8 Unusual & Genius Hacks To Use Extra Eggs

8 Unusual & Genius Hacks To Use Extra Eggs

We’ve all been there – starting at the half empty carton in the fridge. The eggs are about to go bad, and you’re not sure what to do with them except throw them away.

 

Personally, I don’t like tossing extra eggs if I can help it, and I’ve spent a lot of time researching and testing unusual ways to repurpose them.

 

And I’ve discovered that there’s a LOT you can do with extra eggs!

 

In this article, I’m going to show you how, with a little bit of preparation, you can save extra eggs and reuse them in several ways in your home.

 

8 Unusual & Genius Hacks To Use Extra Eggs

 

Shine bread

Use egg whites as a glaze for breads, muffins, and pastries. Adds a glossy sheen and helps keep toppings such as herbs or sesame seeds in place.

 

Thicken soups

Add egg yolks to soups and sauces to thicken them. Wait until the soup is relatively cool so the yolks don’t cook & scramble – unless you’re making egg drop soup, in which case you want the eggs to cook!

 

Make Homemade Mayo

Homemade mayonnaise tastes much better than the store bought stuff – and you can be sure it’s made with fresh, organic ingredients.

 

Mix egg yolks with a blender, and gradually drizzle olive oil a few drops at a time while blending constantly. Add vinegar to taste until mayo is white and creamy. If you want to ferment the mayo for extra nutritional benefits, this article will help you out.

 

Remove Stains

If your coffee mugs are stained from tea or coffee, use eggshells to remove tem. Grind up eggshells and sprinkle them in the mug. Add warm water until a slurry is formed. Leave to soak overnight. If the stains aren’t fully removed by morning, repeat until the stains are gone.

 

Freeze Them

Separate egg whites & yolks.  Freeze egg whites to use in meringues or to shine bread as needed. Mix yolks with a pinch of salt or sugar to keep them moist when you defrost them (freezing tends to dry yolks out). Note which yolks have salt or sugar so you can use them in an appropriate recipe.

 

You can also freeze yolks and whites together (scramble them first), and use in recipes as needed.

 

Make Candied Nuts

Separate whites from yolks (or use the frozen whites from above!) and whisk with a ¼ tsp of water. Add your favorite nuts, coating them with the egg mixture. Remove nuts and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar.

 

Bake at 250 degrees F for 45 minutes (keep an eye on them so they don’t burn). Use a spatula to turn them regularly to they bake evenly. Enjoy!

 

Add to Smoothies & Other Drinks

Love smoothies? Want them to be even more smooth? Add egg whites! Whisk them until they’re frothy and fluffy, and use up to 2 tablespoons per 8 ounces of smoothie. You’ll have to play with it a bit to see what tastes best to you.

 

The egg whites will give your smoothies a silkie texture. You can also use them in alcoholic drinks.

 

Make A Homemade Calcium Supplement

Eggshells are an excellent source of calcium and other micronutrients. Add them to smoothies or other drinks to meet your daily calcium requirements.

 

To make eggshell powder, first spread the shells on a cookie sheet. Bake them at 350 degrees F for 10 minutes. Once they’ve cooled, process them until they’re completely ground.

 

If necessary, you can grind them with a food processor then finish with a mortar and pestle until the shells are fully powdered (sharp edges never did anyone a favor!)

 

Store in the fridge and use within 3 weeks. Only use about ¼ tsp per 8 ounces of drink (20 or so shells will make about ½ to 1 cup of powder).

 

If you can’t make it through all the powder in that time, you can add the remainder to your compost bin, your garden, or feed to your chickens. (For other animals such as dogs and cats, check with your vet first).

 

How To Raise People Friendly Chickens

How To Raise People Friendly Chickens

Who doesn’t want to raise people friendly chickens?

 

If you’re keeping backyard chickens, it’s pretty likely you’re also keeping them as pets. Yeah, yeah, they lay eggs, and that’s great, but they also make great pets, right?

 

Which means you likely want to raise people friendly chickens. And luckily, that’s a pretty easy thing for anyone to do.

 

It’s also pretty important if you have children – NOTHING is worse than a rooster who flogs your kids, or pecks bloody holes into you when you enter their coop.

 

While the rooster is just doing his job, it’s also no fun to get beat up just for feeding your flock.

