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Saturday, May 29, 2010

Green your clean: oven cleaners

Post 3 in my series on getting toxic cleaners out of your home!

Oven cleaners could be one of the most toxic cleaners in your home. They are very hazardous to inhale and corrosive to the skin, especially those containing lye or marked DANGER or POISON. Even the residual fumes can be harmful to your (and your children's) respiratory system.

Safer Substitutes

  • Use non-lye products like Bon Ami (or try sea salt and baking soda), then use a damp cloth or wet cleaner to soak and soften baked spills.
  • To prevent build-up, use a tray or foil liner to catch spills and wipe up spills promptly.
  • If you have a self-cleaning oven, USE IT! Or for small spills, clean them up as they happen so you don't have to use resources to run your oven at high temps.
My personal preference: 
I'll admit, cleaning my oven is not something at the top of my priority list. I recently found a product though that helps me do it and not run out of the room from the fumes.  It's the "Scour Off" product by Shaklee - I really like it! Here's my before and after shots (using that product and some elbow grease, it wasn't actually too difficult). 



Wednesday, May 26, 2010

LOW tech oil spill clean up - have you seen this?

I received a link to this video via a mass forwarded email. Normally I ignore those...but I'm glad I didn't on this one. Take 5 minutes to watch this simple presentation, and think about how EASY, LOW TECH, and SMART this solution is! I wrote to the White House...maybe you can too! They at least should consider this as an option - even if we only have enough hay to clean up a percentage of the total spill, its still better than nothing, right? And better than bird feathers :(

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

New product at Winkydinks!

I'm very excited to offer this new line of soakers, made from 89% recycled pop bottles! Fleece diaper covers are great - they are reusable, soft, and super cute. However, some cloth diaper advocates steer clear from them because they are made with a chemically processed fiber...polyester. This fabric made by Malden Mills is made from a yarn that is composed of 89% post consumer soda pop bottles. They perform equal to, or better than, my soakers made from 100% polyester (and only need a single layer to do so), and have an eco-friendly twist to them!

You can see my custom listing for details and to order! My only gripe is that it only is available in a few solid colors...

If you're interested in how they make the recycled fibers (not specific to fleece), check out this video from "How It's Made"!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Green your clean: toilet bowl cleaners

Post 2 in my series on getting toxic chemicals out of your home! Scouring powders and toilet bowl cleaners are laden with chemicals and bleach....find something more natural, and get the same results!

Toilet bowl cleaners are potentially hazardous!

They may contain hydrochloric acid or hypochlorite bleach. They vary in their danger level, read labels carefully - remember to look for words like: DANGER and POISON.

Alternate solutions:
- Baking soda
- Baking soda and vinegar
- Oxygen cleaner

My personal preference:
My new routine is to grab my baking powder and vinegar and head to each bathroom - I pour a scoop of baking powder, and a dollop of vinegar to the toilet bowl and the sink, then head to the next bathroom. While I'm gone, it makes a fizzy solution that's great for cleaning! Then I return to the first to do the scrubbing.

I use a rag to swish around the mixture in the sink, wipe down the counters and sink handles, and then scrub the sink. Then rinse with clean water. I use the same rag to wipe down the outside of the toilet. I use a toilet brush for the mixture in the toilet bowl itself, and then I'm done! I use a different rag for each bathroom. You can also add a few drops of essential oil if you like a different scent. (The vinegar smell dissipates very quickly though).

Do you have any other alternative cleaning methods for the toilet bowl and surrounding areas? One of my followers has a toilet bowl cleaner listed on her blog - check it out!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Sugar overload!

As a mom, I try to offer my kids a healthy diet. With so much processed food, its sometimes hard, but we do try! (I haven't yet conquered the "all natural, organic" diet, that I'm know would be the best, but we do the best we can).  We do splurge though and give the kids treats (like chocolate milk or candy). Well the other day I was convinced to buy some cotton candy by a rather persuasive 5 year old.

I checked the labels and was shocked to learn that the serving of cotton candy (half the bag) only had 10 more grams (about 3 tsp) of sugar than the small container of chocolate milk had! It made me realize that perhaps a small bite of pure sugar would be a better treat than something sold as lunchtime fare (especially at today's schools). Goes to show....always check your labels!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Friday Favorite - SKOY cloths

I stumbled upon these Skoy cloths during a blog giveaway somewhere, and LOVE them! They replace paper towels, and work so well. They dry quickly (be sure not have them crumpled or sopping wet), and work BETTER than paper towels because they are much thicker. I machine wash mine and air dry them, and have been using this set (pictured on right) for about 8 months. It's probably time to open up the new pack (pictured left), but these are working fine so far (though slightly stained)! I highly recommend them! We haven't bought paper towels in over 2 years (with a combination of using these and washcloths) - that's liberating!!!!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Winner's choice!

