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How to Wash Dishes When You’re Camping

Good Monday morning, Moppers. We hope this past weekend treated you well, and you’re sufficiently rested to tackle another week. Pretty soon the kids will be back in school and everything will return to its regular routine, but for now there’s still a couple of fun weekends to look forward to.

The question is: what are you going to do with them?

You could go to the drive-in, spend some time at the beach, or lounge around by the pool. Those are all great options.

As for us? We’re planning on going camping!

It’s certainly not for everyone, but camping is a great way to reconnect with nature, spend some time with your loved ones, and get a chance to unwind for a few days away from the hustle and bustle of city life.

Of course just because you’re away from all the amenities you’re used to doesn’t mean you should skimp when it comes to cleaning. We never do, especially when it comes to dishes, because not only is it good for your health, but it also helps keep wildlife from infringing on your good time.

So how do we wash our dishes when we’re out in the woods? We’re glad you asked…

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 large pot
  • 3 wash buckets
  • 1 brush or sponge
  • Bleach
  • Biodegradable soap
  • Metal strainer
  • Clean cloth/towel

Step 1: Warm Up Your Water

Nobody likes washing their dishes in cold water, right? While you’re having your meal, put a big pot of water over the fire to heat up while you’re eating. This will give the water ample time to heat up, and get to the desired temperature.

Step 2: Prep Your Dishes

After you’ve finishing eating, it’s important to scrape as much food residue as you can into the trash. The more food you remove, the easier those dishes will be to clean.

Step 3: Prep Your Buckets

Set up your three wash buckets one after the other. Pour the biodegradable soap in the first bucket, and a cap-full of bleach in the third bucket. Take the pot of water that’s been heating over the campfire (make sure to grab those handles with a towel, because the pot will be hot), and distribute the water evenly in all three buckets.

Step 4: Wash

Start by washing the plates that have the least amount of food residue on them in the first bucket. This will cut back on the amount of scraps in your water as you go. Simply wash your dishes one by one, using the brush to clean them.

Step 5: Rinse

When you’re done washing, put the dishes in the middle rinse bucket, and get rid of any remaining suds that are lingering behind. They should be completely free of soap after that.

Step 6: Sanitize

Once your dishes have been thoroughly rinsed, dunk them in the third sanitizing bucket that has the cap-full of bleach in it to make sure any gems that might be hanging around are properly disposed of.

Step 7: Dry

Use your clean cloth or towel to dry those dishes. You’ll probably be tempted to air dry them at this point, and while there’s nothing wrong with that, it just prolongs everything because you’ll still have to put them away later. You may as well take care of all that now since you’re already there.

Step 8: Consolidate/Strain

Once you’ve dried and put everything away, consolidate your murky water into one bucket, and place the metal strainer over top of an empty once. Strain the water through it, being careful to catch any food bits that are in there. Dispose of those in the garbage, and if your campsite doesn’t have any drain water basins, spread that murky water over the ground at least 200 feet away from any water source, such as a stream or river. Cover as wide an area as you can to allow it to seep into the soil quicker.

That’s all there is to it. It might seem like a lot of work, but really it’s not. Considering you don’t normally go camping with a large group of people, taking the time to properly wash a few dishes, cups, and utensils really won’t take much time at all.

This is a much better alternative to paper plates, too, because while it might look like a good idea to just toss everything in the trash when you’re done with it, it’s wasteful, and does more harm than good to the environment. Plus, the whole reason you’re out there is to get back to nature. Do you really want to have a hand in destroying something you’re trying to appreciate? Of course you don’t!

That’s it for now, Moppers. Have a marvelous Monday, and we’ll chat with you again soon.

5 Toxic Items to Remove from Your Home

Hooray for hump day, Moppers! Monday’s in the rearview, which means if things are going as planned, you should be coasting into the weekend by now. If not, we hope your day gets better and you manage to make it through the rest of the week in one piece.

As for us, our week has been a busy one. We’ve been on a bit of a purge lately to rid our home of toxins, and that means getting rid of a whole lot of stuff safely. We’re going completely fresh, completely green, and eliminating as many harmful things as possible.

Thankfully most of the items we’re getting rid of have easy replacements. Who knew there were so many toxins in the everyday things we use? It’s mind boggling to think about how these chemicals have been affecting our quality of life. We’re talking toxins that can cause everything from asthma, to infertility. Scary stuff, right?

Want a hand in getting rid of some of these products in your home? Here are just 5 things we’ve ditched recently, and you can too!

1. Canned Food

This is something we didn’t think we had a lot of to begin with, but when we opened up those cupboards…whoa. There they were.

Canned goods (and some plastic bottles) contain Bisphenol-A, or BPA, which is a chemical linked to aggressive behavior, heart disease, infertility, and diabetes. No thank you!

As such, we’ve ditched as many cans as possible, and switched to fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables. To be on the safe side we’ve also stopped storing leftovers in plastic containers, too.

2. Fragrances

Probably the most widely used chemical in the house, when you see the term ‘fragrance’ on a product, it can cover literally hundreds of harmful chemicals that can include carcinogens, reproductive toxins, and endocrine disruptors. There is no telling what’s in something that just says fragrance. These products can cover a wide area, too. Laundry detergents, disinfectants, air fresheners, soaps…pretty much anything scented.

We’ve ditched all of that in favor of either using unscented products that don’t have fragrance listed as an ingredient, or we’ve just gone ahead and made our own. You’ll be surprised at how easy some of this stuff is to make, and once you switch, you’ll even find yourself having some fun with all the different scent combinations you can make!

