I cheated on my essential oils…

… with homeopathy.

I love my oils. I do. I use them all the time. I make laundry detergent, floor cleaner, household cleaner, and more with them. I love what they can do. I’ve been amazed at what I’ve seen them do.  I’ve seen them heal wounds, clear up congestion, calm an upset stomach.  But there’s a lot of misinformation about using essential oils. It’s sometimes difficult to find out the true information. I have found that even among experts simple things are still debated. Bigger companies combat with other companies saying ones better than the other therefore the rules do not apply. It’s hard to wade through all the information and know what you’re doing right healthwise.

I sometimes find myself riding a fine line. Sometimes agreeing with one side and sometimes agreeing with another side of an issue. I think essential oil use comes with a need for people to be diligent about research education and discretion.  It’s not so simple as just slapping an oil on a sore.  There are safety precautions that need to be followed, and oftentimes in the effort to “sell” an oil, these safety things get left aside.

A few days ago I found myself  abandoning my essential oils. I developed an extremely irritable rash on my face and neck. There were a variety of reasons it could have occurred but my likely culprit was an essential oil even though I didn’t directly apply the directly in that area.

When I was pregnant I started getting a rash on my throat when I’d apply lemon (yes, it was diluted) to my throat for a sore throat. lemon rashThe general response I got was that necks are sensitive.

(And the picture doesn’t do this rash justice. My face feels like sandpaper now 4-5 days later).lemon rash 2

This rash was very similar yet a little different.

So I started to dig a little deeper. I had not applied an oil topically anywhere along my neck.  I had dabbed a little whisper blend earlier that morning behind my ear. My first thought. I had been working in the yard, possibly a plant I touched? I applied sunscreen, maybe that? Yet neither of my children reacted to it and I’ve used it plenty of times before. Miserable and uncomfortable I did the allergy blend in a capsule. 2 drops of lemon, 2 drops of peppermint, and 2 lavender. The rash wasn’t getting any better. The itching becoming unbearable. Some of my oil contacts gave me suggestions for other oil remedies and stated that it’s a detox. Then I remembered for the last few days I had been drinking one 32oz water bottle with 1-2 drops of a metabolic blend.  I looked on the ingredient list and low and behold…lemon. So not only did I possibly react to the lemon in the metabolic blend but then added to it by taking 2 more drops of lemon.  The only thing that would resolve the itching was my unda cream (homeopathy) and coconut oil. My husband’s allergy pill didn’t even take away the itch.

Why do I share this?

In my search to determine whether or not it was an oil that I had used that caused the reaction, I stumbled across some startling information. Essential oils can cause reactions.  And they are not always detoxing! It’s simple any substance put into or on your body is going to potentially cause a reaction.  Nothing in this world is completely non-reactive for every single human being. Well I guess maybe water…

Just because it’s natural does not mean it is safe for everyone. 

However, even with a possibility of reacting, I would choose something that is natural that has a chance of reacting over synthetic toxins anyway!  I just hope to do it as safe as possible to avoid a possible reaction.

So many people have reactions to simple mundane things that others do not. It cannot be eliminated the an essential oil could be the same. Or that your body is going to remain the same for your entire life. Your hormones shift. Your diet changes. Your exercise changes. The toxins present in your environment change.  I stumbled across multiple accounts online of changes to people’s response to simple things like aloe vera (being fine with it for 30+ years and then one day breaking out into hives and not being able to use it again).

How do I use essential oils safely?

1. Dilute dilute dilute.

I cannot express or stress diluting enough.  I think this is KEY! So many reactions can be eliminated by diluting. Did you know that one drop of peppermint oil is equal to 28 cups of peppermint tea? Essential oils are powerful. People use them because of these powerful properties. But these powerful properties need to be respected. Dilute your oils. Not only does it save your money but it saves the adverse reactions to potentially strong or reactive oils (reactive to be used loosely cause all oils have the power to be reactive).

dilution

(Diluting like this could save a ton of money!)

