As a family, we’ve been doing our best to cut back on clutter. That doesn’t always work out as well as I’d like. So spring is here, and it’s time for us to get in gear and get our home in order. For the most part, that means getting rid of things we no longer want or need, but it also means a thorough deep cleaning of the house. In the process, we’ve started using two DIY items that I thought I’d share with you.
Years ago, my husband and I would stock up on boxes of Arm & Hammer carpet powder. We loved sprinkling it throughout the house about an hour before we vacuumed, because the fragrance would last all day. It really made the house feel clean, but we have no idea what ingredients are used to create those fragrances. Recently, my husband decided to try making his own.
The formula is simple: Baking soda mixed with a few drops of essential oil in the fragrance(s) of your choice.
My husband chose to mix a little orange and peppermint oil. He used an old seasoning container to sprinkle it throughout the house. I couldn’t believe how great it smelled — though we’ve made bath salts before, so I’m not sure why I was so surprised. Like the store-bought powder, the aroma lasted all day. But unlike store-bought powder, we knew exactly what was in it. If you’re looking for essential oils, you can pick them up at Whole Foods, health food stores, or online at Amazon. (aff)
Reusable Dryer Sheets
I absolutely hate taking clothes out of the dryer. Not because I’m lazy, but because I hate being shocked repeatedly. But I’m also not a fan of traditional dryer sheets that contain potential toxins. So we usually leave out the dryer sheets altogether and just bear the shocks. Dryer balls help a little, but not enough to ward off all the static.
Again, the process is simple:
1. Cut absorbent scrap fabric into squares in the size(s) of your choosing. I used some organic cotton I had leftover, but you could use old towels or t-shirts. Pinking shears are ideal to make the edges less susceptible to fraying. But if you’re like me, you can just cut them with regular scissors.
2. Place your fabric squares in a container with a lid. I used an old baby wipes container that I’ve had since my daughter was an infant.
3. Mix 2 parts water to one part liquid fabric softener. For example, if you use 1 cup of softener, you’d use 2 cups of water. Pour a generous amount of your mixture over the fabric squares and close the container. Allow the fabric to absorb it for at least an hour before you use them.
4. Put one fabric sheet in the dryer per load of wet clothes (though I used 2 for my towels). When your load is dry, just put it aside for your next batch of dryer sheets. And if the remaining sheets in the container dry out, you can simply add a little water.
Not only did this work well for me — it worked BETTER than traditional dryer sheets or even dryer balls. My towels (normally the biggest sources of static) were soft and fluffy, and I didn’t get shocked once! I also noticed that my daughter’s blankets came out much softer than usual. Given the fact that I had very little fabric softener on hand, this method allowed me to stretch the bottle a lot further than it would have gone had I poured it directly into the washing machine.
I’d say that makes for a win-win.
Disclosure: I am a member of the Walmart Moms program. Walmart has provided me with compensation to share a DIY spring cleaning tip with you. I purchased the baking soda used in the recipe at Walmart. Participation is voluntary and as usual, all opinions are my own.
Want to get daily money-saving tips?
The Save Green newsletter will deliver daily deals on the best eco-friendly products, which have been vetted for their environmental merits. Sign up here: