Have you met Toby?
There’s a good reason. Okay, more like twenty good reasons.
If you’ve ever seen the movie (or read the book) Marley and Me, you know all about Toby. Think of Toby as a miniature Marley. If you haven’t watched the movie, you really need to go rent it or Netflix it–whatever the correct word is for 2015. I’m starting to feel dated- yikes!
Anyway, back to Toby…
Toby is a twelve pound mix between a Jack Russell Terrier and a Dachshund. When the two breeds are mixed the new puppy is called a Jackshund. Sounds fancy, right? This fancy name simply means breeders can charge a pretty penny (or a few thousand) because the new puppy is a “designer” dog.
Toby was a super cute puppy and since we were intent on the “no kids for 10 years pledge” we decided a dog was the right answer. Toby was going to be our low maintenance “kid.” Within the first week of bringing Toby home from the puppy store, we realized our cute puppy was everything but low maintenance. PS: We only lasted five years. Piper was born in 2010.
Like any good dog parents with a “problem kid” we immediately enrolled him in a doggy boot camp program. The promise of an obedient, going outside to use the bathroom, won’t eat your shoes dog was just six weeks away, according to the brochure.
Toby was the star student at doggy boot camp. He walked, barked on command, shook a paw, and apparently even listened when we said, “No!” Shortly after returning home each week something would click inside Toby. I seriously started to question the possibility of owning a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde dog. Maybe our dog needed a therapist not bootcamp?
Toby passed the doggy boot camp program with great praise, and ten years later I’m still wondering what he learned.
The good news? Toby is still super cute, and a member of our family. The bad news? We’ve only been through 6 bed comforters, 2 floors (carpet and hardwood in two different homes), two couches, and about 8 different doggy sitters (vacation trips).
All this talk leads me to the DIY of the day. A DIY that’s 110% inspired by Toby.
One of the mental oaths I took when we welcomed Toby into our family was: My house shall not smell like a dog. Despite the clear appearance that Toby lives here (Oh yea, that covered couch has a gigantic hole in the center. Watch out!), I’m determined to keep my house smelling fresh and inviting. As it turns out, keeping a fresh home is pretty easy with three natural ingredients. Let’s take a look:
Baking Soda: This inexpensive ingredient can be used to raise my favorite banana bread and clean a toilet. Pretty amazing stuff! When used as a homemade cleaner baking soda absorbs and neutralizes odors. I use Bob’s Red Mill Baking Soda for baking, but go with the cheaper bulk bag of Arm & Hammer for cleaning.
Diatomaceous Earth: “Diatomaceous earth is made from the fossilized remains of tiny, aquatic organisms called diatoms. Their skeletons are made of a natural substance called silica. Over a long period of time, diatoms accumulated in the sediment of rivers, streams, lakes, and oceans. Today, silica deposits are mined from these areas…” Source
DE is added to this recipe to fight against fleas and other unwanted insects. While DE may be skipped in this recipe, if you have pets, it’s a beneficial ingredient to add. There are two different types of DE products on the market: food-grade and pool-grade. Food-grade should be used in this recipe because it’s safe for humans and pets. Pool-grade is not a safe ingredient due to the processing and should not be inhaled.
A note on color: The DE pictured in this post is gray; however, most food-grade DE products are white. The DE I purchase from our feed store (I also use this in our chicken coop) is mixed with a small amount of bentonite clay which leaves behind a grayish color.
Lavender: Lavender not only smells wonderful in my home, but also helps to repel bugs. I add dried lavender to my carpet deodorizer with a few drops of essential oil.
With a simple combination of baking soda,diatomaceous earth, and lavender we can enjoy Toby’s presence (the non-destructive side) without our home smelling like a dog. I mean that in the most affectionate way. No hard feelings, Toby!
Carpet Deodorizer with Lavender
In a spice grinder, grind the dried lavender for 30-40 seconds. This step may be skipped if a spice grinder isn't available.
In a large mason jar (8 ounces or quart-size), add the baking soda, diatomaceous earth, ground dried lavender, and lavender essential oil . Secure the lid and shake the ingredients together until combined. Store the sealed jar at room temperature until needed.
To Use: Secure a lid with holes on the mason jar (I use a fancy mason jar drinking top from Target). Shake a small amount of deodorizer powder on the carpet/rugs. Allow the deodorizer to rest on the carpet for 15 minutes, then vacuum.
The “where to buy” links provide links to the actual products I use. As always, I recommend shopping around online and at local stores for the best prices and products you love. Find my favorite DIY ingredients and tools, here.
Option 1: If you don’t own a Toby or live in Florida (hey, bugs!) , substitute 1/2 cup of baking soda in place of the diatomaceous earth.
Option 2: If you don’t have any dried lavender available, this recipe also works great with just the essential oil. You may want to increase the essential oil to 30-40 drops.
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