The Minimalistic Hoarder’s guide to a cleaner greener BBQ Grill…

Whether you’re throwing shrimps on the barbie, searing steaks, or making burnt offerings to the BBQ gods you will always end up with some kind of mess associated to your BBQ Grill.

My husband & I love to grill.
Armed with a cold beer in one hand & a “flippy-deal” (this is the technical term for any cooking utensil in use whilst BBQ’ing in our home), & whatever masterpiece is fragrantly taunting our neighbors, we BBQ in any season, on any given day.

Granted, my husband also thinks if he’s grilling he is making my life much easier. And I, in turn, have the night off cooking.
Although he is partially right on “cooking”, I am still making sides, preparing whatever we may be grilling, then there’s the cleaning up, & I will eventually be doing dishes. However in his defense, he only comes back into the house when he needs another cold beer, or to let me marvel at my mighty Adonis who now has his shirt off & thinks I would appreciate the stunning image it creates. So he doesn’t really bare witness to other jobs having a BBQ creates.
Plus, there has been many an occasion where work has called before the beer has passed the lips & he is off to play army, & I will just see a chopper in the distance as I take the reins.
It’s the army wife life I have just accepted.

I know some people don’t like to clean their grills, & I’m not judging (okay well maybe just a little judging), they scrape it down with a cleaning brush, amp up the heat, burn off any grease & feel comfortable with that.

Aside from the obvious health & safety reasons, I clean our grill for several personal reasons:
* We have a vegetarian. We accept her anyway.
She doesn’t padlock herself to the grill, or stage sit-ins, hunger strikes, or even judge us for our enjoyment of meaty things on the grill. And in turn, we create delicious vegetarian-friendly dishes for her, & we make sure her tofu-dog or artichoke steak doesn’t make contact with our meaty options, plus we use separate flippy deal.
* We had a minor grease fire on an old grill while I was supervising burgers (& it scared the almighty bejesus out of me).
* And lastly, but just as important as the past two reasons: I am a clean freak, so if I can see it, I’ll probably want to clean it.
My name is Angela & I am disgusting!

I use very few tools for cleaning our BBQ alter, & it really doesn’t take too long either if you do it regularly.

I do my grill cleaning in the morning while it’s cool enough.
I dismantle the grill plates, & mist Grab Green degreaser over the inside of the grill itself.
LET IT SIT. (any cleaner takes a few moments to do its thing, so exercise a little patience. Trust me, it’s worth it).


With an old T-shirt (or whatever your preference) give it a wipe.
I like to repeat this step, giving just a few minutes longer on the spray & walk away this time.
I spray the grill plates at this point, & then head back to give my grill a good wipe down.

With a bowl of hot water, & a quick squirt of “any” natural dish liquid you have (I honestly use whatever I am using at that time for a future review), & I return to the grill with a gentle scourer/sponge & give it all a final wipe.


I like using these particular sponges, they’re Eco-friendly, they hold up to a number of BBQ grill cleans, they’re not super abrasive, & they aren’t white or brown like my usual kitchen sponges, so they have a sole purpose of our grill.

Next, I use the same sponge to scrub over my grill plates & work in the degreaser a little.
With some dish liquid & hot water, I wash the grill plates & dry them well.


I also use a grill scraper for anything that just doesn’t come off the grill easily.

Then, when the plates & inside of the grill are clean & reassembled, I clean the shelf using the same technique. And then move onto the grease tray underneath, again using the same method.

I like to use an all-purpose cleaner for the outside of the BBQ Grill.


And the Degreaser again for the front control panel.

I also clean our grill cleaning tools. If you take care of them they last longer… (And there’s less chance of a clean freak judging you).

I fill a bowl or the bottom of my sink with some hot water & drop in a Grab Green Cookware & Bakeware Cleaner Pod (I love these things, you can check out their own review below).
Grab Green’s Magical Pods…


Once everything is clean, & back on the grill, you can pat yourself on the back for a job well done!
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This is where I text a photo to my husband & he asks why do we keep buying new grills.

Have a great summer everyone. Stay safe, be kind to the world around, & the people in it.
If you want to check out the items I used in this “how-to-guide” click on the links below.
And if you’re interested in more of my reviews, & “how to’s” then become an adoring fan on here, &/or twitter!
https://twitter.com/Cleanwithgreen1`

Angela

http://www.grabgreenhome.com/tangerine-with-lemongrass-power-degreaser/
http://www.grabgreenhome.com/tangerine-with-lemongrass-all-purpose-cleaner/
click the link below to get 50% off your first order when you sign up to the Grab Green community.
http://www.grabgreenhome.com/summer-savings

http://www.theskrapr.com/

http://naturalvalue.com/product/sponges-scrubbers/
(I pick these up at a local grocery store for about $1.79).