2. Change up your oil routine

Using the same oil day in and day out can set your body up for becoming sensitive to that oil. In my particular situation that’s exactly what I think happened. When I was pregnant I was sick frequently. Lemon oil was my oil of choice for helping combat my sicknesses. It was one of the oils I felt was safest to use during pregnancy. Some of the other immune boosting oils I didn’t feel safe using. So I used lots of lemon. And then I started reacting. (That goodness I hadn’t overused lavender!! It’s my favorite). Explore more oils.  If you always turn to lemon for congestion, take a look at lavender, digestion blend, lime, respiratory blend, eucalyptus, peppermint, juniper berry, cypress, melaleuca, cedarwood, ginger, rosemary, fennel, etc. If you always use lavender for sleep, try calming blend, vetiver, Roman Chamomile, or marjoram.  You might be surprise at what success you have with an unsuspecting oil. I love ordering oils with my Loyalty Rewards Program because I’ll often trade in my points for oils I wouldn’t normally want to buy.  After I get them, I oftentimes wonder why I’d never ordered it before! Some of my favorite oils have been ones I get for free with points and later end up ordering all the time!

3. Know your oils

Essential oils can be complex. Know an oil before you use it.  Are there precautions you need to take? Are there people with certain conditions that should not use the oil? Does it cause photosensitivity? Are these oils pure or do they contain impurities (the FDA does not regulate essential oils and the minimum amount of essential oil that needs to be in a bottle to receive the “100% pure” label is only 3% essential oil!)? What country are these oils sourced from?  Please do not just take the advice of someone else, unless you trust that person completely. Do your own research.  There are plenty of books, websites, and other resources available to help make sure you are using essential oils safely.  I encourage you to continue to exploring ways to replace things in your homes that may be toxic or synthetic with essential oils (cleaners, laundry detergents, air fresheners, etc).  I feel this is by far a safer choice!  When it comes to using on your body, be more diligent about your research.Each day I learn something new and love that I can continue to learn about them and help others learn about them!

I will still use my oils and will continue to recommend them to others but I now have a better understanding of their power.  They have gained a little more of my respect.  Also, I do believe that I may be able to restore some bit of homeostasis in my body to hopefully not react to the lemon.  It is like food sensitivities, which change over time and can be healed if treated and cared for properly.  I’m just not sure what that will look like for now other than avoiding lemon.

I am dedicated to recommending oils in the safest way possible.  Please don’t hesitate to ask me questions! If I don’t know, I’ll try to find out for you.

Natural Toilet Bowl Cleaner

This post is kind of mortifying to me! I’m literally going to show you pictures of my toilet. It makes me cringe. It’s DISGUSTING! I think part of it is with the California drought we aren’t flushing as often, part of it is that we have hard water, and from some research I think some may be rust deposits. Oh, and I guess I should probably clean it a little more frequently.

But this is it! Disgusting!

toilet (1 of 3)

From my research, I saw lots of variations of sort of the same recipe for toilet cleaning. This is what I used

  1. I added 1 cup of baking soda and about 3-5 drops of purification blend essential oil.
  2. I let it soak for approximately 30 minutes and then added 1 cup of vinegar.
  3. I waited roughly 30 minutes again and then used my toilet bowl cleaner.toilet (2 of 3)
  4. It came out cleaner but not like I wanted. So I added all the ingredients again and let it sit for a few hours.
  5. Then scrubbed it a little harder.

This was my final result. Not quite as clean as I would like but WAY better. I’ll probably do this a little more often to keep it cleaner and less difficult to scrub!

toilet (3 of 3)

How to Dilute Oils—And Save Some Money

Every oil user should know how to dilute. There’s some specifics and some fluidity and flexibility with diluting.

  • Some oils require dilution to be used safely All oils should be diluted. (Please see my recent post about sensitivity development.)
  • Some people need oils to be diluted for safety or sensitivity
  • Using oils is all about frequency, not quantity. It saves you money and is more effective if you dilute and apply more frequently.

What do I dilute with?

