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RE: How do you clean your oven racks? (Follow-Up #8)

posted by: kristianne on 09.23.2006 at 04:38 pm in Cleaning Tips Forum

I just got finished doing this myself. I got this tip from the Queen of Clean website. Put the oven rack in the bathtub, cover it just enough with hot water and pour a cup of granular dishwasher soap and let it soak for an hour. I left mine in overnight and the grit and grime literally floated off. I was pleasantly surprised. I wiped them down with an old wash cloth and rinsed them off in clean wather, dried them off and in the oven they went. Simple and effective.

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clipped on: 06.06.2009 at 12:01 pm    last updated on: 06.06.2009 at 12:02 pm

Organic essential oils for hom and garden/sylviatexas

posted by: everlasting on 05.27.2007 at 12:24 am in Going Green Forum

(this will have alot of links to the pages where I compiled the info so I could give copies to my friends). Note though that it isnt all about essential oils, there are other tidbits thrown in too. This is about how one can use essential oils to disinfect areas of the house, make clothes smell great, and cen even kill pesky garden bugs...

I can e-mail this to anyone in e-mail form if they want to print it... Or just copy and paste it into you writting program and change the font sizes and colors if you wish...

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Organic Living
In the home And In The garden

Compiled by Samantha *********
April of 2007
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Willow water
As a root stimulant
(NOTE: I got this off the internet years ago and cant find the direct link for it anymore):

Root development can be speeded up with commercial hormone preparation or with certain fertilizers, but there is a method which cost nothing and works as well as any other. Willow water is organic as well.
Willows contain root stimulants which allow branches to root by themselves if set into wet ground in the spring. Poplars and dogwoods have the same property as well, but to a lesser extent.
This property can help to root other plants as well. Any species of willow will work.

DIRECTIONS:

Collect any surplus willow branches or twigs. They are usually lying on the ground after a storm.
Trim off the leaves to prevent spoilage.
Cut the branches to a height of about double the pail you will be using.
Stuck them into the pail and fill with water.
Leave the branches soaking for a good day or two.
Use the water to pour on any newly set plants
Refill the pail with water and start again.
If the water gets stinky,, compost the willow branches and start with new ones.

Another option:

Collect young willow branches and cut them into small pieces. Remove leaves. It will take 3-4 small branches to make a gallon of willow water. Add the pieces to a gallon of water and over VERY LOW heat, heat the water for 10-12 hours. DO NOT BOIL. Let cool and bottle. Be sure to mark the container so no one will drink it. To use, put cuttings in a glass or jar and cover ends with the willow water overnight. Stick cuttings in you normal way after removing from the water.

Yet another option:

Mash or cut a bunch of young branches into 1 inch pieces. Do not use leaves. Cover twigs with water and soak over night. Remove branches and keep in the refrigerator. Do this weekly. Toss out old willow water each week, as it will spoil.

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Organic Essential oils
Benefits of essential oils over man-made scents

Essential oils are derived from real plants. Since their scent if real they are very beneficial to the health of both you and the environment.
Synthetic man made scents, such as in perfume and shampoo or laundry detergent, are chemical laden. Generally, no real plants were made in making the scent. The synthetic chemical scents are ill to you health. Your skin absorbs these poisonous substances slowly every day. Over time, it can be detrimental to your health. That is why essential oils are the best. And they work!
For example, we all know the scent of lavender can help us to sleep. But it doesn’t work at all if the scent is man made. It must come from the real plant to get this benefit. You can even make your own perfumes with essential oil!
The cost of essential oils are somewhat pricey. The good part is that they are extremely concentrated and last a long time!

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Essential oil safety:

Do not get essential oils in your eyes.
Keep essential oils away from children.
Take the necessary precautions during pregnancy, terminal illness and with children as shown.
Essential oils should be diluted before using topically (with exception for lavender and tea tree).
Do a "patch test" if you are sensitive to things on your skin.
From: http://www.natural-healthy-home-cleaning-tips.com
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Essential Oil Guide

(The Beginners Guide to Essential Oils, by Lyn Gardenchild: http://www.holisticshop.co.uk/itemdetl.php?itemprcd=cnt-lib-hol-beo)
Adult Dosages

PURPOSE DROPS ESSENTIAL OIL QUANTITY OF CARRIER
Facial massage/skin care 1-3 5ml (1 tsp.)

General massage 5-10 15ml (3 tsp.)

Localized areas max. 20 10ml (2 tsp.)

