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Cleaning the Commode: 3 Natural Bathroom Cleaners

Cleaning the Commode: 3 Natural Bathroom Cleaners

Cleaning products at the local department store come in a variety of bottles, with just about every chemical you can think of lining the shelves waiting to make its way into your home. Not only are they harmful to the environment, but cleaning products are responsible for about 10 percent of all toxic exposures reported in the U.S.

Companies producing these corrosive chemicals bank on the fact that you’re not aware of the harm they cause. While some of these chemicals present immediate hazards like watery eyes, burns, and respiratory or skin irritation, others are associated with producing chronic effects, like cancer. To avoid these dangers, try substituting these poisons with more natural alternatives. Here are three easy, natural bathroom cleaner substitutes you can make at home.

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Toilet Cleaning With Vinegar and Essential Oils

There’s nothing worse than letting your toilet build up dirt and grime, leading you to use a toxic cleaner to get to the bottom of it. To avoid these thick layers of filth, fill a spray bottle with vinegar and add a couple drops of essential oil—lemon or tea tree work well because they both enhance your bathroom’s smell and have antibacterial properties. Use about five drops of essential oil for each cup of vinegar, spraying and wiping your toilet seats daily.

If you need a stronger cleaning agent, add about a ½ cup of baking soda and 10 drops of essential oil into your toilet bowl. Then, add about a ¼ cup of vinegar. Once it fizzes, use a toilet brush and scrub the bowl clean. Since this mixture has a reactive nature, it’s not possible to pre-mix a large amount of this natural cleaner for future use, although you can pre-measure all of your ingredients and have them readily available at your disposal.

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Glass and Mirror Cleaning With Vinegar, Water and Newspaper

Cleaning your glass or mirror isn’t just about wiping it down; it’s also about eliminating any leftover streaks. Instead of using harsh chemicals to complete this task, try a simple solution that’s safe for both the environment and yourself. To do this, add about two tablespoons of vinegar into a gallon of water, dispersing it into a spray bottle. If you don’t have vinegar or hate the smell of it, use undiluted club soda or lemon juice instead.

After you have your cleaning mix in a bottle, spray it on your glass or mirrors. Without letting it dry, use an old newspaper to wipe it clean. Not only does a newspaper help prevent streaking, but it’s also a great alternative to paper towels. If every household in the U.S. used one less roll of paper towels annually, it would save about 544,000 trees.

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Bathtub and Shower Cleaning With Vinegar and a Homemade Soft Scrub

The key to keeping your bathtub and shower clean is to practice prevention methods. To do this, make sure you spray your shower walls with vinegar a few times each week after you’ve taken a shower (just keep a bottle of scented vinegar in the shower stall for easy access). Additionally, use a squeegee a few times each week too, helping you avoid build up of dirt and grime that’s harder to clean later. If you have a shower curtain from JCP, you can use this mix to keep it clean, too.

While prevention is the key to keeping your bathtub and shower sparkling, you should still make it a habit to scrub it down occasionally. To do this, make your own homemade soft scrub by mixing ¾ of a cup of baking soda with a ¼ cup of castile soap. Add about one tablespoon of water and mix it with a fork. Finally, scoop out the homemade soft scrub with a sponge or piece of cloth and start cleaning.

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Keeping your bathroom sparkling clean doesn’t have to cost you your health and the environment. Stock up on these natural cleaning solutions and you might avoid losing a few years of your life.

Do you have any other natural cleaning solutions that you use in the bathroom or around other areas of your house? Leave a comment below and share your wisdom.

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Last Updated on July 8, 2020

18 Benefits of Journaling That Will Change Your Life

18 Benefits of Journaling That Will Change Your Life

The act of writing in a journal often seems daunting or unnecessary to many people. Even authors who work on novels might shun the idea of daily diaries. What purpose does jotting down words on a regular basis do if not contributing to the next novel, play or song? I know from experience many benefits of journaling that I wish to share.

1. Understand Yourself Better

Though many people and even writers avoid keeping journals, I vow to do it more often. Not only do I desire to take up daily journaling but also I plan to do it with pen to paper.

Some of the benefits I’ve found from my more active days include finding myself in the sense of understanding what matters to me and what I want out of life. I’ve been incredibly fortunate to find a spouse who is my best friend and advocate in raising children. I attribute this and much more to what I learned about myself in keeping journals for years.

2. Keep Track of Small Changes

I’ll admit that I never got very far with my guitar lessons, but in writing in a journal, I have seen the ability to track small changes like those that come when you practice anything.

Those learning a musical instrument often fail to see the small improvements that come with regular practice. Writing won’t help you switch chords any faster, but it will help you to develop a better sense for language and grammar just by doing it.

3. Become Aware of What Matters

As you continue to write in a journal, following a stream-of-consciousness feel, you can look back on the topics that you chose to write about. Those issues and emotions that poured out of you will provide insight on to what matters most to you.