A carrier oil is the term most people use in regards to using an oil to dilute an essential oil. Good options are Fractionated Coconut Oil (for constant liquid) or Coconut Oil (solidifies in cooler temperatures). Almond oil, grapeseed oil, and avocado oil are also good.

When do I dilute? ALWAYS!-But some oils require higher dilution

Type of Oil “Hot”

Particular oils are “hot” or powerful.  Some people are more sensitive too. Citrus oils can sometimes cause sensitivity and may benefit from dilution. Oregano, clove, cinnamon, thyme, etc are all hot oils and benefit from dilution. Peppermint, lemongrass, and immunity blend can also benefit from increased dilution on some people.

Skin Test

Every person is different and your response to oils will be different then others. It’s best to trial a small amount of oil in a small part of your body before mixing it into a full body rub and applying!

Children

It’s always recommended to dilute when applying to children. With young babies, you will use a heavier dilution rate than with older children. Typically with children a 1 drop of EO to 1 tbs of carrier oil is sufficient, but it also makes a difference the age of your child and the oil you are using. This dilution would be sufficient for lavender but may need more dilution, even up to 1 drop per 2 tablespoon of carrier oil with oils like clove, cinnamon, or oregano may not be sufficient.

Reaction

There have been times when I’ve had a reaction to an oil. Applying a carrier oil on that site will then help dilute the oil and reduce the reaction. Next time, try diluting heavier or apply only to the bottom of your feet. Also, watch out for a sensitivity to an oil. Discontinue use of an oil if you continue to have reactions even with higher dilutions.  Attempt to bring your body into more homeostasis with rest from that oil and immune boosting strategies such as whole and raw foods and probiotics.

Can I pre-Dilute?

This has been my latest love when it comes to oils! I’ve mixed up commonly used oils in our house in roller bottles.  I don’t have to figure out how much oil to carrier oil needs to be used when my daughter is crying with a tummy ache. I just grab the roller bottle and rub it across her belly, knowing I’ve already done the dilution and thought ahead of time. These roller bottles are easy to find on amazon.com or aromatools.com. I’ve been using clear ones but with more reading, I just ordered a set of blue ones to help maintain the oils. You can also order spray caps that screw onto old essential oil bottles so you can dilute and spray on as needed.

You can check out this website for more information regarding diluting. Please take note that each website has a different “right way” so it is best to make a decision that is appropriate for you!

dilution

Lavender Lemon Drop

lavender lemon drop (4 of 4)Years ago I had a lavender martini at a restaurant and it was delightful! I’ve always wanted to recreate it but haven’t ever had any easy way to make it (or the motivation to give it a try).  But since then, I’ve discovered essential oils.  Thus, I present to you my lavender lemon drop.lavender lemon drop (3 of 4)

Ingredients for Lemon Drop

  • 1/2 a lemon juiced
  • 3 oz vodka
  • 1 tbs Lavender simple syrup

Add all ingredients into shaker with ice and shake vigorously for 20 seconds. Strain liquid into glass rimmed with sugar.

lavender lemon drop (1 of 4) lavender lemon drop (2 of 4)

Ingredients for Lavender Simple Syrup

  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 2-5 drops of Lavender essential oil(be sure that you use essential oils rate for ingestion)

Heat water and sugar till sugar dissolves.  Remove from heat.  Add essential oils. Cool completely before adding to lemon drop.

 

Time to enjoy! I so wish I had lavender in my yard to add a sprig to my drink. It’s one of my favorite plants ever! Time to add to the shopping list!

You could try adding lemon essential oil too.

Summer Series: Soothing Sunburns with Essential Oils

Gardening and planting my summer garden is one of my favorite things to do! I just love it! When we finally got our fence done, I feverishly worked on getting my garden boxes done and planted.  It was a cloudy day, my baby was sleeping, and my toddler was helping.  It didn’t even occur to me to put on sunscreen.  I didn’t even realize how burnt I had become until I went to get in the shower.  That’s when I took this picture.
sunburnFortunately, it didn’t hurt too bad but as soon as I got out of the shower, I went to the oils! There are a couple different remedies and options.

