life is always about the journey...

Friday, April 12, 2013

Au Naturel!

 My Quest to Lead a More Healthy & Natural Lifestyle Continues!!

Over the past few years I've been trying to live a healthier life, not just for myself but for my family, my animals and the world in general.  That doesn't just mean the food I put in my mouth but the things I clean the house with, use on the yard and things I use on my body.  I haven't done anything drastic nor have I tried to do it all at once.  If you try to do EVERYTHING all at once it usually just leads to disaster and frustration.  So every couple of months I try to integrate something new into the routine, something that is easy to follow through with and keep up AND see if its the right choice for me and my family.  There are lots of choices out there for organic and natural so you have to do the research and find what works for you the best. 

So I'm not saying WHAT I use is the best out there or what you should use...I'm simply sharing a few things that I have done that have worked pretty darn well.  And I'll share more ideas and things I've done every couple of weeks with you as well.  So if you want to slowly try to change certain things in your life you can follow along in your own way on this journey!


Let's start this segment with VINEGAR...the white distilled vinegar or apple cider if you can buy it in gallon jugs at some stores and its cheap.  Or if you are adventurous you can make your own vinegar!  Vinegar kills 99% of bacteria and 80% of viruses and can kill's that for an all purpose-organic cleaner!! And you will be amazed at the things it can clean and do...all naturally without any nasty chemicals!!  Now nothing I'm going to tell you is new and some you might know, buttttt some you might not know & want to here ya go :)  Yes you will have a slight vinegar smell but it goes away quickly so no worries there.  And if you love essential-natural oils you can add them to the mixtures too!

So get a few empty squirt bottles, some labels, vinegar of your choice and get ready!!


Pet Odor Killer

And we need to start with animals...I have 8 of them currently...2 dogs and 6 cats.  So I know all about pet smells, vomit and accidents in the house TRUST ME!  For a long time I was trying every chemical there was out there to no avail and then I started reading what was in those products...EWWW-YUCKY...not good at all.  Then I read a tip by the one and only "Heloise"...remember her?  Yeah I love her, she's wonderful and she uses 95% only natural things to clean.  Well she recommend using vingar...the white distilled vinegar that you can buy gallons of for cheap and dousing the accident spots.  If accidents have taken place on carpet DAB up as much of the urine as possible with papertowels THEN spray the area with the vinegar mixture really good and dab up again.  Then use a medical syringe (the kind you give meds in and easily found at drugstores) to insert the vinegar down into the carpet pad.  It DOES smell like vinegar for a little bit but amazingly after it starts to dry it takes the nasty odors away with it and cleans magic I tell ya!  I have used a lot on past areas that even after having carpets cleaned just smelled a bit...and its a miracle I tell you!  If you have upholstery or dark colored carpet it most likely won't change or lighten the color BUT its always safe to try it in a spot first before going full on ok!
*I also clean around the litter boxes with vinegar-water spray and clean the outsides of the boxes with it. 

Bug and Spider Spray

Tis' the season for bugs...spring is coming and we have all sorts of fun spiders weaving webs and trying to get in the house.  Now I'm not squeamish about spiders or bugs and I usually leave most alone.  But we have HUGE wolf spiders here that hop...yuck...and well, they are just nasty.  If they are in the house or near me on the patio...I will take action.  Vinegar contains acetic acid which is non-toxic to humans and animals but not to buggeroos!  Mix equal amounts of vinegar and water in a spray bottle (label it) and spray on the spiders to kill or repel them.  You can also mix essential oils in the spray if you choose...eucalyptus or rose oil is toxic to spiders too and its smells good.  I have a spray bottle of bug killer that I leave on the patio when we are outside just in case ;)  AND guess what...ants don't like it if you have an ant problem try spraying some vinegar/water down and see if that helps!

All Purpose Cleaner

I use equal amounts of vinegar and water in a spray bottle for all sorts of things.  I wipe up the inside of my ovens with it and I boil it in a dish in my microwave for 3 mins top get rid of all ickiness in the microwave.  The moisture and vinegar coat the microwave and allow you to wipe it down and get any grease off easily.  
*Fridge- I wipe down the insides of my refrigerators with the spray solution too...cleans AND gets rid of any icky odors.  If you mix vinegar with some baking soda and make a paste...well you can clean all sorts of things.  
*I clean the inside of my dutch oven pot with this paste to keep it nice and white and rid of stains.  
*I also scrub the bathtubs with this paste to clean any stains up and keep them nice and white. 
*Laundry - add a bit of vinegar to your wash cycles to keep your clothes nice and bright.  Also if your towels or any clothing has a bit of a musty odor even after washing...add some vinegar to the soak cycle...let them soap and wash them again.
*Hardwood floors - my go-to cleaner for cleaning all the hardwood in my house is a spray bottle of vinegar and water.  I use a micro-fiber mop to clean it up and it does a great job!
*as a glass cleaner...use 1 part vinegar to 3 parts water and a microfiber cloth (or newspaper but I for some reason cannot use newspaper to clean windows/glass, it gives me a creepy-ick feeling lol)...cleans them perfectly everytime.
*clean your iron of any white residue/mineral build up...add 1 part vinegar and the rest water to the steam receptacle and run the iron on steam till its all gone, then wipe down iron well.  Ta Da!!
*Toilet Bowl Cleaner- I haven't tried this yet but I have read you can put 1/2 cup of vinegar in the toilets, let it sit for 20 mins and then scrub and all clean.  I need to start doing this...I'm a bleach user in toilets but this is supposed to the same job...soooo its next on my list to try!
*Garbage Disposal - pour about 1/2 cup of vinegar in the sink drain/disposal and let it sit for about an hour...gets rid of any nasty odors down there...ewww!
*Baseboards - I wipe my baseboards down with my vinegar & water spray...cleans and brightens them and gets any weird dirt or odors off fabulously!