Putting on your big girl pants with Grab Green 3in1… A Review!

They say that Patience is a virtue…
I’d say it’s more aptly a side effect of being an adult, like knowing you can’t live on just candy & breakfast cereal (even though as a seven-year-old you probably vowed it).
As an adult (Okay as a “competent adult”) you can’t just drop to the ground, turning all your bones to an unidentified form of heavy jelly that another human being has to struggle to pick up, You also can’t hold your breath because things don’t go your way, & You most certainly cannot throw an almighty tantrum in public, & still expect to be taken seriously.
The fact is sometimes you have to tell yourself “Suck it up Buttercup” because you’ve got to make it through the day!
We all have day’s where you just don’t have the energy or want to ‘Adult’, & that’s okay. It can be hard at times. Being a spouse isn’t always sunshine & lollipops, & being a parent isn’t always easy, or as ‘easy’ as other people may make it look (Little-known fact: Those people who make it look easy, are struggling too).

Having little things that make your day easier, or give you a moment to take a deep breath & just feel a happy spark inside can make the difference between quitting the adult world, making a fort out of bedsheets & not letting your spouse or children in (mostly because of the “No Cooties” rule, but also because in that moment we love them, but we may not particularly like them) & accepting that we don’t have to be perfect at this Adult thing, & acknowledging that YOU’RE OKAY JUST AS YOU ARE!!!

When my kids were younger my escape was my linen cupboard.
It was my Narnia, I opened the cupboard door & everything inside was how I wanted life to be… Organized!
I had learned the trick from my Mom to slip unwrapped cakes of soap amongst the linen so that it smelled clean & that was my choice of drug.
I found it comforting.
If I was having a particularly stressful day of trips to the emergency ward because someone decided to jump off the sofa & face plant into the coffee table, another one proudly shown me she had written her name for the very first time (only it was on wall in sharpie), & the freezer had at some point stopped working & now the dinner menu consisted of partially melted ice cream, thawed fish sticks, pizzas, & a Tupperware container of some unlabeled leftovers that you asked your spouse to label weeks before while you were busy refereeing a sibling brawl in front of the television.
My escape was when I carried a sacrificial offering of my folded laundry (which had probably sat in the dryer, or on the sofa for far longer than I cared to admit), & I added it to my Linen cupboard.
Fluffy towels folded perfectly, & stacked to look like they do in an upmarket store. I’d stand in the doorway & take a long deep breath… It was organized, clean, sheer perfection compared to the chaos in the rest of my home.
Of course, my beloved family thought I was nuts, but that was okay, it’s my piece of comfort.

Life’s stresses have changed for me now.
My husband knows where his socks are so I won’t have to yell from the shower that they’re in the same place they always are.
My children no longer launch themselves off furniture or draw on the walls.
I can even use the bathroom in absolute privacy.
And if our freezer stops working, then we’ll just have friends over & dine on whatever the heck there is, & worry about restocking the freezer the following day.

This is the bonus side to being a military family. We’ve got each other’s backs. I have no qualms that if that happened, our friends coming to dine with us on a feast made of whatever defrosted in the great freezer breakage of 2017, would help in any way needed. And we’d do the same for them!

Now it’s not to say life doesn’t have stress anymore, it’s just that these days the things that worry me, or keep me awake at nights are different. Being an army wife, & a mother to young adults carries a whole different set of concerns.

So parenthood & marriage have well & truly been infected by a good dose of patience. I’m more accepting of what I can’t change, & I don’t let the little things bother me as much.
I save the fort making for the overwhelming bigger things that bring sadness & worry.
And I have good chocolate biscuits, a bottle of wine on hand, & there’s enough room in that fort for my husband, kids & close friends!

Plus I still have my linen cupboard Narnia, it’s just now that’s changed too.
Instead of the commercialized “Clean linen” smell that offered me comfort & a boatload of carcinogenic chemicals. It really is all clean “chemical free” linen these days, not just made to smell like it.
When I take a deep breath of it I’m not inhaling any nasty chemicals with more than six syllables, & the need for a degree from NASA to pronounce the ingredients. It’s nice to know that’s one less thing I need to worry about…

For the most part, we don’t use scented laundry products so when we do, we really notice….
I’ve been using the object of today’s review on all the bedding, towels, & clothes for my teenage daughter. I want to note Grab Green does not test on animals, but I apparently test on my family!

