Friday, January 11, 2013

How to Naturally Unclog Drains

On a bottle of Draino: Only use in a well ventilated area. Meaning do not breath this stuff in as its toxic to your health. Hmm... This is not something I want to subject me or my family to. Nope, no way!

I've been growing my hair for the last 2 years and have noticed that our bathtub drains are clogging up.

It must be a mixture of shampoo, bodywash and hair. (Can't wait to start no-poo shampoo... for a later post). I used to only have to do this once a year and now its every 4 months... Two bathroom sinks and a bathtub... I used to buy Draino in the past but I couldn't bring myself to buy it until I tried a natural alternative.

And would you believe it? It's our very favourite two products in our home here! Baking soda and Vinegar! Cheap, but extremely effective, natural and non-toxic to the environment

How to Unclog Drains:

1. First grab a funnel or if you don't have one make one out of paper. Pour 1/4 cup baking soda down the drain. Make sure it is pushed down as far as it can go.
2. Pour 1/4 cup white vinegar down the drain and cover quickly with a plug. It fuzzes up pretty fast. 

I left it for an hour came back to it and all the hair was lifted up so I could easily grab it out. I repeated the steps and have a perfectly draining bathtub and sinks! You can use this for your kitchen sink too! I only had to do it once for my kitchen sink and do not do it as regularly.

Happy Natural, Thrifty, Healthy living friends!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Cloth Napkins vs Paper Towels

Cloth napkins vs paper towel... That is the real question.
Do you know how many paper towels are used in your house every month? Me neither... Until I counted... I buy my paper towel at Costco I think packages of 12. We used that package in 8 months... 

Whats all the hullaballoo?
Consider this, you'll probably use thousands and thousands of rolls, which is equivalent to an entire forest. Imagine a local forest that you've walked through being completely cut down just for paper towels! It isn't just trees that are being consumed, its the entire process of making them including chemicals that go into it. To increase absorbency, they've been subjected to dioxins and other ingredients (the process isn't disclosed on the roll of paper towels). They are also bleached to give them their white colour. The dangers of chlorine bleach have been well documented. Infants and toddlers are especially vulnerable to the effects of chlorine bleach. Finally, they can take up to a year to decompose but then again remember the chemicals that go into the process of making them? It is leaking into the water system and causing harmful effects.

For me and my family this was a no brainer and a simple fix! 

I went out and purchased some organic terry cloth and flannel for reusable cloth napkins. I purchased it with my Fabricland membership on the back isle that only cost $3 per meter and matching thread of course! 

I cut out 10" x 12" rectangles. I probably cut 30 of each. Then sewed right sides together close to the edges.
Make sure you leave a 2 inch opening to flip the fabric. 

 After flipping the fabric, tuck the opening in and iron flat.

Then top stitch along the edge. This makes a BIG difference! (I made 2 different colours so don't be confused...)

I wrapped them around a paper towel holder for the meantime but I think I would like to add snaps so they can be laid more evenly.

The man only started using them once I tucked the paper towel away. We have had them for 2 months now and we all love them! They feel so soft on our faces and are very durable. We use them for simple kitchen wipe ups and meal times. We have a whole other section of rags for cleaning the home instead of using paper towels. Our waste has gone down substantially just from not using paper towels and I must say I haven't noticed an increase in the laundry as they are quite thin.

Overall a great investment! Its Thrifty, natural, homemade, and a great present wrapped in a cloth bow!

Happy sewing and living a more environmentally conscious life!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

DIY Natural Pet Stain Remover

We have a little pup. When we leave him for too long at home or if he is just extra anxious he goes to the bathroom on our carpet. First of all I cannot wait to have hardwood instead of carpet. This will solve most of our home pet problems when this gets changed over... Until then, we have carpet and a pet to clean up after!

This last one was a poop. It wasn't hard either. TMI? Sorry...

I got most of it off with a cloth... but the brown smelly colour was still there.

I know baking soda rids pups smells. I use it weekly before I vacuum the carpet. So I figured I would sprinkle some of that on. Then I remembered a grass stain that our little cookie had on her shirt. I took it off with baking soda and vinegar... just let it sit there for an hour.

I tried this on the carpet. Let it sit for 2 hours (for extra mess removal hoping with my fingers crossed) and wiped the area up. Don't let the mixture sit for longer then that as it will bleach the carpet. The smell and brown stain was gone! Phew! I can officially stop buying pet stain removers that are so costly and cannot be good to breath in due to the extra smells they add.

Pet Stain and Smell Remover:
Baking soda

Happy natural thrifty living!