I’ve made some moves to be healthier, which I previously blogged about. I have also made moves to be more ‘green’. The next step naturally was to embrace cleaning without chemicals. I have been wanting to make my own laundry soap for awhile now, and have found several easy and cheap ‘recipes’. I was wondering what else would be easy to replace…My old farmhouse bathroom is tiny…I mean really tiny. I can’t stand up straight in the shower, and my head almost touches the ceiling. Needless to say, the last time I cleaned using Lysol Cleaner with Bleach, I about made myself sick from the fumes. (We don’t have a bathroom window because the boys broke it while shooting their bows and arrows into the hay bales that are stacked against the outside wall to prevent the pipes from freezing). Here is a picture just in case you guys think I make this stuff up….
Before I headed to Walmart, I did a little bit of ‘googling’ to see what was out there. Vinegar is WIDELY talked about in chemical free cleaning, and natural alternatives to chemicals. The Heinz Cleaning Vinegar page had a TON of information about why, when, what and how to use it to replace your other cleaning supplies!
Headed to town and found the Heinz Cleaning Vinegar, not in the cleaning supplies, but in the vinegar section! I was puzzled at first, why wouldn’t it be in the cleaning section so others could see there was an option besides using harsh chemicals? Then I thought, maybe seeing it here would give people the idea that vinegar has MANY uses! Regardless where they put it, I WILL be finding it! I thought it would be kind of cool if they had a little booklet with cleaning ideas attached to the bottle, just to help make other people aware of the cleaning properties of vinegar as well. My sister was excited about the shopping trip and more than happy to assist me! She cracks me up and we always have so much fun together! You can see our entire path to purchase in my Google+ Album.
Here are my before and after photos from the kitchen with #HeinzVinegar:
The stove was a difficult one. I don’t think the drip pans have been cleaned since I moved in. I let them soak for about 30 min, wiped out most of the grime and then covered them with aluminum foil. If I soaked them longer I am pretty sure that most of it would have come off. I think it looks amazing!
The one BIG cleaning job that I always use bleach for is cleaning my sink. It was a Flylady ‘Shine Your Sink’ thing and I used bleach, comet and windex. It got GREAT results, but that is a ton of chemicals that I don’t want around the sink and by the dishes/silverware we put in our mouths.
The BEFORE sink and counter. My sinks are not ceramic, they are actually a type of plastic, so they are difficult to clean. The sink head was pretty grimy, so I poured some vinegar into a sandwich bag and rubber banded it on for about an hour. My counter top had a couple nice red stains on it, courtesy of the kids and koolaid with Red #40.
AFTER: The sink was much shinier and I didn’t scrub much at all! The faucet head was WAY improved! I ended up using baking soda and vinegar to get the stain off the counter top, but I am so pleased that all of this was done without using any harsh chemicals!
A very smart alternative, not just for your health and the environment, but for your pocket book as well! The Heinz Cleaning Vinegar was only $2.98 for a gallon, and I am guessing it is over $30 for the chemical cleaners!
I’m headed to do the coffee pot, the bathroom and the floors next! I will most definitely be telling my friends about this great way to get their house clean naturally and save money as a bonus!
DISCLOSURE: I am a member of the Collective Bias™ Social Fabric® Community. This content has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias and Heinz. #CBias #SocialFabric. However, those of you who know me, know that I love doing things like this! Never fear, you will always ‘hear it like it is’ from Sarea! -
So as Sarea has talked about county living and the interesting parts of it all I began to realize more and more that I too am now living in the country and my internal response was..
Wait!… I live where?… what?!?
When camp is in progress you tend to forget that you are living in the country because in each week there are close to 500 people roaming around the camp grounds but once the faces, voices, and silly songs disappear camp becomes a very different place. One might ask what is left after that… well… Jenna (my co) and I discovered the answer to that question quickly.
The two weeks that followed the end of camp we were the only two here due to others being on vacation and everyone else moving to Springfield to be in that office for the year. Jenna and I quickly began to realize what is truly left when camp is over.
*gardens to pick
*BIG flower beds to water
*a mama goat and her baby
*a few little ducks that wont seem to leave (even though they are free)
*a cat named sassy, who actually is a little sassy
* and yes…the Donkey (whose name is Eddie but is however actually a girl). It truly took us several days to discover all of these things.
It all began when our boss casually stated, “hey girls, will you move the goats to that other pen and feed them the next few days?” Well what he really meant was the rest of the year, haha.
We also quickly realized that the animals were quite lonely in the sudden absence of people. They are used to having pet set acitivity 3 times a day so kids come and pet them and give them tons of love and attention. We began to see that when we would go to feed these animals they would cry, literally, and follow us around like they are puppies. Jenna and I then sprang into action and began to water everything we saw fit to water, picked some lovely tomato plants and yes feed and loved on the animals.
Now, I grew up in the country and on a farm in Arkansas. Jenna however, grew up in the city of Denver Colorado. This was quite the adventure for her and ended with me teaching numerous things that I had to suddenly bring into remembrance from the recesses of my mind that dated back to well over 10 years ago.
Things such as;
When opening a gate to a field with animals that will run out, you open towards the field aka towards the animal, to use it as a barricade. The donkey had escaped once this summer and we had an entire staff to chase it down. Jenna and I truly didn’t stand a chance catching that thing if it got out, so this became a crucial lesson.
Another lesson was that in order to give an animal a bail of hay you have to actually cut the twine not just throw it out in the field for them to attempt to get out of the small packed square. haha (Jenna knows I love her) These were things that were in this crazy random reservoir of my mind that I completely forgot were there and suddenly I found myself desperately, and at moments panic-ally, having to put them back into practice.
Several of our adventures included and let me reassure you were not limited to;
* Jenna may or may have not gotten the urge to ride the donkey bareback at one point and to my surprise the donkey let her. I still think that she was so attention and love hungry that anything would do… someone was loving her and that was all that mattered. .
* The cat ran out of food for a few days and when I finally made it into town and remembered to get her food she ate as quickly as she could, and to my lovely surprise the next morning I walk out of my room and she is proudly sitting there with a large dead mole at my door way. She apparently now loved me. While that was love to her, to me it as a dead animal at my door step (something that I had grown very accustomed to not seeing living town, just saying).
* We had moments of watering flower beds for hours because in the midst of all of the other work we were doing to prepare for the upcoming start of our program we simply just forgot.
We had many laughs and many moments of being like, “what are we doing in the middle of woods in Missouri with only the two of us and a donkey? What is this?” But we mostly had laughs.
We have since had other year round staff return and our program staff arrive and soon we will have the students of our program arrive but that small season of it just being Jenna, me and the Donkey will live on as great times and moments for our friendship, jobs, and lives. This is a new journey and season in so many aspects and I am beginning to see that country living will continue to become more and more of my life again, hopefully with a good balance, ( I really love the city), but a part none the less.