 

So, in this article, I’m going to show you how to raise people friendly chickens so you can have a flock that’s fun and enjoys your company as much as you enjoy theirs!

 

Start with a breed that’s known for their friendly nature

Yes, it’s true that any chicken can be a lap chicken. We’ve had plenty of chickens of various breeds, and whether you can raise people friendly chickens with them largely comes down to how they’re handled and their individual personalities.

 

But like dogs, some breeds of chickens have a tradition of being raised as companions to people, and so are MORE LIKELY to become your best friends.

 

The list of breeds below isn’t comprehensive; it’s just to get you started!

 

Silkies

Silkies are well known for their friendly, docile natures. They’re also great chickens for children because they put up with being held better than other breeds. (Read more about Silkie chickens here)

 

Speckled Sussex

These backyard chickens are so beautiful, and full of personality! They have brave natures, so they’ll readily come up to people while other breeds will shy away from human company. (Read more about Speckled Sussex chickens here)

 

Polish Bantams

Like other bantams, polish bantams are gentle and more willing to be held than other breeds, They also look adorable with puffs of feathers on their heads!

 

Cornish Crosses

I seem to be alone in this opinion, but I think Cornish Crosses are great chickens as pets. They enjoy human company and being held, and love just sitting and watching the world go by.


We’ve kept quite a few Cornish Crosses as pets, and they’ve consistently been great family members. The only drawback is they tend to have heart issues, and don’t seem to live as long as other breeds.

 

Rhode Island Reds

If reared as pets, Rhode Island Reds are great for a starter backyard chicken flock. They have friendly natures.

 

We used to have one hen named Daisy. She would do the “submissive squat” to indicate she wanted to be picked up and held. Such fun!

 

Araucana & Ameraucanas

Both of these breeds are friendly, and lay blue eggs! Araucanas originated in Chile, while Ameraucanas are a hybrid breed created in the United States.

 

You can read more about araucana chickens here.

Raise your flock from the time they’re chicks

It’s simpler to start from scratch when trying to raise people friendly chickens than try to retrain a hen that’s had little human contact.

 

So, if you want your chickens to be members of your family, it’s best to get them when they’re chicks, and consistently interact with them.

 

Now, there ARE exceptions: We’ve had hens we rescued from battery cages, and they made GREAT pets.

 

So, in some cases, rescues will learn to enjoy human company and being spoiled, especially after they spent their lives being shut up in less than pleasant surroundings.

 

But to be on the safe side, it’s easier to start with chicks and train them to enjoy human company.

 

Spend time with them, make them your friends, and establish yourself as flock leader

To raise chickens that enjoy human company and being handled by people, it’s crucial to spend time with them and make them your friends.

 

If they don’t know you well or aren’t sure about your role in the flock, they’ll avoid you.

 

It’s also important to let them know you’re the flock leader. The flock leader keeps them safe, shows them where food is, and keeps them comfortable.

 

Spend an hour or so every day with your flock, give them treats, and play games with them. They’ll love it!

 

Lots of treats!

Yep, it’s true. If you’re the “bringer of treats,” you’ll always be popular.

 

Offer your flock treats from your hands, and spend time talking with them and bonding with them as you indulge them.

 

The more you do this, the more your flock will make positive associations with you, and begin to regard you as their “Fearless Leader.”

 

Get to know their own quirks and what makes each one unique

Getting to know each individual chicken is important. You’ll get to know what makes each one unique, and what might help them bond with you.

 

Does your chicken love black soldier fly larvae? Or is oregano the key to their hearts? Does fast movement scare them? Do they liked to be picked up a certain way?

 

Knowing these individual preferences will help you help them stay comfortable in your presence!

 

Limit foraging and keep ‘em well fed. Be their food source

To raise people friendly chickens, they need to know people are their friends. And it helps if your flock understands you’re their food source.

 

If your flock has to forage for food, they essentially have to fend for themselves. This leads to mistrust – they don’t know what to make of you, so they avoid you.

 

In other words, they go wild.

 

Now this isn’t to say foraging is bad. Quite the contrary – it’s a normal and healthy behavior.

 

If you want to raise healthy people friendly chickens, then allow your hens to free range, but supervise their free ranging, and spend time with them as they forage.

