Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Go Green: Natural and Homemade Cleaning Products

 Let's talk about back in the day before the current cleaning products that are now on the market, were not available. Seriously, my grandmother and mother never talked about some of the brand name products that I use today to clean my home. That's because many of them were not even discovered yet. They used ammonia and bleach to clean the porcelain kitchen sink and bathtubs. I can remember that fresh smell of Pine Sol after every house cleaning cycle. I loved the smell of Pine Sol and still use it myself today when cleaning. These were the good old days but now we have so many products available to us to clean and more specifically, we have products that are available for particular tasks we have to do.  We have products that take the grease and grime off of stovetops and products that make your stainless steel appliances shimmer and shine like a new penny!  It’s a wonderful thing to have these options but it’s also nice to know that if you are one that it allergic to chemicals or has a sensitivity to odors that can easily cause you to feel sick, there are household ingredients available that you can use to clean your home.  Here are a few elements below that are natural and homemade.


 Lemon Juice
Lemon juice is a natural substance.  You can mix it with vinegar or baking soda to make cleaning pastes. However, lemon can act as natural bleach also, so test it first on the area you want to use it on.  To use it as a furniture polish, mix a ½ cup of lemon juice with 1 cup of olive oil and you can use it to clean all of your hardwood furniture.  Finally a lemon peel is perfect to put down the garbage disposal.  It really freshens the drain and gives off a great aroma in the kitchen.  Orange peels or lime peels are also good to use.
Additional Uses:
To dissolve soap scum
To dissolve hard water deposits
To clean and shine brass and copper
Vinegar can be used as a multi-purpose cleaner.  Just combine a mixture of it with equal parts of water, put solution in a clean spray bottle and you have a multi-purpose cleaner that cost cents to make. Vinegar has an acid base, so you must test the area that you plan to clean prior to using it.  It will eat away your tile grout if you are not careful! Of course, vinegar has a strong odor and when used, you can smell it but it will disappear when it dries, so no worries!
Additional Uses for "Vinegar that has been mixed with Water":
Clean unsightly rings in toilet bowl
Mop floors
Vertical Blinds (faux cleans beautifully)
Use on steel fixtures to remove the hard water spots
Clean top of the stove
Clean counter top surfaces
Use as a fabric softener (add ½ cup of vinegar to rinse cycle in place of fabric softener)
*This is helpful to family members that have sensitive skin
Baking Soda 
Baking soda can be used to takes stains out of granite (see internet for specific details on “how to do this”).  Baking soda can also be used as an abrasive (like Comet or Ajax).  It deodorizes if you can sit a small box of it in your refrigerator.  Use it in trash cans and stinky sneakers too! Baking soda is also good as an all purpose laundry detergent too!