Grab Green’s 3in1 Laundry Detergent Pods!
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And just like our teenage daughter – great things come in a small package here!

The three in the 3in1:
* Detergent
* Stain remover
* Brightener

It achieves all three!
* It cleans well in all temperatures. We only do cold washes for our laundry, & we have hard water – so our expectations are pretty high. CHECK!
* Our daughter’s indulgence to fight stress is a bath using natural bath bombs that turn her water the colors that would prevent most people from entering. Think opaque black, purples, greens, red, add plants leaves, glitter & you get the idea. This on white fluffy towels can be a little messy. Stain removing – CHECK!
* As for brightening – her bed sheets, white comforter & colored clothing are all brightly the colors they should be. CHECK!

The scent currently in use is Lavender with Vanilla.
This was a hard sell. My daughter loves Lavender but despises most vanilla scents (due to the overuse of fake vanilla smells in so many overly scented products).
Keep in mind that the pods are concentrated laundry detergent, so in the package, they smell pretty strong.

I use 1-2 pods (depending on the size of the load).
The pods break down fairly quick, & by the end of the cycle, there is just a mild lavender scent with just a hint of vanilla to it. Then by the time, it’s been through the dryer there is just a warm inviting scent remaining.
I always test laundry pods before I use them in my washing machine.
I fill a bowl with cold water, drop in a pod & give it a stir with a spoon.
If it doesn’t break down easily, then I probably won’t use it.
The grab green pod broke down in less than a minute, & didn’t actually require too much agitation to get it to mix with the water.

Grab Green lists their ingredients on the back with a vow of True Transparency, so they list what is in it, & why.
You can also head to their website for a deeper explanation.
http://www.grabgreenhome.com/3-in-1-lavender-with-vanilla-laundry-detergent#tab-ingredients

It comes in 3 different fragrances, & a fragrance free version.
It also comes in 3 different size packs:
24 pods for $8 (.33 cents per 1 pod load)
60 pods for $18.50 (.31 cents per load)
132 pods for $39 (.29 cents per load)

By the facts that I only use cold water, I don’t need to do extra rinses because the pods break down well, & that it has a good brightener, & a stain remover in it also means more bang for your buck so to speak.

For the value, quality & quantity I’m giving this particular fragrance pod a solid 7.5/10. (Which is pretty high, I’m fussy with laundry products).
I like the Vetiver fragrance myself – it’s a little more calming, & has a more herbal scent to it, but as we know everyone reacts & responds differently to different smells.

If you want to check out these laundry pods, & some of the other great products Grab Green has, click the link below to get 50% off your first order when you sign up to the Grab Green community.
http://www.grabgreenhome.com/summer-savings

I’m going to have a coffee & put my super powers to good use as I do some cleaning with another new product that I will eventually review.

Have a great day being a perfectly imperfect adult, check out the Grab Green site from the confines of your fort if you have to, & follow my blog for more reviews…

As always be kind to the world around you, & the people in it.

Angela

The Minimalistic Hoarder gets Therapy™…

When I was a child I never stayed in a hotel room.
There was really no need, if my family traveled somewhere it was to visit extended family & we’d be staying with them, end of story.

I saw people staying in hotel rooms on TV shows & in movies, it looked so glamorous.
My vow of success as a 9-year-old was to stay in a hotel room, eat french toast while watching tv on a giant bed all to myself, while wearing a big fluffy white bathrobe, matching slippers, & then to top it off, not make the bed (gasp).
I should probably note that I always shared a room with a sibling, I had never tried French toast as a child but it sounded fancy, & thought of not making a bed just blew my mind – my Mom could never know)!

As an adult, I think my inner 9-year-old self would be suitably impressed by my hotel sleepovers, however, in my travels I have stayed in hotel rooms everywhere on the scale from potential meth lab next door, while joking with my husband that there’s a chalk outline of a body under our bed, to really swanky five-star European hotel rooms with waterfalls in the foyer & sommelier recommendations on their room service menu.

