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Archive for Tea Tree Oil

The Five Essential Oils you should have in your home

The Five Essential Oils you should have in your homeEssential Oils are a great way to help you steer clear of toxic chemicals in your home and on your body. From cleaning the bathroom to curing warts, essential oils have a wide range of uses. Since there are so many essential oils to choose from with hundreds of different uses, we have narrowed the choices down to five of our favorites.

Tea Tree Oil

Peppermint

  • Keep spiders and other pests away
  • Put 5 drops on a cotton ball and place in your vacuum cleaner bag to keep it smelling fresh (and less like your pets)
  • Create Non-Toxic Carpet Deodorizer by adding 5-10 drops of Lemon or Peppermint Essential Oil to a box of baking soda in a jar and shake well. Sprinkle over carpets, let sit for at least an hour, then vacuum.
  • Add a 10 ml bottle of Peppermint Oil into a gallon can of paint to help reduce fumes.
  • Reduce headaches, stimulate memory and stay alert while driving by inhaling Peppermint Oil
  • Soothe sore feet by adding 10 drops Peppermint and 1 tbsp. Epson salt to hot water

Citrus/Lemon Oil

  • Soak dishcloths and sponges overnight in a bowl of water mixed few drops of Lemon or Tea Tree Oil to disinfect and kill germs.
  • Keep kitchen odors away with Lemon Essential Oil
  • Take the “stink” out of shoes with Lemon Essential Oil or Tea Tree Oil
  • Make a fresh smelling kitchen sink scrub by creating a paste of ½ cup baking soda, ⅛ cup vinegar and 10 drops of Lemon Oil. Scrub sink then rinse.
  • Clean fresh fruit by placing in in a bowl of cool water with a few drops of Lemon Essential Oil for a few minutes. Rinse well and store as usual.
  • Remove gum, glue, adhesive or crayon from most surfaces with a few drops of Lemon Oil (always test small area first)

Lavender

  • Place 10-15 drops of Lavender Essential Oil on a small piece of terry cloth and toss into the dryer while drying in place of dryer sheets.
  • Ease a tension headache by massaging 1-2 drops onto your neck and temples.
  • Calm a bee sting or insect bit by putting a drop on the affected area to stop itching reduce swelling.
  • Diffuse next to you bed to help you sleep
  • Add  a few drops to your bath and body products relieve aching muscles and stress.
  • Create a compress by soaking a towel in a bowl of water mixed with a few drops of lavender oil. Apply this to sprains or muscle injuries
  • Add a few drops to baking soda and water to create an all-natural antibacterial scrub for your bathroom and kitchen.

Eucalyptus

  • Clean your floors with 10 drops of eucalyptus essential oil and 2 tablespoons of liquid castile soap added to a gallon of hot water.
  • Clear up congestion with 2 to 3 drops eucalyptus added 1 tablespoon coconut oil. Rub mixture onto your check and breathe deep.
  • Freshen stale air by adding 5 drops to a diffuser or leave out in shallow dishes.
  • Prevent mold in the shower by combining 5 drops each of eucalyptus and tea tree oil to 16 oz. of water in spray bottle. Spray down shower after each use to inhibit mold growth.
  • Keep fleas off your pets by mixing 3 to 4 drops into your pet’s shampoo.
Let us give your home a Non-Toxic Green Clean so you don't have to! Call Teresa's Family Cleaning for an estimate today!

Natural Lice Treatments

Lice Treatments

If you have school aged children, chances are you will be exposed to lice. It doesn’t matter how clean and tidy your home and children are (lice actually LIKE clean hair!) lice can be contracted by anyone, anywhere. The good news is, lice is not a health threat, the bad news is, they are a huge annoyance and can be tricky to get rid of. Before you run out to the drugstore to pay big money for bad chemicals, check out these non-toxic, cost effective natural lice treatments first!

All Natural Lice Treatments

Olive Oil Method
Pick up a lice comb at your local drug store and grab a bottle of olive oil. Separate hair into small sections and thoroughly coat each area with the oil.  Once you have coated the entire area, carefully comb through each section of hair, rinsing out the comb often under running hot water as you go. This method suffocates the lice and slows them down for easy removal. Once complete, rinse the hair and shampoo as usual. Soak the comb in vinegar then wash in hot, soapy water. Wash the towels in the hottest water cycle. Repeat at least twice, 10 days apart to ensure you have removed all the nits as well as live lice.

