November 15, 2013

Clean with food, not chemicals!

So if you haven't heard already, cleaning supplies are full of horrible chemicals. Chemicals that hurt you and your family.  Yes, even some of the ones that claim the don't  ...even the ones that claim they protect against germs! The germs can be less evil than the chemicals.  These chemicals disrupt natural hormone production, can give way to lung issues, are corrosive, and worse can cause cancer.  
The list can go on and on as to why certain cleaners are not good for you and your loved ones.  But the good news is, you already have a lot of the basic ingredients to make your own cleaners. As well as cleaners, these ingredients also can be used for more things around your home, and we'll include some of those too.  
We've listed a couple of items that you probably already have in your home and found a list of uses for each item, that you may or may not already be aware of.  Please feel free to share this information, and help someone else get away from the chemicals that are out there, and that are possibly hurting them and their family. 

Baking soda! Not just for baking a cake anymore.

1.  A foot deodorizing idea, is to sprinkle baking soda in socks and shoes before wearing.
2.  Remove car odors by putting a sprinkle of baking soda on the seats and carpets. Let stand 1 hour, then vacuum.
3.  Take the sting and itch out of insect bites by making a paste out of baking soda and water. Apply as a salve onto affected area.
4.  Rid those smelly litter box odors by sprinkling 1/2 cup of baking soda into litter box then fill.
5.  Dip your toothbrush with toothpaste into baking soda for extra cleaning and whitening.
6.  Remove coffee oils and stains from coffee decanters in a solution of 1/4 cup baking soda in 1 quart of warm water.
7.  Clean brushes and combs and remove natural oil build-up and hair product residue by soaking combs and brushes in a solution of 1 teaspoon of baking soda in a small basin of warm water. Rinse and allow to dry.
8.  For safe, effective cleaning of bathroom tubs, tile sprinkle baking soda lightly on a clean damp sponge and scrub as usual. Rinse thoroughly after.
9.  To unclog a sink, pour 1/2 cup of baking soda down the drain, followed by 1 cup of white vinegar. When foam clears, rinse with hot, hot water.
10. Clean your oven without that nasty smelling, chemical filled stuff they sell specifically for the job. Just sprinkle baking soda onto the bottom of the oven. Spray with water to dampen the baking soda and let sit overnight. In the morning, scrub, scoop the baking soda and grime out with a sponge, or vacuum, and wipe with a wet cloth.
Picture Example Source: Happiest Mom on the Blog
Distilled white vinegar, no longer just for pickles!
(We're not talking about cider or any other kind of vinegar, just the white variety.)
1.  If you’ve recently burned dinner, you can remove any lingering smoky odor by boiling a cup of vinegar and a cup of water for 15 mins.
2.  Clean fruits and vegetables when you get home from the grocery store.  There is usually sprays, waxes or just some critters on your produce, so when you get it home, fill the sink with cold water and 1 cup of vinegar and put in all your produce items.  The vinegar cuts through a lot of the sprays and waxes, and hopefully and critters will drown.  Let sit up to an hour, and then rinse everything and put away.
3.  Garbage disposal cleaning with vinegar cubes keeps disposals clean and odor free.  Vinegar cubes are made by filling an ice tray with a mixture of 1 cup of vinegar and enough water to fill the ice tray and then freezing it. Run the mixture through the disposal, and then flush it with cold water for a minute or so.
4.  Clean the refrigerator with a solution of equal parts water and vinegar. Cuts through the sticky, and deodorizes the smells.
5.  Pour 1 ½ cup to 2 cups vinegar in the bottom of dishwasher, along with regular dishwasher soap. Wash full cycle and get cleaner dishes and glasses.
6.  After a hem or seam is removed, there are often unsightly holes left in the fabric. These holes can be removed by placing a cloth, moistened with vinegar, under the fabric and ironing.
7.  A teaspoon of vinegar for each quart bowl of drinking water helps keep your pet free of fleas and ticks. The ratio of one teaspoon to one quart is for a forty-pound animal.
8.  For those cold winter mornings when there is frost on the car, wipe the windows the night before with a solution of one part water to three parts vinegar, and they won’t frost over.
9.  Freshen clothes by adding of 1 cup of vinegar to each load of baby clothes during the rinse cycle will naturally break down uric acid and soapy residue leaving the clothes soft and fresh.
10. To kill grass & weeds on sidewalks and driveways, pour full strength vinegar on it, or spray onto specific weeds or spots you want to get rid of. Best results are had when you do this on a very hot sunny day.  The combo of vinegar and sun does them in.
Picture Example Source:
Rubbing alcohol, or any high proof alcohol NOT designed for ingestion, is a great addition to cleaning and other household uses.
(If you want to drink a cocktail while doing housework we strongly advise using a reputable source of 'drinking' alcohol.)
1.  Combine with vinegar and water mix for cleaning glass. It helps with preventing streaks as it evaporates very quickly, as well as it helps cut grease and finger prints.
2.  Remove nail polish from wood or laminate floors use rubbing alcohol. It works better than acetone nail polish remover, which will harm the finish of the floor.
3.  Clean any second hand toys or hard plastic items.  It gets rid of dirt and sanitizes to kill any germs lingering on the item.
4.  Permanent marker doesn’t have to be permanent anymore. Alcohol will act as a solvent on it’s markings on most surfaces. Use a saturated cloth and lots of elbow grease.
5.  Make your own room/fabric deodorizing spray with alcohol by it’s self (or) with essential oils.  A few drops of your favorite scent and it will freshen the air or clothing, mattresses, pillows, whatever you spray it on.  No water should be mixed in, because the alcohol evaporates almost immediately, killing bacteria and odors, but leaving behind freshness and a hint of the scent from the essential oil. Water will only saturate and leave way for possible mold spores.
6.  Clean surfaces of cellphones, tablets, laptops, any electronics that you have.  Spray alcohol on a microfiber cloth and rub over the surface of your item, then let it dry. Using a q-tip and alcohol is perfect for getting all the gross out of keyboards. (Trust me, it’s gross) Again, the alcohol evaporates very quickly, so water damage isn’t a concern, but these items can get very dirty, grimy, and germ-y, so a cleaning must be done on a regular basis
7.  Clean your stainless steal with a spray of alcohol and a microfiber cloth.  No chemicals, no high priced cleaner that leaves streaks in the end anyway. Just spray, wipe and done!
8.  Alcohol is great for getting rid of sticker residue. Sometimes it is enough to rub an alcohol pad on the sticker goo and it will cut through the stick. But, for bigger jobs, soak the goo-covered object in a bowl of rubbing alcohol, then scrub with a scrub pad. The stickiness and goo should eventually wipe right off.
9.  With a combination of alcohol and aloe vera gel (ratio being 2 parts alcohol to 1 part gel), add a few drops of your favourite essential oil (i.e. lavender, lemon, tee tree oil) you can make your own hand sanitizer.  It works great, has no added chemicals, is the scent you desire, and make as much or as little as you need. Store in a tiny spray bottle and toss in your bag.
10. Using a sponge, alcohol, and determination, you can get microfiber furniture looking amazing once again.  You will end up using quite a bit of alcohol, which seems weird, but you want to spray liberally straight onto the spot and rub away the grime and dirt with the sponge.  The dirt transfers to the sponge and leaves only a wet spot on the microfiber, but it will quickly evaporate and not leave a stain behind. It's recommended to use a light or like colored sponge, otherwise you could possibly have the color transfer from the sponge to the furniture.  Once dry, the fabric could seem stiff, so a brushing with a stiff brush can soften the fabric once again.
Picture Example Source: Chris & Robin's Nest

