Friday, July 17, 2009

Healthy Living Starts With Your Home - BTSH Around The House Tip of the Week

Cleaning Naturally

Have you noticed how many companies are now offering “healthy” cleaning products? This isn’t a new idea! In fact, before all the fancy, expensive cleaners, our predecessors simply used products that they found around the house. I myself started to turn away from the chemical cleaning products several years back when I noticed one day that I needed an entire closet to store them all! Sure, I still use some now and again, but overall I have found alternative, natural products that work great. Now this isn’t a hippie, tree-hugging, far-out idea. It’s common sense. Natural products will save you money, and are better for you and your family, as well as the environment.

The Essentials

I use 3 main household products for cleaning:

1. Vinegar
2. Baking Soda
3. Lemons

Vinegar is your all-purpose cleaner. Use straight, or diluted with water, depending on what you’re cleaning. There are so many uses, that I simply can’t mention them all. Fill a spray bottle with vinegar and water, and use for cleaning windows, mirrors, and countertops. Use the same solution to mop the floors. Use straight for disinfecting door knobs, and phone receivers. If your showerhead is clogged, remove and soak in undiluted vinegar (scrub holes with a toothbrush). Remove lime and mineral deposits by setting a rag soaked in vinegar for about an hour. Run vinegar through your coffee maker and dishwasher to clean. You can even add a cup of vinegar to your laundry as a fabric softener.

Baking Soda is great for hard stains. Mix with water to create a paste to remove juice, tea, or wine stains, or use as a chrome polisher (I use it to make my stainless steel sink shine). Pour down a drain and allow to sit for 30 minutes, then flush with hot water to clear clogs. Shake onto your carpet to soak up spills and prevent staining.

Lemon Juice not only helps to remove stains, but smells great. You can also use a little juice to remove mild tarnishing on silver. Rub a lemon wedge over a cutting board that you’ve used for onions or garlic to clean and remove the odour left behind.

Natural Air Fresheners
All the above mentioned can also be used as a natural air freshener. Bowls of vinegar or baking soda left in a room can help to absorb odours and freshen a room. Sprinkle baking soda on the carpet and let it sit for an hour before vacuuming to remove odours. Bake an unpeeled lemon in the oven at 300°F and open oven door, or boil in hot water on stove. Other items around the house that can be used to freshen the air are orange slices, cinnamon, vanilla or almond extracts—boil any combination in hot water on the stove. Another great way to freshen the air is to grow fresh herbs indoors. They’ll also handy to have around for cooking!

As I mentioned, these are just my favourites for cleaning and deodorising. There are many other great cleaning products to be found around your house, I could only touch on my favourites here. Happy cleaning!

Written by Shauna Lynn, Beyond The Stage Homes

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