Tea Tree and Olive Oil Method
Combine 2 ounces of olive oil with 15 to 20 drops of *Tea Tree essential oil. Liberally apply to the scalp and hair then wrap in a towel. Leave on for at least an hour. Comb, rinse, and shampoo as usual. An alternative method is to mix 15 to 20 drops of Tea Tree essential oil with 4 ounces of rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle. Saturate the hair and scalp with mixture and leave in for 12 hours. In the morning, comb thoroughly, rinse, shampoo and style as usual. Once again, repeat at least twice, 10 days apart.

Once you have treated everyone in the home, it is very important to treat all the items that may have come in contact with the lice. The secret is to either kill them with heat or suffocate them. below are some simple tips.

Lice Removal for the Home

  • Machine wash clothes, towels, bed linens and washable items that have come in contact with the person with lice during the 2 days before treatment. Wash items on the hottest laundry cycle and high heat drying cycle.
  • Non washable items such as stuffed toys can be put in the dryer on a hot setting or sealed in a plastic bag and stored for 2 weeks to ensure all lice and eggs have been killed.

How to Prevent Lice

  • Remind your child to avoid head to head contact with classmates during play and other activities. (did you know that selfies are known to spread lice?)
  • Instruct your child not to share their personal belongings with classmates. Items like hats, scarves, coats, combs and brushes can easily spread lice. Not sharing is ok this one time only!
  • Instruct your child to avoid shared spaces. Tell your child to store hats, coats, gloves, etc inside their backpacks instead of just hanging them on a shared coat rack.
  • Add 2 drops of tea tree oil per ounce of your regular shampoo to deter lice OR
  • Mix 15 to 20 drops of Tea Tree essential oil with 4 ounces of rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle and lightly spray hair daily.

Wishing your a lice-free school year!

Caution: Tea Tree oil can be a skin irritant in some people. Always do a spot test in a small area before using as a treatment on skin.

Let us give your home a Non-Toxic Green Clean so you don't have to! Call Teresa's Family Cleaning for an estimate today!

How to Create a DIY Chemical Free Cleaning Kit

Create-a-DIY-Chemical-Free-Cleaning-Kit

Keeping your home green while you clean is easy when you have a chemical free cleaning kit handy to use for every task. With the right tools and a few recipes you can keep your home clean and fresh without the worry of expensive, toxic chemicals around you and your family.

I have listed the items necessary for a fully equipped cleaning kit but feel free to tailor it to your needs. Make it as deluxe or as simple as you want. You can even make this kit as a gift or to send off with your college bound kid! Be creative and have fun with it!

  • Spray Bottles
  • Glass Jars with lids
  • Cheese Shaker (for baking soda)
  • Microfiber Cloths
  • Shower Caddy or similar carrying case that can be cleaned
  • Sponges
  • Pumice Stone (use to remove stubborn stains from the inside the toilet bowl)
  • Old toothbrushes
  • Rubber Gloves
  • Vinegar
  • Baking Soda
  • Salt in a shaker bottle
  • Lemon Juice
  • Borax
  • Tea Tree Oil (found in health food stores)
  • Castile Soap (found in health food stores. Please note: do not mix with anything containing vinegar as the two cancel each other out)
  • Peroxide (in the brown bottle found in drug stores)
  • Liquid Detergent (look for a green one free of phosphates and  nonylphenol ethoxylates)
  • Vegetable Glycerin (found in health food stores)

For  basic cleaning  around the home simply make a solution of 1 part vinegar to 2 parts water and use on any non-porous surface. Avoid using vinegar on porous materials like marble as it may pit the surface. 

For stained or greasy areas and soap scum, sprinkle baking soda on your non-porous countertops, sinks and bathtubs and spray your simple vinegar solution right on top until you see bubbles. Let it sit for a few minutes and then clean area with a damp microfiber cloth or sponge until all traces of baking soda are gone. For stubborn areas, repeat process and add a sprinkle or two of salt to baking soda and scrub. No rinsing is necessary!

While vinegar and baking soda will work for many of your cleaning needs but sometimes you need a more specialized cleaner. We have compiled a list of some of our favorite DIY Non Toxic Cleaning Recipes using the all the ingredients in this post. Give them a try and let us know what you think!

When using these or any other cleaner you should always test your products on an inconspicuous area first before using. 

Let us give your home a Non-Toxic Green Clean so you don't have to! Call Teresa's Family Cleaning for an estimate today!

DIY Non Toxic Cleaning Recipes

Cleaning-Recipes

Having the right tools and some great cleaning recipes is all you need for a clean, green home. When you combine our DIY Chemical Free Cleaning Kit with these non toxic cleaning recipes below, you will have everything you need to keep your home clean without costly chemicals. If you have a favorite recipe not seen here we would love to hear about it so please comment below.