You may not even realize that you’re job is depressing you or that you want to spend more time with your kids until you look over your thoughts that you weren’t really thinking about.

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4. Boost Creativity

The idea that the brain and its neural activity across hemispheres encourages learning also shows up in increased creativity. Just like with learning an instrument, your increased activity will inspire your thoughts to connect and reconnect in different ways.

When I wrote in a journal, I often wrote poetry as well as just my thoughts as they came out. I started to hear poems more in my mind; so much so that I took to scrawling lines on napkins and finding metaphors in mundane activities.

You really are what you do, so writing helps grow more than being a writer. Writing boosts the way you communicate and structure language, which really is a creative process.

5. Represents Your Emotions in a Safe Environment

A journal is as private as it gets. You can lock it in a safe or tuck it under a pillow and no one will accidentally share it on social media or have an opportunity to “leave a comment.”

Write about your sorrow as much as your happiness and frustration and know that you don’t have to keep your emotions inside your body. You can put them on paper.

6. Process Life Experiences

When you take the time to look back over what you’ve written, be it a week or a year later, you will have the distance you need to more objectively interpret your raw feelings.

Everything from losing a job to losing a loved one can emerge in a new light for a fresh perspective. Figuring out how the benefits of journaling affect your perspective on life will create connection and increase creativity.

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7. Stress Relief

In combining the exercise inherent in fine motor coordination that comes from the act of writing with the emotional release of self expression, those who maintain a journal relieve stress.

Try it out. Go home and write about your day. Write about the traffic. Write about the coffee order the barista got wrong but you didn’t have time to change. See how you can physically purge some of that pent-up stress by putting it on paper.

8. Provide Direction

Though journaling is often conducted as an activity without much direction, it often provides direction.

One of the biggest benefits of journaling is that your chaotic thoughts merge to show a direction in which to head. Asking the right questions is the only way to achieve the best solutions, so look to your journal to find your way toward your next goal.

9. Solve Problems

Just as in practicing math problems, we all get better at finding hidden solutions through the act of processing.

Think of your next goal as X and solve your life problems by reading your journals as word problems. The benefit of journaling here is that you write, explore and process to recognize and then solve problems.

When life is too in-your-face, you have to step back to see reality. Living in the moment allows us to write in the moment and use that expression to solve problems.

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10. Find Relief From Fighting

Solving your problems only comes after time to process, recognize and strategize. Just as in the benefit of journaling where relief comes from the act of writing, relief from fighting comes when you decide to “sit this one out” and communicate one-way.

Fighting is only productive when the fighters care to communicate and find common ground. When the emotions are as high as the stress levels, writing will function as the best time out.

11. Find Meaning in Life

Journaling will show you why you are living, whether you are wallowing in things you wish to change or striving to make the changes. Your life will begin to take on new meaning and your own words will reveal the actions that got you where you are so that you can assess and pave a new path for your future.

12. Allow Yourself to Focus

Taking even a small amount of time out of every day will provide you with not only peace of mind but also increased focus. Taking a break to meditate in writing and journaling will sharpen your mental faculties.

13. Sharpen Your Spirituality

When we write, we allow all the energy and experiences to flow through us, which often provides further insight into our own spirituality. Even if your parents didn’t raise you to follow a specific religion, your thoughts will start to show you what you believe about the universe and your place in it.

14. Let the Past Go

I’ve mentioned a few examples where going back over your writing offers advice and direction, but the simply truth is that writing down our feelings can be the best way to let them go. We can choose to literally throw these pages away when they’re filled with negativity and hate.

15. Allow Freedom

Journaling is the perfect way to not only express yourself but to also experience the freedom of being who you are. Your books can stay private or you can publish them. Your freedom stems from your sense of self and your perception of your thoughts.

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16. Enhance Your Career

Again, the private act of pen-to-paper processing provides the benefits of journaling mentioned above, but you can also enhance your career when you take similar ideas and categorize, edit and publish them in an online blog.

Your thoughts will often be personal and express emotions, but another benefit of journaling is uncovering fresh ideas about your work.

17. Literally Explore Your Dreams

All the benefits I’ve mentioned explore ideas, thoughts and emotions, which is also what our dreams and nightmares do. Through writing down your dreams from the previous night, you can enhance your creativity as well as connect some of the metaphorical dots from the rest of your journal.

18. Catalog Your Life for Others

No one wants to think about dying, but we all die. Leaving a journal will act as a way to reconnect with family and friends left behind. The ideas you wish to keep personal while you process the life you’re living will serve to rekindle and inspire those who loved you through the process.

We consider our partners our life witnesses, but writing provides a tangible mark on the world.

Now that you’ve learned all the benefits of journaling, it’s time to start writing a journal:

Featured photo credit: Kelly Sikkema via unsplash.com

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