Some of you recall that I have posted about carpet cleaning before. Once again, I’m telling you how to clean your carpets. I now have 5 kids ages 7 and under. We homeschool, so we spend most of our days here in this house on this cheap rental home carpet. (Still dreaming of owning my own home one day so I can be rid of carpet- at least in the main areas of my home.) I also have 2 dogs. (One is small and is now senile. He has taken to marking his territory in the house. Fun, right? Anyone want a small senile dog? One is a large English Sheepdog. He tracks in mud on his massive, hairy paws.) I clean my carpet often. Way too often. (Spot cleaning constantly thanks to the senile dog and the toddler.) And while my Oxiclean system works really well, I always holdout hope for a more natural product. (Especially since I have a little one crawling around on it all the time.)
I was introduced to Young Living oils a few months ago. They have an all natural cleaning product called Thieves Cleaner. (That is a link to my personal Young Living site where you can find Thieves cleaner to purchase.) It is a multi-purpose cleaner for everything from countertops to hands to floors to windows to laundry. It does it all. Of course, my first thought upon buying a bottle was, “I’m going to put this in my steam cleaner and see what it’ll do for my carpets.” I’ll go ahead and give you my pros and cons up front and then go step by step though carpet cleaning with Thieves Cleaner.
First, this cleaner is all natural. No chemicals. No harsh fumes. No RINSING necessary. No worries about baby crawling around on it.
Second, because of that no rinsing bit, this is much faster than my traditional OxiClean route.
Third, your carpets will feel softer when they dry using Thieves Cleaner than using OxiClean.
Fourth, it smells amazing.
Fifth, it kills germs and viruses and fungus.
Now, this is not going to get your carpet as super duper white as OxiClean, Dawn, and TTO. If you’ve got thick gummy gunk in the carpet, you may want to go the OxiClean route. I personally now view the OxiClean routine as my heavy duty carpet cleaning and this Young Living Thieves oil as my routine, most-of-the-time carpet cleaning.
Step One: Clear out all the furniture. Yes, you need to. And this picture is why. I found about a dozen empty fruit snacks wrappers from some sneaky little person. I also found random toys, papers, rubber bands, buttons, change, a glow stick, a straw, several crayon nubs… you get the picture. If you don’t move your furniture, all that stays hidden. Also, if you have pets- they tend to mark their territory on chair legs, table legs, side of the couch, etc. So, if you don’t move the furniture, you won’t get to all of that. Plus it is just easier to clean a big empty room than clean around stuff.
Vacuum. Note my before picture. You’ll see chocolate milk stains, turmeric stains, jello stains, slime stains, muddy dog feet stains, dog pee stains (it wasn’t set in, fresh, yay- see my sarcastic font?), something red, and something blue. And yes, I cleaned this carpet in full less than 2 months ago.
Now, add one capful of Thieves Cleaner into each fill of clean water in your steam cleaner. It does foam a little, so add the water (preferably hot) and then the cleaner. Steam clean the entire room. I used 4 fills of my steam cleaner (4 capfuls). Then I used my upholstery attachment and spot cleaned the stains that didn’t want to let go. (This is different from my OxiClean routine where I scrub the spots with Dawn.) Since this is an all natural cleaner, it leaves no residue, so I have no reason to rinse the carpet. And I’m done. Like that. That fast.
Chocolate milk stain- gone. Senile dog pee- gone. Slime and jello- gone. Tumeric- still there. (This turmeric has been in my carpet for over a year now. Even a professional carpet cleaner couldn’t get it out. Moral of the story- keep turmeric laden foods off your carpeted areas.) Red stuff- gone. Mud- gone. Blue stuff- gone. Bright and shiny carpet again.
Let your carpet dry fully before you put your furniture back.
Now, more shout out about this Thieves Cleaner- I used it to then clean my brick fireplace, baseboards, windows, back door, outside windows, kitchen countertop, and coffee table. And I cleaned all that with one capful of cleaner. My bottle is still about 3/4 full! Now that is awesome.
**Disclaimer- Using any cleaner in your steam cleaner other than the brand your steam cleaner company makes will void the warranty. I want my carpet clean and don’t care how I have to get it that way. Warranty schmarranty. You, however, might care. And now I have informed you. Do as you wish with this disclaimer. **
I love baking. I have tried recipe after recipe in pan after pan. I find that some recipes aren’t quite large enough for a layer cake while other recipes could easily make a triple layer cake. I like making Bundt cakes. I like a cake that doesn’t require icing. And they are so easy to serve! Today, I am giving you my two favorite Bundt cake recipes.
Amazing Banana Cake
1 stick butter (I always, always use unsalted)
3 or 4 very ripe bananas
1 teaspoon rum, bourbon, or Southern Comfort (My favorite rum to cook with is Kraken.) (Just pick whichever liquor you have or want.)
3/4 cup white flour
3/4 cup wheat flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
Blend butter, bananas, and sugar. Add rum, bourbon, or Southern Comfort and eggs. Mix in all dry ingredients.
Spray your Bundt pan like a crazy woman. I wish I could tell you that there is some all natural, cheap alternative to cooking spray but I can’t. Just buy the spray. (Pam for Baking is my favorite. Baker’s Friend is my runner-up-if-it-is-on-sale choice.)
Pour batter in. Bake at 325. It is done when it smells done. What? You can’t smell a done cake? Okay. It is going to be about 30 minutes, use a toothpick to check if you need to.
(This recipe is also awesome in mini bundt pans and mini loaf pans.
Now, this one is the most awesome chocolate cake ever. Be warned. If you’re wanting a layered cake, double this. If you’re wanting to do a bunch of cupcakes, double it. This recipe is just enough for a Bundt.
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 cup cocoa powder
2 cups sugar
1 cup grape seed oil (You could also use vegetable oil.)
1 cup hot coffee (No, this cake does not taste like coffee. Yes, it needs to be hot.)
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon rum (I use rum instead of vanilla extract. It is cheaper and has the same flavor. If you’re buying, Kraken or Tattoo by Captain Morgan are the best rums for baking.)
Blend in this order: flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cocoa powder, sugar, vegetable oil, coffee, milk, eggs, and rum.
Spray your pan like a crazy woman. (See above on banana cake about spray.) Pour batter into the pan. Bake at 325 until it smells done. Okay… about 30 minutes. Use a toothpick to check if you need to.
You can serve this hot out of the oven or cooled down. I prefer it cooled down.
It only sounds fancy, but it is unbelievable easy. Heat about half a cup of heavy cream in a small sauce pan. When it is hot (not boiling) stir in about 4 oz. of chocolate. (Chips or chopped bar.) When it is mixed. you’ve got ganache. Spoon it over your Bundt cake. The better your chocolate, the better your ganache.