Cleaning the All Natural Way

Harsh chemicals for cleaning is the standard practice for most homes but many of the cleaning items that are taken for granted could be affecting the health of anyone or everyone in the home. Breathing the fumes or splashing the liquids on skin can cause everything from lung problems to eye sensitivity to skin rashes. And if accidentally ingested, particularly in a child, the results can be fatal. There is a solution to the problem, though.

Cleaning can be done with many regular household products, many of which are normally used for cooking. Vinegar, for instance, is a fabulous cleaner. Use it with newspaper sheets to clean mirrors and glass. Vinegar also does wonders on many surfaces. It cuts the grease quickly and leaves counters and stoves free of chemicals for the next cooking session. Mix it with four parts water and put in a spray bottle for cleaning the oven, microwave or the bottoms of pots and pans. Keep the spray handy to clean the electric can opener, toaster, blender and more. And don’t forget to put a quarter cup in the rinse cycle of your washer to completely rid clothes of leftover soap.

Baking soda is another fantastic cleaner and deodorizer. Sprinkle on carpets, allow to sit for 15 to 20 minutes, and vacuum. Carpets will smell fresh and leave no chemical after affects that could harm children and pets. Baking soda has its place with the cleaning supplies as well. Mix it with salt and water to form a paste for cleaning burnt-on grease from the stove top. Use the paste with a toothbrush to clean stainless steel faucets and sinks. Sprinkle it in the bottom of the litter box before filling with pellets to prevent odors until the next changing.

Clogged sink? Pour a couple handfuls of baking soda down the drain and follow it with a half-cup of white vinegar. Cover the drain for a minute before rinsing with hot water. Or, replace the vinegar with a half-cup of salt and after sitting for a minute, rinse with lots of hot water. Make a paste of water and baking soda then rub on silver with a clean, soft cloth. Tarnish will disappear and silver will shine like new.

A cup of borax and a half-cup of white vinegar, left overnight, should clean the toilet nicely. The next morning, scrub the sides with a toilet brush and allow to sit awhile before flushing. For bad stains, flush but don’t allow commode to refill. Make a paste of lemon juice and borax powder. Apply directly to stains with cloth. Allow to sit overnight then scrub with brush and flush. Repeat if necessary.

Coca-cola works wonders on commodes and even burnt pans. Allow the coke to sit, full-strength in the pot overnight. Wash as usual in the morning. It cleans rust off of tools, stucco and other surfaces. Lemon juice, mixed with two parts water, will clean up acidic messes like spaghetti sauce and leave trash cans and garbage disposals smelling fresh and clean.

You can check out books from the library or go online to find other ways to replace your usual household chemicals with healthier cleaning supplies. And usually, you’ll save lots of money since vinegar, baking soda, salt and lemon juice are all fairly inexpensive products. Eliminate the wear and tear on your health and the environment. You’ll live happier and so will your family.

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