clean with tea
I had such a great time talking with attendees at the Mother Earth News Fair in Puyallup, Washington, this past weekend about how to make green cleaners. As always, I learned a new trick or two, and I promised everyone I’d recap our conversation here for easy access. Today let’s talk about some of the unexpected food items—most of which you already have in your kitchen cupboards—that can be used to clean your home.
Use tea to remove old furniture polish and prepare wooden furniture for polishing. Simply soak a rag in room-temperature tea, then run it over the wood. The tea’s tannic acid makes your wood shine while removing all the dirt. Once that’s done, you can use mayonnaise to make the piece shine. Just rub the mayo into the wood, then follow with a damp rag and a few drops of vinegar to remove any residue. Olive oil is also a great natural furniture
You can get your whole house fresh and shiny clean with just five ingredients: lemons, vinegar, baking soda, tea tree oil and salt.
Bastyr University is pleased to announce it has partnered with Seattle-based Choice Organic Teas to develop and launch a new line of flavorful, certified organic Wellness Teas. This marks the first time the University has lent its name on a consumer product.
It's easy to make your own air freshener spray. You'll avoid chemicals and delight in the fresh smell.
Teaching children to enjoy helping around the house or farm will give them valuable skills to use as adults in their own homes and with their own children.
Fasting is a great way to cleanse the body and to tune it in for the changing seasons. In today’s world, toxins can leave the body feeling weighed down and sluggish, but with a little fasting know-how, toxins can be removed and no one needs to be a nutritionist, a doctor, or plastic surgeon to do it. Following a fast, the body and mind will experience a natural high, bringing with it motivation and healthier lifestyle decisions.
Check out this natural All-Purpose Cleaner recipe.
Substitute teaching can be a pretty good gig, if you have the patience and discipline.
Let's quash, once and for all, the notion that only harmful chemicals can kill germs and bacteria. Hydrogen peroxide, tea tree oil and grapefruit seed extract are natural antibacterials that keep your home clean--and safeguard your family's health.
Make your own all-purpose cleaners, dishwasher detergent and mildew remover with safe, simple ingredients. Ever think you'd be doing dishes with Kool-Aid?
Absorb and Clean delivers unmatched performance for cleaning up liquid spills on land, water, and hard surfaces instantly.
Conventional household cleaners contain toxic chemicals that could have adverse effects on your health. Learn how to mix up your own homemade cleaners with these suggestions from Natural Home magazine editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence.
The National Products Association releases its natural standards and certification for household cleaners and laundry detergents.
Making your own cleaning products using vinegar, baking soda and water is healthy, easy--and cheap. Learn how to whip up your own cleaners using foods you already have in your kitchen cupboard.
This mojito recipe from a surprising source--a Teahouse--is light, refreshing and not too sweet--perfect for a warm summer evening.
The Lawrence Anthony Earth Organization published a new analysis that depicts the dangerous flaws in oil spill response and outlines technology they claim will save marine life, oceans, animals and people, while saving millions of dollars.
Designed with professional features and priced to be affordable, the new fuel-efficient STIHL BR 200 backpack blower helps clear leaves, grass clippings or other debris from the yard.
Noxious fumes aren’t conducive to happy cleaning. Give all your homemade cleaning solutions an invigorating and healthy boost by adding a few drops of pure plant essential oils such as lavender or lemon. Heavenly!
MOTHER EARTH NEWS readers recently named dishwashing formula as their most desired DIY cleaner, so we’ve rounded up some easy and inexpensive dish de-griming recipes for your automatic dishwasher or for washing by hand.
Save money and have a healthier home with these ideas for assembling your own green cleaning tool kit. Plus, get our recipe for Lemon-Mint Window Wash.
Team Germany takes first place in the 2009 Solar Decathlon, followed by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in second and Team California in third.
Guru Drain keeps hair and debris from clogging drains, saving you time and money.
With just three ingredients and two simple steps, you can clear away germs and freshen your home's air to welcome spring.
What do farm-raised salmon, your typical DEET bug spray, and non-filtered drinking water all have in common? These are frequently encountered sources of toxins which in excess could be threatening your health, but following a detox cleanse will keep you protected and restore energy!
