DIY Eco-Friendly Cleaners for Your Home’s Exterior

Spring cleaning is here! Daylight savings has officially started, which means we get just a little more sunlight in the evenings. I don’t know about you, but that usually motivates me to get some deep cleaning done and check in on everything now that winter is a not-so-distant memory.

Here at S&K, we are always trying to find the best, eco-friendly ways to keep our homes nice. While our energy efficient window options are a great way to do that, there are so many other ways that a home can stay eco-friendly, like cleaning supplies. Outdoor cleaning supplies tend to be harsh and heavy in chemicals since we don’t have to live with the fumes or worry about sleeping in the same room as the solution, but those chemicals can affect the environment. Check out some easy DIY cleaning solutions that will let you do your spring cleaning with a clean conscience.

Window Cleaner:

  • 2 tbsp white vinegar
  • 2 cups water
  • 10 drops essential oil of lemon

Mix the ingredients in a glass spray bottle to avoid the oils breaking down. To use, spray on a glass surface and use a microfiber cloth to polish.

All-Purpose Cleaner:

  • 15 drops of essential oil of lemon
  • 5 drops essential oil of sweet orange
  • 5 drops essential oil of rosemary
  • 1/4 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 1-½ cups water

Mix ingredients together in a glass spray bottle (a funnel helps with this step). The vinegar scent will dissipate after use and leave a nice fresh scent behind. Lemon oil is a natural disinfectant, orange oil busts grease, and rosemary oil has some antibacterial and antiseptic qualities. This concoction is great for wiping down patio furniture.

Patio Cleaner:

  • ½ cup baking soda
  • 1 gallon of water
  • ⅛ cup natural liquid dish detergent – I’m a fan of Dr. Bronners.

Mix ingredients and spray onto patio surface. Let the solution sit for 30 minutes, then scrub and rinse with your garden hose.

Image via The Greatist

Interested in creating your own cleaning solutions? Once you have an understanding of what natural options work well together, you can play with different essential oils that are heavy lifters in the cleaning department, or simply smell nice, to make a solution that is all your own.

Not only are these a great way to help the environment, these cleaners are a fraction of the cost of commercial cleaners. Happy cleaning!

Upcycle Your Old Windows: 8 DIY Projects

You’ve finally done it. You’ve committed to getting new windows installed by S&K and now you have old window panes and shutters to worry about. First off, congratulations on your new windows! Secondly, why not upcycle your old windows to create new and fun decor in your home? We’re all about finding creative ways to recycle old goods, so check out these 12 do-it-yourself projects that transform your previous windows into something new:

Divided Chalkboard:

 

Great for decor and even better for communicating with your family, this chalkboard window is a perfect way to use an old window frame. It may look complicated, but all you need to do is clean the glass, tape off the frame, and spray with chalkboard paint! Easy as one, two, three. Check out a tutorial here.

Accented Mirror:

A mirror like this can be used in an entryway, restroom, or even as a piece of decor in a living room. Simply remove the glass frames and replace them with mirrors (or potentially one large mirror). You can learn more in this tutorial.

Fireplace Screen:


Image via DIYnCrafts

An unexpected and innovative way to reuse your old window, this fireplace screen is easy to make. Follow this tutorial for a step-by-step guide.

Family Picture Frames:


These rustic window frames are perfect to transition into a picture frame. You can paint the wood however you’d like to match your decor the add family photos. Learn how to do it here.

Box Planter:

Image via 1001Gardens

Take your DIY projects outside with this converted window to box planter. This is a great project for spring and adds just the right amount of rustic flair. Find a brief tutorial here.

Pot Rack:

Talk about a functional use of an old object! This upcycled pot rack is a great way to use you old windows and save space in the kitchen. Achieve this look by following the tutorial.

Gallery Wall:


Perhaps the easiest way to upcycle your old windows, especially if you have a bunch of different sizes and shapes. Clean off your old windows and hang them in a gallery wall. Add a pop of color, like the wreath in the photo above, to brighten up the look.

Advent Calendar:

Expand your holiday decor by transforming an old window frame into an advent calendar. This would be a great addition to any mantle or living room during the holiday season. Follow a tutorial here.

There are tons of other things you can use your old windows for, like shelving, making a small greenhouse, and more. What do you plan on doing with your old windows?