Sunburn Soothing Gel

(this is the one I used, and then switched out peppermint for frankincense once it cooled a little)

  • 1 tsp of aloe vera
  • 2-3 drops of lavender oil
  • 1-2 drops of peppermint oil

Sunburn Spray #1

  • 16oz. glass spray bottle
  • 1 cup + 1 tablespoon Aloe Vera Juice
  • 1/4 cup Fractionated Coconut Oil
  • 1 teaspoon Vitamin E
  • 8 drops lavender oil
  • 8 drops melaleuca oil
  • 8 drops Roman Chamomile oil

Sunburn Spray #2

  • 20 drops of Lavender
  • 10-20 drops of Pepeprmint
  • 2 ounce spray bottle
  • Fill the remainder with either water or fractionated coconut oil.

(Once the initial sting is worn away, you can trade the peppermint oil for frankincense oil)

  • 1 tsp of aloe vera
  • 2-3 drops of lavender oil
  • 1-2 drops of frankincense oil

 

Summer Series: Removing a Splinter

Walking around barefoot, relaxing on the sand, basking in the sunlight…only a few of the wonderful things that summer brings. But in those blissful months, there can be a few deterrents.  My first…a Splinter. Right in the middle of my foot! Right where my flip flop strap hit.  It made walking in sandals uncomfortable.  Who can have that during summer?

This little bugger was big and completely lodged under skin.  It wasn’t deep and I probably could have fished it out by slicing the top few layers of skin and digging it out.  But I had read some information about using baking soda and lavender oil to get it to come out.  I gave it a try.

I mixed a few drops of lavender oil with about 1/2 tsp of baking soda and a few drips of water.  I mixed it into a thick paste and applied to my splinter and covered with a bandaid.  I kept it on over night.

The next morning, when I went to remove the splinter, it didn’t look like much had happened.  Honestly, I was pretty bummed that it didn’t work.  Anticipating beginning to dig it out, I slid the tweezers along the edge of the splinter from the end without the opening, towards the opening.  To my surprise, the thing literally slid right out! I wish I had it on camera!  So, there you have it! It works!  I’ve heard it works with just lavender oil itself, as well but figured the both together made it most effective.

Splinter Removal Recipe

  • 2-3 drops of lavender oil
  • ~1/2 tsp of Baking Soda
  • Few drops of water
  • Bandaid

splinter bakingsodasplinter

How to Give Your Baby/Child a Massage

Can you even imagine the impact physical touch has on a baby? Research over and over again demonstrates the power of human touch on development. It’s been a dream of mine to become an infant massage instructor because of my strong passion for touch and baby development.  As an OT, I find it extremely beneficial for children with various needs.  I wrote this as if it’s for babies but I have to admit I still do it on my toddler.  Many of these strokes and benefits are great for a child of almost any age.

Massage is beneficial for:

  • Muscle relaxation
  • Promoting sleep
  • Increasing digestion
  • Body awareness
  • Emotional connection and attachment between caregiver and infant
  • Tactile stimulation/can reduce or prevent tactile hypersensitivites
  • Visual stimulation/facial attention/eye to eye contact
  • Auditory stimulation/Communication (often parents talk and communicate with baby during massage)
  • Improved blood circulation
  • Pain relief (i.e. teething!)
  • Establishing routines
  • Relieve Colic
  • Improved lymphatics
  • Reducing edema

Massage stimulates many of the bodies systems, including, the nervous system, immune system, digestive system, respiratory and circulatory systems.

When to do massage

Really when you do the massage is up to you.  However, my recommendation is that it be done as a part of your bedtime routine.  After bath before putting on pajamas is a great time.  If you don’t do a bath, it’s still a great thing to incorporate into a bedtime routine.  There are particular strokes that are intended to be alerting and others to be calming.  Obviously if you are doing it before bed, you would want to choose calming strokes.  In the morning before getting dressed might be a great time to do some of the alerting strokes.