Baths/foot baths max. 10 bowl or bath

Kids
6 months to two years: 1 drop in 10 ml (2 tsp) carrier oil
2-5 years: 1-3 drops in 2 tsp
5-12 years: use half of adult dose and increase range of oil use
12+: adult does can be used
(The Beginners Guide to Essential Oils, by Lyn Gardenchild: http://www.holisticshop.co.uk/itemdetl.php?itemprcd=cnt-lib-hol-beo)

***Note that there is little scientific evidence that supports the following:

-Things to avoid and when-
Pregnancy: avoid basil, cinnamon, clary sage, cypress, fennel, jasmine, juniper, marjoram, myrrh, origanum, pennyroyal, peppermint, rose, rosemary, sage, savory, and thyme.
Breast feeding: avoid mint, parsley, sage, and jasmine (research shows jasmine inhibits milk production in breast feeding mothers).
High blood pressure: avoid cypress, eucalyptus, ginger, rose, rosemary, sage, and thyme.
Low blood pressure: avoid clary sage, garlic, lavender, lemon, marjoram, and ylang-ylang.
Epilepsy: avoid fennel, hyssop, rosemary, sage, and wormwood.
Care when using a machine: avoid clary sage and vertivert (*vertivent)
Care when drinking alcohol: avoid clary sage.
Not to be used at all: bitter almond, boldo leaf, calamus, camphor (both brown and yellow), horse radish, jabordandi leaf, mugwort, mustard,rue, sassafras (Brazil), savin, sputhernwood, tansy, thuja (cedarleaf), plicata, wintergreen, wormseed, and wormwood.
Not to be used on skin, but can be diluted in fragrancers:
Cassia, clovebuds, clover leaf, cove stem, cinnamon bark, costas, elecampane, fennel (bitter), origanum (Thymus capitatus), pine (dwarf), savory (summer), savory (winter).

(The Beginners Guide to Essential Oils, By Lyn Gardenchild: http://www.holisticshop.co.uk/itemdetl.php?itemprcd=cnt-lib-hol-beo)
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Using organic essential oils to clean your home

There are many recipes that can be used. I will only write some here. I encourage everyone to look further into this online. With any recipes, more can be made at once and stored in a glass container. Make sure to label each container (it’s purpose and its ingredients). Furthermore, glass must be used as plastic is really not that healthy for our health. Also, essential oils leach into the plastic, reducing its efficiency. Old spaghetti jars work well! Of course, you must wash them first! :)
Lastly, essential oils can be very powerful fungicides, disinfectants, antiseptics, anit-virals and so on. Therefore, their cleaning power is great! Each essential oil hold different properties. Research each one of you like to find out their best uses.
Most of these can be used in your vehicle as well. And here is anther tip: why not recycle some card board and add some essential oil to it. Sting it up on your rear-view mirror for an air freshener! Decorate it with some dired leaves, small twigs, dried grasses, you name it!

Window cleaner
1/2 cup vinegar (a natural product)
1 liter (1 3/4 pints) warm water
1 drop lemon essential oil
(From: http://www.wikihow.com/Make-Lemon-Scented-Window-Cleaner)
(more lemon essential oil can be used to cover the smell of the vinegar if need be)

Mold
To kill mold use full-strength vinegar. To keep mold under control spray with diluted vinegar on a regular basis.
(From: http://earthnotes.tripod.com/clnrecipes.htm)
To keep drains running clear
Each week pour 1/2 cup of baking soda down each drain and pour about 1 cup of white vinegar (a bit at a time) down after it. The kids love to help with this job as the combination makes lots of fizzy noises and foam to entertain them. If the drain is running slow, then repeat the process. You can stop adding vinegar when you don't hear any "fizzing" going on in the pipes. Follow this treatment with your hottest tap water and allow it to flow down the drain for a couple of minutes. Regular treatment will keep your drains and pipes running free.
(From: http://earthnotes.tripod.com/clnrecipes.htm)

Cutting Boards
To get rid of strong odors on cutting boards, wipe them with vinegar or baking soda or lemon slices or celery. This also works on countertops. For countertops only, a few drops of essential oil of lemon thyme (or lemon) in a cup of water and spritzed on the surface and then wiped, works well too.
(From: http://earthnotes.tripod.com/clnrecipes.htm)

Air Fresheners
To sweeten the air add a little water to a potpourri burner and place 2 drops of essential or fragrance oil on the water and then light your warming candle. Or.. add the oil to the water kettle on the top of the wood-stove. As the water and oil warm the oil is released into the air making this the simplest of all air fresheners. Furthermore, a candle-lit essential oil burner can be used as well.
(From: http://earthnotes.tripod.com/clnrecipes.htm)

