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Create a Livable Outdoor Space by Adding a Deck

Outdoor livable space is a popular trend. You can set up an outdoor seating area, outdoor kitchen or outdoor dining space. This allows you to entertain guests outside or host a larger party than what your home can hold. This trend inspired my wife and I to build our own outdoor livable space. However, one of the biggest decisions we faced was what the base for our space would be. We could use concrete, lay pavers or construct a deck. After doing a lot of research, we decided on a deck. It was a challenging decision, but we are pleased with the outcome. In fact, we are so happy we decided to start this blog and help educate other people on decks and livable spaces. Learn the benefits, learn the downside, learn how to care for your and learn what kinds of wood are best for an outdoor deck.

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Create a Livable Outdoor Space by Adding a Deck

Save Money & Free Your Home Of Harsh Chemicals With These 6 Natural Cleaners

by Kelly Simmons

Commercial cleaners market themselves well: get rid of soap scum and mold in as little as five minutes without having to scrub, "spray and walk away," etc. However, in actuality, the harsh chemicals within these so-called miracle cleaners are contaminating your homes and health. Not to mention that most commercial cleaners are pricy and don't go that far. Try swapping your commercial household cleaners for the following six natural ingredients.

White Vinegar

Probably the most versatile cleaner, white vinegar can clean almost anything in your home (aside from wood or marble floors—it will scratch the surfaces of both). Most homemade household cleaners involve vinegar because it prohibits the growth of mold and other fungi, it deodorizes, and it effectively gets rid of mineral deposits that settle on faucets, showerheads and fridge water dispensers.

Make your own multipurpose cleaner by filling a bottle with ½ a cup of white vinegar, 5 to 10 drops of tea tree oil, 5 drops of eucalyptus oil, and water. Use it to disinfect and clean your countertops daily.

Vinegar will also make sure your house has the cleanest windows. Mix ¼ cup of vinegar, liquid castile soap and water in a spray bottle. Spray onto the window and wipe away with crumbled newspaper. Much cheaper and more effective than bottles of Windex!

The best part about white vinegar is that it is extremely cheap.

Borax

Borax is made of sodium borate, a natural cleaner that fights rust and can extend the life of your laundry soap. Pour a little in with your laundry as it makes your regular detergent work harder, which will fight hard to remove stains and make you use less of your detergent.

You can use borax in place of toilet bowl cleaners as well. Pour the powder onto the rim of the bowl, scrub into a paste and rinse away in the morning. Any unsightly toilet bowl stains will be removed.

Baking Soda

Baking soda is something most people have in their homes for cooking uses, but it is also a highly effective cleanser. Use it as you would Comet; sprinkle onto sinks and bathtubs and make a paste. It will clean many rings and water stains that settle in stainless steel sinks. Baking soda also removes grease and oil stains. Make a paste, let sit overnight and scrub the next day.

Lemon and Lemon Oil

Lemon in general is a great household deodorizer. It gets rid of lingering smells in your house and can get rid of hard to clean stains on cutting boards. Sprinkle salt on a cutting board and scrub with half a lemon. To clean garbage disposals, pour salt and lemon halves down the disposal and run for a few minutes with running water.

Lemon oil can be mixed in with your homemade multipurpose cleaner for a deodorizing effect. Or you can make another effective window cleaner with vinegar and lemon oil in a spray bottle. This concoction will not work well on mirrors though—probably best to stick with the other mixtures for mirrors. It leaves an oily residue on mirrors.

Tea Tree and Eucalyptus Oil

Both tea tree and eucalyptus oils are natural alternatives to antibacterial commercial cleaners. Both are purifiers, disinfectants and antiseptics. They can be added to homemade cleaners to get the antibacterial effect of Clorox wipes. You can also put a few drops of each in an oil diffuser to clean the air in your home. Both have medicinal effects so you can consider yourself multitasking while you clean!

These 6 natural ingredients will go far. The essential oils are the most expensive (ranging in $5 to $15 for a small bottle) but will last a long time since they are highly concentrated. The rest of the ingredients are very cheap and are probably something you keep in your home anyway. Rid your house of the evasive chemicals found in most commercial cleaners—your health and wallet will thank you! Talk to your local window cleaning company, such as Perfection Window Cleaning, for more information.

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