Here's what the lucky winner from last week's Fluff-a-Rump on Hump Day giveaway won! (Winner's choice of size and fabrics, contest held at Etsy Cloth Diaper Team's blog). This is a Medium, Rockstar fabric with bubble gum pink trim. How cute! Congrats to Tiffany!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Clean up your window washing routine!

As a first part in the series on getting poisons out of your home - here are some tips on avoiding harsh chemicals to clean windows and mirrors. Afterall - do your mirrors need to be disinfected -- or do they just need to shine? Save some money - and save yourself risk from toxins!

Window and Mirror Cleaners - Potentially Hazardous Products:

Ammonia-based cleaners are harmful if inhaled - they can irritate the sinuses and lungs. Mixing ammonia with chlorine-based products creates hazardous gases.

Windex contains: detergents, solvents, fragrance, Ammonia-D®, and alcohol

Safer Substitutes
  • Mix 1 cup vinegar with 3 cups water. Wipe on or spray. Dry with newspaper or clean cloth.
  • Use a spray bottle half filled with club soda, or sprinkle on a cloth. Spray or wipe on and then dry with a clean cloth.
  • Outdoor windows: Wash with a sponge and warm water mixed with few drops of soap. Rinse and squeegee dry
Keep in mind that too much soap will actually not rinse well and will attract more dirt once dried. The key really is to rinse it with a tiny bit of something to cut the dirt/grease and then wipe/buff it with your cloth of choice. Well-loved prefold diapers work great for this! (If you get streaks using vinegar/water only, try adding a few drops of dish soap).

My personal preference: I use Shaklee's Basic H2 (2 drops per squirt bottle), and wipe with a StarFiber microfiber towel. The StarFiber towel is really awesome! I use it with plain water actually a lot of the time, and also to clean soap scum off the shower door.  (There are also some "glass cleaning" specific microfiber towels which also work well. Some microfiber towels -- for example the ones I use to stuff pocket diapers -- leave behind tiny bits of lint.)


My original intent of this post was to show facts about household cleaners and their toxicity. To say the least, I was overwhelmed with the amount of information that's out there, yet most people in America continue to introduce these chemicals into their homes on a daily basis. Some even are known to contribute to indoor air pollution and cause breathing problems and allergies. I have read the following fact several places before (never with scientific evidence, but it still makes you think...) " Housewives have a 55% higher risk of getting cancer than do women working outside the home. This most likely has to do with the products they use on a daily basis." (click to go to original article on

Rather than go into the specifics of each type of harmful substance in mainstream cleaners, I'll leave you with this....look for these words on your household products: DANGER. POISON. WARNING. CAUTION. Take them to heart, and keep these things out of your home. Many of these ingredients are not only toxic, but are known carcinogens
  • Toxic containing or being poisonous material especially when capable of causing death or serious debilitation 
  • Carcinogen a substance or agent causing cancer
Many of these products cannot be disposed of without lasting environmental effects and need to be taken to a Household Hazardous Waste center. Do NOT just throw them out, dump them out, or pour them down the drain. Many times using up what you have in small doses is the best way to get rid of them if you've already purchased them. 

So now what do you do instead? I thought I would post a series of blog posts about safer, natural alternatives - from window cleaner to laundry detergent to outdoor products. First up will be window cleaners - please check back!

Sources for more information:

Thursday, May 13, 2010

What a clever bundle!

I have my share of reusable bags. Some even made from old tank tops...but alas, I often forget them. Today I bought some things from the local consignment store, and had my bundle of items to carry out (sans bag, since I forgot one). I returned to the counter after chasing down my 3 year old, and voila! Look what the sales clerk had done! Duh, why didn't I think of that? She stuffed everything carefully into one of the larger shirts (think she chose that one on purpose?), and everything stayed together. Very cool.
(this was everything she stuffed in there)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - First Fish!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Is it shortie weather where you live?

Here in the Pacific NW, we are just starting to feel the sun's rays more frequently. It's shorts weather (yes, 60 degrees is shorts weather here!). I've just started listing some fleece shorts, made from my longies pattern with a shorter inseam. Please remember that you can ALWAYS order customs to get the color, size, and inseam you want. Turnaround is between 2-5 days generally. It's too hard for me to guess what people will want, so I just list a few to get your mind started :) Just send me a convo!

"Will fleece be hot", you ask? The great thing about fleece (and wool) is that they B-R-E-A-T-H-E! So, yes, slightly warmer than cotton, but they do the work of a diaper cover, and look great too. No need for a PUL cover (that doesn't breathe), plus shorts. If you get a shorter inseam, it will be no warmer for your little one than the diaper itself. Enjoy the sun!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Glass Dharma winner!

The winner of the Glass Dharma straw giveaway is #6 - "Love" -  Congratulations! I'll be in touch to get your information. Thank you to everyone who entered, and welcome to all of my new followers! :)

Friday, May 7, 2010

Friday Favorite - Buddha Bunz

Have you switched over to wool dryer balls yet? If you haven' should! No more chemical laden dryer sheets with fake smells, no more plastic blue pokey dryer balls that release chemicals when heated.. wool is all natural fluffing power! Dryer balls work to add extra tumbling power, getting clothes and diaper drier in less time, and adding softness and fluff (especially noticeable in towels and diapers!). It's true, they don't decrease static a whole lot, but I'll take static over the alternatives.

I just received my CUSTOM designed dryer balls from Buddha Bunz, and LOVE them! I chose a "tree of life" and then a coordinating solid ball. They are felted wool (not wool yarn), the colors are awesome, and the design hand made. They fit right in with my existing (tattered and old) dryer balls and spruce up my dryer, even when empty (which isn't often).
She's super busy, so you do have to be patient for your customs, but they are worth it! She has great customer service, and often has sales. Lots of other retailers carry them in-stock as well.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Stripe it Rich!

I finally have my ducks in a row, and am excited to have my first listing up for the new Stripe it Rich! collection. Right now they are at Hyenacart because their system is a little easier to do multiple pricing (for size and doubler selection). If you want one through Etsy, just contact me and I'll create a custom listing!

And for a limited time, when you order one of these soakers I'll include a sample of Crunchy Clean diaper detergent! 

Here are the current available colorways:

My little helpers

Just thought share some photos of my boys "helping" make up wool wash sample packages. They get really excited to help, but then their excitement trickles off pretty quickly :)

Monday, May 3, 2010

Glass Dharma straw giveaway!!!

I'm so excited! I ordered 6 of these glass straws from Glass Dharma using an Earth Day coupon they were offering. Due to a shipping mishap, I have an EXTRA 2 straws. They have great customer service and offered to let me keep the straws. I have decided to instead offer them to one of my readers! These straws are awesome - they are very sturdy (the kids use them safely), and wash well in the dishwasher. See their FAQs for more info.

Giveaway details: Two (2) Simple Elegance Shorty (6.25" length) straws (9.5mmx6.25mm - the medium diameter option). Value: $12 +shipping

EASY to enter! Become a follower publicly of my blog (using Google Friend Connect on the right), and then post a comment to this blog post. If you are already a follower, just post a comment! I will draw a winner randomly on Mother's Day, May 9th at 9pm PDT.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

And the new name shall be...

After much consideration, I'm rolling with "Stripe it Rich" as the new product collection name. Thank you to Angela Luisa for your suggestion! I really appreciate all of the comments that I received, thank you everyone!

Angela - You can have your choice of a Stripe it Rich soaker in your color choice and size as soon as they are officially released. Hopefully next week - I have more photos to take and descriptions to write.

For the other 7 people who left suggestions, I'd like to offer you 15% off of one item on your next purchase as  token of my appreciation. (I'll either refund you or contact me and I'll send you an adjusted invoice).

And I still have 2 more new items coming this month...keep your eyes peeled!

Who's that CD Mama? Jen!

Who are you Jen? Cloth diaperer, woman, mom, and more!

What is your current favorite diaper or accessory in your stash?
This AI2 made with a T-shirt on the outside from Batik Bum - my son loved it and my husband is a HUGE Cardinals fan. (This pic is 2 years old, but the dipe still fits him!)
What got you started in cloth diapering?
My cousin had some diapers that she lent me to try for night time - we were having bad leaks with disposables. LOVED cloth, and switched!
How many children have you cloth diapered?
I didn't get started until my youngest was 8 months, and my oldest was 2 1/2. I wish I had diapered a newborn!
Does your significant other support the decision to cloth diaper?
Yes! At first he was confused on which needed covers, but he can snappi like the best of them now. (Although he still doesn't get the fluffy mail excitement). Here he is mocking me taking a picture of part of my stash to post on Diaperswappers.
Where do you go to buy diapers or "talk fluff"? 
Lately, I'm in love with Etsy. I am on Diaperswappers a lot too.

What is your biggest fear (not regarding your children)?
House fires
What other types of "green" choices do you and your family make?
Non-toxic cleaning products, reusable options wherever we can, recycling, using less of everything
What do you like the most about where you live?
Washington is so green - I put up with the bit of rain because it is so beautiful
What do you serve for dinner when you don't feel like cooking anymore?
Breakfast for dinner!
What's your guilty pleasure?
A really hot shower

Surprise! It's me - Jen of Winkydinks :) Anything else you'd like to know about me?

If you'd like to be featured on my blog in this series on profiling cloth diapering families, please contact me, I'd love to share your story!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Cosa Verde - Stash Bust!

Cosa Verde is a great site for handmade and eco-friendly items - each shop has to be approved for membership, so its a great place to browse! They had a challenge in April to only use the items you already have rather than buying more (Winkydinks failed this challenge, by the way) - and Jen from SewnNatural submitted her items as a success to this challenge. The great thing about her item was that it was made from scraps that she got from me :) I love seeing what she's come up with from the sweater pieces too small for me to use in my shop. It's a win-win for everyone! Check out the blog post here.
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