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Thursday, August 30, 2012

Clean Your Whole House Naturally

After reading the book, Healthy Child, Healthy World, WD and I became sold on the idea of making our house healthier for ourselves and our future children by removing the toxins and poisons.

Here are some of the natural cleaning solutions we use. We are completely chemical free except liquid dish detergent (still in bulk from couponing) and the barkeepers friend I keep to polish my sink, I haven't found a greener solution for that yet, but we only have to do that when aluminium comes in contact with it.
Switching to the natural cleaning method is much cheaper too. Even when I was couponing, cleaning supplies weren't this inexpensive. 
Save money, be healthier- win, win. 
White Vinegar- buy it in bulk.
Add 1/4 cup white vinegar to your wash cycle as a natural fabric softener and to remove odors.
Add 1 tablespoon to your rinse aid spot in your dish washer for a cloudless spot free shine on your dishes.
We have a straight vinegar spray bottles used for: 
Cleaning or disinfecting countertops, degreasing pans, spritzing the tile shower in between scrubbing, cleaning the tub and toilet, cleaning windows, and cleaning up pet messes. 
Diluted vinegar (about 1/2 cup vinegar, rest of the spray bottle water) spray bottles used for:
Mopping the floor (spray, then mop with dust rag or microfiber cloth), spot cleaning the walls or any other painted surface if water didn't work first. You can also use this as your all purpose cleaner too, safe for pets and kids. 
Hydrogen Peroxide
Leave this product in the dark bottle it comes in, but you can twist a spray nozzle on it too. This is great for stains on white shirts, and really grody tile grout.  Use it to do the deep cleaning on your toilet and tub too. It also works great on windows and mirrors, be patient it takes a little longer to dry.  It can discolor your clothes, so be mindful of that. 
Baking Soda
After living in two apartments with nasty acrylic tubs, all full of scratches I buy the big box of baking soda. No bathroom cleaners worked as well as baking soda and a brush, and I tried enough to cause brain damage, I'm sure. Baking soda is an abrasive that is soft enough to clean off acrylic and plastic surfaces like a miracle without damaging them, just like it does your teeth! You can also sprinkle it on carpet and vacuum for a fresh room, and leave in your fridge to keep the stink away. I put mine in a small shallow dish, covered with a coffee filter fastened with a rubber band- not willing to waste the whole box. 
Borax is my new best friend. When we moved into our house WD's shower had this weird grey discoloration all over his 1960's green shower. We tried EVERYTHING, even left straight bleach sitting on these spots and nothing helped. I figured the shower was a goner, maybe someone dumped some super toxin in there to clean the drain and left it too long of something and it ate the enamel off the tile. BUT BORAX GOT IT OFF! I was scrubbing the grout last week, and realized there was also grey clumpy stuff all over the doorway- like where a glass door had been removed.  The borax paste began to slowly remove the ancient adhesive, and I thought I would give the grey mystery stains a try- maybe it was where someone tried to wash adhesive down the drain. A LOT of elbow grease + borax + teeny bit of water, and it came off!!!
You can also mix it with jelly/honey/syrup in a sealed container with tiny holes and kill ants with it!! We also used it to make gak when I was a kid... do you remember gak? 
 Cleaning wood floors with black tea is a safe and natural way to make your wood surfaces shine. The tannic acid in tea, finished with a light buff of olive oil, does wonders for wood! Steep one of two tea bags in quart of water and let the water cool to room temperature. Remove the tea bags, and dip a soft cloth into the solution. Wipe down the floors, and admire how easily the scratches and imperfections disappear!
Olive Oil
Polishes wood, and heals water rings. Read Post Here
Washing Soda
Boosts your laundry detergent on super dingy loads. Mix with water for an all purpose cleaner.
If there is a specific cleaning question you have or product you would like to replace naturally, please ask. I would love to find the answer for you!

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