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Cleaning Your Oven the Non-Toxic Way

Cleaning Your Oven the Non-Toxic Way

I’ve created a simple guide to cleaning your oven the non-toxic way, so you can avoid using commercial oven cleaners. Have you ever looked into the ingredients in some commercial oven cleaners? A few of the common and worst offenders, found to be detrimental to our health and the health of the environment include:

  • Sodium Hydroxide
  • Potassium Hydroxide
  • Butoxyethanol
  • Ethanolamine
  • Fragrance
  • Butane . . . and the list goes on.

It can be hard to even find complete ingredients listings on packaging (Australian law doesn’t enforce it), or online.

I believe this needs to change, and I’d love for you to sign my petition. 

I respect companies that are transparent and list all ingredients on packaging (even if sometimes there are a few less than desirable ones). It shows us they have nothing to hide, allowing consumers to make educated choices.

So, let’s clean our ovens with a few simple ingredients and, wait for it… elbow grease!! Don’t be lazy 😉

Steps to Clean Your Oven the Non-Toxic Way

Step 1

Wait until you have used your oven and it is hot (or, you could heat it first but that seems like a waste of energy).

Step 2

Add about 1 litre of boiling hot water, 2 tablespoons of bicarb and one lemon (halved, squished and squeezed) into an ovenproof dish.

Step 3

Place dish on top rack and shut the door for at least an hour. The steam will soften any build-up. 

Step 4

When it is all steamy, wipe down walls and door with a soft cloth, rinsing well between wipes in a bucket/sink of hot water and a tablespoon of castile soap.

Step 5

You may need to use a scouring sponge (or ‘steel-o’) on the racks, roof and tray if you cook roasts and fatty meats often. If you find the racks and bottom tray need even more work, soak them in your laundry sink with HOT water, ½ cup of bicarb and ½ cup vinegar overnight, and try scrubbing again. Another option is to use my Cleaning Paste.

Step 6

Make sure you wipe down your oven completely before use.

Bonus Tip

Stay on top of it rather than try to deal with months of build up!!

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.

 

Stain Solution

Stain Solution

Clothes get dirty – Fact!
My natural washing powder recipe does the job to clean dirty clothes (and well!) – Fact!
Sometimes stubborn stains still appear that need a bit of extra effort to remove – Fact!

It can be tempting to go out and buy a powerful commercial stain remover/bleaching agent.

Please don’t!

I have trialled several different stain removing methods, and while I have a few options for spot treatment stains, I think I have hit the jackpot with this recipe for a natural pre-wash stain solution – mainly due to its simplicity and effectiveness, all with minimal effort!

The orange/red top got discoloured in the days when I was recipe testing and perfecting my natural deodorant recipes. Check out the result after soaking for 24 hours. Not bad hey?! It also works well on stained tea-towels, oil spots (and I get a lot of those working with different kinds of butter and balms!), and discoloured pillow cases.

So, If you have whites that are greying, greasy/oily spots or discolouring around collars and armpits, then give this a go. I have trialled this on whites, darks and colours.

Now, while I have never had issues with colour leaching, as usual, I have to remind you to patch test and proceed with caution as all clothing, materials and dyes are unique.

Stain Solution

Makes: enough for single use Prep time: < 5 min.

Ingredients  

½ cup | 130 g | 4.6 oz sodium carbonate (washing soda)

½ cup | 125 ml | 4.2 fl oz hydrogen peroxide (3% liquid) *see recipe notes

5 lt | 1.3 gal (approx.) warm/hot water

Method

Add all ingredients directly to the laundry sink or a bucket and mix until combined.

To Use

Add stained clothing to solution and use a wooden spoon to push down and agitate clothing. Allow to rest, agitating periodically, for a minimum of 4 hours. Remove from solution and wash clothes as usual. Discard solution.

Recipe Notes

You can find liquid hydrogen peroxide in the beauty aisle of most supermarkets. It is a natural alternative to bleach.

You can substitute the hydrogen peroxide for ½ cup | 130 g | 4.6 oz sodium percarbonate (which is the powdered version).

It is a great idea to take a ‘before’ and ‘after’ photos so you can see how well this solution works!

Remember to patch test if you’re worried your fabric dye will run.

Don’t make this solution in advance. Mix it up just prior to use.

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.

 

Blank Canvas Fizzies

Blank Canvas Fizzies

These Blank Canvas Fizzies are PERFECT for so many applications:

  • In a steam bath or as shower drops for congested airways;
  • In the bath for a fun time for kids, or to help them with relaxation or congestion;
  • As toilet-cleaning drops (they work wonders with a light scrub);
  • In a foot spa;

…and the list goes on, and on, and on!!

I do have a little secret to share though, this Blank Canvas Fizzies recipe is exactly the same as my Fizzy Bath Drops.

BUT, this recipe is like a blank canvas.