As much as tv assisted in creating the romantic image of a hotel room, it also as an adult has damaged it severely.
Have you ever seen those shows where they review hotel rooms cleanliness, scouring the walls for mold, finding questionable hairs in the shower drain, lifting mattresses & bedding to uncover bed bugs, & if all that wasn’t enough – UV blacklight for DNA?
Every fiber of my being as a clean freak starts to itch, & feel dirty just watching!
My husband suggested that I should probably pack my cleaning kit when we stay in a hotel next time. I know he was joking but that’s probably going to happen!
I even saw you can buy UV blacklights for your luggage on Amazon. That poses the thought that maybe you’re better off with the old adage of “what you don’t know can’t hurt you”, except for bed bugs, & syringes left on the floor behind the bed (we actually saw that on one of those shows), Those things will hurt you!

If you’d told me back then that I’d be using only natural cleaners I would have laughed at you. There is no way I would have believed some vinegar recipe with essential oils & borax could get things as clean as chemicals with names longer than 5 syllables, that you would need a pharmaceutical degree to pronounce. I just accepted the nose hair burning smells were the “This is working” sign that of your home is now clean. When watching those shows, (& don’t even get me started on those hoarding shows). I felt compelled to do a deep deep deeeeeep clean on my home as soon as daylight hit.
*I’d like to take a moment to thank my husband for being amused enough by this to just laugh, & not binge watch these shows for 2 weeks wearing my fingers out from scrubbing each following day!

When I started venturing into natural products besides just making my own, I found a brand that seemed appropriate for my clean freak needs. Little did I know that they would become some of my favorite cleaners to use.

Introducing “Therapy Cleaners”…
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Stainless Steel Cleaner & Polish, Graphite Cleaner & Polish, & the new Heavy Duty Glass Cooktop Cleaner!

“Therapy was founded in 2016 with the belief that cleaning is more than just a mundane chore. Cleaning can be relaxing, restorative and even, well, therapeutic.”
And they completely shine through on that one (Pun intended).

Firstly, the Stainless Steel Cleaner & Polish Kit.
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This stuff is amazing!
The kit consists of a 16 oz. bottle & a really nice 14’x14″ microfiber cloth.
(I’m a big microfiber cloth buff – again pun intended).
This retails at $14.99.
I have been using this for about 3 months around my house. We have all stainless steel appliances (including my husband’s beloved kegerator), & I have still barely made a dent in the bottle.

Ingredients:
Filtered water, coconut oil, sorbitan monooleate (emulsifier), lavender vanilla essential oil blend, acrylates copolymer (emulsifier), methylisothizolinone (preservative).

I would give this a 9/10. I have found it to be super effective in everything it claims.
The bottle is stylish & looks great even left sitting out on the counter.
I know $14.99 seems costly for a kit, but it seems to protect your stainless steel appliances from smudges, smears & fingerprints. I use it on a range of appliances including the kitchen sink & in the 3 months it has barely used a quarter of the bottle, & I don’t use it sparingly.
It’s made here in the States, again the microfiber cloth is of great quality & works beautifully with the spray.
It leaves everything stainless steel in our home smear free, & even cuts through water marks.
We have an aggressive ice maker in our freezer that likes to throw ice at you, & slip an extra few cubes out while you’re catching the launched ice! I’m always finding puddles on the ground, & water marks dribbled down the stainless steel door. This cleaner makes quick work of that!
The scent is a mix of vanilla lavender with a hint of coconut to me. I like the creamy smell, it doesn’t have the sickly sweet fake vanilla scent like some big name brand cleaners use to unsuccessfully mask their chemicals.

Secondly, Therapy Graphite Cleaner & Polish Kit.
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Same deal with a nice looking 16 oz. bottle, which comes with a great quality 14’x14′ microfiber cloth.
Retails at $14.99.
I use it on my kitchen counters, & my bathroom counters as well.
It is non-toxic & a neutral pH that can be used on graphite, marble, quartz & onyx surfaces.

Ingredients:
Filtered water, decyl glucoside, cocamidopropyl betaine, dimethicone, sodium carbonate, lemon essential oil blend, methylisothizolinone.

I’d give this an 8/10 as well.
It makes short work of grease & oil, & leaves a nice shine to my graphite counters & black splash.
I have used a lot more of this, I use it daily & after 3 months I have about a third of the bottle left. $14.99 may seem expensive, but for the quality, the size of the bottle & the results I think it’s a fair price.
It has a lemony floral scent that isn’t heavy & doesn’t stick around for too long.

And the newest member of the Therapy Family… Therapy Heavy Duty Glass Cooktop Cleaner Kit.
IMG_0484Another great looking 16 oz bottle which I would happily leave on the counter ready to use. This one comes with a non-abrasive scrubbing pad.
Retails at $14.99.