Lemons are not just for juicing!  
1.  If you just don’t like the smell of vinegar, but still want to loose the chemical cleaners, use a few tablespoons of lemon juice and water in your spray bottle for windows and mirrors.
2.  Diluted lemon juice not only cleans stains from cutting boards, but helps kill germs as well. Rub the juice full strength onto the stain and let sit until the stain fades. Be sure to rinse well.
3.  Clean the dirtiest of grout with a toothbrush and a mixture of lemon and salt.
4.  Remove stains from tupperware by squeezing lemon juice in the container and then add baking soda. Scrub around the stained areas and then let it sit overnight before scrubbing the stains.
5.  Scrub your grill with lemon juice and salt to cut through the grime and get a nice clean cooking space. The combo will bust right through the stuck on; burnt on grime.
6.  Remove stains in white clothing by soaking the stained area with lemon juice and letting it set in the sun. The lemon and sun act as a bleach on stubborn stains . (Natural fabrics are recommended for this; delicate fabrics such as silk should be tested first)
7.  Remove odors from your refrigerator by placing half a lemon on a saucer. (Change once a week.)
8.  Clean your microwave and remove odors by placing a cup 3/4 full of water with a couple tablespoons of lemon juice in the microwave. Heat to boiling, but be careful NOT TO OPEN the door for about 5-10 minutes afterward (the steam is HOT). Once it's sat, wipe away any food particles with a clean cloth.
9.  Make a facial scrub of sugar and lemon juice.  It’s a great cleanser, smells lovely and leaves skin feeling soft.
10. Use a half lemon and coarse salt to clean even the most heavily discoloured brass, copper and chrome (please DO NOT use on BRASS PLATED items)
Picture Example Source:

So now you have 4 great items, that probably are in your pantry already, that you can now start putting to use for everyday cleaning and more!  It's even, probably going to cost you less!! (BONUS!) 
Let us know if you have any other tips & tricks for basic ingredients already hanging out in your home.


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