There are many more uses for vinegar around the house for cleaning purposes...I didn't list them all but I listed the ones I have tried with good success and do on a regular basis!


Hair:  If you hair gets any kind of mine does...because its very thin and we have hard water where we live.  Well you can add a bit of vinegar to equal amounts of water and rinse your hair out well and it will remove residue naturally.  What I did:  I bought an empty bottle at Target and added 1 part vinegar to 7-8 parts water and then added an essential oil (I like rose or citrus).  It softens my hair and gets rid of any residue from minerals or soap.  Its like magic I tell ya and cheap to make!!  It also makes your hair super shiny!  BONUS:  keeps hair color from fading

Pimples:  add some cider vinegar and water to a bottle and dab on pimples for a natural remedy.  I use half vinegar/half water in the bottle...more vinegar is too drying for me so you will have to sample what works best for you.  I dab it on in the morning and evening if I see a problem popping up and it works good.  I have sensitive skin and this is easy on my skin compared to over-the-counter products.

Hand De-odorizer:  I'm a Maryland girl...grew up near the Chesapeake Bay and I grew up crackin' & eatin' oysters and Maryland Blue crabs.  Every summer you will find me doing this OFTEN.  But dang it your hands will SMELL.  I've tried lots of things...but rinsing my hands with vinegar and salt gets most of the smell off for reals :)  Works on onion & garlic smells too!

Hand Scrub:  I have dirty fingers...shhhhh....I use Copic markers and ink every day...and some days I'm painting and using my fingers and nails always look...ummm...colorful LOL!  I read this tip about a year ago and had to try it out because I was using just alcohol on my hands to clean the stains off and its SOOO drying ugh.  So fiddling around the internet I read this recipe and decided to try it and VOILA it works pretty darn good.  Cornmeal, vinegar and water and some sea salt...mix in a bowl to form a paste and scrub fingers and nails with it.  I leave it on for a minute or two and rinse off and repeat.  My hands are soft and 90% clean of the for me!

Bug Bites:  dab vinegar on bug bites to stop the itch AND repel other bugs!!  YAY!


So there you go...a little look into my vinegar fascination and how much it can do!  I simply love it and feel so much better about cleaning with it knowing its all natural.  You can google other uses for vinegar and Heloise has more tips on her site as well for things that I probably haven't tried or needed LOL.  

This is just one small way I've been incorporating healthy-all-natural products into my routine!  I will share more things I have done in my journey the past few years with you in another post...stay tuned!

Are there things you have done to cut down on the chemical-product-usage in your house for cleaning??
I'd love to hear!



  1. Good tips! I learned a thing or two. Thanks!

  2. Gosh, I love this blog! I have been reading and just had the chance to comment. Allie is taking up a lot of my time lately but I got a chance to actually comment! I love vinegar! Did you know you can also use it for a wood cleaner by using 1 part vinegar to 1 part olive oil? It leaves such a gorgeous shine and moisturises your wood? It's fabulous! I learned some things I didn't know and can't wait to get cleaning!



    1. Thanks bunches Susan! I appreciate it and have fun cleaning...I finished up all mine yesterday so I have the weekend off LOL! Hugs!

  3. Vinegar ROCKS! It'll kill the weeds in the cracks of your sidewalks and driveways too!

    QUESTION: Where do you buy your essential oils?


  4. Vinegar ROCKS! It'll kill the weeds in the cracks of your sidewalks and driveway too!

    QUESTION: Where do you buy your essential oils?

    Love your blog,

    1. Yes vinegar does rock...I got thru a LOT of it :) I get my essential oils from Wegmans now but before I had ordered a few from Amazon..they have a pretty good selection! HTH!

  5. Hi Suzanne,

    I love your new blog, it's great! After reading all your cleaning tips, I thought I'd share this article with you

    Some definite handy tips, no cleaning cupboard should be without bicarb & vinegar. Another one I've not seen mentioned that I know of is sticking a dentures tablet into the toilet bowl to keep it sparkly fresh!

    Take Care, Lyns xx

  6. Wow, I never knew there were so many uses for vinegar!!


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