 

Offer them treats at the same time so they recognize you’ll always be there with a meal.

 

You can make a game of it by scattering treats around and let them “hunt” for their dried insects!

 

Learning how to raise people friendly chickens is easy – and get ready to have some new best friends!

What Chicken Wire Is Best For A Coop?

What Chicken Wire Is Best For A Coop?

Deciding what chicken wire you’ll put on your coop is a pretty important part of backyard chicken ownership.

While we see our fluffy butts as cute feathered pets, the sad truth is the rest of the animal kingdom sees your chickens as dinner. So, we have to take steps to protect our hens, and that means choosing chicken wire that’ll keep predators OUT and your flock IN. There are lots of different types of chicken wire, and in this article, we’ll discuss:

  • ½ inch & 1 inch chicken wire
  • ½ inch hardware cloth for backyard chickens
  • ¼ inch hardware cloth
  • Screens

And the advantages and disadvantages of each. We’ll also talk about poultry netting versus wire, and plastic versus metal and coated metal. The type of chicken wire you’ll use on your coop depends on a few factors, including:

  • Your budget
  • Predators in your area
  • The age of your chickens
  • Aesthetics (yes, this is important!)

So, get ready for an in depth look at each type of chicken wire out there!

What length and width chicken wire should you buy?

The answer to this question will vary from situation to situation. We discuss specific hole sizes below, but it’s also important to consider the length and width of the chicken wire you buy.

For example, we’re redoing the fencing on my coop right now. The posts are 4 feet away from each other. We’ve purchased 1-inch chicken wire that’s 48” wide and 150’ long to ensure we have enough to make panels for the entire run. If your fence posts are closer together,  or wider apart, then you’ll have to consider that spacing before deciding on which chicken wire will work for your coop.

While we usually install fencing horizontally, in the case of chicken wire and chicken coops, it’s best to install the wire itself vertically. You want your chicken run to be tall enough to keep your flock in, and you don’t want any gaps between the wire that predators can get through. When installed horizontally, a 48” tall fence will require a second layer so the fence is tall enough. Avoid this scenario!

Chicken wire ½ inch – 1 inch

When you think of chicken wire, you probably think of the wire fencing with hexagonal openings. This is traditional chicken wire, and it has advantages and disadvantages.

What Chicken Wire Is Best For A Coop

While it comes in various sizes, for chickens, the ½ inch or 1 inch variety are best. Chickens, especially young ones or smaller bantam varieties, such as Cochins, silkies, ameraucana bantams, or brahma chicks, might be able to fit through larger holes, or predators might be able to get through. Also, pests such as rats might fit through larger holes. Half and one inch chicken wire is easy to cut (an important consideration) and install – you can use staples or screws with washers to attach it to fence posts.

However, you should remember that this type of chicken wire is thin and easily pulled apart by predators. In our area, we don’t have a lot of carnivores trying to kill our hens, so it works well for us. But for readers who live near bears, or have very aggressive neighborhood dogs, or who have wily raccoons, this type of wire can lead to some sad situations.

Another consideration, especially if you have chicks, is they can become tangled in chicken wire, and get a wing caught. I’ve dealt with this situation a few times – we’ve had to unwind the chick from the wire to set it free. Don’t ask me how they manage to get stuck – chickens be chickens!

But yes, this can happen – so it’s something to think about. That being said, this type of chicken wire is relatively inexpensive, and is easily found in longer rolls at big box stores.

Hardware cloth ½ & ¼ inch

Hardware cloth is usually what experienced backyard chicken owners use when building their coops. It’s very sturdy and, when installed correctly, is harder for predators and neighborhood dogs to rip through. It also doesn’t stretch out of shape like chicken wire, so predators can’t maneuver through it as easily.

You can buy hardware cloth with larger openings, but typically, the half and ¼ inch sizes are best. These sizes are impossible for backyard chickens to fit through – so they’ll remain in your coop – and most predators can’t fit their fingers/paws through the holes.

Raccoons in particular like reaching through chicken wire to grab a free meal. Hardware cloth makes it harder for them to grab a pullet’s leg and rip her apart. It’s also harder for predators to get a grip on the wire and rip it off.

Hardware cloth also looks better aesthetically than the other options on this list, although it can be pretty expensive, especially if you need wider pieces or you have a large run for your backyard chickens.

