Green cleaning makeover: MightyNest Giveaway

Spring is here for most of us (except for this recent and unfortunate bout of snow my Midwest and East Coast friends!) and that means good intentions all around and usually some degree of cleaning thrown in the mix. I’m excited to share this amazing prize pack from MightyNest, a DIY Mighty Clean Kit, to get you going on a greener version of your spring cleaning.

The DIY Mighty Clean Kit includes:

*Larkspur not included, sorry. 

These are the everyday cleaning essentials around our house and you’ll find how we use these key players described in my home book in more detail.

We use this castile soap as body wash in the shower, diluted in soap dispenser pumps in the bathroom and kitchen sinks, diluted in spray bottles for natural garden pest control, and for targeted jobs where we need some sudsing power to accompany the abrasive scrub of baking soda.

A two-year streak of a not-quite-right dish cloth experience was put to an end by these fabulous Tidy dish cloths. They are not too big, not too thick, not too flimsy, nope, they are just right. They come three to a pack, too so you can wash them every few days and not be dish cloth-less nor run them ragged from only having one dish cloth you like.

I had a hard time switching from scrubby sponge to dishcloth, but my current system involves cutting one of the scouring pads in half and keeping that on hand in my wire basket sponge holder that suctions to the side of the kitchen sink to do the work that the dish cloth just can’t handle sometimes. (We switched from the sponge to have more versatility with kitchen counter and burner clean up that the sponge didn’t offer, not because I think sponges are disgusting. This is a thing though, as I’m sure some of you are shuddering internally at the thought of kitchen sponges.) I’m in the keep-your-sponge camp, but just care for them properly:

1. Let them dry out completely between uses—to prevent bacteria from having a medium to grow

2. Don’t leave them full of soap between uses—mildew likes to eat soap residues

3. Have at least 3 of them and wash them at least once a week with your laundry, rotate them out and when one gets too shabby to use any longer then demote it into the dirty jobs/rag bin pile. Old kitchen scrubber sponges make great bathroom cleaning sponges.

(Wow, I have a lot to say about sponges.)

These are great and useful additions to any DIY cleaning household’s resource kit. I was just looking up recipes for leather polish and beeswax was on my list to pick up. It’ll be a first for me in using this ingredient and I look forward to exploring.

The cleaning set comes with a neat booklet full of homemade cleaning supply recipes to try. I used the bathtub scrub recipe, which is similar to the tactic I shared in HGGH (pp. 124-5) for removing mold/mildew from showers. Also, don’t forget to enter this great green cleaning book giveaway, which ends on Monday, too!

I am coming clean about our gross shower grout situation, a line of impenetrable mold/mildew in the grout that bridges tile to tub. Once this mold/mildew starts, it feels impossible to get rid of without ripping out the grout and starting over. Preventative spraying with vinegar water and/or hydrogen peroxide is key, but I clearly missed that boat.

So, short of ripping out the grout in our rented house bathroom, I experimented to make a heavy-hitter mold/mildew remover and made a scrub paste but added some hydrogen peroxide to the mix. I gave the entire area a solid scrub with my new fancy brush and then caked more of the scrub on the grout and let it sit overnight. Results: This scrub made a serious dent in the previously-hopeless mold/mildew situation. I decided to scrub it clean this morning, where a bunch of dark, dead, gross mildew washed away. I dried the area and applied a vinegar treatment to it and let it sit again for a few hours. When I get home later this evening I’ll scrub again and reapply the hydrogen peroxide paste for one more overnight to knock out the rest of the mold. Final Results: After one more overnight application of the paste and another good scrubbing, much of the mold/mildew was gone. I rinsed the area well, dried it and sprayed hydrogen peroxide directly to the remaining moldy areas. Two cycles of sprayings later and it’s nearly all gone.

I love being a mad-scientist bathroom cleaner, so much better than bleach products which actually just tint the mold, but don’t get rid of it and also leave a trail of organochlorides in its wake (you can read up on VOCs like organochlorides in my book).

Grout mold/mildew remover paste
Follow the method for bathtub scrub noted in the booklet below. I used about 1/2 cup of baking soda (I didn’t measure), then put a few squeezes of liquid castile soap over the top and stirred with a chopstick to assess consistency and incorporate the soap into the baking soda. It was still a bit thick, not quite ‘frosting consistency’ yet, so I added a few splashes of hydrogen peroxide to the bottle and it blended in and made a perfect paste consistency. 
I also added a few drops of pure essential oil (I ended up using tea tree for some added disinfection), any ‘flavor’ that makes you olfactory-happy to be scrubbing away gross grout mold/mildew will work great. 

These bottles in the kit are also pretty cool. I made the grout paste right inside the little bottle. The section where the lemon juicer component fits comes out to leave just a regular spray or squeeze bottle that twists off at both the top cap and at the area where the threads are for easy access to the bottom of the bottle, which makes these very easy to clean out for reuse, too!

A new ‘flavor’ for my window, countertop, surface, and everything cleaner will reside in one of these spray bottles permanently and the other will be used on an as needed basis, a much needed tool in a DIY cleaning household, a spare, clean spray bottle to make small batches of individual cleaners for specific projects.

Now that you’ve seen some of my (not-really) secret weapon ingredients for making your own cleaning supplies, please pledge to give it a go by swapping out at least one not-so-great cleaning supply you currently use or by trying a new homemade recipe for something you normally buy.

By entering below and pledging in MightyNest for School’s Earth Day Challenge, you could win a DIY Mighty Clean Kit that has all the tools you need to overhaul your entire cleaning cabinet. In honor of Earth Day, take simple but mighty actions for a healthier home and planet in and rally your school community to win a piece of the $4,000 cash prize pie for schools!

Disclosures: MightyNest sent me this kit for review free of charge. I was not paid to say anything nice about this stuff. Opinions are my own. There are affiliate links above when I refer to books, where I may make a small commission if you purchase the book via those links.