Ingredients:
Filtered water, calcium carbonate, decyl glucoside, cocamidopropyl betaine, dimethicone, essential oil blend, acrylates copolymer, methylisothizolinone.

This is a new item to the family, & I haven’t had this bottle long so I can’t say how long I think this bottle will last yet, that would be based on how often I used it, & the level of messiness on my glass top at any given point.
If you’ve read Quick Fix Angela’s Guide to Cleaning your glass top… you know that I usually use a very basic method to clean my cooktop, however, I really like the other Therapy products in the range enough that I’m willing to jump in boots & all I give this a try!
I’ve used this a few times now, & I’m honestly impressed.
Always let your glass top cool before you clean it, then I wipe with a dry cloth or paper towel to move as much dry cooking debris as you can, then you simply apply the cleaner directly to the sponge, then draw circles all over the glass top. When you feel like it’s got rid of all the marks & what-have-you, wipe it free with a cloth or paper towel. Then buff it with a microfiber cloth.

I would give this a hard 8/10 at this point, based on its performance for value & quality so far. Once I’ve used it for another month or so I will be back to change that score if need be.

Now I’m off to put on my bathrobe & make myself some french toast…
I will be back with more reviews soon, but for now be kind to the world around you, & the people in it, & feel free to follow me!

Angela

Use the code “SAVE10” to save 10% on their website.
http://therapyclean.com/

Mrs. Jones Soapbox Soft Cleaning Scrub Review..

I guess I wouldn’t really call myself a “Self-proclaimed clean freak” (though my family probably would). I just kind of stumbled into it as my kids grew past the destruction phase. When they were little I saw dishes in my sink as guests arrived & I didn’t feel so much as a pang of shame… You came to see my spawn & I, NOT my house I thought!

And then I found myself cleaning deeper, & being an expert in my cleaning products because it made me feel in control of my home – much the same as wearing matching bra & panties had when I was younger (BK: Before Kids). I feel like I’ve my act together, I feel productive, & I feel calm when my house is clean.

So this put me into the adventure of finding just the right products I liked.
About 6 months ago I went on the natural route… White vinegar, blue dawn, rubbing alcohol – you name it – I cleaned with it.
But you can’t minimize when you’re making all your own cleaning products from scratch. And to be honest, sometimes I felt a little like I was on my own version of Breaking Bad (granted with cleaning supplies NOT Meth).

So this blog is my new baby.
I’ll be using it to leave reviews of things I like, dislike, or what-have-you.

My first review is a product I’ve been using for about 3 months now.
It’s a soft paste like scrub with a sweet almond scent. (Almond smells don’t usually crank my engine, but this has a sweet smell that I now associate with clean). The consistency is sort of a mix of toothpaste & butter. It’s soft as the name suggests!

It comes in 2 sizes & 3 options.
16-ounce main packaging: $9.99 (perfect for a gift, or in an area it may get banged around a lot because the packaging is more sturdy).
16-ounce Refill: $5 (I use these most of the time – not as pretty, or firm but they look fine, & do the trick).
80-ounce Refill: Normally $25, but on sale for $22.50 currently. (This is the buy in bulk=save money option as it equates to $4.50 per refill.)

The thing I most love about this is there is no chemical smell, no burning of the skin from a reaction to anything, but it works beautifully.
I’ve used it to clean almost everything in my home from the glass cooktop to the BBQ grill, to entire Bathroom, & I even used it in the laundry on a small stain just to see how amazing it truly is…. And it is!

 

 

A big plus is I can pronounce & spell all of the ingredients without gaining a degree:

Ingredients: baking soda, distilled water, borax, castile soap, washing soda, citric acid, coarse salt, oxygen bleach, cream of tartar, hydrogen peroxide, vinegar, vodka, essential oil blend (almond, coconut, and oregano).

I would definitely rate this product as 9/10.
I have been using one pottle for my entire upstairs (2 full bathrooms, laundry) & in 3 months I haven’t reached the bottom of a 16-ounce pot, so the value for $5 is exceptional.

It cleans through grease, & grime so it serves it’s cleaning purpose.

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And I don’t need to use gloves, worry about ventilation, or concern for skin reactions… I honestly can’t stand the smell of heavy cleaners now.

I have no affiliation with this company, it is just a product that I use in my home, however, I do have a code if you’d like to get 15% off your first order off the website, it’s:
http://i.refs.cc/NbCZJFvZ

It’s worth spending over $30 to get the low shipping of $6.99.
I will be back to review more of a few of my favorite things soon.

Enjoy
Angela