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Natural DIY Cleaning Products
April 29, 2014
By Dr. Maiko Ochi, N.D., L. Ac.
Many modern cleaning products contain chemicals that are hazardous to our health and pollute the earth. Women are especially sensitive to the hormonal influences of xenoestrogens in commercial housecleaning products. However, three simple natural ingredients that you probably already have at home can do a lot to help you clean in a non-toxic manner. Try some of the following recipes next time you clean your house.
Spray directly onto ovens, countertops, cooking dishes and fan covers to cut grease.
For an all-purpose cleaning solution, mix 1 part vinegar with four parts water in a spray bottle
To make a glass-cleaning spray, combine 2 cups water, ¼ cup vinegar and ½ teaspoon of liquid dish soap in a spray bottle to create a natural window cleaner.
To clean the toilet, pour 1 cup of vinegar into the toilet and let sit. Add a few tablespoons of baking soda for extra whitening power.
Clear drains. Pour ½ cup of baking soda down a clogged drain then follow with a ½ cup of vinegar. Cover the drain to keep fizzing action inside. After the fizzing subsides, follow with a liter or two of boiling water. If you don’t achieve success the first time, repeat the entire process.
To make stain remover, combine ½ cup white vinegar, ¼ cup baking soda and 3 cups water in a spray bottle. Spray the solution on stained clothing, and then wash as normal.
To make a fabric softener, add a ½ cup of vinegar to the rinse cycle. Vinegar naturally breaks down and dissolves laundry detergent to make clothes, sheets and towels softer.
Deodorize. Baking soda is your No. 1 tool to absorb household odors: Pour a dusting of baking soda into each new garbage can lining; sprinkle baking soda on carpet odors, wait 10 minutes, then vacuum.
Whiten. To bring back shine to porcelain sinks, cover the entire sink in a thin layer of baking soda and let sit for 10 minutes or more. Mix with a small amount of water to create a paste and scrub porcelain.
To clean bathtubs, sprinkle the entire tub with baking soda, then with a layer of coarse salt, then scrub.
Polish silverware. Line a glass baking pan with aluminum foil, and then add silverware. Sprinkle silverware with ½ cup baking soda, and then pour boiling water into the pan until the silverware is completely immersed. Soak for five minutes; rinse and dry silverware.
Remove dirt and grease from clothes by adding ½ cup of baking soda to the wash cycle.Kill mildew. Combine baking soda with vinegar or hydrogen peroxide to create a paste; apply to bathroom grout, let stand for 30 minutes, then scrub.
Cut grease. An enzyme in the citric acid of lemon juice cuts through grease as effectively as any commercial cleaner. Combine the juice from two lemons with ½ cup of vinegar to create a powerful grease-fighting cleaner.
Banish odors. Lemons have a pleasing aroma, and they don’t just cover up bad smells, they actually remove the offending odor.
Dissolve soap scum and hard water deposits. Pour undiluted lemon juice on deposits, or rub a cut lemon over trouble spots.
Clean cutting boards. Disinfect and freshen wooden cutting boards by rubbing a cut lemon over the surface. Let the lemon juice sit for a while before wiping clean.
Refresh your garbage disposal. Strong odors and bacteria can buildup in your garbage disposal over time. To clean this hard-to-reach area, cut a lemon up into chunks, place in the garbage disposal and turn it on.
Naturally brighten whites. Skip the bleach and add ½ cup of lemon juice, which has natural bleaching properties, to the rinse cycle.