If you still want to do everything you can to make your home healthy—for your family and the planet—take a look at how you clean. Like it or not, we have to clean our homes on a regular basis. Natural Home offers lots of great ideas for making your own healthy, natural cleaning solutions—or look to some of the great green solutions now available at your grocery store.
Share your thoughts. What homemade and natural cleaning products do you find work best in your home?
Clean with vodka for a spic-and-span house and less of a headache in the morning! You can use the alcohol to freshen your laundry, remove mold and mildew, and even repel bugs. Vodka kills bacteria and dries clear and odor-free, making it an ideal addition to your cleaning cupboard.
It’s springtime and the weather is getting warm, but that is no excuse for letting money and energy fly out the window every single day. Hopefully you were able to find all the drafts and leaks in your windows last fall (if not, now is just as good a time as any).
Here are instructions for making a quick and easy batch of stained glass soap. Once you get the basics down you can make all sorts of unusual and beautiful embedded soap to give as gifts or enjoy for yourself.
15 tips to help you get rid of clutter once and for all and create a clean, serene home.
A recipe for a salt scrub that can clean those dirty garden hands while promoting healing.
Rishi Tea has handcrafted 12 new loose leaf tea blends, including 6 innovative botanical blends, 3 delicious chai teas, 2 energizing green teas and an aromatic oolong – perfect for fall and the holidays.
Whether you’re a teacher, parent, school administrator, or homeschooler, you might be interested in some of these online resources related to environmental education and green curricula. Most of these websites are related to K-12 education.
This is a summary of our attendance at the IBS show in Jan. Also a re-cap of Jan events and our transistion into the construction phase of the project. We also talk about the decision for the competiton to be moved off the Nationa Mall in DC
Many a homesteader and farmer can use help, and many a young person wants to learn homesteading skills. Having apprentices is an important means to assure a continuation of farms and farming,as well as teaching youth essential survival skills.
You don't need to rely on toxic chemicals to clean your house. Opt for natural homemade cleaners or nontoxic options such as Bon Ami.
Sassafras Tea is an old-fashioned springtime favorite around here.
Because it could cause eye and skin irritation and harm reproductive systems, the Environmental Working Group recommends avoiding it. Baking soda is a solid, safe alternative.
Your simply imperfect arsenal for getting the whole house clean--naturally.
I ponder the benefits of, and experiment with, compost tea.
If you crave great music with an eco-conscious cause, attend Rock the Green, Milwaukee’s first green music festival.
"Green" cleaning products are awash with misleading labels and false claims. Always look for a third-party certification to assure you're buying the healthiest, most environmentally friendly cleaners.
More than the electricity needed to run these machines, the “rinse hold” hot water setting that many households use is the biggest energy drain associated with dishwashers – as much as 80 percent of the energy your dishwasher uses goes to heat water.
Did you know that a dirty filter in your HVAC equipment can reduce its efficiency by up to 20 percent? Didyou also know that it is recommended to check your filter every month? Don’t despair!
When you get home today, do this simple test: Close your fridge door on a dollar bill or piece of paper; if you can pull the bill out easily or worse, if it falls, then it is time to replace the seal.
Did you know that heat transfer through windows can account for up to 25 percent of your energy bill by allowing heat out during the winter, and makes your air conditioner work overtime to combat the sun’s warming? Drafts and leaks can be the biggest culprit of energy waste but can also be fixed with relatively little effort.
Attics can be a huge energy drain if they are not insulated sufficiently. We’ll leave the
heavy lifting for next weekend, but for now look for uneven insulation, base sports, water damage, and anything else that looks out of place.
It might seem like a small thing, but your refrigerator can be a HUGE drain on your energy bill. We’ve already shown you how to check for leaks in your refrigerator seal—now let’s take the next step in keeping your fridge in top working order.
Having a properly maintained water heater is like going to the dentist: No one wants to do it, but it’s gotta be done. Ideally, you should have an inspection and necessary maintenance performed on your water heater once a year.
Highlights from the "Make Your Own Green Cleaners--for Pennies" workshop at the Mother Earth News Fair: How to use vinegar and baking soda to clean just about everything.
Here are some suggestions for removing rust from cast iron.
Some of the nastiest chemicals we bring into our homes are used to clean ovens and drains--and they're not necessary. Learn how to clean your entire kitchen using vinegar, baking soda and a little salt and lemon juice. You'll love the results!
