Tag Archives: natural cleaning

How to Clean Your Dishwasher Naturally

If you have a dishwasher, then you probably know it too needs to be cleaned periodically in order for it to continue to clean all your dishes the way its supposed to.  If you’re someone like me though who didn’t know that, hopefully you found this post before your dishwasher alerted you via its new stanky smell.

Once I “got wind” of the issue so to speak, I tried cleaning out the dishwasher myself with my rag and spray bottle of vinegar water and essential oils.  But, while I did find some funk, the machine still had an odor itself once it was running.

Since I had no more answers, I headed to the “answer box”; AKA the computer.  Everything I read said use bleach.  I really didn’t like that idea.  Most said use just a bit, and it’s no big deal.  But, I figured there had to be a better, more natural way to clean the dishwasher.  So I decided to try and use my tried and true natural cleaning buds, baking soda and vinegar.

Of course, they worked like a charm!  I share what I did so you too can avoid bleach and clean your dishwasher naturally.

  • Wipe down the inside, outside, nooks and crannies of the dishwasher so there’s no visible gunk or grime using vinegar water spray and a rag.
  • Put some baking soda into the soap dispenser.
  • Fill 2 small- medium sized bowls with white vinegar and tea tree oil.
  • Put a bowl of vinegar/tea tree oil water on the top rack of  the dishwasher an done on the bottom in whatever spot you have where it can sit there and have water splash it all around the machine during the cleaning cycle.
  • Set the dishwasher on a short cycle.

baking soda in soap dispenser of dishwasher for natural cleaning

bowl of white vinegar and essential oils to clean a dishwasher naturallyOnce the dishwasher completes the cycle, the smells should be gone.  Depending on the machine though and how dirty it is, it may take a second run through to really work.  Do this regularly (monthly would be good) to keep the odors at bay naturally too and you can easily keep your dishwasher spic and span without using any harsh, chemical ingredients.







Enhance Your Natural Home With House Plants

Looking for a way to bring that extra something to your home or office?  Try adding an indoor plant to your space.  They have a LOT to offer a natural home!

House plants offer proven benefits for your overall health and wellness including –

Improving Air Quality

Reducing Stress

Providing A Natural Feel or Ambiance

Increasing Feelings of Well Being and Happiness

House plants can also be a fun way to involve kids in the care of the natural family home.  They offer them a bit of responsibility, but not too much, while at the same time allowing children to experience the always miraculous event of watching something grow.

Not only do house plants have all of these benefits for us though; they’re affordable too!  You can find them pretty small for a dollar or two and enjoy the rewards of watching the plant grow, even if it is kind of slow.  Or, look for larger plants at yard sales and moving sales.   Last year when we were on the lookout for a few more large indoor plants to add to our new, much sunnier home we found some at a moving sale for free in fact!

house plant cuttings in a windowMany house plants make their own babies too like spider plants for example.  Others are pretty easy to re grow from cuttings like Jade Plants and Pothos.  Either way growing new plants this way can be another option to help make adding plants to your natural home affordable.

All you need to do to begin growing a new plant from the ones you already have is just take the tiny plant or the cutting, gently remove a few leaves from the bottom if necessary,  and put it in a jar of water in a sunny window.  Before you know it there will be roots coming out of the cutting and you’ll be able to plant your new plant into its pot of soil.

It can be fun to start or add to your collection of plants by asking your friends for cuttings of theirs too.  Much like separating plantings for sharing with fellow gardeners, sharing house plant cuttings is fun and makes the resulting plants even more meaningful.

Now, I know many will read this and say “I don’t have a green thumb – I can’t grow house plants” but there are some indoor plants, like Pothos and Spiders, that are so easy to grow.  You just need to be sure not to over water them.  Check the moisture level of the soil each time by hand and water only when its dry.  House plants are very forgiving and worth a shot even for those with the blackest of thumbs.

If you need affordable pots for your houseplants, check thrift stores, yard sales, and post on freecycle.org; never know what treasures you might find!  You can also reuse items from around the house like coffee cans or old tea cups.  Make plain pots more lively with paint, glitter, stickers, etc.  Chalkboard paint can be a neat addition to plant pots too.

House plants offer so much to a natural home and can bring many years of enjoyment with just a bit of your love and care.  Bring some plants into your home or office today and see what a difference they can make naturally.

Proof Baking Soda Is A Must Have For Any Natural Home

I’ve been cleaning with baking soda for a number of years now and it never ceases to amaze me how many areas of the home it’s good for.  Some people just don’t believe in the power of the baking soda though and insist on expensive (and often toxic) cleaners.

Well, here’s some proof of just how powerful baking soda is.

My husband, Mr. T., is a carpenter and often during remodels, he’ll find a treasure or two the homeowner doesn’t want that he’ll bring home.  He amped that up 100% when we were building our house this year, which we’re so grateful for.  One of the scores he made was a fantastic stainless steel pots and pans hanging light fixture!

When it came time to have the electrician put it up in our kitchen, I pulled it out of the shed and realized it had quite a thick coating of grease mixed with dust – Take a Look…


image of dirty light fixture cleaned with baking soda
BEFORE - This is the stainless steel light fixture before I cleaned it. It's very close up in an attempt to show just how thick the coating of grease actually was. At first, it looked fine - but upon closer inspection - EWWWWW!


Ewwww is right!  At first, I went after it with my vinegar water solution but, that just smeared it all around – double ewww.

I tried a more abrasive rag, nothing.  Then, I remembered how I have had great success cleaning the oven (greasy and nasty as it often is) with a paste of baking soda and water along with a bit of elbow grease.

So, off for the baking soda I went.  I dumped a bunch into a bowl and then added just enough water to make it into a spreadable paste (not exact instructions I know, but it’s really all ya gotta do and make as much or as little as you need).  I slathered that baking soda paste all over the stainless steel fixture and scrubbed with a rag.  This is what happened!


natural home cleaning a light fixture with baking soda
AFTER - the same upper portion of the light fixture after being scrubbed down with a paste of baking soda and water. Notice the shine as opposed to the dull greasy appearance of the "before" photo above?


Much Better!  And, here’s the finished product after then being cleaned off with a vinegar and water mixture and then fully dried.


light fixture in a natural home
The finished fixture all cleaned and shiny in it's new home!


The only warning I will give about baking soda – and I just learned the hard way with this project – DO NOT use baking soda on un-sealed wood – it will leave brown marks.  I got some on our cedar shingles when cleaning this light fixture and then got some on our unsealed butcher block (maple) counter tops and both times it left brown/black marks after reacting with the wood.


Other than that – use baking soda anywhere you’d use an abrasive cleanser as well as in your laundry, your fridge, as a carpet deodorizer/cleaner, to clean your stained coffee mugs, and so much more!!