Inspiring DIY projects, beauty recipes and advice to green your daily routine.

For Your Bathroom

Natural Stainless Steel Cleaner

Posted by on May 28, 2013 in Green Clean | 0 comments

Natural Stainless Steel Cleaner

The stainless steel trash can in my kitchen was smelling pretty ripe this weekend, even after I took the garbage out. Unsure of the best way to clean stainless steel, I referred to the book, The Naturally Clean Home. The basic sink cleanser recipe for stainless steel and porcelain looked promising and, as a bonus, I was able to make it right away. The recipe called for just three ingredients: baking soda, vinegar and essential oil. I made the solution in a small mixing bowl so I could dip my cleaning cloth in it and filled a large mixing bowl with hot water for the rinsing cloth, otherwise the sink would have been continually running. A third cleaning cloth was used to dry the trash can. The kitchen trash can cleaned up nicely, so I used the leftover solution to clean the bathroom trash can too. If you have left over solution, and only one trash can to clean, consider using it to shine your stainless steel sink or faucets. And for extra credit, make yourself chemical-free trash discs to help keep the offending smells away. Stainless Steel Cleaner 2015-01-19 19:40:49 A natural stainless steel cleaner for stainless steel sinks, trash cans and faucets, and porcelain sinks. Use common kitchen items to make this biodegradable cleaner. Write a review Save Recipe Print Total Time 2 min Total Time 2 min Ingredients 1/4 cup baking soda 1.25 cups white vinegar 3 drops essential oils Instructions Combine all ingredients in a small mixing bowl. Dip a cleaning cloth into the solution and wipe onto the surface you would like to clean. Using hot water rinse or wipe away the solution. If the surface is not rinsed well a filmy haze will be left behind. You may dry the surface or let it air dry. A Green Routine http://agreenroutine.com/ Like this post? Subscribe to our email list, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter and Pinterest for more green living...

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Mom’s Drain Unclogging Tip

Posted by on May 8, 2013 in Green Clean | 2 comments

Mom’s Drain Unclogging Tip

Mother’s Day is just around the corner so in honor of my Mom I’m going to share a tip she gave me for unclogging drains. Short hair is nice because it washes down the drain without any trouble. Since I’ve been growing my hair out to donate it, however, my hair is now long enough to start clogging the drains in my bathroom. Previously I shared information about using baking soda, vinegar and lemon juice to unclog your drains, but when the issue is just hair it’s less expensive and just as effective to turn plastic strapping into a drain unclogging tool. Simply take a piece of plastic strapping and cut angled slits into each side of the strapping to create Vs. The slits should be small. If the slits are too deep the strap will be weak and break in the drain as it gets tangled in the hair. Put the strapping in the drain with the Vs pointing down, so the strapping grabs the hair as you pull it out of the drain. Do this and you will have a clear drain in no time, without any harsh chemical cleaners. Like this post? Subscribe to our email list, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter and Pinterest for more green living...

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Product of the Month: Foaming Hand Soap Dispenser

Posted by on Mar 1, 2013 in For Your Home, Green Clean | 0 comments

Product of the Month: Foaming Hand Soap Dispenser

The most common questions we get relate to where we shop and what we buy. So when Kim and I put some extra time into updating our site we paid special attention to updating A Green Routine’s Amazon Store and we added a “Product of the Month” feature, which you can find in the sidebar. The items we feature monthly are products we own ourselves and truly enjoy; we’re not paid to endorse these products. Most of the items in our store are also products we own ourselves, though we do add similar products for variety. For example, I’ve added a few Honeywell thermostats to the shop because they have different features, but I only own one of them. Our first product of the month is the Cuisipro 13.2-Ounce Foam Pump. We were thrilled to find this a few months ago because reusable foaming hand soap dispensers have been slow to hit the market. In August when I wrote an article about making your own foaming hand soap I couldn’t find a single dispenser I liked enough to recommend, so the only solution I offered was to reuse a dispenser from a commercial foaming hand soap. We like the Cuisipro Foam Pump because: it comes in six fun colors. it has fill lines for your soap and water, so you don’t have to pre-measure. it has a suction cup on the bottom to help keep it from slipping around. it’s appropriately sized for your kitchen or bathroom (many others I find are much too large.) it’s dishwasher safe, so you will have an easy time cleaning out the dispenser when change the scent of your soap. The Cuisipro Foam Pump helps you go green by cutting down on the packaging waste caused by purchasing products in single use containers and you’ll be using less product because foaming hand soap is 4 parts water to 1 part soap. As an added bonus, you’ll save money by mixing your own hand soap. Get your creative juices flowing, you’re now free to invent a scent for you hand soap to delight your family and house guests. Like this post? Subscribe to our email list, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter and Pinterest for more green living...