My grandmother taught me everything I need to know about keeping my house clean--without chemicals.
Sipping on medicinal herbal tea is one of the best steps you can take to shorten the duration of illness when the symptoms of a cold, sore throat, or other upper respiratory infection begin.
We had a once in a lifetime opportunity over Easter this year to talk to more than 30,000 people about honey bees, pollination, honey and beekeeping. And the place we got to do this in was one of a kind.
In this blog we talk about our three differnet types of solar technology that we have on the Homestead.
Brief description of our journey back onto the National Mall, our Flex Space design, and our Solar Thermal Skylight.
Wind power grew by 30 percent and solar power grew by 40 percent in 2010, according to a new report.
YIKES! What to do when you've planted too many veggies? Is your garden producing more than one family can eat? Sure, you can give it away. But wait! Try pickling those garden gems. This way, you'll be able to enjoy them through the winter and beyond!
Tips for solar advocates to invest money smartly and be part of the growing solar market
From IBM to Sprint to Dell, companies are going green and even realizing they can save green too.
A University of Georgia study finds that common houseplants can remove toxins and improve indoor air quality.
Mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will stop accepting loans from the nationwide Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program, which helps homeowners pay for the cost of energy-efficient retrofits.
The Sierra Club’s top 100 greenest colleges and universities carve a clean energy future—students demand it.
A reader wonders how often to change furnace filters to keep the air clean in her home. Learn the frequency with which homeowners should replace a furnace filter.
Sweet Iced Tea is a delicious Southern tradition, but store-bought concoctions are often full of high fructose corn syrup and other nasties. This recipe incorporates fresh herbs, which add natural sweetness and help knock down the sugar content.
Simran Sethi explores resolutions for healthy eating and offers a resource, The Cleaner Plate Club.
Alka-Seltzer can give your cleaning routine a little extra fizz. Try it for unclogging drains and cleaning toilets.
Clean out the hive at the end of winter
Does the huge task of cleaning windows leave you feeling overwhelmed? Follow these six simple steps--using inexpensive materials you already have around the house--to get your windows sparkling and streak-free.
The Joy of Green Cleaning is a fantastic resource with recipes to clean everything from grout to sheepskins.
Replacing a task that uses electricity with one that does not is a no-brainer when trying to save on your energy bill — and air drying is one of the easiest ways to go.
When you get home, go to your hot water heater, remove the cover and turn it down to 120 degrees (sometimes labeled “hot” as opposed to “very hot”).
Many people don’t know that most HVAC systems don’t produce more or less heating or cooling based on the room temperature – they simply blow air for longer.
On Wabi-Sabi Wednesdays, I feature excerpts from my book, Simply Imperfect: Revisiting the Wabi-Sabi House, which was released last month.
Wabi-sabi’s roots lie in Zen Buddhism, brought from China to Japan by 12th-century traveling monk Esai, who also picked up a few tea seeds while he was there. Zen, with its principles of “vast emptiness and nothing holy,” stresses austerity, communion with nature, and reverence for everyday life and everyday mind as the path to enlightenment. Zen monks lived ascetic, often isolated, lives and sat for long periods of concentrated meditation. To help his fellow monks stay awake during these sessions, Eisai taught them how to process tea leaves into a hot drink. Tea had arrived in Japan.
Once it left the monk's hands, tea took on a life of its own. Around the 14th century, the ruling classes developed elaborate rituals that took place in large tea rooms built in a gaudy style known as shoin, with imported hanging scrolls and formally arranged tables for vases and incense burners. Tea practitioners proved their wealth and status through their collections of elegant tea utensils and lacquered serving ware during three-day weekends where up to 100 cups of tea--as well as food and sake--were served. All of the day's revered Tea masters pushed the opulent style, to the delight of Chinese merchants and importers.
Making great sunshine tea is easy if you follow a few simple guidelines for contents, quantities, and water.
A basic recipe for making compost tea.
This ancient beverage has provided a nutritious, naturally-caffeinated boost for centuries and a new carbon-subtracting brand benefits the earth and consumers alike.
Herbs have so many healthful properties. It just makes great sense to take advantage of their benefits and taste in warming teas. The only limits to homemade tea from homegrown ingredients is your imagination!
“The Cleaner Plate Club” co-author Beth Bader shares an adventure to the farmers market with her daughter, her “eat local” food values, and her recipe for Lemongrass Tomato Soup.
The “Remote Community Renewable Energy Partnership” exceeds Obama’s goal for supporting clean energy development in small native villages.
Renewable energy accounts for nearly 50 percent of added capacity in US in 2012.
Congress passed a piece of legislation which could have a serious impact on the nation's job crisis. This post explains the act, analyzes its impact, and notes that the whole renewable job sector has been pretty much ignored.
Electronic waste, aka e-waste, is the fastest growing waste stream of our time. E-waste is considered hazardous waste and more often than not, is recycled improperly. But there are ways to avoid contributing to the growth of this toxic waste.
Contact your senators now to encourage them to support the clean energy initiatives in the new stimulus package.
Despite utility opposition, key policy drives rapid expansion of rooftop solar.
Natural Home editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence explains a Pew Charitable Trusts study that finds that jobs in the clean energy sector are growing faster than jobs in the fossil fuel industry.
Information on how to volunteer on National Public Lands Day.
Learn how to eliminate mold growth in your home and improve indoor air quality by using Concrobium.
Tips on how to protect water quality with phosphate-free cleaning projects during spring cleaning.
How we clean out chimney on our A - Frame house with a steep roof.
Sixteen states have banned the sale of dishwasher detergents with high phosphate levels, and the American Cleaning Institute has urged its members to remove them.
It has become a Christmas ritual for me to clean out my mother's fridge. I find whiskery gnarled morsels, shoved to the back of the fridge many months previously, unseen, and untouched by my mother’s arthritic hands. Do I compost all this detritus?
Cam rationalizes his hoarding behaviour....
Cap off your Hemp History Week celebrations by making hemp soap. Hemp oil contains essential fatty acids and poly-unsaturated fatty acids known for their excellent emollient and lubricating properties.
Wabi-sabi teaches us appreciation for the good energy and soul that handmade items bring to our homes. Etsy, the premiere source for handcrafted home goods, offers an extensive list of items whose sale will benefit Japanese relief efforts.
Sen no Rikyu's simple, unpretentious ceremony using rustic, local tools usurped the elaborate, ostentatious Tea ceremonies that were the norm in 16th-century Japan. His "aesthetic of the people" made Tea accessible to all--and endures to this day.
Preventing allergy causes as opposed to treating the symptoms.
Organic Pond is pleased to announce that the Organic Materials Research Institute (OMRI) has reviewed the company's PureBacteria+ Biological Pond Muck Reducer and has listed PureBacteria+ for use in organic production.
About five years ago I started experimenting with biochar. I collected charcoal from my wood stove, crushed it in a tough plastic bag with the car and charged it by soaking it in compost tea.
Cultivating and drying herbs for use as medicine throughout the seasons.
Celebrate spring by throwing a free tea party--here's how.
How to quickly and easily make a soothing herbal tea blend for children, plus bags and boxes to hold it.
The new farm retail store outlet is now open to the public for tea cuppings, farm and facility tours, and retail shopping.
A truly authentic version of the subcontinent's favorite drink is finally available for American tea lovers.
If we use high-quality items in our everyday lives, our lives become a sort of training. By using each item with care and careful consideration, the way we live becomes a tradition.
Most Americans believe that cleaning products are required to list ingredients on labels. They're not. But Whole Foods is taking matters into its own hands with a color-coded rating system that holds manufacturers accountable for green claims.
New investment in clean energy reached $243 billion last year, driven by soaring activity in China, offshore wind and European rooftop photovoltaics
Comly Wilson, Associate with CleanEdison, a solar installation training provider, offers her tips to remedy 6 common mistakes solar PV installers make when setting up new photovoltaic systems.
From shampoo and lotion to wood polish and drain cleaner, you’ll be surprised at how many common household products contain potentially hazardous ingredients. Here’s how to identify problem products and find the best alternatives to buy — or save a little money by making your own.
Moving is stressful, but it's not an excuse to forget your carbon footprint. Here are some ways to make your move as eco-friendly as possible.
Replacing paper towels with rags is a super simple step toward sustainable living. Follow these simple tips to get disposable paper towels out of your house. You'll never miss them.
