Friday, September 16, 2011

Transitioning to natural cleaning

by Wellness Mama!!

Transitioning to natural cleaning options is much easier than most people expect. In fact, you likely already have most of the necessary ingredients in your pantry!

From floors, to bathrooms, to glass, most surfaces can be cleaned just as well or better with natural options. You can save money and keep your house clean with exposing yourself or your family to the chemicals in most common household cleaners and products.

The natural ingredients I always keep on hand are:

Distilled White Vinegar
Baking Soda
Washing Soda (on laundry aisle of most stores)
Borax (on laundry aisle of most stores)
Liquid Castille Soap
Essential Oils (for scent only)

With these simple ingredients, you can clean practically anything in your house naturally. For instance:

Natural All-Purpose Cleaner

In a spray bottle mix:

1 tsp borax
1/2 tsp washing soda
1 tsp liquid castille soap
essential oils as preferred- I use 4 drops lemon, 4 drops lavender and 10 drops orange

Add 2 cups of warm water. Distilled is best, but any water that has been boiled will work. Cover bottle and shake well. Use as needed. I use as bathroom cleaner, floor pre-treater, kitchen cleaner and on toys to disinfect.

Natural Glass Cleaner

In a 16 oz or bigger spray bottle mix:

1 quart water
2 tablespoons vinegar
10-15 drops essential oil (optional, but helps the vinegar smell)

Shake bottle and spray on windows. Use crumpled newspaper or cotton cloth to wipe off. If you have always used commercial window cleaner in the past, mix a couple drops of liquid castille soap or liquid dish soap in some of this mixture the first time you clean the windows to remove detergent residue.

Natural Cleaning For Wood Floors

Combine 1/2 cup white vinegar and 1/2 cup vegetable oil (finally a good use for it!) Mix well and rub lightly into floors to bring back shine and clean spots. Add a few drops of essential oil of choice for nice scent.

Natural Cleaning for Tile or Linoleum

Mix equal parts of vinegar and water and damp mop. For really tough stains, pre-treat with 2 T washing soda dissolved in 16 ounces of water. Mop well and damp mop with pure water to rinse.

Natural Stain Removal for Carpet

Mix equal parts of vinegar and water. Spray on stains, let sit for 5 minutes and scrub with soft brush. Add 1-2 drops of dishwashing liquid for tough stains.

For tough grease stains, pour cornstarch liberally on the stain and let sit until dry. Vacuum up and then use method above.

For heavy duty stains that won’t come out, mix 1/4 cup each of salt, borax and vinegar and rub into the stain. Let sit until dry and vacuum up. Use methods above if any part of the stain remains.

Natural Scouring Powder for Tough Stains and Tubs

Ingredients:

2 parts baking soda
1 part salt
1 part borax powder

To Make:

Pour ingredients into jar or bowl.
Mix or stir until well mixed.
If you want to make a shaker, put in a pint or quart mason jar and poke some holes in the top (carefully) with a sharp serrated knife.

To Use:

Lightly wet surface with water or undiluted white vinegar (for really bad messes)
Sprinkle powder on and let sit 5 minutes
Scrub with sturdy brush until clean
Rinse with water or vinegar (for really bad messes)

Effortless Natural Oven Cleaning

Though it seems like a simple fix, baking soda is really effective and makes the daunting task of oven cleaning a little easier. All I have to do to get a shining oven is spray the whole oven down with a water bottle so that it is damp, and pour on a thick layer or baking soda, especially on the bottom, until there is about 1/4 inch layer of baking soda paste on the bottom. If any of the baking soda is still dry, I mist it with the water bottle.

Then, I walk away, and leave the baking soda there for a few hours (with the oven off, unless you want to see some amateur special effects… I don’t recommend this!) After a few hours I simply wipe up the paste with a cloth and all the grime comes with it. For really baked on grime, this may take a couple applications, but it always works and it is 100% natural!

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