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  • megkirbyyoga

PRO TIPS FOR AN EFFICENT, NATURAL CLEAN

Tips and gear I use to clean efficiently, naturally and sustainably


I'm all about getting down to the brass tacks y'all so let's do this thing!

I've been cleaning homes using natural and re-usable products since I was 19 years old and have been in the cleaning industry for over 15 years in two countries. Here are my tips to easily roll through your home on cleaning day.

 
  1. Get your kids to pick up and help! Empty baskets are your friend. Dirty clothes in one, and rando toys that need to be sorted in another. Just get it in the bin and off the floor. Put on cleaning music! For my two under 5, Spotify has a few good clean up song playlists, and even if every song is about cleaning up, they love it. Young ones love to wipe. set out small plastic spray bottles with a 1/2 tsp liquid castille soap and a TBSP vinegar and let them clean their toddler table, chairs, pre treat floor nasties, wipe the dining room table, and dust with the damp cloth. *Teach them to spray the cloth and not surfaces. I think you can see how this is easier for everyone!

  2. Top to Bottom Clean top to bottom, back to front. Dust the home first, then scrub, dry and shine, vacuum, mop. When you get to the kitchen and bathrooms, scrub and dry and shine the room you are in before moving on to avoid too much back and forth. I do find it faster to dust the whole home first and do the vacuuming and mopping all in one go however rather than vac and mop each individual room before moving to the next. Leave bathrooms last and toilets the... lastest ha. To avoid cross contamination.

  3. Keep it Simple With natural cleaning, all the products I use are have many uses, and many (BUT NOT ALL) can be combined to make more specific and more powerful cleaners. *NEVER MIX BLEACH AND VINEGAR - it creates a poisonous gas. *NEVER MIX VINEGAR AND HYDROGEN PEROXIDE - again, poisonous gas. *Don't mix baking soda and vinegar in a bottle - it creates CO2 and can explode the bottle or just cause a big mess with foam. Combining them also neutralizes them and makes them less effective, if at all. They are great separately or mixed with other products, or as a DIY drain cleaner as the reaction creates heat and bubbling. It does a good job in busting up sink gunk. WHAT I KEEP ON HAND - Citra-Solv (D-Limonene) D-limonene is a terpene (a natural turpentine) that is a wonderful natural degreaser that is safe for animals and kiddos. Due to this however, in full strength it is flammable so do dissolve it in water before using in your oven or stove. If you find you need it in full strength, wipe it off well with a damp cloth, then dry. * To make a simple all purpose spray - mix 1 TBSP of Citra-solv in a 16oz spray bottle full of water, add 2 TBSPs of vinegar and 1 tsp liquid castille soap and gentle shake to mix. Streak free and will clean it all with a lovely natural orange scent! Also great on stainless steel. You can also use it in full strength to take off stickers, just be careful of what surface you use it on. This product can spot or deform certain plastics like ones found in your fridge, so spot test and keep it away from your TV! - Vinegar It's not a disinfectant, it is a mild acid. Just to clarify! It's great in dilution for streak free window and metal shining. Also for descaling and assisting in grease breakdown. It's also great as a fabric softener and on certain fabric stains. And no, my clothes do not smell like vinegar :) . - Baking Soda Wonderful as a powerful scrub with borax and liquid castille or SalsSuds by Dr. Bronner to clean, disinfect, and shine up your stainless steel sinks, white sneakers, scrub in stain remover, sinks, toilets, grout, and in tubs and showers. Pour down the sink, and add vinegar to help clean out a drain, or garbage disposal. This can be used to also clean the kitchen sink. You can also add some essential oils to it, sprinkle it on your carpet and let it sit before vacuuming to deodorize. PRO PARENT TIP! Don't forget, it's far better than castille soap at cleaning off most pesticides and herbicides from your produce! And it's edible! - Borax Use as a laundry booster, to clean sinks and toilets, to kill pest insects, and more y'all! Again, it is a base, so don't mix with an acid like vinegar. - Hydrogen Peroxide Wear gloves, and use in a spray bottle with tea tree and lavender, or with another antiseptic and a citrus EO if allergic, like oregano, eucalyptus, rosemary, thyme, clove. Lemon pairs with pretty well anything in my opinion, and it's cheap. Use it to kill mold, to whiten, and disinfect non-porous surfaces like stainless steel, painted wood, plastic, and porcelain. - Isopropyl Alcohol Another disinfectant you can use with a few drops of your favorite essential oil. Or use it to remove stickers! You can use this on a variety of surfaces and it dries/evaporates very quickly. It makes a good piano key disinfectant as it won't warp the keys. You can also use it on a window cloth to get rid of any streak on metal or glass if all else fails. It's also highly flammable so don't use it on or near heat sources. - Walnut Oil You can use grapeseed or sunflower oil for furniture polish - though in researching what to use to restore the wood on our 100 year old piano, I found that walnut oil is by far the best as it won't degrade or rot. Something to think about, especially if you have high end woods you want to safely and naturally protect. You can thin it a bit with D-limonene if you have more porous wood that needs a better soak. Lemon EO also helps to condition and polish. - Essential Oils! These are last because honestly I find them to be a lovely addition and final touch with some benefits, but they don't do as much regarding cleaning, deodorizing, or disinfecting. They all contain different terpenes of their own that can relax or energize us, or that are antiseptic. A few examples: - Lemon, or another citrus are great with walnut oil for furniture polish. - Lavender is an anti fungal great for relaxing. - Tea tree, thyme, oregano, clove, eucalyptus, and rosemary are all antibacterial.

