DIY Natural Cleaning Products

Synthetic cleaners do a great job of making surfaces shiny, but the labels give us a cue that they are extremely harmful. These conventional products available for household use have a myriad of warnings: “Poisonous… Avoid skin contact… Causes severe skin burns and irreversible eye damage… Corrosive… Fatal if swallowed.”

Not only are they harmful to our family and pets, synthetic detergents, dyes and fragrances don’t readily biodegrade and they harm aquatic life downstream from sewer systems.

Natural cleaning products are affordable, better for your health and the environment. Here are 5 natural and easy DIY cleaning products in the home:

All-Purpose Cleaner

What you’ll need: One part white vinegar, one part water. Citrus rind (I like lemon and you can also use orange). Herbs (I like Rosemary and you can also use Mint).

Directions: Using a clear spray bottle, combine all the above ingredients. The colour of the citrus rind and the green from the herbs look fantastic. The scents infuse beautifully in a week’s time and this doubles up as a

Great for use on: Glass surfaces, appliances, stovetops, around the toilet bowl, trash bins, door handles, and more. Note that kitchen countertops made of granite and quartz don’t tolerate acidic pH.

Floor Grout Cleaner

What you’ll need: one part baking soda, one part hydrogen peroxide.

Directions: Combine the above ingredients. Spoon over the stained grout areas. Let sit on the surface for 10 minutes, then use a firm (or medium firm) toothbrush to scrub gently over the stained areas. Mop over.

Great for use on: Kitchen or bathroom floor grout.

Toilet Bowl Cleaner

What you’ll need: ¼ cup castile soap (I like Dr. Bronner’s naturally scented soaps), 1 cup water, 3 tablespoons of baking soda, squeeze bottle (an empty dish detergent bottle works well), tea tree oil or other essential oil (Optional)

Directions: Combine all ingredients and shake to combine.

Great for use in: Toilet bowl, bathtub and sinks.

Oven cleaner

What you’ll need: Baking soda (2 parts), Water (1 part)

Directions: Remove the racks from the oven. Clean out the loose bits and debris from inside the oven with a damp paper towel. Mix together baking soda and water to create a paste. Spread the paste over the soiled areas in the oven and oven door. Let sit for half an hour. Use a cloth to wipe clean.

The baking soda may leave behind some residue in the oven. To remove this powdery residue, use a spray bottle of diluted white vinegar or AP Cleaner (mentioned above) to give the oven a spray and wipe down. Then use a damp cloth with water.

Great for use on: Interior of oven door and glass, oven racks.

Air freshener

What you’ll need: ¼ cup jasmine rice, 25 drops of essential oil of your choice (Lavender is calming and you can also use Orange or Peppermint for a more energizing scent), Small bowl, ramekin or a 4oz mason jar or other small glass container with a wider mouth.

Directions: Deposit the rice into the bowl/ ramekin or 4oz mason jar. Then add essential oil of your choice.

Great for placing on the bathroom vanity, bedroom side table or living room bookshelf.

Looking for that next home? Should you buy first or sell first?

Whether you are downsizing, upsizing or relocating, the right approach will help you make that seamless transition. As you are deliberating on your next move, you are wondering, “Should I buy first, or sell first?”

While there is no right answer, it’s important to understand the pros and cons of each option. The better approach depends largely on the pace of the market for the property you are looking to buy, and the pace of the market for the property you currently own and are looking to sell. Speaking with a qualified real estate professional, can help you navigate which option is better for you and what contingency plan you should have in place if your closing dates don’t align.

Here are some important points to consider for either approach:

When to buy first:

  • Buying first allows you to take your time to explore and find the right property. The house search is more enjoyable when you don’t have an impending closing date for your current home.
  • You might have some pressure to sell your current property in time. If your dates for the sale of your current home and the purchase of your next home do not match, you can arrange for Bridge Financing. In order to qualify for Bridge Financing, you will need a firm Agreement of Purchase and sale for both transactions. Consult with your trusted Mortgage Advisor.
  • It is important to know the pace of the market for the property you currently own. If your property is in demand and may be easy to sell, buying first may be the better approach.

When to sell first:

  • Selling first is a better strategy in a cooling market, when you can get a better price selling now, and where we still have many options to choose from as a buyer.
  • Selling first allows you to know the amount that you have to go towards the next purchase. You know how much funds you have available for your next purchase.
  • If you sell first, you may have some pressure to buy. If you don’t buy in time, then you will have to find alternative accommodations in the short term and put belongings in storage in the interim.

You have to be prepared for viewings and leave your home in pristine condition for each showing.
Regardless of the market conditions, the most risk-averse approach is to Sell First. If you would like to take your time to buy, you may consider leasing in the interim, ideally on a month to month basis, while you are searching for your next home to purchase.

Toronto Real Estate Summit 2020 – Brought to you by Realosophy Realty

During the uncertainty during the COVID-19 pandemic, the best way to get clarity is to listen to a variety of views from top experts.

From July 20-23, 2020, Realosophy will be sharing invaluable insights from the Bank of Canada, the University of Toronto, Simon Fraser University, Manulife and Scotiabank and more.
For free sign up, more information and the full line up of speakers for the Real Estate Summit 2020, please visit:

Day 1: The Economy

What is the state of the overall Canadian economy amidst the COVID-19 crisis? What are the biggest impacts on the real estate market today? Are there any historical precedents we can learn from?

Day 2: The Industry Leaders

What do the numbers tell us about the state of the real estate markets in the Toronto area? How are the different market segments- housing, condos, and rentals- faring? What should we be on the lookout for?

Day 3: Personal Finance Tips

How can I pay my mortgage or rent during this pandemic? How can I buy a home without taking too much debt? What else should I be doing financially to prepare for future pandemic outbreaks or other economic setbacks?

Day 4:

What is happening in local real estate markets across Toronto & the GTA amidst COVID-19? How do I safely buy or sell a home during the pandemic? What about pre construction condos? Is it time to convert my short term Airbnb to a long-term rental unit?