Green Cleaning: Citrus Vinegars

I’ve become sort of hippy these days. And by sort of, I mean every day I just go deeper and deeper into the rabbit hole of green living. I’m okay with this, though! I know I get funny looks, and while they’re supportive, I have a few friends and family members who like to poke fun. But I just keep chugging along, knowing that I’m making changes to make mine and my family’s lives better and healthier.

One of the first and easiest switches to a greener life that I made was my cleaning habits. I’ve stopped buying any off-the-shelf, pre-mixed cleaning solutions like Clorox, 409, etc. Now that I’ve seen how easy (and cost-efficient!) it is to clean green, I literally can’t wrap my mind around why anyone would go back to use those expensive, chemical-filled products. I know that sounds judgemental, but I just want to scream from the roof tops: “THIS BAKING SODA AND VINEGAR CLEANS MY OVEN WAY BETTER THAN ANY OVEN CLEANER OUT THERE AND HAS 100% LESS CHEMICALS AND COSTS SIGNIFICANTLY LESS!” It’s a little extreme, but obviously I’m an extreme person.

I’ll probably keep this “Green Cleaning” thing as a series on this blog, as I already have some essentials, and I’m learning more every day.

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Vinegar is one of those absolutely essential items in green cleaning. I use it for everything: all-purpose cleaners, carpet cleaners, window cleaners, etc. However, as I’m sure most of you know, it smells terrible. For a while, I just accepted this, adding in what felt like a million drops of essential oil to my cleaners – not just for their cleaning benefits, but to hopefully cover up the scent of the vinegar. Now, I don’t care what any blogger or youtuber tells you – essential oils will not cover up the scent of vinegar. Maybe if you dump the whole bottle in, sure. However, that’s not at all cost efficient.

So, I did some research, and came up with an idea. My husband and I always have citrus fruits that are on the verge of going bad. We’re terrible, I know. Even if we do eat an orange or use a lemon for something, I hate throwing away the rind. Not only is it just contributing to the massive landfills that fill our country (and world, really), I know they can be useful (even if they taste like bitter¬†shit). Lemon and orange oil have been shown to have antimicrobial properties, so what better way to use them than to clean with them?! I use them in my vinegar (obviously), but if you’re not down for natural cleaners yet, you can always throw them into your garbage disposal and let them naturally freshen up your sink!

Jump below the picture for the “instructions” on this concoction! And by instructions I mean the three, probably pretty obvious, steps.

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Ingredients:

  • Citrus of your choice – either just the rinds or sliced up
  • Vinegar of your choice – I use white distilled vinegar
  • Jar or container with lid – I use mason jars because I’m predictable

Directions:

  • Put citrus in jar or container.
  • Pour vinegar in jar or container, close the lid, and let steep anywhere from 3 days to 2 weeks or more.
  • Use in your favorite green cleaning recipe and know you’re taking one more baby step to helping your family, and the Earth, be healthier.
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Welcome to Mutchler Home! AKA – Hey friends and family, here’s pictures of our house as requested.

Holy shit, we bought a house! That may be the tagline for our blog, I haven’t decided yet. I have a lot of mixed feelings about buying a house. Me, as in Alexa. That’s a good point to make – unless otherwise noted, I, Alexa, am writing these blogs. Never fear, though, as I’ll try to sprinkle some Andy “hum-dingers” throughout.

As someone with anxiety, I think of every possible scenario that could happen to me at any given time always. So, buying a house a few months after I had a total mental breakdown and quit my job, leaving Andy has the sole¬†breadwinner, definitely seemed a little crazy to me. However, we knew (as far as we could possibly know, at least) that’d we’d be here for a while, as Andy really loves his job, and he just landed a permanent position. We also knew that the market was in a great place here, and that home prices were continuing to go up. So, we wanted to get in. AND NOW. We were also just told that the owners of the house we were renting weren’t going to renew our lease, as they wanted to sell. Things were just all sort of pushing us towards buying, so we began to look, with the promise that we wouldn’t jump into anything too quickly just because we needed to leave our current living situation in two months. However, when we found out that a house in our ideal neighborhood came on the market in our ideal price range, we jumped on it.

Everything happened so quickly that I didn’t even really have a chance to think about it. Which I suppose is a good thing, as I have a tendency to over think things. That’s a lie. I don’t have a tendency to do that. I do that. Always. Guaranteed. Andy definitely lives a 100% stress-free life with me as his wife, for I am not at all a stressful person.

The plan was to vlog as we were moving in, take before and after pictures of painting, etc. but as I quickly found out – I am not going to be a good blogger. Ha! So, I’ve scrounged together some before pictures (read: I pulled some from our appraisal report), and some after as well. All we’ve done so far is paint, paint, paint. I’ve also unpacked just a little, and bought some plants and pulled out some decor. The plants are iffy, as I kill everything I touch. At least, every plant I touch. Wouldn’t that be interesting, though, to kill everything you touched? What a terrifying life. I’m sure I’ll have a nightmare about that tonight.

Without further ado – and rambling – pictures!

The Living Room

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This was the living room when we first walked through the house. It’s a lovely… peach color. Also, the blinds + windows situation looks like big monster eyes with the fireplace looking like a big monster mouth. Scary. Here’s the new color (Passive by HGTV Sherwin Williams), and a shotty picture of the in-progress decor (I swear I’m going to get better at blogging):

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The Kitchen

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One of the first things I said (other than – “this smells like my grandparents house”), was that I was going to have to fix up the kitchen. I just HAVE to. Absolutely no doubt about it – I’ve already been taking paint swatches home and researching countertop options. Side note, Andy was really bummed that we couldn’t keep that TV mounted to the cabinet. Little does he know, that TV would never be allowed in my house. Unfortunately, other than paint, I haven’t done any updates to the kitchen. But it’s my most used room in the house, so be prepared to get sick of kitchen posts.

The Dining… Room?

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This is the dining room area that I wasn’t thrilled with at first, but I’ve got some ideas up my sleeve, including painting and adding curtains, which I’ve already done. But keep an eye out for a future “updated dining room” post once we get our table!

 

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The backyard is probably the best part of the house – even though it doesn’t look like it here. Keep in mind it’s Idaho and it’s cold AF here. Everything was dead but started to bloom by the time we closed and moved in. The backyard looks so different now (and we added a dank-ass hammock!):

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Aaaaaaand obligatory picture of Foxie loving her new yard.

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Until next time!