In my house we are moving away from conventional chemical cleaners and are using more natural products that do the job just as well and don’t leave you with a headache and feeling like you just had years taken off your life. The bonus is that they are all things you have in your house already!
Baking Soda-Baking Soda is a great mild abrasive, meaning you can use it to scrub things without worrying that it will scratch it. It also makes a great deodorizer- think, trash cans, diaper pails, shoes, the carpet where the cat peed, in the washer, you get the idea. You can pour one cup down the drain followed by one cup hot distilled vinegar to safely unclog your drains without the worry that it will eat through your pipes. Just let it sit for five minutes and rinse with hot water.
White Vinegar– White vinegar is a jack of all trades. You can use it at full strength to disinfect countertops or used with old newspaper you can clean your windows and mirrors, just mix equal parts vinegar and water in a spray bottle. You can also use it at half strength to clean shelves, cabinet doors and such (think surfaces that aren’t going to have food prepared on them or in the bathroom). If you are worried about the smell fear not. Though there is initially a strong vinegar smell it quickly dissipates as it dries. I have actually come to equate the smell of vinegar to the smell of clean! Pouring it into your laundry works as a whitener as well as helps with static in the dryer.
Go here are more ideas on how to use vinegar!
- Salt– Salt is a rougher abrasive. It works well to clean out your coffee pot. Just add salt, ice and then swoosh it around. The ice applies pressure to the salt since you can’t actually get your had in there to do it yourself. It also works well to get blood out of the clothing. I learn this trick from my dad who used to be a lab tech in the army and always had to have pristine clothes. You want to use cold water on the back side of the fabric (if you scraped your knee while wearing pants, rinse from the outside of the pants in. If you picked up your kid who just scraped their knee and got it on you rinse from the inside out.) Apply salt to the same side that you are rinsing on (you are basically working the stain back out the way it came in.) If you want to you can use the salt on the opposite side as well once you’ve used it thoroughly on the first side. You may need to rinse thoroughly and repeat several times depending on the amount of blood. Then you should just wash as normal. If you are really worried you can use a stain remover before washing if you want to.
Lemons– Lemons are great for whitening. According Martha Stewart Living via Apartmenttherapy.com the following is how you would go about whitening with lemons “To whiten cloth napkins, linens, and even socks, fill a large pot with water, and drop in several slices of lemon. Bring to a boil, then turn off the heat. Add the linens, and let them soak for about an hour. Then launder as usual”. They are also great for freshening up your garbage disposal. Just quarter a lemon, toss it down your garbage disposal, turn on the water and let her rip!
All of the above are very inexpensive and easy to keep extras on hand. So next time you go to clean, try using one or all of these and see for yourself how they compare to your favorite cleaners!
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