3. Pesticides

Whether it’s a can of spray under the sink, or bug killers that you spray around the perimeter of your home, it’s time to ditch those because not only have pesticides been linked to cancer, but they’ve also been known to cause brain damage in children.

Instead, take a few minutes to make sure everything is clean when you’re done using it to help keep bugs away. Scoop up those crumbs, wipe down that counter, and look into using a blend of essential oils to keep insects away, rather than spraying a toxin in your home, because nobody needs to be inhaling cancer.

4. Harsh Cleaning Supplies

We already make our own cleaning products here at Mop Up Your Mess, but the harsh products we’re talking about include drain cleaner, and oven cleaner. Basically anything that has ‘ammonia’ on the label is out! These can trigger asthma attacks, respiratory damage, and can burn your skin should you come in contact with them.

Instead we’ve switched to the tried and true cleaning power of vinegar for most of these jobs, mixed with baking soda, lemon, water, and anything else that is all natural. Not only is it a heck of a lot safer, but it’s also much, much cheaper, too.

5. Nonstick Pots & Pans

Sure, the convenience of cooking with nonstick pans is awesome, but that slick and shiny coating is big trouble. Made from perfluoroalkyl acid, the chemicals in nonstick cookware are linked to high cholesterol, ADHD, and thyroid disease. Not to mention they can contribute to female infertility, and are known sperm killers.

Instead we’ve switched to either stainless steel cookware, or cast iron pans, which are about as versatile as you can get. If you’re currently using nonstick cookware, be sure to replace them when they start to chip and scratch, and trust us—they will!

Toxins are slowly becoming the bane of our existence, and they should be for you, too. These things have no right being in the products we clean with the, the items we cook with, and the items we trust to keep us safe.

Some of these are easier to replace than others, so you don’t have to get rid of everything all at once. Over time you should definitely work to eliminate them from your home, though, if you want to live a safer, healthier life.

We certainly do!

Enjoy what’s left of the week, Moppers, and we’ll chat with you again on Friday.

5 Hacks to Get You Excited About Cleaning

Good Monday morning, Moppers! We hope the majority of you have managed to pick your jaws up off the floor after last night’s episode of Game of Thrones. Wasn’t that awesome? We were on the edge of our seats the whole time, and now we’re super excited for the next episode, and the next, and the next, and the…well, you get the idea.

Of course all that enthusiasm left us wondering, “How can we get that excited about other things in our life?” More specifically, how can we get that excited about cleaning?

Truth be told, we’re already pretty darn excited about it, but you might not be. The thought of picking up after yourself might make you groan, and roll your eyes. If so, we’re here today with some simple little hacks that will hopefully get you excited to clean, or at the very least get you on track to becoming a tidier person, so that when you have friends over to watch the next episode of Game of Thrones, everyone isn’t stepping over pizza boxes.

1. Music

Music can soothe the savage beast, but it can also kickstart your enthusiasm for pretty much anything. Take a few minutes to create a Spotify or iTunes playlist of some of your favorite upbeat songs that always gets your booty shaking. The next time you need to clean, crank that playlist up to 11 and get down with a mop, and your bad self. It’s amazing how excited you’ll be to vacuum that rug, wash those windows, and put away the laundry, all while dancing like nobody is watching.

2. Try Something New

We all love the feeling of a new pair of shoes, or a new book we can curl up and read, right? Well the next time you’re out and about shopping, pick up a new cleaning product you’ve been meaning to try. It could be something as simple as a new sponge, or elaborate as a new vacuum cleaner. Whatever it is, by brining something new into the mix, you’ll get excited about using it, and in turn you’ll get excited about cleaning.

3. Make a Game of It

If you’re the type of person that loves video games, board games, or any type of game, it’s time to bring gamification to your cleaning routine. You can set a timer to see how much you can get done in 20 minutes, of you can give certain tasks an amount of XP, and when you’ve “leveled up” you can reward yourself with something you’ve been putting off, like seeing a movie. If you’re excited about games, and you turn cleaning into a game, then it stands to reason there’s good chance you’ll get excited to tidy up your home.

4. Two is Better Than One

Have a best friend that you love hanging out with? The next time you need to clean, ask them to come over and help you out by enticing them with pizza and wine. If they really are your best friend, they’ll be there in a hurry, and you won’t have to worry. The two of you will laugh, clean, and get excited about being in one another’s company for an afternoon, all while doing something productive.

5. Social Media

In the age of likes, retweets, and shares, we tend to find ourselves getting excited when our online friends approve of our social media posts. Not that you need anyone’s approval, but if that’s the kind of thing that gets you excited, apply it to cleaning. If you’re brave, post before and after pics of your apartment, or at the very least clean it up, and post an after shot so people can see how neat and tidy your home is. Those incoming likes will be a shot of adrenaline to the heart, and you’ll just want to clean more and more, and there’s nothing wrong with that!

Getting excited about Game of Thrones is easy. Getting excited about cleaning? Not so much…but it can be. Whether it’s music, games, or the company of good friends, there are lots of ways to get yourself pumped up to clean, you just have to find the ones that work for you.

It might take a few tries, but trust us, when you find something that gets your motor running, you’ll wonder why you ever thought of cleaning as a chore.

We hope you have a marvelous Monday, Moppers. We’ll talk to you again mid-week!

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