What oils/lotions to use

My number one recommendation is coconut oil, an extra virgin organic version is great (This is what we use. I purchase it at Costco).  There are many benefits to using coconut oil and will maybe write a post just on the benefits of coconut oil.  Make sure that whatever oil you choose is something edible so that if they get it on their hands (or feet) and then into their mouth that it’s completely safe.  At bedtime, I like to add some lavender oil into the coconut oil at bedtime.  I apply it to the feet and finish with a little on the chest, both areas which are covered by my children’s pajamas.  I never put it on the hands, which could get into the mouth.  If you choose another edible oil, just be sure to avoid nut oils due to possible allergies. It may also be helpful to test out whatever oil you choose on a small part of your baby’s skin before applying to the whole body in case your child does have an allergic reaction.

Where do I give the massage

Definitely choose a place where both of you are comfortable and will be for the time of the massage.  When I’m doing it before bed, I like to do it on the baby changing table.  Another benefit to this is that I give the massages with the baby completely naked.  Thus if we have any sort of accident, we don’t have to worry about it getting on anything it shouldn’t.  Make sure that the temperature of the room is comfortable and warm, and sometimes it’s also helpful to keep your baby slightly covered with a blanket throughout the massage (cover his legs while massage his arms).  This is especially helpful keeping your baby warm after a bath. Make sure to pay attention to sounds and lighting as well.  Some calm music might be beneficial.  Be sure to avoid fluorescent lighting which can put off a slight flicker.

How do I give the Massage

Now to the fun stuff!

  1. Hello Baby! I always start with my hands still on the baby’s chest.  It’s helpful to ask the baby if you can give them a massage prior to placing your hands on them.  It let’s them know what’s going to happen.  Listen/read your baby’s body language.  If they communicate to you that they don’t want it, respect that.  Additionally, remain aware of what your baby is communicating throughout the massage.  Never force a stroke if your baby appears uncomfortable.  Establish some eye contact, and non-verbally communicate that your baby has your attention.  You can talk to your baby and tell them what’s going to happen.  I love to use this time, as well as the rest of the massage to speak affirmations, prayers, words of wisdom, etc. over my baby.massage (1 of 24)
  2. Warm Up. Generally, I’ve applied the coconut oil to my hands and want to distribute it around the body and give a quick warm up.  I’ll lightly stroke my hands in an upward motion from the chest up towards the shoulders and down the arms.
  3. Order of Massage. I typically start with the CHEST and then move to ARMS. Then FACE. (I don’t ever start with the face. Some babies won’t tolerate face till the end.  I like to use coconut oil only on the face and thus after I do the face, I add the lavender oil into the coconut oil in my hand for the rest of the body.) I then do LEGS and finish with the BELLY. I rarely do the BACK but you are more than welcome to.
  4. Massage Strokes. You can do all the strokes or pick just a few.  It’s within the freedom of what you and your baby agree upon.

Calming Strokes: strokes that move away from the body (from shoulders/hips to ankles/wrists tend to be calming).   Additionally, strokes that go with the direction of hair growth tend to be calming. Provide a firm, consistent, rhythmic pressure and stroke pattern. 

