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Greener Ways to Clean

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This is the season of long nights, short days, and cold temperatures. We are indoors more. Doors and windows are opened less, and our exposure to the fumes and residues of cleaning products is intensified. If you are like me, you want to lessen your family’s exposure to the harsher chemicals' odors and reactives. So let’s look at some user-friendly, cleaner, and greener solutions.

Here are three common household cleaning items, none of which are expensive nor toxic. They are also probably in your home right now.

You can use them to get things clean and fresh, without the worry of chemicals tainting your home:

1. BAKING SODA

Baking soda is a great odor neutralizer.

  • Place an opened box in the refrigerator to absorb odors.
  • It can be sprinkled in smelly tennis shoes and left over-night to combat odor.
  • Baking soda, mixed in cat litter, helps conquer odor and will not hurt your pet.
  • It can be mixed with water to form a paste, that cleans dishes, pots, pans and cooking surfaces.
  • Baking soda with vinegar also loosens hard to clean, baked on messes.
  • When a stronger abrasive is needed, take the baking soda and add some course salt (kosher salt is perfect) to help clean tough spots.
  • Lightly sprinkle on rugs before vacuuming to freshen the carpets’ odor.

2. LEMON

Fresh lemon supplies oil and an acidic factor.

  • Lemon slices or juice are great disposal cleaners and deodorizers.
  • To freshen counter and cutting block surfaces: combine baking soda with a small amount of natural dish soap, then use a halved lemon to scrub across the surface of the counter. Wipe clean with a cloth or sponge.
  • Lemon Cleaner: mix 1 cup of very hot water with 1 teaspoon borax, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 2 tablespoons lemon juice…use as a spray cleaner
  • Lemon & Tea Tree Cleaner: 1 cup liquid soap blend, 1/4 cup lemon juice, 1/4 eyedropper of tea tree extract, 6 cups warm water (Mix the ingredients together and shake well. To use, put in a plastic spray bottle, spritz on, and wipe off.)

3. WHITE VINEGAR

Cuts through dirt and grease,

  • Dilute vinegar with water and use on countertops, windows, and floors
  • Place 1/2 cup in dishwasher to assist with shiney streak-free glassware
  • Use as a bleach substitute: Pour a small amount of white vinegar into your laundry. It will keep your sheets smelling fresh and clean and as it cuts oils, it is great for people with super sensitive skin. Amount is by discretion, so be careful not to over-pour
  • Vinegar and salt remove coffee and tea stains from china and marble
  • Vinegar dissolves mineral and iron stains from coffee pots and faucets
  • 1 teaspoon of salt dissolved in 1 cup of vinegar shines brass and copper

Happy cleaning to you! Be healthy, take your women vitamins, wash your hands, say your prayers (sound like Grandma?), and be blessed.

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