Laundry
You need not invest in expensive fabric softeners. Add one-half to 1 cup of white vinegar to the rinse cycle of your machine. This is especially valuable when laundering cloth diapers as it will remove the problems usually causing diaper rash. It effectively rids the laundry of soap residue and allows the fabric to be naturally soft as well as balancing the pH which will extend the life of the fabrics. The smell of vinegar dissipates upon drying and leaves the laundry smelling fresh. If you wish to add fragrance to the laundry apply 2 or 3 drops of essential oil to a damp washcloth and place in the clothes dryer along with the wet laundry. I prefer lavender for its nice clean smell and disinfecting properties.
(from: http://earthnotes.tripod.com/clnrecipes.htm)

It is also important to use a laundry detergent that is all-natural. Meijers sells two brands! One is a little over three dollars! It is called Arm & Hammer Essentials.

Sweet Linens
Grind lavender buds or dried scented geranium leaves or dried lemon verbena leaves in a coffee mill or blender. When changing the linens on the beds, sprinkle a small amount of this powder on the mattress (or mattress pad), then place the bottom sheet over and on the mattress. Since lavender has bug repelling properties, sleep time is not only sweet and relaxing, but reassuring as well. After placing fresh pillowcases on the pillows, sprinkle a small amount of this herbal powder inside the cases.
Another good combination is a small amount of mint added to the lavender. Or, you might wish to make some sleep pillows.
(From: http://earthnotes.tripod.com/clnrecipes.htm)

Lavender Furniture Wax
2 oz grated beeswax, 1 tbsp carnauba wax, 1-1/2 cup mineral spirits, 20 drops oil of lavender.
Melt waxes in top of double boiler. Let cool 30 seconds or so, then add mineral spirits and oil. Stir well then place in suitable container.
(From: http://earthnotes.tripod.com/clnrecipes.htm)

Fragrant floor wash
(Essential oils can be used on wood, tile, and linoleum. However, with wood it is very tricky as certain essential oil mixes my dull it. Since I dont' have wood floors, I am leaving this part to you to look up. Just research the type of floor you have for more ideas based of the type of flooring in your home)

Floor Cleaner
Add 1/4 cup white vinegar to a bucket of water. Add 10 drops of lemon oil and 4 drops of oregano essential oil. Oregano oil has powerful antiseptic properties!
1/4 cup white vinegar to a bucket of water
10 drops lemon oil
4 drops oregano oil
(From: http://www.natural-healthy-home-cleaning-tips.com/homemade_cleaning_recipes_essential_oils.htm)
(can be done with or without the oregano. One may substitute with lavender, pine, eucalyptus, tea tree, etc.)
* when on wood floors, essential oils can take away their shine, so be sure to look up a recipe if you have wood floors that can better help you!

Microwave Cleaner

1/4 cup baking soda
1 teaspoon vinegar
6 drops lemon essential oil
Mix ingredients to make a paste. Apply to interior of microwave with a sponge. Rinse and leave door open to dry for 15 minutes.
Wash the glass turntable by hand. This recipe will get rid of food odors...great for getting rid of that popcorn smell.
(From: http://www.natural-healthy-home-cleaning-tips.com/homemade_cleaning_recipes_essential_oils.htm)

Carpet Freshener
To make a carpet freshener, add 16-20 drops of essential oils to a cup of baking soda. Mix well and place in a covered container overnight so that the oil can be absorbed. Sprinkle over your carpet the next day and then vacuum the powder up.
1 cup baking soda
16-20 drops essential oils
(From: http://www.natural-healthy-home-cleaning-tips.com/homemade_cleaning_recipes_essential_oils.htm)
Vacuum Cleaner
You may also saturate a disposable cloth or tissue with several drops of essential oil and place it into the collecting bag of your vacuum. This will diffuse a pleasant odor as you clean.
If your vacuum collects dirt into water, simply add a few drops into the water reservoir before cleaning. This refreshes both, the carpet and the room.
(From: http://www.natural-healthy-home-cleaning-tips.com/homemade_cleaning_recipes_essential_oils.htm)

Basic Wood Cleaning Formula
This formula is for well-used furniture. The vinegar works to pull dirt out of the wood. It doesn't leave an oily residue because the little bit of oil keeps the wood from drying out. It will store almost indefinitely in a lidded jar.
1/4 cup white distilled vinegar
1/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon liquid castile soap
5 drops jojoba or olive oil
Combine the ingredients in a bowl. Saturate a sponge and squeeze out the excess. Wash surfaces of tired and dirty wood. The vinegar smell will dissipate soon. Dry with a soft cloth.
(From: http://www.natural-healthy-home-cleaning-tips.com/homemade_cleaning_recipes_essential_oils.htm)
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Using Organic Essential Oils To Kill Pest Bugs
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Bugs hate essential oils because they are so concentrated. This is great for humans. It is also great for your pets! While I haven’t listed pet recipes here, you can always look them up online!