Cleaning Recipes for around the home

Window Cleaner
1/4-1/2 teaspoon liquid detergent

3 tablespoons vinegar
2 cups water
Put all the ingredients into a spray bottle, shake it up a bit, and use as you would a commercial brand. The soap in this recipe is important. It cuts the wax residue from the commercial brands you might have used in the past.

Daily All-Purpose Cleaner
1 cup white vinegar

1 cup seltzer water
8 drops of tea tree oil

1/8 cup hydrogen peroxide (the regular kind in a brown bottle)
Pour into a misting bottle if you have one, if not use a spray bottle. Besides cleaning, this mixture can be used to disinfect surface areas in your home. Hydrogen peroxide eventually turns to water, so make sure to add more each time you use the solution.

Multipurpose Cleaner:
1/2 cup peroxide (the regular kind in a brown bottle)

1/2 cup water
1/2 teaspoon castile soap
Mix ingredients in spray bottle, use for cleaning floors, dusting furniture, cleaning toilets and other hard surfaces. This is also a powerful stain cutter and odor pet neutralizer. Make sure to test on an inconspicuous spot before using over a large area of your furniture or carpet. I spray my furniture and carpet without issue, but all fabrics are different. The Sal Suds will cut grease better than a regular castile soap will, that makes it perfect for cleaning windows.

Spot Wipes (Disinfecting wipes alternative)
1/4 cup vinegar

1/4 cup club soda
8 drops of essential oil (for scent)
Combine ingredients and soak 20 heavy-duty paper towels in the mixture. Squeeze out the excess and store in a plastic sandwich bag. Use to clean spots and spills as needed.

Homemade Laundry Detergent
2 cups Washing Soda (found in the laundry aisle or make your own from baking soda)
2 cups Borax
1 bar of Dr. Bronner’s Castille soap, grated.
Once grated the bar of soap gives you approximately 2 cups. You can either buy it in the scent of your choice or scentless. I prefer the peppermint one, it’s such an energizing scent, and it makes the laundry smell just so wonderful!

Toilet Bowl Cleaning Recipes

Vinegar and Baking Soda
1 cup vinegar

1/2 cup baking soda
Pour the vinegar into the toilet bowl and let it sit for at least 30 minute. When complete, dip your brush in the toilet and sprinkle some baking soda onto the brush. Scour the inside of the toilet with the brush until the all baking soda is gone. Repeat as necessary.

Borax and Lemon Juice
1 cup of Borax

1/2 cup of lemon juice
Pour 1 cup of Borax into a small bowl then add 1/2 cup of lemon juice over the Borax and gently stir with a spoon into a paste. Flush the toilet to wet the sides, then rub the paste onto the toilet with a sponge (you might want to wear rubber gloves just to stay clean). Let it sit for 2 hours before scrubbing thoroughly. This is great for removing a stubborn stain, like a toilet bowl ring.

Borax and Vinegar
1 cup of Borax
1/2 cup of vinegar
Flush the toilet to wet the sides of the bowl then sprinkle a cup of Borax around the rim and sides of toilet. Spray 1/2 cup of vinegar over the Borax and allow to sit for several hours or overnight. Scrub thoroughly with a toilet brush until the bowl gleams.Sometimes, hard water just leaves a stubborn ring that no amount of scrubbing or rubbing can eliminate. Use the pumice stone at this point  and rub lightly on the stain.

Cleaning recipes for the car

Car Wash Solution
A bucket of water
Liquid castile soap
Add a couple drops of liquid castile soap to a bucket of water, and wash.

Window Cleaner
White vinegar
A spray bottle
Newspaper
Spray full strength vinegar onto the windows. Allow it to sit for a few minutes. Then, wipe dry with a piece of newspaper.

Chrome Cleaner
White vinegar
Water
A spray bottle
A sponge or cleaning rag
Mix together equal parts white vinegar and water. Then, spray it on your wheels; and work it in with a sponge or cleaning rag. Note: Vinegar should not be used on aluminum alloys.

Tire Cleaner
Baking soda
Water
A scrub brush
Mix baking soda and water together to form a paste. Then, work the paste into the tires with a scrub brush. Let it sit for several minutes. Then, rinse off.

Carpet and Upholstery Stain Remover
White vinegar
Baking Soda
A scrub brush
Mix white vinegar and baking soda together to form a paste. Then, work the paste into any carpet and upholstery stains with a toothbrush or something similar. Allow the paste to dry. Then, vacuum up the baking soda, and the stains should be gone. Note: Some stains may need to be treated more than once.

