Tuesday, May 13, 2014

A Minor Nightmare and a Gallant Rescue

I love camping.  I absolutely 110% LOVE camping.  There is nothing like getting away from being plugged in and taking the kids out to the middle of nowhere and getting lost in God and everything He has made.

I'd like to introduce you to my tent.  Actually, this isn't a pic of MY tent, but the current model available for sale at Kmart.

It's HUGE.  I nicknamed it the "Chalet".  It's actually 3 "rooms" in there. GINORMOUS tent.  There's even built in closets!  I'm not joking!!!  STOP LAUGHING AT ME!!!!!!

Last summer my gorgeous tent went to camp with my husband.  Unfortunately in their haste to take it down the last morning, they forgot to make certain it was dry.  They were CONVINCED it was 100% dry.  I never checked (bad Mommy).

Yup - mildew and mold.  In places that are well over the top of my head (it's about 7 feet tall at the peak!).  This is NOT good.

I sat there inside the tent with the box that had just arrived and wanted to cry.  My beautiful tent was being eaten by mildew and cleaning it was going to make me sick and possibly blind (bleach overhead is NEVER a good idea).  I looked at the box and I wondered....what if I used the essential oils inside to clean it?  COULD they do the job?  Were they CAPABLE of this feat?!?!?!

I went inside and got to work doing what I do best on Google.  I checked my favorite sites, a few recipe places I'd bookmarked, a book I'd purchased, and came to the conclusion.  I think I can do this.

My favorite site, Learning About Essential Oils provided the Basic Bathroom Spray I was going to base this on.  I <3 Lea's site.  She's a fellow homeschooler and a REALLY neat lady.

That said, I also knew that tent was going to have a toddler inside so adjustments needed to be made.  I substituted the Peppermint in the recipe for Fir Needle, a similar oil in terms of performance but safe for little guys to inhale while Mom is scrubbing over the top of her head.  I also needed to use Cinnamon Leaf instead of Cinnamon Bark due to little lungs.

I also didn't have a ton of vinegar on hand and the only spray bottle I had to use was 2 oz.  More adjustments necessary.  So I decided to mix up the oil magic and then dilute just enough for my little bottle.  I made the full recipe of oils in a 5 ml empty bottle (always have these on hand!!!) and then divided the total number of drops (120 for inquiring minds) by 3 (because 6/2=3) which equaled 40.

I put 1 tbsp vinegar, 1 drop of dish detergent, and 30 drops of the oil in the bottle (I figured I could add more if needed).  Swish swish.  Topped it off with H20, sealed, and swished again.  Armed with a damp sponge, I went to work.

100% of the spots have faded at least 50%.  About 50% of the spots are completely gone.  On 9 month old mildew!!!!

Even better news, the combined properties of these essential oils area antifungal (Cinnamon Bark, Tea Tree, and Lemon), anti-microbial (Cinnamon Bark), antibacterial (Cinnamon Bark and Lemon), and act as a natural deodorizer (Fir Needle).

Oh, and I still have my sight.  That's a biggie. :D

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