What Chicken Wire Is Best For A Coop

Metal – Coated vs. Uncoated

You might notice that chicken wire comes in 2 different varieties (other than size) – coated and uncoated. Coated chicken wire just contains an extra layer of plastic on the outside. It’s typically green, but I’ve seen it in other colors as well.

While coated chicken wire certainly isn’t necessary, it can look better and, if your chicks get stuck between holes, it can make it easier to free them and less painful for the chicken.

It’s also a little easier to install because you won’t have to grab thin wire for the entire installation. It tends to be a bit more expensive, so your budget will dictate whether coated or uncoated chicken wire is for you.

Screens

Another unconventional option are screens – yep, the same screens you probably have on the windows in your house. This is a great option if BUGS are a big issue in your area. Nothing is worse than a fly or gnat infestation – and they CAN harm your flock! Screens are typically made of wire, and they’re pretty easy to install, although fixing them (should they get torn) is a bit of a pain in the butt.

If your chickens are active and like to bicker, or if you have other pets such as cats, you might find screens don’t last very long and you’ll be replacing them pretty frequently. They also won’t stand up to most predators – so if your neighbors dogs like to make a meal out of your flock, then screens are best avoided. They also tend to be a bit expensive, so it’s important to compare the costs to the other chicken wire options in this article.

Poultry netting

Another option available is poultry netting, which is plastic fencing that looks like hardware cloth, but is made of plastic. This type of chicken wire is good for keeping your hens out of your garden, but provides little protection against a predator, since its easily ripped off. It can also look pretty ugly – especially if you get orange poultry netting! It’s best to stick to traditional chicken wire or hardware cloth.

Hopefully this article gives you some ideas about which chicken wire is best for a coop. There’s plenty of options, and your choice will be specific to your own situation!

Dry Tomatoes Like A Boss With This Tutorial

Dry Tomatoes Like A Boss With This Tutorial

Dried tomatoes add an amazing burst of flavor to any recipe and that’s why it is a must-have in my kitchen here at the farm.

 

It gives delicious depth to my meals and it is fully packed with nutrients that our body will enjoy. There’s nothing better than something that’s good for your body and your taste buds!

 

With the high cost (a whopping $20 per pound) of dried tomatoes in the store,  how do you enjoy these heavenly tomatoes without hurting your budget?

 

Simple. Dehydrate your own tomatoes! And it doesn’t have to be in the sun. There are easy ways on how to dry tomatoes. Check out these tips and tricks to drying them in your home.

 

Warning: Dried Tomatoes Can Still Spoil

I know how much people enjoy eating and using dried-tomatoes in salsas, pizzas, sauce, etc. And you can’t wait to learn how to produce a bunch on your own without buying from the market.

 

However, before we go to the methods of drying out tomatoes, we need to keep the following things in mind:

 

  • Dehydrated food can be stored and consumed for long periods of time but it can still spoil when it is kept for longer than usual.
  • Drying tomatoes correctly and storing them in the proper conditions can give you about 7 months of shelf-life.
  • When you dry and store the tomatoes, make sure you keep them away from moisture (especially inside the containers when already stored) to avoid the growth of bacteria.
  • Dried tomatoes with oil, garlic, and herbs will need to be refrigerated after opening.
  • Watch out for signs of rot. Never eat food that has already started producing molds!

Sun-Drying Tomatoes in Summer

From the Aztecs to the tomato-loving country of Italy, drying raw food has been a reliable method of storing food for a long time. We can dry tomatoes the old fashioned way using the sun (and who doesn’t love a bit of Tuscany in their own backyard??).

 

When you dry tomatoes the old-fashioned way, it has to be in the summer when the sun is high and the air is warm, and dry.  Find out how to dry tomatoes in the sun from this action guide.

 

What You Need Instructions
• Screen for drying the tomatoes
• Cheesecloth
• 10 tomatoes of standard size (for 1 ounce of finished product)
1. Slice the tomatoes in proportional sizes, scoop out the seeds, and lay them on the screen.
2. When drying both ends, place them skin down so it dries well.
3. Sprinkle lightly with salt and set out to dry.
4. Place the screen with the tomatoes in a good location that receives full sun and is free from predators.
5. Cover with a raised cheesecloth to keep off insects and provide good ventilation.
6. Bring the tomatoes in at night to avoid the dew.

