Conscious by Chloé

Chloé Lepeltier - Conscious By Chloé

Follow Chloé’s journey to a simpler, greener and happier life.

Natural Drain Cleaner

Natural Drain Cleaner by Conscious by Chloé

Drain Cleaner

Supplies

  • 1/2 cup baking soda
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 1 gallon of boiling water

Tools

Instructions

  1. Pour a pot of boiling water down your drain.
  2. Pour 1/2 cup baking soda into your drain. Be sure that it all goes down. You can use your fingers or a long tool such as a chopstick to help.
  3. Pour 1/2 cup white vinegar into the drain and cover immediately with a stopper or a rag in order to keep the bubbles in the drain.
  4. Wait for 2 minutes.
  5. Pour the second 1/2 cup of white vinegar down the drain and, like in step 2, cover.
  6. Wait for 15-30 minutes, no more.
  7. Uncover and pour another pot of boiling water down the drain.

Notes

Repeat, depending on how clogged the drain is. Clean your drains regularly with this recipe to prevent build-up.


This recipe was inspired by Lauren Singer's of Trash is for Tossers. And here's the complete Natural Cleaning Products Guide.

Natural Bathroom Cleaner

Natural Bathroom Cleaner by Conscious by Chloé

Bathroom Cleaner

Supplies

  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 3/4 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 15 drops of your favorite essential oils

Tools

Instructions

Add all the ingredients to the shaker and stir together.

Notes

This acidic cleaner works great to get rid of mineral buildup and hard-water spots on bathroom tile, tub surroundings and bathroom countertops.


This recipe was inspired by Erica Strauss' in The Hands-On Home.

Natural All-Purpose Cleaner

Natural All-Purpose Cleaner by Conscious by Chloé

All-Purpose Cleaner

Supplies

  • 1 tablespoon borax
  • 1/4 teaspoon liquid castile soap
  • Hot water
  • 15 drops of your favorite essential oil

Tools

Instructions

  1. Add the borax and castille soap to the bottle.
  2. Fill the bottle with hot water.
  3. Close the bottle and shake it to dissolve the borax.
  4. Let the mixture cool.
  5. Add the essential oils.

Notes

This cleaner is great for counters, walls, hardwood, laminate or tile floors.


This recipe was inspired by Erica Strauss' in The Hands-On Home. And here's the complete Natural Cleaning Products Guide.

Seasonal Cleaning Routine & DIYs

Natural Cleaning Sprays by Conscious by Chloé

The first week of January is usually pretty slow around here, so it is a perfect time to tackle a project that echoes with the beginning of the year resolutions: a deep cleaning & decluttering session.

I've been pretty inspired by the book I got for Christmas, The Hands-On Home, and decided to gather all the products and tools I would need to try all of the home cleaning recipes it contains and a couple more I've tested in the past.

A deep cleaning is a very big task, so instead of diving into it and spending a whole week-end scrubbing and vacuuming, I decided to spread it over a whole week, focusing on only one area a day.

Set reasonable goals

Now is the part where you are all going to think that I am a little insane, but I'm gonna go for it. It was inspired by Netflix’s fictional character Kimmy Schmidt.

As you may know, Kimmy has survived 15 years of imprisonment by a cult leader in an underground bunker during which she and her bunker mates had to constantly turn a heavy crank - the purpose of which remained unknown to them until long after their escape. During a scene that stuck with me for a reason I could not fathom, Kimmy shares her secret to dealing with unbearable tasks: You can stand anything for 10 seconds, then you start on a new 10 seconds.

Whether it's scrubbing an oven or writing a school paper, setting an attainable goal is a good motivation, and an encouragement to keep going. I heard the same idea in a podcast I listen to but Kimmy's metaphor is such a good one that I'm gonna stick with it.

One good example, is cleaning a very dirty stove. Decide from the beginning that you'll allow yourself to stop after you've scrubbed the first burner. Once you've finished this task, your mission will be accomplished. If you feel like to can do more than one, good for you. Otherwise, pick up where you've left off the next day. What's important is for you to know that if you stopped at the first one, you've reached your goal. Motivation is key and you'll quickly get to a spotless stove, one burner at a time.

Gather your supplies

Another important factor is to make sure that you have everything you need for when you'll decide to tackle this major project. To me, there's nothing more frustrating than realizing that I'm missing one key ingredient for a recipe or, like it happened for this photoshoot, realizing that 2 of my measuring spoons were missing (I should have left them hooked to that ring!).

I like to keep a shopping list on Wunderlist, adding tools, ingredients and other supplies for DIYs so that when I'm at the co-op, the home improvement store or second-hand shop, I can grab what I need without having to go back to the recipe or Youtube video.

Once you've prepared your cleaning mixtures, put them all in one location, so you can conveniently grab them in the room you're gonna be cleaning (use a tote bag, a bucket or a basket, whatever is convenient/eye-pleasing to you).

Schedule your cleaning time

And last but not least, schedule your cleaning time. Whether it's a deep-cleaning session or routine cleaning and, more importantly, if you share this task with a partner or housemates, knowing that a special date or time in the week or month is dedicated to this task makes the decision-making way easier. No arguing, no convincing, no debating, it's in the calendar so that's when it should be done!

