Clean And Fresh

Cleaning With Essential Oils

Day in and day out, we are bombarded toxic chemicals in the workplace and our homes. More than 125 different chemicals found common household cleaning products, have not been thoroughly tested for safety. Artificial chemicals contained in cleaning products are associated with psychological problems, allergies, skin irritations, breathing issues, gastrointestinal disorders, and cancer.

While it is impossible to control our family’s exposure to artificial chemicals outside the home, we can limit our exposure within the home to create an environment that is safe for people and pets.

Eliminating Toxins From The Home

Household cleaning products substantially contribute to the noxious chemical load in our homes. Many leading brands of cleaning solutions contain known toxins such as bleach, ammonia, solvents, formaldehyde, ethanolamine, and phthalates.

While we all want to live in a sparkling clean home, the health dangers posed by these chemical laden products is a risk not worth taking when viable natural cleaning solutions get the job done without putting our health in jeopardy.

A Simple Solution

Many essential oils eliminate mold and mildew, kill bacteria, remove stains, and dissolve grease just as well as chemically fortified cleaners, but without the scary health hazards.

Essential oils offer an eco-friendly alternative that is a natural, non-toxic, chemical-free solution when it comes to keeping your home clean and fresh.

Essential Oils That Disinfect

Thyme, Tea Tree, Pine, Bay Laurel, Spruce, Wintergreen, and Eucalyptus essential oils have potent disinfectant properties that destroy germs and bacteria. A mixture of two of cups of hot water, several drops of any or all of the mentioned essential oils and a third of a cup of baking soda combined in a spray bottle will keep hard surfaces such as bathroom fixtures, tiles, and countertop clean while refreshing the air in stale spaces. Spray on surfaces, wiping away with a dry cloth.

To remove stains from tile grout, add a few drops of lemon essential oil to your disinfectant cleaning solution. Lemon brightens and whitens. When cleaning with essential oils on a new surface, always test in an inconspicuous spot for suitability. A product of Mother Nature, essential oils are potent.

Remove Mold And Mildew

Cinnamon and clove essential oils kill and remove mold spores and mold that tends to appear in damp areas such as bathroom shower stalls, around toilets and tubs, and in the laundry room and kitchen. Tea Tree, Pine, Spruce, and Wintergreen kill yeast spores. In a spray bottle, combine a total of three tablespoons of your preferred essential oils with one cup of organic vinegar and two cups of warm water. Spray on moldy surfaces and wait 15 minutes. Wipe surfaces clean with a damp cloth.

Cuts Through Grease

Citrus essential oils such as lime, lemon and mainly orange as well as Tea Tree oil have powerful grease cutting properties. To quickly cut through thick grease and grime mix a quarter cup of sweet orange essential oil with one cup of organic vinegar, one cup of warm water, and one tablespoon of castile soap.

Eco-Friendly Ways to Heat and Cool Your Home

Keeping a house cool in the summer and warm in the winter on the cheap is not the easiest place to cut back when budgeting. But, on top of preventing your wallet from shrinking, there is even more reason to preserve energy on heating and cooling your house: the environment. The amount of energy your house uses affects the environment just as much as your wallet and is well worth investing time and effort into to prevent higher usage than necessary.

Below are a few tips to save on energy whether it’s winter or summer:

Make the most of your windows – Opening windows means more sunlight to keep your house warmer in the winter and more breezes to keep your home cool in the summer. Investing in thermal curtains will help you maintain temperatures within the house. Keep curtains open during the day to allow the sunlight to warm your home and closed at night to keep out the chill during the colder to months. In the warmer months keep them closed during the day to keep out the heat and open at night to let in the cooler breeze.

Know where your weak spots are – Having a home energy audit performed will show you exactly where energy is being lost in your home. This will allow you to make smart upgrades in your home where it really counts.

Stop leaks in their tracks – Storm windows are great for the winter and, believe it or not, summer months too. The space between the windows keeps warmth in during the colder months and heat out in the warmer months. Draught-stoppers, cheap and easy to DIY, is also a great way to preserve the desired temperature in your home. Another easy to install option to save on energy is weather stripping your doors and windows.

Check your ratings – R-value is a rating scale of an insulation’s ability to prevent heat flow. The higher the R-value the more efficient the insulation. Living in New England you will want to look for a higher R-value in the type of insulation you invest in. Since heat rises you will want to use insulation with a higher R-value on the top floors of your house than those on your lowers floors.

Be a control freak – Installing an easy to use programmable thermostat is a great way to manage the temperature in your home. Set up timers that keep your home warmer while you are awake and at home in the winter months and set to a lower temperature while you are out for the day or asleep for the night. In the summer set up your timer to keep your home cooler while you are home and to use less energy while you are out of the house for the day.

While it takes an investment of time and money upfront ensuring that your home efficiently uses energy when cooling and heating your house will benefit you for years to come. One of the great perks to being frugal about your home’s energy usage is that it will also shrink your impact on the environment. With perks like that, you can’t lose!

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