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DIY Counter-top Cleaner

Many friends have asked me to share my recipe for homemade counter-top cleaner recently, so I thought this would be a good time to re-post. If you have made a resolution to use safer, more natural cleaning products in the new year, this is a great place to start.

This solution can be used on all types of counter-top surfaces – granite, quartz, ceramic tile. It’s even safe enough for marble.

Granite, marble, and many other types of counter surfaces are porous and require a special type of cleaner. Do not use vinegar or any citrus-based cleaner on your stone counter-tops. Both are too acidic for porous surfaces. Over time, they will dull and scratch your beautiful stone. (Also DO NOT use Windex on granite –  it strips the counter of it’s sealant).

There are plenty of safe, natural counter cleaners available for purchase (Method and Howard’s Naturals are two I like), but I haven’t found a granite cleaner for under $8 anywhere.

I like to clean my counter tops A LOT, so I went looking for something homemade – simple, safe, effective and cheap.

I didn’t create this recipe, but I did revise slightly. I grabbed it from a site called Mama Cheaps. Here is that recipe along with my modifications:

  • 1/2 cup of rubbing alcohol or vodka (both natural disinfectants)
  • 2 cups of water
  • 6 drops of dish detergent
  • 4-5 drops of essential oil (to make it smell pretty)

I prefer vodka to rubbing alcohol because it has no odor. Vodka of the Gods from Trader Joe’s is my vodka of choice- it’s TJ’s cheapest brand. One bottle ($9.99) lasts for over a year of cleaning – makes 16 bottles of cleaner! A fraction of the $8-$10 per bottle for store-bought cleaner.

I use a variety of essential oils – peppermint, lavender, orange. These oils are a bit expensive but each bottle lasts for years and years. You can mix and match them to create your own custom scent.

granitecleaning

This recipe, an empty spray bottle (you can even reuse your store-bought bottle) and a soft cloth is all you need to keep your counters sparkling clean and disinfected – at a fraction of the cost!

Cheers to a healthy and happy 2017! And if it can’t be either of those, it can at least be clean, right?

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Recipe: Acai Bowl

I am a big fan of Bowl of Heaven and Banzai Bowls. Healthy, delicious, especially refreshing in the summer – but expensive and not something you have time to go out and buy very often.

For some time now, I’ve been trying to perfect these bowls at home. This weekend, I think I finally got it right.

Acai bowl recipe: (makes two bowls)

Two packets Sambazon organic acai superfruit pack – frozen*

Two small to medium bananas

3/4 cups frozen kale (or spinach)

1/2 cup frozen organic mango*

1/2 cup frozen organic antioxidant blend*

1-2 scoops protein powder of choice (optional)

Combine all ingredients (except protein powder) in Vitamix (or other high-speed food processor). Start on low speed. Gradually increase to highest speed, while inserting tool (the Vitamix one is called the “tamper”) into slot in top cover of Vitamix – never use tamper without the top of Vitamix on.

Using tamper, continuously press mixture down into blades. This process takes 3-5 minutes and takes some muscle. Once the ingredients are almost blended, add the protein powder. I prefer a vegan, unflavored powder so it doesn’t interfere with the delicious taste of the bowl.

Continue blending until mixture blends well but is not too defrosted that it becomes runny. It’s important to get the right consistency. Do not add any liquid to mixture!

Divide completed mixture into two bowls. Top with fruit of choice. I like sliced bananas and strawberries.

In addition, I topped with some granola, toasted coconut* and then drizzled with honey.

OCGreenMama_AcaiBowl

Pretty and delicious. Now hurry and enjoy your creation!

*purchased at Costco

DIY Granite Cleaner

A good vinegar and water solution will clean just about anything, but there are some exceptions. Vinegar, along with any citrus-based cleaner, is not good for granite. It’s too acidic. Over time, it will dull and scratch your beautiful stone. (Also DO NOT use Windex on granite –  it strips the counter of it’s sealant).

Granite is a porous stone the requires a special type of cleaner. There are plenty of safe, natural granite cleaners available (Method and Howard’s Naturals are two I like), but I haven’t found a granite cleaner for under $8 anywhere.

I like to clean my granite counter tops A LOT, so I went looking for something homemade (read – safe and cheap).

I didn’t make up this recipe. I grabbed it from a site called Mama Cheaps. Here is that recipe along with my modifications:

1/4 cup rubbing alcohol or vodka
3 drops of dish detergent
1 cup water
A few drops of essential oil (to make it smell pretty)

I used vodka instead of rubbing alcohol . Vodka of the Gods to be exact, so fancy – or, Trader Joe’s cheapest brand.

I have a large spray bottle so I doubled the recipe. And because it’s the holidays, I used a few drops of peppermint oil. It smells like Christmas every time I clean the counters!

DIY Granite Cleaner

I don’t know precisely the cost of 1/4 cup of vodka, three drops of dish soap and a few drops of essential oil, but I can tell you one thing – it’s a fraction of the $8-$10 cost of over-the-counter granite cleaner.

This recipe, an empty spray bottle (you can even reuse your store-bought bottle) and a soft cloth is all you need to keep your granite sparkling clean – at a fraction of the cost!