Gardening in the Blind


Comet Replacer
January 18, 2010, 5:44 am
Filed under: cleaning, Cooking/Canning/Drying, Green, Herbs

The perfect scrubber

I am trying to replace all store purchased cleaners with my own.  It is a very slow process.  This has found me frustrated and exhilarated all at the same time.  So, after many renditions of scrubber, I have finally found one that I like, and it is easy!  Having all the herbs that I do, I have decided that I need to make sure that they work for me.  Given this, I have chosen to put Rosemary, Thyme and Sage into my scrub.  This is what I have done: 

Placing equal parts dried rosemary and sage leaves, and 1/2 part thyme in my mortar, I grind until fully ground.  Next I add 1-1/2 parts baking soda and mix well.  I top with some unground rosemary for more scrubbing abilities.  My choice of rosemary, sage and thyme is an easy choice.  Rosemary is a natural antibacterial herb.  Sage is antibacterial and antifungal.  Which leaves thyme.  Thyme is antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral.  So, I have triple antibacterial, double antifungal and a dash of antiviral.  All important elements when dealing with dishes.  I place in a jam jar with a cover and use when needed.  Perfection at its best!



Cleaning with herbs
October 29, 2009, 10:37 am
Filed under: cleaning, Green, Herbs
Herbs

Herbs/vegetables ready to be hung to dry

As fall clean-up is in full swing, I thought I would blog a bit on “Green” cleaning.  Having a house full of animals that lick everything, I have been forced to clean things without chemicals.  In doing so, I have learned a tremendous amount.  So I thought I would share some with you.

Did you know that vinegar is a mild acid.  It works on alkaline substances such as mold, soap scum, coffee, rust and tea.  Castile soap (made with olive oil) or vegetable based soaps attach to soil at the molecular level, so you can rinse away with water.  One of my favorite soaps is Dr. Bonners.  Just ignore the packaging as he was a bit of a nut case!

Remember the large bunch of herbs on the cart that I needed to bring in for drying?  Well they have many uses.  Besides the gifts that we give during the holidays, I use it for a sink scrubber as well.  It not only works great but it smells delightful as well:

Must of the rest of my cleaning consists of castile soap (Dr. Bonner’s)/vinegar/baking soda.  I tend to use peppermint or lavender soaps for cleaning.  I started using tea tree soap, but found it is really bad for animals, so I went back to the original selection.  So below find my recipes for Sink Scrubber, Wall Cleaner, Glass Cleaner, Pretreatment of Laundry Stains and a handy selection of helpful advice for carpet stain cleaners.

Sink Scrubber

1 cup baking soda, dried sage leaves coarsely ground and dried mint leaves coarsely ground, 1/2 cup ground rosemary leaves

Combine all ingredients and place in an airtight container and shake to blend.  Sprinkle a small amount of the powder into a sink and scrub.  Rinse well.

Wall Cleaner

Combine 1 part water to ½ part vinegar.   Tip: clean from the bottom up to prevent unsightly drip lines.

Glass Cleaner

Combine 2 quarts water and ¼ cup white vinegar into a spray bottle and use as you would a commercial cleaner.  Try wiping with an old newspaper instead of paper towels to eliminate streaks.

Pretreatment of Laundry Stains

1 part distilled white vinegar to ½ part salt.  Combine in a squirt or spray bottle and apply to stains before washing.  For heavy stains, soak for an hour or so before washing.

Carpet Stain Cleaners

Although the best two items for carpet I have found is salt or cream of tarter, here are some helpful ideas:

Red wine stain: Pour white wine on top and allow to sit a bit.  Or try pouring salt on top, let it sit for 20 minutes than vacuum.

Mud stains: Put salt or baking soda on top of it and let sit for 20 minutes, then vacuum.