  • Indian Milking: Form a C shape with your hands.  Start near the hips/shoulders and stroke down the extremity towards the feet/hands.  Always have a hand in contact with the baby, thus one hand will be supporting at the ankle/wrist while the other is providing the stroke.  Once you stroke down, the opposite hand then returns to the hip/shoulders and strokes down the other side of the extremity.massage (2 of 24)
  • Back and Forth: With baby lying face down horizontally across your lap, place both hands together at the top of the back. Slide your hands back and forth from the shoulders to the bottom, moving your hands in opposite direction.massage (24 of 24)
  • Swooping: With one hand on the buttocks and one at the base of the neck, glide your hand from the neck down towards to buttocks.  Provide this same stroke from the buttocks down to the ankles.massage (21 of 24)massage (22 of 24)
  • Squeeze and Twist: Place both hands side by side in the shape of a C near the hips/shoulders. Move them towards the hand/foot while twisting hands in the opposite direction.massage (3 of 24)
  • Open Hand: Hold the baby’s hand in your hands and use both thumbs simultaneous to massage outwardly to stretch and massage the palms.massage (4 of 24)
  • Fingers and toes: Gently squeeze and rolleach finger and toe, moving away from the body.massage (5 of 24) massage (8 of 24)
  • Top of the foot: use one thumb after the other to provide pressure on the top of the foot from the ankle towards the toes.massage (7 of 24)
  • Ankle/Wrist circles: with your forefinger and thumb on the opposite side of the joint, provide slow rhythmic circlesmassage (6 of 24)
  • Chest Open Book: with thumbs together in the middle of the chest, slowly move up towards chin and then out towards armpits, and then moving down along sides of the body and back to beginning point while maintaining consistent pressure. It is a heart like movement.massage (10 of 24)
  • Integration: With both hands on the body, move from the chest down to the toes. Good for the beginning and the end of the massage.

Alerting Strokes: strokes that are fast, irregular or light tend to be alerting or facilitating.  Those that move in the opposite direction of hair growth tend to be alerting. Strokes that move toward the body (from ankles/wrists toward shoulders/hips tend to be alerting).  

  • Small Circles over the back: create small circles moving along both sides of the spine.massage (20 of 24)
  • Combing: With your finger tips touching the back and the hand in a sort of raised, spider like position, quickly “comb” the baby’s back from the neck to the buttocks.  This stroke should become lighter and lighter, creating a feather like stimulation in the end.massage (23 of 24)
  • Swedish Milking: Same as Indian milking, however, move from wrist/ankle towards hip/shoulder.
  • Foot Press: provide gentle pressure with the thumbs to the bottom of the foot, moving from the heel towards the toes.massage (9 of 24)
  • Rolling: With the baby’s arm or legs between your hands, roll your hands back and forth as you move up and down the extremity.massage (19 of 24)

Strokes Specific for the Belly (when performing belly strokes, you may want to make sure you have additional towels, etc. in case the massage effectively helps clear the bowels.)

  • I Love You: Begin by making a vertical I like stroke on the left side of the stomach. Form an L on the baby’s belly moving from the Right upper corner, across the top of the belly and then down the L side of the belly.  Stroke in an upside down U stroke moving from the Left to Right. (A side note: these are the baby’s Left and Right, not yours)massage (11 of 24) massage (12 of 24) massage (13 of 24) massage (14 of 24)
  • Paddling: With your hands flat, using the outer pinky side of your hand, stroke it down along the belly. Rotate your hands in a rhythmic fashion.
  • Sun & Moon: Use one hand to form a rainbow arc across belly, moving from left to right.  The other hand forms small circles in a clockwise rotation.  Do both movements simultaneously.massage (15 of 24)
  • Bubble Search: Walling your finger tips from the left to right at the height of the belly button.

Strokes Specific for the Face

  • Down the side of the nose: using either your thumbs or forefingers begin on the bridge of the nose near the eyebrows. With moderate pressure stroke down towards the base of the nose with your fingers simultaneously.massage (17 of 24)
  • Smiling face: With thumbs placed together under the nose, simultaneously move thumbs towards the cheek and down towards the chin and back.
  • Circles around the jaw: create small circles with your fingertips around the jawline. This should be very gentle.
  • Jawline Stroke: begin with fingertips surrounding the ear and simultaneously stroke down along jawline towards the center of jaw.
  • Eyebrow Stroke: Move from the middle of the eyebrows, stroking along the brows out towards the sides of the face.
  • Ear Rolling: beginning at the top of the ears, roll your fingers along the edge of the ear down towards the ear lobe.massage (18 of 24)

When should I not give a Massage

If your baby has a medical condition, always discuss with your physician prior to giving a massage.  Some examples of when to avoid a massage before discussing with a physician would be an acute infection, cardiac or circulatory conditions, orthopedic disorders, or edema related to an injury or heart failure.  Open wounds, surgeries, or other skin conditions would require consult prior to giving a massage.  Hemophilia, hematoma, and some cancers are also contraindicated for giving a massage.  If your child is receiving PT or OT services, it would be helpful to discuss massage techniques that would be beneficial for your child in particular, specifically in regards to hypotonia or hypertonia.

