Are Cleaning Products Making Your Family Ill?
Some Easy Do-It-Yourself Recipes
Here are sample recipes.
- For freshening the air: To remove food odors quickly, boil 1 cup water plus 1 teaspoon vinegar for a few minutes. Add fragrance to the air by boiling sweet herbs and spices in water. To fight odors in diaper pails and trash compactors, sprinkle in baking soda.
- Recipes to disinfect: Regular cleaning with soap and water, and rinsing with hot water. Or try a wash solution of 1/2 cup of borax in a gallon of water.
- A recipe to bleach: Add white vinegar, baking soda, or borax to the wash. Add moderate amounts, pretesting vulnerable fabric and adjusting amounts for desired effect.
- A recipe to clean drains: Pour 1/2 cup of baking soda and 1 cup vinegar down the drain, plugging the drain immediately until the foaming stops. Then rinse with hot water.
- A recipe to clean ovens: Scrub with a paste of baking soda, soap and water. Also, add borax and salt to the paste [salt is very abrasive].
- A recipe to clean toilet bowls: Pour 1 cup vinegar and 1/2 cup baking soda in the bowl, and scrub. Or wet the bowl and sprinkle well with borax, let sit a few hours and then scrub and rinse.
- Recipes for furniture polish: Mix one part lemon juice with two parts olive oil or vegetable oil. Or use beeswax, or mix beeswax with olive oil.
- Recipes to clean carpet: Natural cleaning expert Annie Berthold-Bond recommends using a raw potato! Or try an all-purpose cleaner such as 1 tablespoon liquid soap or borax in 1 quart warm water. You can add a dash of lemon juice or vinegar. Another recipe mixes 3 tablespoons washing soda in 1 quart of warm water. Remember to test the solutions on a hidden area of any fabric or carpet to make sure no damage is done.
- Recipes to clean windows: Mix a solution of water and vinegar. Recommended proportions vary from 3 tablespoons vinegar in 1 quart water, to 3 tablespoons vinegar in 2 cups water, to a 1:1 mixture. Some recipes add a drop of detergent.
A Special Note on the Virtues of Vinegar
As the above recipes reveal, vinegar has many uses in cleaning. Its mild acid nature works well in removing mineral deposits. For example, vinegar will wipe away white rings on terra cotta pots. It will remove deposits in clogged shower heads. You can soak the head in a bowl of vinegar, or tie a sandwich bag full of vinegar on the head overnight. Mineral deposits in sink and toilet bowls disappear after this treatment: Wet a strip of toilet tissue in vinegar and lay over the deposits for 15 minutes to an hour.
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