Store your drops in a container or jar and add your choice of essential oils just prior to use. It’s so versatile and even a makes for a beautiful gift to give, perfectly paired with a bottle of lemon, peppermint or lavender essential oil for someone’s birthday, or maybe with eucalyptus or lemon for an under-the-weather friend. 

I’ve chosen to call this recipe Cleaning Fizzies in my new book, Naturally Inspired, but don’t be confused – it’s all basically the same 😉

BLANK CANVAS FIZZIES

Makes: 460 g | 16.2 oz (approximately 15 small, 5 large) Prep time: < 5 min. (allow 24 hours to set)

Ingredients

300 g | 10.6 oz sodium bicarbonate (bicarb)

130 g | 4.6 oz citric acid

30 g | 1.1 oz carrier oil (fractionated coconut oil and sweet almond oil are popular choices)

2-3 drops of essential oils (per use)

My choice of essential oils…

This varies depending on the intended use.

My favourite essential oils in this recipe are as follows:
– congested airways (in the shower, facial steam, bath) – lemon, eucalyptus and tea tree.
– relaxing bath – lavender, frankincense, orange, ylang ylang, vetiver etc.
– toilet cleaner (drop in the toilet) – clove, tea tree and lemon.
Remember: 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.

Extra equipment required…

Silicone moulds

Method

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

2. Add carrier oil and mix until combined. Mixture should just hold form when squeezed together. If it isn’t holding together, add an extra teaspoon of carrier oil and mix again.

3. Spoon mixture into moulds and press down firmly until full.

4. Leave to set for 12-24 hours in a cool and dry place. After this time, turn moulds upside down and gently tap the bottom – fizzies should fall out easily.

5. Place on a tray or sheet of baking paper and leave to dry for a further 24 hours before storing in container of choice.

Thermal Appliance Method

1. Add sodium bicarbonate and citric acid to thermal appliance bowl and mix for 5-10 seconds on medium speed. Scrape down sides and repeat if required, until ingredients are combined.

2. Add carrier oil and mix for 5-10 seconds until combined. Mixture should just hold form when squeezed together. If it isn’t holding together, add an extra teaspoon of carrier oil and mix again.

3. Spoon mixture into moulds and press down firmly until full.

4. Leave to set for 12-24 hours in a cool and dry place. After this time, turn moulds upside down and gently tap the bottom – fizzies should fall out easily.

5. Place on a tray or sheet of baking paper and leave to dry for a further 24 hours before storing in container of choice.

To Use

Add essential oils directly to one fizzy (see recipe notes below for ideas for various applications). Drop into water (basin, bath, toilet etc.) and allow to fizz. Store in an airtight container, in a cool, dry place.

Recipe Notes

To colour these fizzies, you can use food colouring (natural is obviously my choice – beetroot powder or spirulina are my go-to’s); powder is the best option if you want to avoid the risk of premature fizzing.

Did you know that adding one teaspoon of vitamin C powder to bath water while it is filling, helps to neutralise the chlorine present in unfiltered tap water, and I highly recommend getting some. For more info about the effects of chlorine, head over to the Super Soak – Bath Salts recipe.

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.

 

Simple Stain Treatment Paste

Simple Stain Treatment Paste

My washing powder works; I have hundreds of testimonials I could share on its brilliance! But sometimes stubborn stains just need an extra kick up the bum.

Here are 2 simple stain treatment paste recipes for you to try when that oil/blood/sweat/grass stain won’t budge!

A few handy tips when it comes to spot-treating stains (apart from avoiding them in the first place) is to get to them quickly! Throw stained clothing into a bucket of water (not hot, as this can set stains), and get them soaking, pronto! You can add a tablespoon of washing soda or borax to help stop the stain from setting in between the fibres.

You can also help treat stains by attacking them from behind; avoiding hot water when washing; avoiding the dryer on stained clothing as heat-set stains are harder to remove; by giving sunshine and its natural bleaching capabilities some credit – hang those clothes outside!

There isn’t usually a one-answer-for-everything spray or solution. Sometimes you will have to try a few methods, or even repeat a treatment.

Simple Stain Treatment Paste

Recipe #1

Makes: enough for single use  Prep time: seconds

Ingredients

1 tbsp sodium bicarbonate (bicarb)

1 tbsp water – approx. (enough to make a smooth, slightly runny paste)

2 drops of essential oils

Recipe #2

Makes: enough for single use  Prep time: seconds

Ingredients

1 tsp sodium bicarbonate (bicarb)

1 tsp sodium carbonate (washing soda)

2 tsp liquid castile soap

2 drops of essential oils

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 (for both recipes)

Add all ingredients to a bowl and mix until combined.

To Use

Apply to stain and massage in, or use a small brush to scrub gently. Allow resting for at least 60 minutes, before washing as usual.

Recipe Notes

I encourage you to patch test – I have to say that!! I haven’t had issues with colour fading but I can’t be held accountable if your clothes do!

