do-it-yourself ideas and recipes.

Krissy has sold over 40,000 copies of her natural DIY recipe books, including her award-winning book, Naturally Inspired - Simple DIY Recipes for Body Care and Cleaning, and her newly-released kids book, Make & Play - Natural DIY Recipes for Kids. She offers honest and gentle guidance, education and 100+ natural DIY recipes on her website The Inspired Little Pot.

 

Natural Fabric Softener

Natural Fabric Softener

This is my simple recipe for natural fabric softener. Fabric softener as we know it – the commercial stuff that is – is really not good for us. It’s not good for the environment either. It often contains some very questionable ingredients that are known to stick to clothing, irritate skin and aggravate allergies.

Companies (in Australia anyway) are not required to tell you what is in cleaning products, so we often won’t see panels on packets of softener which makes it hard to make educated decisions when out shopping. It often takes a little searching on the internet to find comprehensive lists, and even then, it is the companies choice whether they publish them or not.

Here is an example of ingredients within one popular supermarket brand of softener. From what I can see, most softeners available are similar in their contents.

Here’s a brief look into these ingredients:

Water

Any time you see water in a product, look for preservatives. Usually, not a good sign.

Quaternized Triethanolamine Diester

I can’t find much reputable data on this but Triethanolamine is petroleum-derived and may cause contact dermatitis.

Isopropyl Alcohol

not much to worry about in a cleaning product but not something I would use on my skin.

Quaternary Ammonium Acrylate/Acrylamide

Quaternary ammonium compounds rate poorly with EWG (my go-to for chemical research and advice). Although the data covers a broad scope, there is mention of toxicity to aquatics and moderate concern for asthmatics.

Fragrance

A toxic minefield and my most hated ingredient, unless derived from essential oils! Watch out for this one. There is a list of hundreds of chemicals used for fragrance formulation, and companies don’t have to tell you what they use – it’s their trade secret. Fragrance is associated with allergies, skin irritation, asthma, headaches etc.

Preservative

Interesting that they don’t tell you WHAT preservative. Some preservatives, such as Formaldehyde, are known to be carcinogenic to humans, others, salt, for example, is fine. So I’m dubious here.

You know how when you’re at the supermarket, you can smell the softener aisle a mile away (if you’ve been living a lower-toxin lifestyle for a while now, you’ll know what I mean!)? It really is something I like to avoid. I can even smell people’s washing when I take my daily walk if they’ve used softener – that’s how potent this stuff is! It sticks to your clothes, it coats your machine in slime making it hard to clean, and it’s terrible for septic systems and our waterways in general.

Have I convinced you to make the switch to natural yet?

For a long time, I have been using straight vinegar as a natural fabric softener. And it works well, so if this recipe seems like a little too much effort for you, then stick with that. But this recipe for natural fabric softener, ooh-la-la, it really does make my laundry nice and soft!

Natural Fabric Softener

Makes: 1.1 lt | 37.2 fl oz Prep time: < 5 min.

Ingredients

½ cup | 140 g | 4.9 oz fine salt

1 cup | 250 ml | 8.5 fl oz hot water (see recipe notes)

3 cup | 750 ml | 25.4 fl oz white vinegar (look for naturally fermented)

2-3 drops of essential oils (per use)

My choice of essential oils…

My favourite essential oils in this recipe are lemon and eucalyptus, but don’t be limited by my suggestions. Use oils that fit your budget, or those that you already have in your collection. Read here for more information.

Method

1. Add salt and hot water to a bowl and mix until salt has dissolved.

2. Add vinegar and stir until combined.

3. Transfer into container of choice.

To Use

Shake well, then pour approximately ½ cup of liquid and essential oils (if using) into the designated softener compartment of your washing machine.

Recipe Notes

Water should be distilled, purified or pre-boiled and cooled to extend shelf life.

If the salt doesn’t fully dissolve, don’t worry too much – it will dissolve over time.

If you’re concerned about your washing machine then don’t use this recipe. I personally have had no issues at all, after years of using vinegar in my washing machine, but it is ultimately up to you.

Krissy Ballinger

Krissy Ballinger

Author, Advocate & Founder

Krissy wants to see a world where people make conscious, educated decisions that honour both humans and habitat. With a background in education and health promotion, she devotes her time to passionately increase awareness on common and avoidable toxins, in everyday items like washing powder and deodorant, and to educate individuals on how they can easily reduce their daily exposure, through simple and realistic do-it-yourself ideas and recipes.

Krissy has sold over 40,000 copies of her natural DIY recipe books, including her award-winning book, Naturally Inspired - Simple DIY Recipes for Body Care and Cleaning, and her newly-released kids book, Make & Play - Natural DIY Recipes for Kids. She offers honest and gentle guidance, education and 100+ natural DIY recipes on her website The Inspired Little Pot.

 

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