 

This method can take up to two weeks of bringing the tomatoes in and out the sun to dry. It is time-consuming,  but you don’t need to invest in any equipment.

Drying Tomatoes All-Year Round

If you live in an area that doesn’t receive a lot of sun throughout the year, we have 2 other options for you to dry your tomatoes.

 

First, you can use your oven.  Because sun-drying tomatoes can take up too much time and effort, you can use an oven to dry them faster.

 

This method is pretty simple – set the oven to the lowest heat setting possible and bake the tomatoes until dried. This method takes anywhere from 6 to 12 hours.

 

 

But who needs an oven during the summer? Or who wants to waste that much electricity if you know how to dry tomatoes in a dehydrator, right?

 

As an organic farmer, the best alternative to sun-drying raw food is using a dehydrator. This tool has many advantages compared to the oven method.

 

  • A dehydrator uses low temperatures that can preserve enzymes which keeps your tomatoes good for you and not just a seasoning for your food.
  • It uses a fan that allows proper circulation of warm air making it more efficient.
  • It comes in different sizes which means you can dry more foods at once.
  • Lastly… a fan VS an oven? It’s a no-brainer. I would go for the smaller carbon footprint

 

Here is a quick action guide on how to dry tomatoes in a dehydrator with an amazing recipe!

3 main ingredients:

  • Tomatoes
  • Salt
  • Olive Oil

 

Directions:

  1. Slice tomatoes in uniform thickness and size.
  2. Place the cut tomatoes in a bowl and drizzle with some salt and olive oil. Mix well and let the tomatoes dry partially. *Note that these two seasonings are optional. This recipe, for me, creates wonderful tasting dried tomatoes that you can eat right out of the bag.
  3. Arrange the tomatoes on the dehydrator tray and dry until all moisture is out.
  4. Store in an airtight container (a bag or a jar) and place in the fridge for long-term storage.

Finally, you can enjoy that summery sun-kissed taste of dried tomatoes all-year round! Do you have a unique way of how to dry tomatoes? Share it with us!

 

Dried Tomatoes

  • Garden-Fresh Tomatoes
  • Salt
  • Olive oil
  1. Slice tomatoes in uniform thickness and size.

  2. Place the cut tomatoes in a bowl and drizzle with some salt and olive oil. Mix well and let the tomatoes dry partially. *Note that these two seasonings are optional. 

  3. Arrange the tomatoes on the dehydrator tray

  4. Dry until all moisture is out (consult your dehydrator instructions).

  5. Store in an airtight container (a bag or a jar) and place in the fridge for long-term storage.

How To Infuse Oil With Herbs For Traditional Home Remedies

How To Infuse Oil With Herbs For Traditional Home Remedies

Wondering how to infuse oil with herbs? It’s really simple – and incredibly useful.

 

For millennia, humans have used herbs for all kinds of things – health, cooking, for religious purposes, keeping livestock healthy, and more. So, it’s nothing new to infuse oil with herbs for your own purposes.

 

And there’s a reason for our species dependency on our plant friends – herbs have natural properties in their essential oils that are useful for seasoning dinner and medicinal uses, such as calming an upset stomach.

 

When it comes to herbs, there’s various ways to use them such as eating or drinking them or applying topically – on yourself or your animals, including your backyard chickens.

 

To use herbs for things like cuts and scrapes, to promote healthy skin, as an anti-inflammatory, or more, you can apply the plants by themselves (there’s lot of traditional and historic records of humans using plants alone.)

 

OR you can infuse them in an oil, which makes the plants easier to spread over a large area and concentrates the natural chemical constituents of the plants.

 

How to infuse oil with herbs

 

You can also do other things with the infused oils, such as make lotions, salves, and more.

 

For your backyard chickens, using infused oils can be better than using the plants themselves. Chickens are less likely to pick at the oil and eat the plants, and it’s easier to keep oils on an animal that likes to run around and forage.

 

For complicated applications, such as open wounds, oil can make it easier to apply and “stick” the herbs, and get around folds of skin that might otherwise harbor bacteria.

 

Imagine trying to keep a bandage full of herbs on a hen! It CAN be done, but it’s just easier and better peace of mind with infused oils.

