DIY Cleaning Products: Creating a Cleaner Spring

Spring cleaning season is here! It’s time for opening windows, reorganizing clutter and freshening up our homes.

Surprisingly, many of the products we use to clean our living spaces do just the opposite: They make our homes a less fresh place to live. Some materials contained in household cleaners are among the top environmental dangers threatening our health, and manufacturers often use harsh or toxic chemicals in their products, putting consumers at risk.

Here’s the good news, though: You can create your own cleaning products using natural ingredients—like water—from home. These supplies can disinfect and eliminate messes as needed, and they’re better for your health and safety. Plus, these simple recipes also help you save money!

What You’ll Need

Many ingredients used in DIY cleaning products are probably in your cupboards already. Common household cleaning agents include:

  • White vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Castile soap
  • Essential oils
  • Lemons
  • Olive oil
  • Natural dish soap
  • Citric acid
  • Hydrogen peroxide

What to Do

There are dozens of creative options to make the cleaning solution that’s right for you, but here are three of our favorites.

 

Drain Cleaner: Some commercial drain cleaners can damage your pipes and cause chemical burns. To avoid these products, pour equal parts of baking soda and white vinegar into your drain. Allow time for these gentle ingredients to break down clogs, and then flush with boiling water.

 

Mold and Mildew Remover: While your instinct may be to use harsh cleaners to combat unhealthy mold and mildew, this simple mixture will do the trick. In a 24-ounce spray bottle, mix two cups of water and two teaspoons of tea-tree oil. Generously spray the affected area and let sit for 24 hours. Next, mix the solution into 1/4 cup of baking soda until a paste forms. Scrub the area with the paste and rinse.

Water Bottle Fizzies: Reusable water bottles are great for the environment, but their tall physique can make them difficult to clean. In a small bowl, mix one cup of baking soda, 1/4 cup of citric acid and 1/4 cup of salt. Next, gradually mix in one teaspoon of natural dish soap and 1/2 teaspoon of hydrogen peroxide. Scoop into equal pieces on parchment paper and let dry overnight.

When you’re ready to clean, simply drop a tablet in your water bottle, give it a shake, and rinse!

Tips and Tricks

Be careful what you mix. The pH balance of some ingredients can cancel the effects of others, making your mixture ineffective. If you’re recycling old product containers, be certain to clean out bottles and spray nozzles thoroughly to prevent unwanted chemical reactions.

Label your creations and keep them out of reach of children and pets. This is a good precaution with all cleaning products. Unlabeled bottles can also lead you to make frustrating mistakes like spraying furniture polish on your windows.

Don’t make more than what you need. The average shelf life of natural cleaning products is one month or less. Store ingredients separately and mix as needed for a fresher clean.

Which DIY cleaner are you eager to try? Have any cleaning recipes of your own? Tell us in a Facebook comment or on Twitter!

 

Share This Post:

Hydration Habits for the New Year

3… 2… 1… Happy New Year!

Yep, it’s that time of year again: resolution season. We know how these New Year promises often go. We’ve also been guilty of breaking a few, or all, of them in the past. So to help you ease into the new year, we’ve compiled some easy, achievable and water-tastic resolutions to make 2017 a great year.

Health

Hit the gym

But make sure to bring a water bottle, and use it! If you’re serious about the “new year, new me” mentality, then keeping hydrated is a must. According to WebMD, choosing foods with higher water content or drinking more throughout the day helps control calories.

Clear your head

Drinking water is good for your body in every way. In addition to flushing out bacteria, staying hydrated can alleviate headaches. Keep your mind active and sharp by drinking just a few more cups a day.

Avoid Colds

Need another way to stay healthy? Consuming water regularly throughout the day boosts your immune system, which helps keep colds at bay.

Wealth

Like fish in a barrel

Save money like a pro. Install a rain barrel or bucket, it’s as easy as that. Collect rain water to water your garden and inside plants with.

Scrap the tap

This one may seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how easy it is to forget. Turning off the faucet when you’re brushing your teeth or cleaning your dishes saves a ton of water and money.

Ditch the disposal

Even if you have a garbage disposal we recommend putting your food in a compost bin instead of dumping it down the drain. Not only will your pipes thank you, but so will your garden.

No matter how you choose to ring in the new year, we hope you have a happy, healthy and hydrated 2017!

 

Share This Post:

Five Tips for Keeping Your Christmas Tree Fresh

 

Christmas is right around the corner and you may be getting ready to put up the perfect Christmas tree in your home, if you haven’t already. While taking care of a Christmas tree seems as though it should be a fairly simple task, keeping a tree hydrated and fresh through the holidays can become a challenge. That’s why we at Aqua are here to dispel a few Christmas tree hydration myths and answer your frequently asked questions. 

Q: Does my tree still need to be stored in water if I do not plan on installing it right away?

A: Absolutely! Whether or not you plan on putting your tree up immediately, a freshly-cut Christmas tree should be placed into a bucket of water as soon as possible. If the tree will not be installed until the following day immediately, make an effort to keep it stored in a cool, dry place.

Q: Will trimming down the bark around the base of my tree aid in water uptake?

A: Trimming the bark of a Christmas tree does not assist in water absorption. In fact, it may even be detrimental to the tree’s health. The bulk of a Christmas tree’s water uptake is done through its bark so shaving this precious material away is absolutely not recommended.

Q: How do I know exactly how much water my tree needs to stay fresh?
A: As a general rule, tree stands should provide one quart of water per inch of stem diameter. Make sure to supply a new tree with water on a daily basis, since freshly cut Christmas trees absorb the most water within their first week of installation. Keeping your tree properly hydrated will increase its longevity and help it stay looking lush.


Q: What is the proper cutting technique for trunk trimming? Are angular cuts more effective?

A: Contrary to popular belief, tactics such as making angular cuts or drilling holes into the trunk of a Christmas tree will not have any beneficial influence on water absorption. The most effective technique for proper water uptake is a traditional, straight cut through a tree’s stem, like slicing off a nice chunk of provolone cheese.

Q: How many inches should be trimmed from the stem of my tree to keep it healthy?

A: We recommend that ¼ to ½ of an inch be trimmed from the tree’s stem to prevent sapping, which may drastically disrupt water absorption. However, these numbers do not take into account trimming for ceiling space. At the end of the day, any cut will suffice as long as it is at least ¼ of an inch thick.

With proper care, a Christmas tree can stay fresh for up to four weeks. Keep the above hydration tips and tricks in mind during your Christmas tree installation and watering processes this holiday season to get the most life and beauty out of your tree.

 

Happy Holidays from all of us at Aqua!

 

Share This Post: