July 24, 2015

Easy DIY Surface Wipes!!

After popular demand from a few colleagues at work, I figured it's time I share my simple surface wipe recipe on the blog! It's easy to follow. You can make these wipes exactly as I do or play with the recipe as you like. All you need is a few ingredients, paper towels and a (plastic) container.

I buy the Lock & Lock containers at Walmart. I bought a few of them because I made one for a friend and needed one for work and home. These containers come with two littler sized pieces so be prepared to make a lot of snacks to fill those little guys. lol... I haven't been able to find these containers as individuals. You can use any container that you like. It doesn't have to be plastic either. I just find that these containers work the best.

Most homemade disinfecting wipe recipes on the internet call for white vinegar and water. I tried it. I actually clean with vinegar for most chores. But using the vinegar wipes on my desk at work was nauseating! lol... sitting there, for eight hours, smelling the vinegar lofting up from the desk... blah! I quickly changed the ingredients to water, rubbing alcohol and peroxide. Since I already use peroxide as a surface spray, straight on it's own to disinfect my work station before I make crafts. I thought why not use peroxide in my homemade surface wipes!? Ahhhh... Epiphany!

Peroxide is a natural disinfectant. Rubbing alcohol is antiseptic. And, both ingredients are completely non-toxic so it's a win-win-win and sure to beat cooties everywhere!  The rubbing alcohol also acts as a de-streaking agent.

Distilled water is best. It just is. I find it at most grocery stores in the bottled water section.

You don't have to use Bounty paper towels, however make sure to use a quality brand. Whatever works for you! It's good to note that paper towel will slowly disintegrate when wet. So, the wipes will not last long with a lower grade brand. Most quality brands tend to use thicker designs which are also more durable for cleaning tough surfaces.

Take one large paper towel role and cut it in half with a very sharp knife. I actually bought a new knife specifically for this job... It's almost like you have to saw the paper towel. Be patient and put some muscle into it! You might even have to pull each side and twist it apart because it's impossible to cut in a perfect line. There will be bits of material hanging about on the sawed end after the initial cutting. No worries. I just use sharp scissor to trim the bits off. There's no need for it to be perfect.

If you don't know what castile soap is, you can use dish soap instead. But change the amount to four or five drops instead of half a tablespoon. I originally used dish soap as called for in another recipe and found it to be too bubbly. The bubbles leave residue on the surface which we don't want. Castile is very gentle and light on lather. The purpose of soap in this recipe is to loosen stickiness and grime making it easily wipe away. You can find castile soap at any natural/bulk store. I haven't checked but I think grocery stores might even carry it.

I'd like to make a note about the essential oils chosen for this recipe. Each essential oil is known for its bacteria fighting and antiseptic properties; therefore, act as natural disinfectants. These three essential oils are also common in most areas and accessible to the public. Lastly, these essential oils used in small amounts are non toxic and safe for children and pets. You can change the ratios as you like. Or use your own favourite essential oils if you prefer. There are dozens of essential oils that can be used for this purpose. Be sure to do your own research. If you choose not to use any essential oils that is fine too.

Now for the recipe!

DIY Surface Wipes

1 Cup Distilled Water
1/2 Cup Hydrogen Peroxide
1/4 Cup Isopropyl Alcohol
1/2 Tbs Liquid Castile Soap
9 Drops Eucalyptus Essential Oil
9 Drops Lavender Essential Oil
2 Drop Tea Tree Essential Oil

A Tall Lock & Lock Snap Tight Container
Half Bounty Paper Towel Role


In a 2 Cup measuring glass, measure out the water, alcohol, peroxide and essentials oils. Stir. Add the castile soap last and stir very gently again, so as not to make many bubbles.

Slowly pour the liquid over the paper towel.

Leave the container with the lid on for about thirty minutes...

After letting the liquids soak in to the paper towel the centre cardboard should slip out easily. If not, give it a few wiggles. Grab the edge of the paper towel and pull it up!

There you have it! Your very own homemade disinfecting surface wipes! Save money and be good to yourself with a natural alternative!

I hope you try this easy DIY project and love it as much as I do. Thanks for stopping by!


July 16, 2015

In The Garden And My First Harvest

I'm in love with growing plants! And, intrigued by the prospect of growing produce. In my garden I am growing vegetables of all sorts! Well, to be honest just a few. But enough to keep me busy in the wee hours of the morning. :)

I've managed to keep my Swiss Chard lettuce alive for a few months now. I had started with spinach, leafy lettuce and the swiss chard but it was just too crowded and no one was happy. So I pulled up and tossed the other guys because they were yucky, then repositioned the swiss chard to give each bushel more space. I especially like Swiss Chard lettuce because it stands tall instead of drooping over and getting mushy in the dirt.

I learned quickly that lettuce needs to be pruned back often! At first, I was just pruning the largest/tall leaves to give the plants balance. But by mid june I was harvesting and eating home grown lettuce in my salads. Boo Ya! :)

I have two types of tomatoes. Super sweet tomatoes. And baby cherry tomatoes. So far I've harvested two big red sweet tomatoes! And one little cherry tomato... lol

My cucumbers and dill are growing tall. I wish I'd given the cucumbers a trellis to grow on in the beginning instead of tomato cages. But, I added a few long poles for those babies to twist and tie themselves around as they climb. The cucumbers have started to produce fruit (tiny cucumbers) after these lovely yellow flowers bloomed. I am growing Straight Eights and Baby Pickling cucumbers. I am super excited to jar some pickles this year. Garden gods willing...

I was shopping for more garden accessories at the Dollarama and I stumbled upon this little guy... He's a thermometer! And, I love frogs! So, he's my little garden frog hanging on the window above the herbs.

This is the first place I want to go after work. Actually, I go out on my balcony to look at my plants almost every time I come home from anywhere. The reality of growing a garden is a learning curve every day. I recently drilled holes in my vegetable pots and added the basin tubs so I can water the plants from the bottom. I'd read in a book that tomato plants are never to be watered from the top. And, I learned the idea to use the basin tubs from my aunt when she shared pictures of her tomato plants in containers on the sun deck.

One positive thing about my growing efforts this year is the lessons and advice I've gathered. I have a ton of notes. I keep gardening books on my bedside table. And, I scour the internet for the best tips. I look forward to next year's growing season when I will have a better plan and understanding of the cycles that plants transition through during the seasons.

For now, I just love being surrounded by the green and colourful life I've created and guided along with my own two hands. I am grateful for the experience.

What are you growing this year? Have you received much bounty from your garden? I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.