 

Infused oils also mean the essential oils of the plant – the part that helps the most – is more concentrated and bioavailable to your chickens.

 

In this article, I’m going to show you how to infuse oils with herbs…and we’ll use two GREAT medicinal herbs – comfrey (botanical name Symphytum uplandicum) and plantain (botanical name Plantago major).

 

Both have a long history of helping maintain healthy skin, regrow skin after injury, reduce pain from sprain, strains, and more.

 

Multiple studies have shown that comfrey aids in relieving pain from sprains and strains, and you can easily use oil infused with comfrey to make salves.

 

Now, there’s plantain the herb (botanical name Plantago major, also known as broadleaf plantain) and plantain the fruit (banana cultivars of the genus Musa) – they’re two different species of plants with nothing to do with each other. 

 

The plantain we’ll use in this recipe (Plantago major) is a traditional home remedy for insect bites and as an anti-inflammatory.

 

how to infuse oils with herbs

What oils should you use?

There’s lots of options here. The easiest oil to use is a high quality olive, although you can use sunflower, grapeseed (which has lots of antioxidants and vitamins), jojoba, coconut oil (fractionated or not) or any other oil you can imagine.

 

I would stay away from corn oil, which is likely to be impure and genetically modified, and anything with soy. I’m also not 100% sure how well peanut oil will work.

 

The key is to use a 100% pure, high-quality oil.

 

How to infuse oils with herbs

This is probably the simplest thing you’ll do all week. To get the benefits of the herbs in the oils, all you need to do is soak the herbs in your oil of choice.

 

I use mason jars to infuse oils with herbs because they’re easy to clean, keep on a shelf out of sunlight, and are readily available.

 

Place the herbs in the mason jar – for this recipe I used a 1:1 ratio of comfrey and plantain, about ½ a cup of each. For a pint mason jar, 1 cup of herbs total is what I use – that way, the oil soaks all the bits of plant and nothing molds or invites bacteria into the mixture.

 

As long as the herbs are covered in oil, they won’t mold, but if any air pockets remain, there’s the potential for them to rot.

 

Pour the oil over the herbs until the jar is full, then top with a mason jar lid.

 

Allow the mixture to infuse for up to 6 weeks. Realistically, you can do it for much longer than that, but you’ll want to use the mixture as fast as possible and in my experience, any longer than that has diminishing returns.

 

After 6 weeks, pour the mixture through a mesh strainer and into a clean mason jar to separate the oil from the herbs. Your infused oil is now ready for other recipes!

 

Depending on the herbs you’ve infused (calendula is one of my favorites!) you can also cook with this oil or use it as a salad dressing.

 

What herbs can you infuse oil with?

Pretty much any herb you want. A great alternative to plantain and comfrey are oregano and, as mentioned before, calendula and rose, which have great properties to promote healthy skin.

9 Natural Cleaning Hacks That’ll Make You Look Like A Genius

9 Natural Cleaning Hacks That’ll Make You Look Like A Genius

So I’m a little bit of a clean freak. I’ll admit it. It’s really important to me that things are clean!!!

But I do not like using conventional cleaning products that are FULL of chemicals. Yikes! I am not a fan!!! Especially if you’ve got little kids around the house that could possibly get a hold of those nasty chemicals! Scary! So in this article I’m going to discuss some of my favorite natural cleaning hacks to help you keep your home or homestead squeaky clean.

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Use the Environmental Work Group’s (EWG) website

So my first tip is to use the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) website. I use this website for everything!

The EWG is awesome because they give information about many products that are out there to allow you to make an informed choice before you purchase a product. They even have a handy app that allows you to scan a product’s barcode! It then automatically pulls up all of the information about that product.

Each cleaning product on the EWG is rated from A-F which allows you to see how good or bad that product is for you and how it could impact your health. The EWG rates products based on several factors including asthma/respiratory, skin allergies & irritation, developmental & reproductive toxicity, cancer, and environmental impact.

I also love that this website breaks down each of the ingredients in every product so that you can know exactly what is in your cleaning products and what each ingredient does. If you can’t tell I absolutely love the EWG’s website! It’s an amazing resource for anyone who wants to live a more natural lifestyle. They also have product reviews for cosmetics, food products and more! Check out their website here.