With WASHDROPS™, consumers can wash everything from vehicles and patio furniture to aluminum siding, conserve water, a precious resource, and be environmentally responsible.
To make liquid hand soap all you need is a bar of soap and a cheese grater. What could be easier?
Holy cow, I just wrote a blog about cleaning. I really am turning into my mother.
Check out Annie B. Bond's list of 11 easy tips for making your kitchen more healthy and safe, from Care2.
Discover some of the properties of essential oils, along with some tips for cleaning with them.
The Clean Power Plan to cut carbon pollution from existing power plants, proposed on June 2, 2014, by the Environmental Protection Agency, under President Obama’s Climate Action Plan not only limits our carbon pollution but also injects life back into our domestic workforce.
Spring clean up on the farm doesn't only include cleaning fallen branches, but cleaning up the goats too! Getting ready for kidding and making sure the goats are all set is our most important spring task.
The Union of Concerned Scientists created a new Web feature to show the success of green-collar jobs.
The first Tiny House Conference will take place in Charlotte, North Carolina, on April 16.
Learn about advertising-induced fear of an innocuous, food-grade substance, vinegar. Plus, get interesting information about vinegar being used for bioremediation of extremely dangerous chemicals.
There's only one rule for wabi-style flowers: strive for a natural look, with seasonal blooms and branches arranged as they are in the field. Don't worry about perfection. Your "arrangement" is a humble admission that we can't improve on nature.
The four principles of Tea ceremony—harmony, respect, purity and tranquility—are the means to a good life.
Far from being weeds, spring's earliest greens are packed with nutrition and help detox the body.
Find out how wabi-sabi, an ancient Japanese philosophy that promotes attention, reverence, generosity and respect, can build the foundation of a happy home.
A number of tea companies are donating proceeds from sales to Japanese earthquake and tsunami relief efforts.
A proper tea house is a luxury I believe in.
Grow Red Thai Roselle hibiscus for a tea, health drink and sauce. Roselle, also known as Florida Cranberry, can be grown outside the sunbelt if you have the right variety. Red Thai is that variety.
Describes a method of protecting tomatoes from excessive heat using a sunscreen, vermicompost tea, pulling blighted leaves.
Simran Sethi describes the choices she made for her eco-friendly kitchen remodel.
Keep your family healthy by paying close attention to your home's 10 germiest places.
The babies have arrived, now is the time to take care of all of the other parts of caring for the newborns!
Clear your home's air naturally for better health and well being.
Clearing out life's detritus is an important first step when spring cleaning. Follow these tips to make clutter-free, organized living possible.
The kids have finally arrived, and we have plenty of photos of them!
Fixing the swamp bridge and starting some new onion seeds along with a new experiment involving willow rooting hormone tea.
Chado-En tea company will donate 100 percent of profits from the sale of its special cherry blossom tea to Japanese relief efforts.
Roses are easy to grow successfully if you follow a few guidelines: provide good air circulation around the canes and keep the plants clean and not too damp. Roses come in many forms, including bush or shrub, climbing, and miniature.
The nation's largest community-owned solar array in Rifle, Colorado, will provide clean energy for up to 350 residents, who don't even need a roof to enjoy the benefits of renewable energy.
Simran Sethi looks back at her New Year's resolution: to nourish herself.
When the dining table is laden down with mail, laptops and other clutter, the entire house feels messy. Follow these seven steps to keep your dining table free of detritus. (Set it for dinner right after breakfast, if you have to.)
Wabi-sabi is never slobby, but we can allow ourselves to stop trying so hard and just appreciate our warm bed at the end of the day—whether it’s made or not.
After the kidding is over, we take good care of our girls! And, the babies need to be bottle fed, so here are the instructions on how we feed our kids.
Therapeutic grade essential oils have a tonne of uses on the homestead - here's how we've used them effectively, and how they bring us peace of mind.
Simran Sethi discusses what it takes for a home to be truly clean by avoiding harsh chemicals and using natural cleaning products.
An update on generating electricity with pedal power and which exercise bike we decided on and testing soil for nutrient ratios along with fixing a pair of leaky boots with adhesive and inner tube scrap patch.
Eggs aren't the only things that come from the business end of a chicken. But with a little time and materials, and even less ingenuity, the rest can set you up with a free and steady supply of valuable organic fertilizer.