Here is my personal schedule:

  • Monday - Bedroom
  • Tuesday - Bathroom
  • Wednesday - Mudroom/Pantry
  • Thursday - Kitchen
  • Friday - Living Room
  • Saturday - Office

I try to keep the same schedule for weekly maintenance cleaning but mostly rely on our common bimonthly cleaning session, scheduled on Wednesdays, every other week (I'll talk about conscious cohabitation in an upcoming article).

Natural Cleaning Supplies by Conscious by Chloé

Supplies

  • Baking soda
  • Borax
  • Cheap vodka
  • Distilled water
  • Distilled white vinegar
  • Essential oils (sweet orange, lemon or lemongrass, grapefruit, peppermint)
  • Kosher salt
  • Liquid castile soap
  • Powdered oxygen bleach
  • Washing soda

I had most of these ingredients at home, except for the powdered oxygen bleach and granulated citric acid which I easily found in bulk at the coop.

Natural Cleaning Tools by Conscious by Chloé

Tools

You can use bottles that you already have at home and just get trigger sprayers that will fit and drill holes in the lid of Mason jars to turn them into shakers.

Natural Cleaning Products by Conscious by Chloé

Cleaning Products

Tips

Work top to bottom
No backtracking
Clean by circling the room:

  • 1st loop: Tidy the room and pick up what goes in the trash and items that belong in another room
  • 2nd loop: Dust
  • 3rd loop: Clean and wipe surfaces and glass with the relevant cleaners
  • Then vacuum, sweep and mop toward the door.
  • And finally, put away the misplaced items and your cleaning supplies

In order for your to be able to find these DIY for further reference, during the coming week, I will post one DIY a day and update this article with the corresponding hyperlinks. I hope you'll find them useful!

Soy Candle DIY

Soy Candle DIY with Jessica Pezalla of Bramble Workshop by Conscious by Chloé

I met Jessica Pezalla a year and a half ago when I attended one of her shibori dyeing workshops and we've kept in touch ever since.

We like to meet up once once in a while, to attend an event, to share a cup of tea or to brainstorm and discuss future creative endeavors. The last time we met was at a friend's studio tour. There, Jessica mentioned that she was planning on making bath salts as gifts for her family, and I mentioned that I've been wanted to make more candles ever since I had taken a class a couple weeks ago. She was interested in the project too, so we decided to do this together and set a date.

Soy Candle DIY with Jessica Pezalla of Bramble Workshop by Conscious by Chloé

We did a little research, figured out what tools we needed, went shopping for supplies and met up at her studio for our little collaboration on a very cold December day.

The day before, Jessica had been foraging wicks and trims. So while we were waiting for the wax to melt, she taught me how to make a wreath (no picture was taken, I am not super proud of my oval shaped creation).

Soy Candle DIY with Jessica Pezalla of Bramble Workshop by Conscious by Chloé

This is what I love about Jessica, her ability to create. I admire the work she does for her studio, Bramble Workshop, from papier mâché icebergs to flower mandalas. Oh and did I mention that she's the owner of Hazel, the most well-behaved and the sweetest dog I've ever seen?

The afternoon flew by and by the time I went back home, the streets were covered by a thick blanket of snow. As soon as I arrived home, I started baking the bread I had left rising all night long, attached the wreath to my door, turned on the fireplace for your home series on Netflix for a cozy night at home and patiently waited for my candles to cool down until the next day.

Soy Candle DIY with Jessica Pezalla of Bramble Workshop by Conscious by Chloé


SOY CANDLE DIY

Candles are the perfect hostess gift, stocking stuffer and are very easy to make. The hardest part is to decide on a scent. There are so many to chose from!

Active time: 1 hr
Total time: 15 hrs

Supplies

Tools

Instructions

  1. Melt the wax.
    Fill the pot with wax flakes and place it on the hot plate or double boiler. Heat the wax to 185 F. It is also a good idea to pre-heat the containers in which you will pour your candles to about 125 F to keep the wax from pulling away from the sides.
  2. Add scents.
    Remove the pot from the heat, add your fragrance and stir well. If you keep your pot on the heat source when adding your fragrance, it will evaporate out of the wax.
  3. Glue and center the wicks.
    While the mixture is cooling, place a glue dot on the bottom of each container and stick a wick at the center.
  4. Pour the candle.
    When the mixture temperature cools to 135 F, pour the wax into the containers.
  5. Center the wicks.
    Place a wick centering bar on the top of each container and pull the wick into the opening. It will keep the wick straight and centered while the candle is cooling.
  6. Let the candle cool down.
    Let the candles cool at room temperature overnight before first lighting them up.
  7. Trim the wicks.
    Trim the wick to 1/4 in. before lighting.
  8. Light your candles.
    Be aware that candles have memory. So the first time your light your candle, make sure that the wax melts all the way to the edge to prevent tunneling.

Notes

Scent-wise, the options are limitless. For this batch of candles, I used a fragrance/essential oil blend (the flashpoint is indicated on the bottles) and Jessica used essential oils. Whatever you chose, remember that not all essential oils are safe for burning, so read the labels carefully.
As for containers, I also used some Bonne Maman jam containers and a ceramic cup that I collected from the "messed up shelf" at my ceramics studio (#reuse).


My favorite fragrances are sandalwood, palo santo, birch... All the scents that remind me of an evening by the campfire in the middle of the forest. What about you? What are your favorite scents?