Vinegar

My next tip is to use vinegar! That’s right, just normal distilled white vinegar. Vinegar is awesome! You can use it to make vinaigrettes (yum!) and you can use it as a natural cleaning product.

Vinegar is a natural cleaning agent that you can use to clean surfaces in your home. I love using vinegar to spray down my counters and table after a meal because it cleans everything off, but it isn’t full of chemicals! No one wants to use chemicals on a surface that you are eating on! Yikes! I normally mix one part vinegar and one part of water in a spray bottle and then I use that for spraying down many of the surfaces in my home! I just use normal white vinegar like this one for all of my home cleaning!

I seriously use vinegar for EVERYTHING! I clean doorknobs, bathrooms, and I even spray it on my floors when I’m mopping. Be careful with this one though you want to make sure the vinegar won’t damage your floors-especially if they are wood! Do your research and even do a spot test in a low visibility area before you spray vinegar all over your floors.

Use Baking Soda

So baking soda is awesome. Baking soda is gritty so it’s super useful for getting off anything that’s extra stuck in your home. I use baking soda to get hard water marks out of my toilets and I also use it to clean my shower and sink. It really helps clean off any soapy scum that accumulates in those areas. I normally use baking soda and vinegar together when I’m cleaning my bathroom to make sure everything is really clean!

Plus you can also use baking soda to neutralize odors! Check out my recipe for a natural coop refresher using baking soda and flour.

Pumice

For tougher stains I use pumice scouring stones like this one. These scouring stones are made out of a volcanic rock called pumice. They’re natural and non-toxic. Not only are these bad boys cheap, but they also get off stubborn stains like no other. Seriously these things are the best! I use one of these monthly to clean my shower (it’s white tile which is the WORST to clean) and I LOVE it!

Buy a hair catcher for your sink and shower

So let’s talk about hair. It clogs up all of my drains and causes all sorts of problems. Ugh. SOOO this isn’t a cleaning product, but I love these drain hair catchers. They are so useful and they eliminate the need to buy drain cleaner which can be very toxic. You simply put these ones over your drain and it blocks the hair from going down the drain. I also love these drain snakes that you can put inside of the drain in your sink. They catch the hair and then you can remove them and clean out the hair!

Use essential oils instead of air freshener

I love my essential oils diffuser! It’s amazing and it has health benefits beyond just the amazing smell! I recommend using essential oils over spraying an air freshener in your home or bathroom. I’ve also hung peppermint in the bathroom and it makes a huge difference

If you want to get started with safe, great smelling oils, here’s the brand I recommend. You can get an entire kit of everything you need to get started with oils for just $162 – diffuser, 11 multipurpose essential oils, and more!

Hydrogen Peroxide

Another cleaning hack you can use in your home is to use hydrogen peroxide. This stuff can clean almost ANYTHING. It’s awesome! Check out this article about different ways you can use hydrogen peroxide to clean in your home.

Keep in mind that this product is rated a B on the EWG’s website. So it’s not bad, but it’s not great either. It can cause some skin and respiratory irritation if it is used incorrectly. Generally though, there is little to no concern for any issues if this product is used correctly.

Read labels

Do I still not have you convinced to switch to natural cleaning products? Well then, I highly recommend that you read labels of every product you buy, especially cleaning products.

Use the EWG and get familiar with ingredients that are toxic and can have nasty side effects. After using the EWG’s website for awhile I started being able to immediately identify toxic ingredients in my products that I was using!

I also recommend that you read the label because typically (if you’re using conventional products) they will give you information about how to store the product!

If you decide to continue to use conventional products it’s important that you know the risks and hazards of the product, so that you are storing it correctly!

Choose natural cleaning product brands

So I know not everyone is ready to make an immediate switch to totally natural cleaning products, and that’s OK! If that’s the case there are some amazing brands that make great products for cleaning.

I think Attitude is an amazing brand. (Plus they have good ratings on the EWG’s website) Keep in mind that buying a natural product from the store is going to be more expensive than buying some good ole vinegar (which is why I use vinegar for everything).

I also really love the Grove Collaborative for natural cleaning products. They supply you with all natural cleaning products that can be delivered right to your door step. Handy right?

Join Grove today and get a free gift set with your first purchase!


Do you have any more natural cleaning hacks? Share them with me in the comments below!