In The Garden And In The Home

Ants: peppermint
Aphids: cedar wood, peppermint, spearmint
Beetles: peppermint, thyme
Cutworm: thyme sage
Fleas: peppermint, lemon-grass, lavender
Flies: lavender, peppermint, rosemary, sage
Gnats: patchouli, cedar wood, peppermint
Lice: peppermint
Mosquitoes: lavender, lemon-grass, eucalyptus, cypress, lemon, orange, cedar wood, peppermint, geranium
Moths: cedar wood, peppermint, lavender, and even a glass of wine
Slugs: cedar wood. Fir (pine)
Ticks: clove, lemon-grass, sage, thyme
Weevils: cedar wood, patchouli, sandalwood

In the garden, one can mix the needed essential oil into a spray bottle and go to work.
Remember, not much essential oil is needed because it is extremely concentrated.

On You

Essential oils are a great alternative to those nasty insect repellents and bug bite remedies.
Insect Repellent For Older Children And Adults
Eucalyptus s - 4 drops
Lavender - 4 drops
Rosemary - 4 drops
Tea Tree - 4 drops
1 ounce Fractionated Coconut oil

Blend well and apply as needed, around the face, neck, wrists and ankles, anywhere those biting pests want to get you.

Because this mixture is fairly strong and has many strong oils, It should not be used on children under 5 years or on babies.
(From: http://birchhillhappenings.com/recipes/insect.htm)

On The Bug Bite Blend
Roman Chamomile - 2 drops
Eucalyptus 3 drops
Lavender - 3 drops
Peppermint - 1 drop

Blend well, then add to 1 ounce cider vinegar. Apply or dab on with a cotton ball to the insect bite area.
Can be used several times a day as needed.
(From: http://birchhillhappenings.com/recipes/insect.htm)

Keep Bugs Away
Vinegar - 4 oz
Eucalyptus - 50 drops
Spearmint - 25 drops
Lemon - 25 drops

Blend all ingredients in a spray bottle, shake well to mix. Spray around baseboards etc, to keep bugs away.
(From: http://birchhillhappenings.com/recipes/insect.htm)

Keep the Bugs Off Oil or Spritz
Cajuput - 25 drops
Lemon - 19 drops
Geranium - 19 drops
Cedarwood - 13 drops
If mixing to use as a spritz add the above essential oils to 5 ml of Emusifier and add to 2 ounces of distilled water.
If mixing to use as a light oil - mix the essential oils with 2 ounces of Almond oil (no emulsifier or water to this mixure).
Spritz on skin and smooth over with palms, do not spray in face, or near eyes, mouth or lips.
Apply a few drops of the oil to your palms and apply to arms, legs, neck and other exposed areas of skin.
(From: http://birchhillhappenings.com/recipes/insect.htm)

Soothe Insect Bites
Juniper - 2 drops
Basil - 2 drops
Lime - 1 drops
Sesame oil- 5 ml
Blend essential oils in carrier oil. Shake well and apply a small amount to the bites every few hours.
(From: http://birchhillhappenings.com/recipes/insect.htm)