It helps if you get to your stains as soon as possible after they appear.

Recipes can be doubled/tripled if you have multiple stains to treat. Be mindful that the paste can’t be stored for future use – it will dry out.

If you have blood stains, try spraying directly with hydrogen peroxide (3%).

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.

 

Dishwasher Tablets

Dishwasher Tablets

I can’t get over how expensive dishwasher tablets are. Especially the eco varieties… The sad thing is, ‘eco’ doesn’t always equal eco-friendly. Just because a bottle or packet says ‘organic’ or ‘earth’ means very little.

If you haven’t heard of the term  ‘green washing‘, let me fill you in quickly… Some companies like to tell us what they’re not including in their products, and print words like ‘natural’, ‘green’, ‘eco’ etc., yet some still use some very questionable ingredients. In Australia, companies are not required to list ingredients on the labels of their cleaning products. True eco brands are fully transparent, with nothing to hide and they’re the brands I encourage you support if DIY isn’t your thing.

This recipe began as a powder. The tablet version was born after continual frustration from my husband and I, when using the powder version. It had a tendency of clumping together into a solid block, meaning we were hacking at it with a knife to break blocks off… GRRR! I figured that purposely clumping powder together and making “tablets” myself meant we’d have less hassle each evening getting lovely non-toxic dishwasher powder into our dishwasher! It’s so easy to do. If you’re not already making your own, why not give it a go? And if you have tried and you’re not completely in love with the results, read this blog for some handy tips.

Dishwasher Tablets

Makes: 850 g | 30 oz Prep Time: <5min.

Ingredients

300 g | 10.6 oz sodium carbonate (washing soda)

250 g | 8.8 oz citric acid

200 g | 7.1 oz borax

100 g | 3.5 oz fine salt

1-2 drops of essential oils (per use)

My choice of essential oils…

My favourite essential oils in this recipe are lime and lemon, 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.

Extra equipment required…

Moulds or ice-cube trays (silicone is the best choice for ease of unmoulding)

Method

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

2. Spoon mixture into moulds and press down firmly until full.

3. Leave to set for 12-24 hours in a cool and dry place. After this time, turn moulds upside down and gently tap the bottom – tablets should fall out easily.

4. Place on a tray or sheet of baking paper and leave to dry for a further 24 hours before storing in container of choice.

To Use

Add essential oils (if using) to one tablet and place in the dispenser of your dishwasher prior to operation. Replace rinse aid with a ramekin of vinegar on top shelf.

Want to ditch the borax?

While I am comfortable using natural borax for cleaning applications (check out this blog post), you might prefer to avoid it. If so, just leave it out – simple! Want to know a secret? The tablets set much better without borax anyway and I don’t notice a difference in cleaning results.

Recipe Notes

Yes this recipe is a powder, with no liquid (there are no typos)

Tablets may stick together, depending on how much moisture gets into your storage container. They should, however, come apart easily enough. If this really bothers you, line tablets on some baking paper and create layers.

If you leave this completed recipe (the powder) in a container, it will solidify – so making tablets is best. If your dishwasher only takes powder, either crush before use or throw on the floor of the dishwasher.

Kmart has great ice-cube trays with silicone bottoms that allow you to pop tablets out easily.

When removing tablets, do so over your dishwasher so any excess particles land in your dishwasher rather than wasted on the bench or floor!

I trust that you will make the decision on whether this formula is suitable for your dishwasher. I cannot take any responsibility if your dishwasher doesn’t agree with this recipe.

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 Paste

Cleaning Paste

Every single time I replace a toxic, chemical-laden commercial household or beauty product for a clean, green and natural homemade product, I do a little happy dance. It’s a great feeling! This cleaning paste is no exception. I use it to clean my toilets, sinks and showers. I also use it to clean porcelain mugs that have discoloured from tea and coffee. A soft dishcloth and a little scrubbing power is all it takes!

Cleaning Paste

Makes: 245 g | 8.6 oz Prep time: < 5 min.

Ingredients  

½ cup | 140 g | 4.9 oz sodium bicarbonate (bicarb)

¼ cup | 65 g | 2.3 oz liquid castile soap

2 tbsp fine salt

30 drops of essential oils

1 tsp hydrogen peroxide 3% (per use)

My choice of essential oils…

My favourite essential oils in this recipe are lemon and 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 all ingredients to a bowl and mix until combined.

2. Transfer into container of choice.

To Use

Add 1 tablespoon of paste and hydrogen peroxide to a bowl, and mix until combined. Apply to surface and scrub with a microfibre cleaning cloth. Rinse with water and polish with a clean, dry cloth.

Recipe Notes

Adding hydrogen peroxide adds a disinfecting boost to your paste, however, it can be omitted if you don’t have it handy. If your paste is too dry, add a little extra liquid castile soap and mix.

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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