If your baby is upset or distraught, it is best not to give the massage.  You want this to be an enjoyable experience for your baby.  Sometimes you can talk to your baby and begin with the hands on the chest pressure stroke.  If the child calms during this stroke, he may find some calming from continuing the massage. Please read your baby’s cues carefully.  It is extremely important to not overwhelm your baby’s sensory and nervous systems.

Other Tips

  • Watch out for hair whirls.  They can be very disorganizing if stroked over.
  • Wait at least 30 minutes after a feeding to provide massage strokes to the belly.

DIY Wood Floor Cleaner

Sorry it’s been a little while since my last post. It’s been a crazy whirlwind sort of few weeks.  We found out that we are expecting a little boy! We are very excited to add to our family and very excited that we will soon have a daughter and a new little son!   Then I caught the worst cold I’ve had in years. I’m usually up and back to work or working around the house within a day.  But this one took me out for 3 days of work and has me still lingering with congestion.  Thank goodness I have some oils that are safe to use during pregnancy.  When I was pregnant with my daughter I didn’t have that and chose not to use any over the counter meds. (A little side note, I started using protective blend essential oil on my daughter and husband when they started to feel a little cold coming on while I was sick.  Now a week later, they are both still running like a champ! Unfortunate, I don’t feel comfortable using protective blend while pregnant.  I did have it diffusing in my diffuser for the last week though.  If you have questions about why I choose not to use it during pregnancy, let me know!)

Anyway, on to my post. I have a refillable floor cleaner and have been using a variety of items trying to clean my floors.  This is what I’ve found that works the best.  I’m not absolutely in love with it as I feel it sometimes leaves streaks.  But I’m not sure if that’s my mop cleaner or the solution itself. So if any of you have suggestions or recipes you’ve tried, let me know! I’d love to give them a try.

Recipe

Roughly 16oz of water

1 tablespoon of Vinegar

3-5 drops of Essential oil (I chose Lemon for extra cleaning power)

A squirt of Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap (I added this midway through trying to further eliminate any streaking)

My before photos

september2013 (6 of 9) september2013 (7 of 9)

My After Photosseptember2013 (8 of 9) september2013 (9 of 9)

Did you know your bed might have bed bugs or dust mites? DIY- Mattress and Furniture Cleaner

Yesterday my daughter was throwing a bit of a tantrum.  She was in her room screaming and then all of a sudden it got quiet. Any of you parents, know that this is a BAD sign. I walked in to find her staring down as she peed on her uncovered mattress.  I’ve never had this problem before as usually she has a liner on the mattress and I take that off and wash it.  I searched the internet for ways to clean it up and ran across a lot of posts talking about bed bugs and dust mites. Eww! Apparently, cleaning your mattress should be something we do somewhat regularly.  I know that Joe and I have had a mattress for the entire time we’ve been married (7 years). Guess how many times it’s been cleaned? You guessed it! None.

I made a cleaner for my mattress by making the following recipe.

  • 1/2 cup baking soda
  • 2-5 drops lavender oil
  • 2-5 drops eucalyptus (This one because of it’s ability to kill dust mites. See this study’s results.)
  • 2-5 drops purity blend

I added them together in a glass jar and shook until they were mixed. I used a sifter from my daughter’s play kitchen and sifted it onto her mattress.  Because I didn’t need to wash the sheets on our bed or the spare bedroom yet, I decided to use the rest on our couches and use it as a deodorizer and general cleanser.

cleaning (3 of 4)cleaning (4 of 4)I then let them sit for approximately an hour and then vacuumed them up!

It’s probably best to complete this process on your bed and furniture at least every few months or so, especially if you have pets or suffer from allergies.