Using Organic shampoos, conditioners, laundry detergents, and dish soap, etc
Every time you wash your hair, wash your dog, wash the dishes, do the laundry, wash your counters or clean the floor you could be doing your part for a healthier everything!
Since our skin readily absorbs anything on it, it is pertinent to use all natural and preferably organic products. Why poison our bodies? But this is not the only reason why we should go organic. Every time we used standard and even name brand products, we are devastating the planet. It doesn’t have to be this way though. We can make a conscious decision to stand up for the environment by paying for body and planet friendly products. Who wants to add to polluted air, water, and dirt? Not me, and surely not the future generations who will have it worse than we do if we do not make changes today.
These products can be bought online and at local health food stores. Slowly chain-stores are beginning to sell organic cleaners, personal care products, and even pet products. Why? Because people like you want to make a difference.
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Deadly MRSA Bacteria and Essential Oils
(From: http://www.news-medical.net/?id=6975)
Essential oils have been found to kill the deadly MRSA bacteria
Medical Research News Published: Tuesday, 21-Dec-2004
Essential oils usually used in aromatherapy have been found to kill the deadly MRSA bacteria according to research carried out at The University of Manchester.
Tests revealed that three essential oils killed MRSA and E. coli as well as many other bacteria and fungi within just two minutes of contact. The oils can easily be blended and made into soaps and shampoos which could be used by hospital staff, doctors and patients in a bid to eradicate the spread of these deadly `super bugs'.
Researchers are now desperately looking for funding to develop their work and carry out a clinical trial. Peter Warn from the University's Faculty of Medicine who worked on the research said: 'We believe that our discovery could revolutionize the fight to combat MRSA and other `super bugs', but we need to carry out a trial and to do that we need a small amount of funding ' around £30,000.
'We are having problems finding this funding because essential oils cannot be patented as they are naturally occurring, so few drug companies are interested in our work as they do not see it as commercially viable. Obviously, we find this very frustrating as we believe our findings could help to stamp out MRSA and save lives,' added Peter, who is based at Hope Hospital.
Essential oils are chemical compounds found within aromatic plants, which the plants use to fight off infections. Researchers tested 40 essential oils against ten of the most deadly bacteria and fungi. Two of these oils killed MRSA and E. coli almost instantly, while a third was shown to act over a longer period of time, meaning that any soaps or shampoos made by blending these three oils would be effective over a period of time.
Jacqui Stringer who is Clinical Lead of Complementary Therapies at the Christie Hospital instigated the research and said: 'The use of plants in medicine is nothing new but some people regard the use of essential oils as unconventional. Our research shows a very practical application which could be of enormous benefit to the NHS and its patients.
'The reason essential oils are so effective is because they are made up of a complex mixture of chemical compounds which the MRSA and other super bug bacteria finds difficult to resist. The problem with current treatments is that they are made of single compounds which MRSA relatively quickly becomes resistant to, so treatment is only successful in around 50% of cases.
'While a wide range of products currently exist to help prevent the spread of MRSA these are often unpleasant for patients as their application can cause skin irritation. MRSA is often carried inside the nose which means that patients often have to insert treatments up their nostrils, whereas these essential oils can simply be inhaled to prevent the patient being at risk,' added Jacqui.
Jacqui works with leukemia patients at the Christie Hospital using essential oils to help in their treatment. Patients receiving treatment for cancer and leukemia are often left with weakened immune systems which makes them vulnerable to infection from MRSA.
The National Audit Office estimates that infections such as MRSA kill 5,000 people each year and hospital-acquired infections cost the NHS around £1 billion a year.
http://www.manchester.ac.uk
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Which essential oils can stop MRSA?

Tea Tree
Geranium

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clipped on: 06.06.2009 at 11:55 am    last updated on: 06.06.2009 at 11:55 am

RE: Rule of thumb for width of drapery panels? (Follow-Up #4)

posted by: artlover13060 on 04.28.2009 at 08:42 pm in Home Decorating Forum

Here's what my favorite WT book says:

Heavy or stiff fabrics such as damask, brocade, and lightweight fabrics that are lined and interlined: 2 to 2 1/2 times the width of the rod.

Medium weight fabrics such as chintz: 2 1/2 to 3 times the width of the rod.

Lightweight fabrics such as gingham, taffeta, lightweight silks: 3 - 4 times the width of the rod.

Very light and soft fabrics such as voile, tissue-weight silks: up to 5 times the width of the rod.

My two cents worth: if you never plan to close them you could get a way with less width.

NOTES:

window width estimates
clipped on: 06.02.2009 at 05:04 pm    last updated on: 06.02.2009 at 05:05 pm

Put Boric acid in framing before dry wall?

posted by: kats on 09.30.2006 at 11:37 pm in Building a Home Forum

My neighbor who built his home 2 years ago said that if we put Boric acid in our home in the framing stage (before the dry wall is put on) that we will never have ants or other vermin inside the walls. He's a fireman and said this is actually quite common and works exceptionally well. We live in SoCal where ants are a reoccurring problem in the late spring to early summer. The problem is pretty common no matter where you live- desert, beach or in-between. Has anyone ever heard of using Boric acid like this and if so are there any dangers we should know about.
Does this work or am I just being gullible?

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clipped on: 10.03.2006 at 10:22 am    last updated on: 10.03.2006 at 10:22 am