  4. My Fav Cleaning Supplies - The Rubbermaid commercial microfiber stick mop | Hygen series You can get wide heads, dusting heads for high up areas, dry and wet mop heads. It's interchangeable, reasonably priced, will last you a long time, gets under that dang couch, the poll is steel, and it's all washable and re-usable! Winning! - Stick Vacs Y'all! You can get ones that have a washable HEPA filter like Shark and Dyson. If you have a larger home or have a lot of carpet, I suggest a corded one. They usually have more power and won't run out of juice before you're done. They fit in more spaces, you can clean your car reasonably well with it, and they are so great on stairs! - The O-Cedar Spin Mop Reusable microfiber heads, and a cleaner floor for around $35. Just get it ha. If you are without kids or pets, you can get away with just a regular spray and mop microfiber, but big dogs and kids require a bit more. With this you can wet mop, then really spin it out to soak it up with a second mop. Also use it to wash walls, doors, and baseboards. it rocks. Just don't be too rough with the extendable poll. It can bust. Not easily, but I have a pretty hard hand when it comes to mopping and the steel polled mops are made for people like me ha. - Glass Bottles Savvy Planet has great ones that also come with silicone sleeves for the bottoms! These can be used for so much and can take more damaging chemicals like D-limonene and bleach. - SKOY Scrubbies Replace all of your nasty sponges with these amazing reusable scrubs. They last for a very long time and can be easily washed daily with the dishes in the machine. They dry quick and I have never had one smell bad! Use in the kitchen, or to scrub the shower. Just don't use them on the kids (Ouch!). - Horsehair and Bamboo brushes in a variety of sizes Clean bottles, dishes, those little edges between your tap and the sink, your toilet, your nails, as a dust brush, these are compostable and very multi purpose. - Bamboo Cloths or Cotton Cloths Bamboo cloths will actually be as lint free as microfiber without the shedding plastic going into our water systems. Cotton is a bit cheaper and is just fine to dry up everything else unless a little fiber here or there really bothers you. If you really feel the need to get microfiber, the glass cloths shed far less and I still have a cloth that works fine from 15 years ago that has somehow managed to make it from Canada to Georgia with me! The rest do not last and shed a lot of plastic fibers. Yes, they are made of plastic! Mop heads will also last with less shed.

There it is everyone! May you clean healthier and happier, and start to safely dispose of your toxic, totally unnecessary, and expensive cleaners you still have hanging around. You'll be surprised in how much space they took up. Take Care and Keep Well Neighbors!





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