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A Safe And Effective Way To Unclog Drains

Posted by on Sep 17, 2012 in For Your Home, Green Clean | 0 comments

A Safe And Effective Way To Unclog Drains

Clearing a clogged drain without harsh chemicals is easy and inexpensive. First, remove the stopper, if there is one. Then pour 1/2 cup of baking soda down the drain, followed by 1 cup of vinegar and a 1/8 a cup of lemon juice. Let the mixture fizz away, this may take about 15 minutes. Once the fizzing has stopped, run hot water down the drain for a minute or two, then replace the stopper. No matter what you read on the internet, it is not a good idea to pour boiling water down your drain at this point unless you are positive that you do not have any plastic pipes connected to that drain. Hot water from the tap is always the safest choice. If you have a particularly tough clog, our Dad recommends Organic Citrus Drain & Disposer Cleaner By Zep, available at Home Depot. It must be left to work on the clog for 8 hours, but it’s worth the wait. Like this post? Subscribe to our email list, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter and Pinterest for more green living...

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Simple Scented Air Fresheners

Posted by on Aug 30, 2012 in For Your Home, Green Clean | 1 comment

Simple Scented Air Fresheners

Any jar, baking soda, scented oils and scrapbook paper makes a cute and effective air freshener. The mix of baking soda and oils will naturally deodorize and scent your house for weeks. I like this air freshener because the scent is in the air but not overpowering and the deodorizing quality means its removing unpleasant smells from the air, not just masking them. That deodorizing quality works especially well with the air freshener I strategically placed near the cat’s litter box. Here’s how to make it: Trace the lid of the jar onto the scrapbook paper and cut out your new lid. Poke holes in the paper using a sharp object like a thick needle, a toothpick, a tack or a paper clip. Fill the jar with about a half a cup of baking soda. I used small quilted jelly jars normally used for canning and filled them about 3/4 full with baking soda. Canning jars are perfect because the lids and bands are separate so all you need to do is replace the metal lid with the scrapbook paper lid. If you’re using another type of jar that does not have a separate band and lid, you can cover the jar in fabric, secure it with an elastic band and use ribbon to cover the elastic. Add 10 drops of your favorite essential oil or fragrance oil to the baking soda. You can mix oils or use one. You can also adjust the amount of oil if the one you’re using is exceptionally strong. Mix the contents of the jar and top it with the paper lid. The jars look great as is, but you can also dress them up to match your decor. Using a hole punch and a hot glue gun, I added polka dots to one of my jars. You could also add bows, stickers, buttons or anything else you might have on hand to embellish the jar. If you make one, we’d love to hear about how you dressed up your jar! Nicole’s 2¢ Eucalyptus and lavender essential oils both have a deodorizing quality, so consider them for extra strong smells. Like this post? Subscribe to our email list, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter and Pinterest for more green living...

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Foaming Hand Soap Recipe

Posted by on Aug 25, 2012 in For Your Home, Green Clean, Skin & Hair Care | 1 comment

Foaming Hand Soap Recipe

This past week triclosan became a hot topic in the news. Triclosan is an antibacterial chemical commonly used in toothpaste and hand soap. It’s currently under review by the FDA because animal studies have shown it alters hormone regulation, impairs muscle function and it may contribute to making bacteria resistant to antibiotics. In response to public concern over several controversial chemicals Johnson & Johnson announced it will start changing its formulas to reduce and eliminate many of these chemicals, including triclosan, by 2015. So although you have something to look forward to, you may want to decrease your exposure now. Last week, Kim posted an article about natural toothpastes that is worth reading, if you haven’t already. This week I’ll share my recipe for foaming hand soap with you. I started making foaming hand soap because I couldn’t find refills for my dispenser. The thought of buying a new plastic dispenser every time I need more soap did not sit well with me, especially since the spout uses so much plastic. Then, when I learned that foaming hand soap is mostly water, I just felt like I was being ripped off! To make foaming had soap you need 3 ingredients: Distilled water Liquid castile soap Essential oils to suit your needs and scent preferences (optional) The best consistency for your soap can usually be achieved by mixing distilled water and castile soap in a 4:1 ratio. However, you may have to adjust based on the thickness of your castile soap. If you aren’t getting enough foam, add more water. When I make foaming hand for the kitchen I like to use lavender essential oil because it is a deodorizer, which is a must for someone who chops as much garlic as I do, and a bactericide to help keep me safe when I’m handling food. Tea tree, eucalyptus and lemon essential oils are also good for their antibacterial properties. Lemon and other citrus essential oils like grapefruit and sweet orange are good for cutting grease. In the bathroom, all you need is the soap, so you can add essential oils without worrying about their therapeutic properties, or you can use fragrance oils to mimic the scent of a favorite soap or invent your own scent. Try coconut ginger for something tropical and warm or lemon basil for a bright and uplifting scent. Cranberry orange would be fitting for Thanksgiving and a Holiday Spice soap made with nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger and clove would be comforting and cozy in the winter. Use essential and fragrance oils sparingly to avoid irritating sensitive skin. As a general rule don’t add more than 6 drops per ounce of liquid. Making your own foaming hand soap is easy, inexpensive and another great way to go green. Let us know what interesting scents you want to try in the comments below. Kitchen Foaming Hand Soap 2015-01-19 15:04:08 A deodorizing, antibacterial hand soap for the kitchen. Add a tablespoon of vegetable glycerin to sooth and moisturize your...