Car Interior Cleaner
White vinegar
Water
A spray bottle
A cleaning rag
Mix together equal parts white vinegar and water. Then, spray it on any vinyl, plastic, wood, or leather surfaces in your car that need cleaning. Allow it to soak in. Then, wipe dry with a clean rag. Note: As with any leather cleaner, you should test on a small area before applying to the entire surface.

Car Interior Protectant
1 cup olive oil
1/2 cup lemon juice
A spray bottle or bowl
2 cleaning rags
Combine olive oil and lemon juice in a spray bottle or bowl. Then, use a clean cloth to wipe a small amount of the protectant into the dashboard and any other plastic or vinyl surfaces. Finish by wiping off the excess with another cleaning rag. Do not use on the steering wheel, pedals or any other controls where slipperiness could pose a hazard. Also be careful not to get in on windows.

Warning: Since these are general tips and the materials in your home and car can vary, it is suggested that you always test these tips out in an inconspicuous area first before treating the entire stain. Some ingredients such as lemons will have a mild bleaching effect and should only be used on light colored fabrics/carpets after testing a small area for colorfastness.

Create your own Chemical Free Cleaning Kit for your college bound kid

DIY Chemical Free Cleaning Kit

Are you sending your “baby” off to college this year? If so, you have probably gone (or will be) shopping for all the dorm must-haves that have been advertised like crazy since July. You have the Hello Kitty lamp and the beanbag chair all ready to send off with your college student but have you considered what  your son or daughter will be using to keep their dorm room or apartment clean? I know it is easy to just run to the store and grab any old bottle of chemicals but  wouldn’t it be a wonderful gift to teach your child how to clean the non-toxic way? Not only will you be keeping them healthy, you will save money in the long run! You can even make this non-toxic cleaning kit as a thoughtful housewarming gift to someone who is just starting out or if you want to help someone who is overcoming a serious illness such as cancer* and needs to eliminate hazardous chemicals from their cleaning routine.

We can build a very complex kit with specialized non-toxic cleaners but today we will stick to the basics and keep it simple to start. Once you get started you will not want to stop! The first thing you want to is view the shopping list below and pick up are your containers, brushes, cloths, etc. What you purchase and how many of each item needed will be up to you and how extensive you would like the kit to be. The beauty of this kit is that it is fully customizable to all budgets and can be as simple or as grande as you make it to be!

  • Spray Bottles
  • Glass Jars with lids
  • Cheese Shaker (for baking soda)
  • Microfiber Cloths
  • Shower Caddy or similar carrying case that can be cleaned
  • Sponges
  • Pumice Stone (use to remove stubborn stains from the inside the toilet bowl)
  • Old toothbrushes
  • Rubber Gloves
  • Foaming Soap Dispenser
  • Vinegar
  • Baking Soda
  • Salt in a shaker bottle
  • Lemon Juice
  • Borax
  • Tea Tree Oil (found in health food stores)
  • Castile Soap (found in health food stores. Please note: do not mix with anything containing vinegar as the two cancel each other out)
  • Peroxide (in the brown bottle found in drug stores)
  • Liquid Detergent (look for a green one free of phosphates and  nonylphenol ethoxylates)
  • Vegetable Glycerin (found in health food stores)

For  basic cleaning you can simply make a vinegar solution of  1 part vinegar to 2 parts water and use on any non-porous surface. Avoid using vinegar on porous materials like marble as it may pit the surface. Always test your products on an inconspicuous area first before using. For stained or greasy areas and soap scum, sprinkle baking soda on your non-porous countertops, sinks and bathtubs and spray  your simple vinegar solution right on top until you see bubbles. Let it sit for a few minutes and then clean area with a damp microfiber cloth or sponge until all traces of baking soda are gone.  For stubborn areas, repeat process and add a sprinkle or two of salt to baking soda and scrub.No rinsing is necessary!

I actually keep a bottle of vinegar solution in every bathroom for quick cleanups (I have two boys in the midst of potty training and I don’t have to tell you what a mess that can be!) Using only vinegar and homemade cleaning products ensures that I don’t have to worry about chemicals touching sensitive tushies! I also keep a bottle of my vinegar/water solution right by the sink to clean my countertops, disinfect the sink and cutting boards and even use it to clean my fruit and veggies. Just spray on food and rinse well. Please do not re-use an old spray bottle that once contained chemicals if you are going to use this solution on food. 

While baking soda and vinegar work great for most household jobs, sometimes you need a bit more to attack those stubborn stains and deep clean. I have compiled some recipes that will be used for specific areas of the home that might have special needs.

