Thursday, September 8, 2011

Cleaning Up, Naturally.

So around my house we don’t use any cleaning products.

“…wait, what??”

Well, okay, we do - but not the typical kind. That’s right, no toilet bowl cleanser, no countertop cleaner or any of those harsh liquids that can be sprayed from a plastic bottle that have scents like “Lemon Fresh” or “Lavender Fields” or come with a "guarantee!". No, neither of us have any allergies to chemicals or scents. I just really, really don’t like using some chemical concoction to clean my house – we’d been cleaning for thousands of years before Clorox came around, right? How ever did they manage?

Well there are a thousand natural products from nature that are just as effective deodorizers, cleansers and disinfectants as the ChemicallyClean! (not a real brand name) stuff you’ll find lined up and down multiple aisles in your local supermarket - and they're non-toxic!

Of all the amazing things that mother nature gave us,  I have my favorites, I do: baking soda and vinegar.

It's true, all true: I honestly can’t imagine living my life without these two. They’re like my right-hand (wo)men, my maids of honor, my best friends who I am constantly learning new things about. Miracle products. But what can they do? Oh, it's more like what can’t they do!

So I have to share this with the world, because I can’t get enough of this stuff.  Here are a few (of the many!) ways that you can use baking soda:
  1. Dilute with water and use to clean marble countertops 
  2. Put a cup in your toilet bowl and leave it for an hour. Presto change-o! 
  3. Use it to clean any porcelain surface (bathtubs, sinks, ovens, etc.)
  4. Spray a water-baking soda mixture on your mirrors to make them sparkle
  5. Add it to your laundry to keep your clothes extra clean
  6. Remove rust by using baking soda as a scrub 
  7. Place silver and gold jewelry in a damp rag with baking soda and gently rub. Sparkly!
  8. Use it as toothpaste (and it lightens teeth over time!)
  9. Some swear by its acne-reducing powers when used as a facial scrub 
  10. Use it in place of dish soap to remove grease from pots and pans
  11. Wet clothes or dish rags been out too long? Throw baking soda in the wash with them to remove the smell
  12. Apply it on rashes, bites, or skin irritations – it will calm the skin
  13. Wash your fruits and vegetables with it
  14. Put it in your kitty litter box to absorb those icky smells 
  15. Use it as shampoo or add a tablespoon to a nickel-sized dollop of shampoo to extend the life of your favorite shampoo (!) <--- my favorite! 
And definitely not least, vinegar.
  1. I learned that cats do NOT like vinegar, so it’s a great deterrent if your kitty likes getting into places and things he shouldn’t. Just dab or spray it around the area. (err... not the litter box!)
  2. Polish anything chrome with vinegar, it’ll make it shiny!
  3. It can be used (diluted) as an after-shampoo wash to leave your hair shiny
  4. Gargle with water to relieve a sore throat or to cleanse the tonsils
  5. Use vinegar as a laundry fabric softener. It also brightens colors! <--- my favorite!
  6. Vinegar and salt (to form a scrub) will get rid of coffee stains on cups 
  7. Eggs won’t crack if you add some vinegar to the water you boil them in! 
  8. Pour vinegar down sink drains and flush. It breaks down gunk and keeps things smelling clean.
  9. Boil water and vinegar in the microwave to loosen up any splatters inside
  10. Clean your (eye)glasses with it
  11. A small bowl of vinegar will cleanse the air of a smoky room 
One of the best parts of all of this? You could EAT (or drink) these if you wanted to. All to say, you and you're home will be sparkling clean without inhaling any toxic chemicals.

How do you use baking soda and vinegar? Please share! :-)

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