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Homemade All-Purpose Cleaner

Posted by on Aug 22, 2012 in For Your Home, Green Clean | 3 comments

Homemade All-Purpose Cleaner

A simple mixture of vinegar and water is a common homemade all-purpose cleaner among DIY and green enthusiasts. But it’s too weak for some jobs and smells awful. The solution? Essential oils make cleaning a sweeter smelling task and can improve a cleaner’s antibacterial, degreasing and stain-fighting power. Powders like borax, baking soda and washing soda can also boost the mixture’s cleaning power. The recipe below is adapted slightly from the book Clean, Naturally. So far, I’ve tried it in the kitchen and the bathroom and it works great, but here are a few ways it can be altered to fit different needs: Switch up the essential oils. The eucalyptus, lavender and tea tree oils used in the recipe all have antibacterial properties. Peppermint and lemon oils could substituted since they’re antibacterial too. Lemon oil is also acidic so it’ll help remove mineral deposits and grease. If you don’t need the antibacterial qualities, sweet orange oil would smell good and should be acidic enough to add to the solution’s cleaning power. Use baking soda or washing soda as the powder. Baking soda might be more abrasive than borax but it will clean mildew and stains and deodorize the surface. I’ve read that washing soda is good for tough jobs, such as greasy ovens and grills but it is caustic so wear gloves. All-Purpose Cleaner 2014-12-23 20:38:54 This homemade antibacterial all-purpose cleaner is a natural alternative to chemical cleaners. Write a review Save Recipe Print Ingredients 1 teaspoon borax 2 tablespoons white vinegar 2 cups water (hot) 1/4 teaspoon eucalyptus essential oil 1/4 teaspoon lavender essential oil 3 drops tea tree essential oil Instructions Mix the ingredients together until dry ingredients dissolve and store in a spray bottle. Use with a damp cloth. Notes Yields 16 ounces. Adapted from Clean, Naturally Adapted from Clean, Naturally A Green Routine http://agreenroutine.com/ Like this post? Subscribe to our email list, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter and Pinterest for more green living...

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The Shower Coach: Helping You Conserve Water

Posted by on Aug 6, 2012 in For Your Home | 0 comments

The Shower Coach: Helping You Conserve Water

With a drought spanning 32 states and more than half the counties in the United States, it’s time to start increasing efforts to conserve water. Even if your area hasn’t been affected by a drought there are still environmental reasons to conserve water. When you use less water you leave more in your local water system for people downstream. This means fewer water diversions and dams are built to change the natural flow of water through the landscape  and  suppliers use less of the chemicals needed to treat water for your house. If you’re like most of us, you have heard the same advice for conserving water over and over and over again: Take shorter showers. Don’t shave in the shower. Shut off the water while your brushing your teeth, scrubbing your face or shaving. Keep water in the refrigerator so you don’t have to run the faucet to get cold water to drink. Only run the dishwasher and washing machine when you have a full load. You know what to do, but can you measure how well you are doing it? Or are you even motivated to do the right thing everyday? I was in Death Valley this summer and found a new way to encourage myself to save water. Death Valley gets 0-2 inches of water a year, so water conservation is a must for those who live and work in the area, and the hotels must convince their guests to be as conscientious as the residents. The hotel I stayed at put a 5 Minute Shower Coach in the bathrooms to remind guests of our responsibilities. The shower coach is a sand timer that you flip when you turn on the water. The goal is to finish your shower before the timer runs out. It’s a daily reminder to do the right thing and it works. One luxury I always afforded myself, despite knowing better, was shaving my legs in the shower. It took a little while to get used to keeping better habits, but now I never leave the water running while I shave because I don’t want to lose my competition with the shower coach. I also shut the water off while I let my conditioner set and I’ve made other small changes to my routine be more efficient. When I was in Death Valley I couldn’t beat the timer, but the other night I finished my shower with time left to spare. A small win, it still made me feel good. Are you up to the challenge? Like this post? Subscribe to our email list, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter and Pinterest for more green living...

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