Multipurpose Cleaner:
1/2 cup peroxide (the regular kind in a brown bottle)
1/2 cup  water
1/2 teaspoon castile soap
Mix ingredients in spray bottle, use for cleaning floors, dusting furniture, cleaning toilets and other hard surfaces. This is also a powerful stain cutter and odor pet neutralizer. Make sure to test on an inconspicuous spot before using over a large area of your furniture or carpet. I spray my furniture and carpet without issue, but all fabrics are different. The Sal Suds will cut grease better than a regular castile soap will, that makes it perfect for cleaning windows.

Creamy Soft Scrub:
Pour about 1/2 cup of baking soda into a bowl, and add enough liquid detergent to make a texture like frosting. Scoop the mixture onto a sponge, and wash the surface. This is the perfect recipe for cleaning the bathtub because it rinses easily and doesn’t leave grit. Add 1 teaspoon of vegetable glycerin to the mixture and store in a sealed glass jar. This will keep the product moist. If you cannot find the glycerin, they can make the mixture as needed.

Mold and Mildew Spray
2 teaspoons tea tree oil
2 cups water
Combine in a spray bottle, shake to blend, and spray on problem areas. Do not rinse. The strong odor will  dissipate over time. This recipe makes two cups. The tea tree oil is costly but works really well and will last a long time.

Toilet Bowl Cleaners
I have listed three different recipes here because I like choices and I think if you make something that will work best for you, chances are you will use it more. The first recipe is a great method to clean a non-stained toilet and keep it clean. The 2nd and 3rd recipes are good for toilets that need a deeper cleaning.

Vinegar and Baking Soda
1 cup vinegar
1/2 cup baking soda
Pour the vinegar into the toilet bowl and let it sit for at least 30 minute. When complete, dip your brush in the toilet and sprinkle some baking soda onto the brush. Scour the inside of the toilet with the brush until the all baking soda is gone. Repeat as necessary.

Borax and Lemon Juice
1 cup of Borax
1/2 cup of lemon juic
Pour 1 cup of Borax into a small bowl then add 1/2 cup of lemon juice over the Borax and gently stir with a spoon into a paste. Flush the toilet to wet the sides, then rub the paste onto the toilet with a sponge (you might want to wear rubber gloves just to stay clean). Let it sit for 2 hours before scrubbing thoroughly. This is great for removing a stubborn stain, like a toilet bowl ring.

Borax and Vinegar
1 cup of Borax
1/2 cup of vinegar
Flush the toilet to wet the sides of the bowl then sprinkle a cup of Borax around the rim and sides of toilet. Spray 1/2 cup of vinegar over the Borax and allow to sit for several hours or overnight. Scrub thoroughly with a toilet brush until the bowl gleams.Sometimes, hard water just leaves a stubborn ring that no amount of scrubbing or rubbing can eliminate. Use the pumice stone at this point  and rub lightly on the stain.

Window Cleaner
1/4-1/2 teaspoon liquid detergent
3 tablespoons vinegar
2 cups water
Put all the ingredients into a spray bottle, shake it up a bit, and use as you would a commercial brand. The soap in this recipe is important. It cuts the wax residue from the commercial brands you might have used in the past.

Foaming Soap
This is so easy and inexpensive you wont believe how you managed this long without it! All you need is a foaming dispenser (mine are saved from soap I purchased…once), castile soap and water. Slowly pour castile soap into your empty foaming soap dispenser until there is approx 3/4 to 1 inch of soap on the bottom. The amount of soap will vary depending on the shape of your container so you might have to experiment with the soap amounts. Start at the least amount and add as necessary. After the soap, SLOWLY fill the rest of the dispenser with water, cap and SLOWLY swirl the mixture for about a minute until mixed thoroughly. DO NOT SHAKE! Once mixed, try it out and see if you like how soapy it is. Castile soap is highly concentrated so a little goes a long way.

*If you know someone who is undergoing treatment for cancer and other serious illnesses Cleaning Angels USA would like to help. Cleaning Angels USA  was founded on the belief that returning home to a clean environment helps reduce stress and enhance the recovery process for critically ill patients, while removing the responsibility of home cleaning from their families and caregivers. Our mission is to make home cleaning available, free of charge, to those individuals undergoing treatment for cancer and other serious illnesses.  Teresa’s Family Cleaning services are  chemical free and are ideal for those who are medically fragile and anybody who wants a clean home without sacrificing their health. Give us a call, we’d love to tell you all about what we do!