Six entirely natural cleaning agents and 15 ways to use them!
Have you ever stood in front of rows and rows of cleaning products at the supermarket or pharmacy just tearing your hair out because there's simply too much choice, too many chemicals, too little information about what really works and what's secretly harmful...? How to decide between your wallet, your health, the environment, and a clean house?
It's a good thing that there are effective and cheap alternatives! And you'll probably find them right inside your cupboard at home. Perhaps even more amazing is how many ways you can use them. Check this out:
Decalcifying faucets and other fittings
Your sinks, the shower, even an electric kettle can all accumulate a layer of limescale that comes right off with vinegar. You just use a sponge to wipe a layer of vinegar over the faucet or fitting, leave it a few minutes, and then wipe it off. For tougher spots you can fill a balloon (or condom) with vinegar and pull it over the area to soak the crust for a while.
Getting rid of odors
Vinegar absorbs odors and helps against unpleasant cooking smells, nasty fumes, or essence of wet dog, for instance. You can place a bowl of vinegar near the source of the stench, put it in a fragrant oil burning lamp, or brush off the stinky spot with a vinegar-and-water mix.
Decalcify your electric kettle
Boil a water-and-vinegar mix in your electric kettle to break down the limescale. Then be sure to rinse it several times with clean water, or boil the water before pouring it out to get rid of the vinegar taste and smell.
2. Vinegar + Sodium Bicarbonate
These two (vinegar with baking soda) are the dynamic duo of cleaning agents, bubbling over with power.
Deep cleaning the john
If you put these two together into your toilet, you'll get rid of residue stuck to the bowl with no effort at all. Especially the bits that the toilet brush can't reach. You can also free up a clogged drain. Attention: when you mix these, they foam up like crazy. But that's why they work so well, so don't worry.
Clean your silver
Place your silver utensils or jewelry in a vinegar + baking soda bath for two to three hours. That's it, then they're clean! Just rinse them well and dry them thoroughly afterwards.
3. Baking Soda (sodium bicarbonate)
Baking soda is the jack of all trades of the household. Not only will it raise your muffins, it will clean half the stuff in your kitchen and bathroom!
Clean your thermos (finally)
Anyone with a thermos knows the problem: if you once filled it with coffee, the taste will be there for the next millennium regardless of how many times you clean it and fill it with tea. Or vice versa, once filled with a fruity herbal tea, your coffee will never taste the same again. Plus, if you don't clean it right away, whatever's down there in the bottom will be stuck forever. Until you try three teaspoons of baking soda, then pour boiling water in and leave the mix overnight. The next day, your thermos will look and smell like new.
Clean your ceramic glass stove
Conventional cleaning fluids don't work on ceramic glass cooking tops. If you don't have the special cleaner, you can actually just use baking soda. Make a paste from two tablespoons of soda and three tablespoons of water, then spread it over the surface and leave it for at least one hour. Then wipe it off well, give the stove a last polish, and burn stains will be so passé.
Remove wallpaper stains
Use the same paste as above to rub stains off your walls. Simply apply the paste and then gently wipe the spot with a damp cloth.
That pot or pan you never thought you'd get clean again? No amount of scrubbing with iron wool worked? Spread a good layer of salt over the surface and heat it up. As soon as the salt has turned brown, wipe the pan clean with a kitchen rag. But look out, it's hot!
Scour your oven
Salt also works in the oven: use salt on a spill right after you're finished using the oven while the oven is still hot. Later you can easily wipe off the salt and the stain together.
Get rid of water stains
Using a mix of liquid soap and lemon juice, you can make a great anti-limescale spray. Just put the combination into a spray bottle and use it where needed, in the shower, for instance, or bathroom sink.
Remove fruit stains from clothing
Lemon is a good stain-remover for light-colored clothing. Rub some lemon juice on the affected area before putting the item of clothing into the washing machine.
Mixing lemon juice, water, and vinegar, you can create your own highly effective glass cleanser. Keep it in a spray bottle and you'll always have it close at hand.
6. Vegetable Oil
It's not just for cooking, salad dressings, and filling up your alternative fuel tank, it's also great for cleaning.
If you need to spiff up your old leather loafers, put a few drops of oil on a soft cloth and rub over the shoes. It'll give the surface a nice, fresh shine.
Removing remnants of stickers and other adhesives
Did the kids put stickers all over a nice table one unsupervised afternoon, or a price tag won't come off all the way? Rub them with veggie oil and they'll come right off.
We don't always have to turn to the cleaning products shelf at the store. The ingredients we have on the shelf at home might work just as well! And this is just a partial list of everything Baking Soda & Co. can do...