Our life living off the land in our log cabin, breathing fresh mountain air, and getting back to basics.

Monday, January 14, 2013

3 Staples for Healthy Home Cleaning

OK, OK,  I won't talk about the grey, warmer than usual, rainy day we are having today...again!

Instead, I'll talk about the joys of cleaning...yes indeed...the "c" word is the topic of the day.  I like clean.  I don't necessarily like cleaning.  I like the after effect of cleaning.  What don't I like about the act of cleaning?  It isn't actually the act of cleaning that I don't like, it's the harshness of all those cleaning products that line the shelves, isle after isle, making promises they don't keep.  Not only that, but many of them have a long lasting negative effect on the environment (can you imagine what they do to your nose/lungs/hands/skin/etc?)

Part of living this Log Cabin Life is to live more simply.  I've been thinking about what people used when they cleaned 100 years ago...things like lye, borax, lime and animal fat were combined in various ways to create their soap...all basic supplies derived naturally from the earth.  So why not look at using the same type of simple, natural, non-caustic products. 

Here's what I've since discovered...you have 2 products and 1 natural resource right there in your home that will do an excellent job on many cleaning tasks, they smell fresh (at least to most people) and they are environmentally friendly:
  1. Baking Soda
  2. White Vinegar  
  3. Water

"What, pray tell, can they do?" you ask....I'll start with my absolute favorite...

Drain Cleaner
1/2 cup baking soda
1/2 white vinegar
Boiling water
Pour the baking soda down the drain, including your garbage disposal.  Add the white vinegar and cover.  Let it sit for 5 minutes.  Then pour at least 8 cups of boiling water down the drain. The combination breaks down the fatty acids into soap and glycerin, letting the goop wash down the drain.  Do NOT use this or any additional product if you have already poured a commercial drain cleaner down the drain if that commercial product might still be in the drain!

This works like a charm!!!

All Purpose Cleaner
4 tbsp baking soda
1 quart warm water
Dissolve the baking soda into the water and apply with a sponge.  Rinse with clear water.  You can also apply baking soda directly to a damp sponge, wipe and rinse.

Bathroom Cleaner
1/2 cup baking soda
2 tbsp vinegar
1/4 cup plain liquid soap
1/4 cup warm water
Dissolve the baking soda into the water and add the vinegar and soap.  Put into a spray bottle, shake well before using, and spray the area to be cleaned, wiping with a sponge.  

Deodorizer & Mold Killer
Keep a bottle of straight 5% vinegar in a spray bottle.  Spray it on things you want to eliminate odors from, like a wooden cutting board (spray it on at night, don't wipe it off, the smell will dissipate over night), a toilet seat, garbage cans, etc.  Also spray on mold, don't rinse.  (2 tsp Tea Tree + 2 cups water sprayed on mold and not rinsed is also a great mold killer, if you have tea tree oil.)

Mix the vinegar with a little water (1:4 ratio) and spray on your kitchen sponge/dish rag, counters, fridge, etc.

Carpet Cleaner
2 tbsp salt
1/2 cup 5% vinegar
Dissolve the salt in the vinegar and put into a spray bottle.  Spray on the stain, let dry, then vacuum.

Add 2 tbsp borax for tougher stains.

Laundry Detergent Boost
Add 1/2 cup baking soda to your laundry when adding your soap.  The baking soda softens the water so you can use less detergent; it will also keep your whites whiter and brights brighter. 

Laundry Rinse
Pour straight 5% vinegar into your rinse cycle of your washer; the vinegar will help eliminate any soap residuals on your clothes (thanks for this one Dad).

Coffee Machine
Mix 1 part vinegar and 2 parts water, run it through your coffee maker, then rinse by running clear water through the machine until the vinegar odor is gone.

There you have it, some of the ways to use vinegar and baking soda to help you keep your house clean and your home & family healthy.  Do you know of other healthy home cleaning uses of baking soda or vinegar?

Thanks for reading my blog, you are the best f/f/r/s/f's, see you tomorrow,


Dad/Pepere said...

Love all the suggestions, and use a couple of them already. I will incorporate the others in our cleaning plan. Another vinegar one I use is 4 oz vinegar and 12 oz water in a spray bottle. I spray and wipe my kitchen counters after every evening meal. Hugs!

Lise said...

Thanks for this additional use for vinegar dad, I forgot we talked about it! Hugs back!